A Brush with the Past


Works by Valley landscape painter Maggie Hodges ’79 now hang in the school where she first discovered her love of art

When Maggie Hodges ’79 attended Williston, she took art classes in the building that now houses Tandem Bagel Company. Fast forward to 2023: She’s a working artist and hanging a show of her own paintings in the Reed Campus Center’s Grubbs Gallery.

“What a role Williston played in this evolution for me,” Hodges says.

Hodges recalls fondly her time in art classes at Williston, including drawing, printmaking, and especially calligraphy classes with art teacher Barry Moser. “For our exams, he would give us a blank piece of paper, and we had to write the alphabet as fast as we could, perfectly spaced. It was a great way of learning.”

Her love of art ultimately led to a B.F.A. from Syracuse University and a career in graphic design at Hasbro and Spaulding. Then, about a decade ago, she decided to dabble in painting. She tried portraits first, before diving into landscape paintings. Hooked on the idea of landscape art and getting all of the details in a painting just right, Hodges continued painting prolifically, finally finding her niche with oil paints.

Since she picked up a brush, Hodges has seen her work’s popularity take off. In 2022, she was thrilled that the trustees of Forbes Library, in Northampton, voted to purchase her painting Northampton’s Lights, a 40-by-24-inch oil painting on birch panel, after Hodges had her works on display in the library for a show. And this spring, at her Grubbs Gallery show, Hodges displayed the largest pieces of her work yet, more than 35 in all, depicting landscapes in the Pioneer Valley. “I find it a huge honor to have had an exhibit of my paintings at Williston, which was so influential in my life,” she says. Learn more about Hodges’ art and view her paintings at maggiehodgesart.com.