Attend Gallery r benefit April 25 and take home a piece of art

Artwork donated by RIT supporters includes photo by alumna Dona McAdam of Seattle

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The Jaguar at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle by Dona McAdam

Semi-retired graphic designer and photographer Dona McAdam loves wildlife—especially cats—and sent a photograph she had taken of a jaguar “resting” at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo to benefit Gallery r’s annual fundraiser in support of Rochester Institute of Technology’s downtown student-run gallery.

The jaguar, with its broad head, notable spots and long claws on its front paws, will be on full view—next to nearly 100 donated pieces of art by RIT friends, students, alumni and faculty—at the Gallery r Benefit held on April 25 at RIT’s University Gallery, James E. Booth Hall on the RIT campus. The fundraiser begins with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by an art drawing with emcee Norma Holland, WHAM-TV (channel 13) news anchor, from 7 to 9 p.m. Free parking is available in F Lot.

The Gallery r Benefit includes live music, light hors d’oeuvres, desserts and cash bar. All ticket holders will leave with a beautiful piece of art—items varying from jewelry and glass, to paintings, photography and illustrations.

For the past three years, McAdam has donated signature pieces as a way of giving back to her alma mater. “I am 77 years old and can’t imagine ever retiring from taking photographs,” says Rochester native McAdam, who attended RIT’s downtown campus and graduated in 1956 with a degree in art and design.

McAdam, who says she is also a “big sci-fi Stargate fan” and amateur musician, moved to Seattle in the 1970s and opened her own graphic design and photography business in her home. “I bought a house on Queen Anne Hill, north of downtown, and I used a Mac computer, so I called my business ‘Mac on the Hill,’” she says with a laugh. “I love my profession, I love my life.”

According to Deb Kingsbury, assistant dean in RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, McAdam’s pieces are always eye-catching to viewers.

“One year she sent a framed print of Mount St. Helens under an amazing blue sky. The contrast between the tragedy associated with the volcano and how nature is revitalizing the area was striking. She’s an artist who believes in sharing her talent. And even though Gallery r didn’t exist when she went to school at RIT, she believes in contributing to our students.”

Tickets to the Gallery r Benefit are $100 and each ticket admits two people and is good for one piece of artwork. To purchase tickets, call 585-475-2733 or email; for a preview of artwork, go to

Note: Gallery r sits adjacent to Lumiere Photo, home to Spectrum Gallery, and is just a few yards from the Memorial Art Gallery and Village Gate. The gallery space is under the helm of RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences and offers students the same challenges and expectations that confront established artists—focusing on diverse exhibitions, educational opportunities and collaborations with the public, other arts institutions and community groups.