Sydney Caretti Artwork Highlights School’s Core Values

Thursday, October 1, 2020
Sydney Caretti, arts faculty

Sydney Caretti, the director of galleries and an arts faculty member, spent her time during quarantine at home painting a series of campus paintings. The work is on display through October 3 in the Burgin Center for the Arts' Cofrin Gallery and gallery niche.

"I intended the work to be very abstract, deconstructing the buildings and focusing on shape and color to veer away from hard representation, but found that while the pallet is limited, bold, and saturated and shape is emphasized, I was beholden to the identifiable architecture that is Mercersburg," Caretti said.

Both collections draw from the school's core values. 

"When No One is Looking" (drawing from Mercersburg’s core value of “noble integrity”) in the Cofrin Gallery is made up of scenes from campus captured by Caretti and her husband, Erin (a member of the history faculty), on their "many, many walks around campus" this summer; the work is painted in acrylic on board.

"Reaction/Response" in the gallery niche is a collection of acrylic abstract paintings on canvas, influenced by the egregious lack of social justice in the world and visually intended to express motion, empathy, and possibility in a palette of purple, green, and white (colors associated with the suffragettes) with crosses and circles repeating to represent perseverance, imagination, integrity, trust, gratitude, courage, and love—all titles from the school’s mission statement.

"I hope these paintings promote an experience or a connection to elevate or awaken a desire for true social justice and equality," Caretti said.

The work is available for purchase and the price list is available upon request; contact Caretti at or by phone at 717-328-6206. 

"Painting is engaging, lifting, and meditative for me, so getting past the eerie quarantine-quiet COVID made of campus, I wanted to imbue the happy, bright memories and possibilities that have come before and will most certainly soon follow," Caretti said.

Caretti holds a bachelor's degree in studio art from the University of New Hampshire and a Masters of Fine Art degree from Marywood University where she was awarded the Ella T. Ruane Medal for Excellence in Art. She arrived at Mercersburg Academy with 10 years experience as a fine arts gallery partner and consultant from New England with teaching experience from the New Hampton School in New Hampton, NH and Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, PA. She has taught AP studio art, studio art, painting, drawing, design, and ceramics/sculpture. Sydney has been head or assistant head coach in equestrian and track and field sports as well as an advisor, dormitory parent, head of dorms, and class dean. She currently divides her professional time between serving as the Director of Galleries and teaching. Sydney lives just off campus with her husband, fellow faculty member Erin Caretti, and their two daughters, Quinlan '24 and Allister.