Bachelor of Fine Arts degree candidates' exhibitions by students from the Division of Art & Design. Four separate installments featuring solo BFA thesis exhibitions by senior students from the Studio Art and Photography programs will be displayed in the Art Gallery. These exhibitions include photography, photographic installation, sound installation, sculpture, painting and printmaking. Each exhibition will host a reception. Dates and times for the receptions are to be announced.
Senior Capstone Exhibits by Studio Art and Photography Students
M. Sawyer Balance, Spartanburg, S.C., majoring in studio art specializing in painting and sculpture, with a minor in art history
Student's Website: www.msawyerballance.com
Show Title: Moon Baby & Halo Heart
Balance writes, "My paintings are a blend of classical motifs, symbols and romantic atmospheres that deal specifically with matters of the heart: lust, love, transcendence, betrayal, sex, conflict, and the passage of time. However, there is also an element of more popular imagery and contemporary mediums (i.e. glitter, aerosol, and geometry) which exist in order to further develop a dialogue on the ethereal and more non-tangible aspects of love. As classical symbolism meets contemporary imagery and abstraction in my work, the dichotomy between the heart and mind can be observed and thus be effectual toward the synthesis of the two. The symbols that exist in my work act not so much as dictators of interpretation but as guides toward a mutual or sympathetic transcendence, catharsis or enlightenment.
Chaz Bedford, Astoria, N.Y., majoring in studio art, specializing in photography, with a minor in art history
Student's Website: www.chazbedford.com
Show Title: Invisible Beauty
Bedford writes, "My work focuses on self-identity and my life experience as a biracial African American. I'm deeply moved by feelings the model expresses through my camera lens. I let my emotion capture the moment, rather than focusing on the technical aspects of making an image. I am deeply influenced by contemporary photography and the body's motion portrayed in fashion photography. The motivation behind my photographic experience captures the perception of individuals' physiognomy in contrast to what is often regarded as "beautiful" both from my point of view as the photographer as well as an African American male with physical disabilities. Like Henri Cartier-Bresson a half century before me, I relate to his idea of "The Decisive Moment" he published in 1952 of his photographic experience throughout the mid-1900s. In Cartier-Bresson's own words, "The decisive moment is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression."
Michelle Bennice, Middletown, N.Y., majoring in studio art, specializing in studio art with a pre-art therapy minor
Show Title: Fight Like a Mom
Bennice writes, "I fell in love with creating works as a child with a small box of crayons and a little of my parents' encouragement. I find excitement in creating my own language through visual representation. I am inspired to help others use visual forms of communication. My mother, as an advocate and nurse for the disabled population, raised me with a kind heart for the disabled, to believe that all was possible for anyone, no matter what challenges they might face. I find this to also be true in the process of making my visual work. Motivation for my creative output is generated from the connections I have made with the people who surround me. Each work I create is a self-portrait that collectively forms an autobiographical narrative in time. My materials are my treasures, as I believe anything can be viable materials in order to transform an idea into concrete form. Whether I am working with other people, pen, paper or found objects, I believe that anything can be transformed conceptually into my visual works."
Manda Brezicky, Liverpool, N.Y., majoring and specializing in studio art
Student's Website: www.mandabrezicky.com
Show Title: The Personal Is Political
Brezicky writes, "Art has the power to change the world and society. Using the human figure and literal imagery alongside the metaphorical, I enable the viewer to place themselves within a narrative, pushing them to give up their indifference and possibly act on injustices in society."
Alli Carroll, Limerick, Maine, majoring in studio art, specializing in photography, with minors in art history and arts management
Student's Website: www.allicarroll.com
Show Title: Glimpse
Carroll writes, "I come from a small town and a family full of people who have made a name for themselves. Growing up around this brings great expectations. I made the choice to live up to my family name by doing my best in whatever came my way. What makes me "me" is that choice and the drive to do something great of my own -- whether it is creating a business like my great grandparents and grandparents have done, being as incredibly responsible as my father, or being as loving as my mother. Through documentary photography, I photograph the places that have history and that have greatly impacted me since childhood."
Brittany Hill, Heuvelton, N.Y., majoring in studio art, specializing in photography, with minors in art history and business
Show Title: Blue Ruin
Hill writes, "This body of work focuses on emotions, but more than that it is about people. I find people an intriguing subject to work with because every person is different, yet there are similarities that connect us all together. One of these connections is emotions. Emotions are fascinating because they are so raw and fundamental, and we can't control them – they give us insight into who we are. You can read a lot into how a person is feeling by looking at their facial expressions and body language. Although each one of us has different mannerisms in how we express our feelings, there are similarities throughout these mannerisms that help to explain why emotions are universal. For this project, I chose to focus only on the "negative" emotions and not include the "positive" ones, for several reasons. The happier, positive emotions ask no questions of the viewer, so we tend to move on. But the melancholy, negative emotions DO ask questions, and this keeps the viewer interested. As viewers and human beings, we ponder and try to solve the puzzle that the photograph and the emotion portrayed is asking of us. Often there is no concrete answer, because each one of us is unique and brings our own experiences to the photograph, forever changing the "answer" that we are looking for."
Stephanie A. Joyce, Cazenovia, N.Y., majoring in studio art, specializing in photography
Show Title: Pretty White Horses
Joyce writes, "I am an artist working towards true equality, peace, and sustainability. I think I'm living in a daydream filled with nostalgia and sprinkled with bits of invention. My recent work is an exploration of my capacity as a human to perceive and understand life. I fall in love with fleeting moments of sublimity that transcend everyday experiences. I like to explore these moments further through the use of various photographic processes, by creating sculptural objects, and by incorporating play."
Melanie Lynch, Camillus, N.Y., majoring in studio art with a minor in pre-art therapy
Show Title: Trace
Lynch writes, "Process. The process of thought, creativity and movement are each very important to me. In the act of creating, I am continually in motion. This is one of the most important aspects of my creative process. The movement of my body and the path in which my body acts within space helps bring my work into being. The push and pull of my exterior self, its contact with my material, as well as my interior sensations, influence my next reaction with the work. The sculptural forms I visually create, exploit and manipulate the most vulnerable areas of the body in which we exist – our body's orifices and the negative solids that are created within them. A variety of materials such as plaster, wood, ceramics, found objects, latex or cement are contorted under my pressure. I desire for my audience to personally experience my work through their own haptic sensation of touch."
Ashley Paquin, High Falls, N.Y., majoring in studio art, specializing in photography, with a minor in pre-art therapy
Show Title: TIT0L
Paquin writes, "I love to collect. I collect objects that are typically overlooked, seemingly banal, unimportant or thrown out. I have been a collector all my life, creating archival accumulations starting at the age of 5 with Lisa Frank stickers. I was enthusiatic to find an object and watch them multiply. Equally, I enjoy the art of storytelling and cultural ephemera, and when the two intersect, how they can take the viewer to a place beyond the here and now. I have collected paper ephemera since my first concert at 14. This collection has grown expedentially into an archive of a map of time. Collecting such items allows me to recall memories and document where I have been."
Jenna Petrone, Stamford, N.Y., majoring in studio art specializing in photography, with a minor in arts management
Student's Website: www.jenna-petrone.com
Show Title: She
Petrone writes, "Inspired by the techniques behind Surrealism, dream-like narratives, and the playfulness of childhood, I use photography as a way to explore the depths of my own imaginative creativity. Using Surrealist techniques, such as automatism and creating other worlds through images, my work took a new direction in the fall of 2011 when three important people in my life passed away over a short period of time. I found that the most effective way of coping with my loss was through my photography. These individuals became my muses and they have remained with me ever since. In my current work, I am experimenting with techniques such as double exposures, shifting the camera while taking images, and the occasional manipulation in post-processing. I use myself as a model so I can have the freedom to explore and generate feelings of connectedness with these muses as my inspiration. Being in solidarity when creating my photographic work, I am able to share personal experiences with my audience in the large format photographic prints. At the same time, I choose to keep my identity anonymous in my pictorial narratives allowing audience members to place themselves within my images."
Julia Raysman, Nantucket, Mass., majoring in studio art, specializing in photography, with a minor in biology
Student's Website: www.jnraysmanphotography.com
Show Title: Portrait of a House
Raysman became interested in photography at age six when her mother let her use an old Nikon film camera. Since then she has studied photography at a summer camp and in high school, and has found has found new and creative ways to use her skills at Cazenovia College. She writes, "Ever since my mom began working with the Nantucket Preservation Trust and Nantucket Historical Association on the island of Nantucket, I've been trying to find ways to save some of the historical houses that are falling down due to owner neglect. Having a passion for photography, I decided to use this artistic form in a way most people might not think of. I began using the cyanotype printing process as my main technique for this project because of its 19th century roots. Developing the negatives and printing them, visually gives the appearance of an image with a historical, nostalgic, and haunting feeling. The fabrics I use are previously owned linens and upholstery, some with graceful crocheted trim. I want the viewer to experience a dreamlike narrative from my photographic works. I hope that my installation activates viewers and makes them think about people who once lived in these majestic homes."
Nicole Marie Rienzo, Utica, N.Y., majoring in studio art, specializing in photography
Show Title: Heirlooms
Rienzo writes, "After my grandparents passed away and my family and I started cleaning out their house, I found many objects that were worth more to me than their mere monetary value. Each item evoked a strong memory that wove together a narrative of all the things my grandparents had taught me as I was growing up. Through photographing these tangible remnants of artifacts I construct family portraits not of faces, but of the things left behind that reveal identity. I photograph each object at close range, cropping them to the pictorial edge. This compositional choice infers that the object remains to operate outside of the picture frame and thus remains alive in the here and now."
Jessi Ross, Macungie, Pa., majoring in studio art, specializing in sound, with a
minor in art history
Show Title: Euphony
Ross was born with fingers fond of grasping pencils, hands desiring to mold materials, and a throat yearning to make melodies. Through sensory enticement, she aims to make you experience a world other than the customary; to remind you of the slight vibrations you constantly feel, the light you never noticed, the scent of a memory you did not know you had. Through her creative output, she strives to bring attention to the limitations of perception and how those limitations compose the definition of reality. She hopes that this understanding may make you cherish the mutual relationship between science and spirituality. But overall, really, she just wants you to feel what it means to be alive.
She writes, "Everything is vibrating. Quantum physics proves that at the most microscopic level all matter consists of tiny particles vibrating against one another. When particles vibrate, a sound is produced. Therefore, everything is sound. Your voice is composed of a combination of vibrations. These vibrations in your vocal chords create harmonies, which register within the human ear as a singular tone, or voice, completely unique to you and you alone. Due to this unique yet innate quality, the use of a voice is very effective in sound therapy, or neuroacoustic therapy. Arising from inspiration found within neuroacoustic research, these sound narratives manifest from the vibration of my own vocal chords, as well as from my entire being. Since I vibrate, you vibrate, this page vibrates, all matter vibrates, these sounds share the same nature as everything in the Universe. --- 'Universe' = 'uni' + 'verse' = 'one' + 'song'
Maria Sakran, Camillus, N.Y., majoring in studio art, specializing in photography
Student's Website: www.mariansakran.com
Show Title: Kaleidoscope
Sakran writes, "As someone whose artistic expression is based on photography, I find transforming my photos into surface patterns a focal interest. This activity bridges the subjects of graphics, product design, textiles and fine art. I am often amazed at the shapes and forms that I find hidden in my photos. By using an original piece I use repetition to create something new. I strive for a design with color and patterns that can be used in a variety of ways and aim for technical excellence in every piece. The end result can never be predicted, so the interest of creating is never tedious and forever rewarding."
Melissa Schleifer, Munnsville, N.Y., majoring and specializing in studio art
Show Title: Blame it on the Boys
Schleifer writes, "The experience artists go through to discover themselves influences the way they work and what they produce. On my journey to self-discovery I have allowed myself to become lost in story-telling and focus my artistic efforts on learning and developing as many creative skill-sets as possible. My works cover a broad range of media, including digital and traditional drawing techniques, ceramic, glass and various other 3D materials. Every piece contributes to my ongoing quest of self-knowledge. In my efforts to be self-aware and express my life's experiences in my artwork I have found that I don't like to take myself too seriously. I love to be lost in the playful elements that express my love of geek culture elements such as comic books and video games. However, there are injustices in life that I cannot ignore without addressing in some manner in my creative output. My art serves as an outlet for me to bridge the gap between what people see as frivolous and what I feel people need to pay more attention to."
Bryan Sperling, Middletown, N.Y., majoring in studio art, specializing in photography, with a minor in biology
Student's Website: www.bryansperling.com
Show Title: Beauty in Disquise
Sperling writes, "Beauty in Disguise" is a group of photographic works that shows the world of decay of natural materials. The technique I use in making these photographs is focus stacking. This is a process in which many layers of macro imagery are photographed at different focal lengths and stitched electronically together using Photoshop. A time-consuming, labor-intensive procedure is used to illustrate the natural process of decomposition. For example, the pumpkin photographs I created would not be possible to achieve if not for the focus stacking process of combining a minimum of forty separate images that create the final completed image. My passion for photography, engineering, and biology motivates me to produce these works. It is my intention to provoke a response in the viewer regarding the organic process of decaying material, typically shown in a negative way, can in fact be quite beautiful."
Emily Thomas, Plymouth Meeting, Pa., majoring in studio art, specializing in photography
Student's Website: www.evtphotography.com
Show Title: 911
Thomas writes, "I have had a fascination with photography as a means of self-expression all my life. I make pictures for a variety of reasons; to identify with the hidden qualities of the characters, to better understand my world, and express my interpretation of the environment that surrounds me. A clearer understanding of myself allows me to explore the fleeting fragments of my life. As a photographer I also enjoy the interaction with people I may otherwise not engage with. My goal is to use my camera much like Alice used the rabbit hole she tumbled into; to open up an unexplored world, a place where curiosity can take place, a world filled with new relationships, new potentials, new beginnings and most importantly new visual stories."