Degree candidates’ artwork featured at thesis exhibitions


Over the course of four consecutive Friday evenings this spring, emerging artists who are candidates for  Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees presented their thesis projects at The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art. The museum is the venue for these Art students to display their mastery of their course of study during their time at the College.

Stationary, kinetic, video, and interactive displays were represented in each discipline under the aegis of the School of Art: Ceramics, Metal, Painting & Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture. Many pieces in the collection were multimedia or interdisciplinary, requiring the insight and handiwork of student collaboration on various installations.

“These thesis shows represent the culminating experience for our students, whether undergraduates or graduates. But more than that, it showcases to the campus community and the region the importance of art and art-making,” explains Paul Kassel, interim dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts. “Having these shows in the Dorsky Museum announces to the world, ‘attention must be paid to these emerging artists!’ It is a testament to their commitment to the work and a testament to the artist/teachers who nurture them. We are so proud of their achievements and are excited for their futures – not only what it will bring to them, but what it will to all of us.”

Painting & Drawing Bachelor’s candidate Terrence Corrigan ’14 describes the influences for his art as “menswear design, fine art, and strong coffee.” Corrigan’s three-piece installation of garments designed by him was created in conjunction with junior Shawn O’Hanlon ’15 (Painting & Drawing). O’Hanlon used the finished garments as a painter’s canvas, expanding on Corrigan’s ideas and adding her own influences and insights. While Corrigan employed his fashion design skills, O’Hanlon painted the raw cloth to decorate and express her ideas about art. “It’s satisfying seeing to it in this way,” says Corrigan, describing the installation as a “streamlined removal from the workspace.”

Having work displayed in a professional museum is the ultimate achievement in these students’ artmaking careers at New Paltz, and the first step to a future of creativity, inquiry, and further study as they move into their professional endeavors. The Dorsky also is a venue uniquely suited to allow dramatic presentation, close inspection, and lingering among the artworks, creating an up close and personal experience for the viewer. During the exhibitions, each artist was available for questions and comments as family, instructors, students, and art patrons filled the exhibit hall.

Exhibitions were designed and installed by the graduating students in consultation with faculty advisors and museum staff. The BFA/MFA degree exhibitions happen twice a year at the Dorsky for fall and spring semester degree candidates.

Artists included:

Sculpture: Savannah Blum and Samantha DeMonte
Ceramic: Megan Gray
Printmaking: Nicole Marandola and Alessandra Varilias
Photography: Taylor DiStasi and Joshua Goodrich / Kelly Novak
Painting and Drawing: Alyssa Cartwright, Kelly Kay, Laura Leigh Lanchantin, Danielle Sternberg, and Jared Winslow

Metal: Cheyenne Cole and Paige Munroe
Sculpture: Nicole Bel-Summer
Ceramic: Carrie Hack, Eun Ju Kim, Katharine Reath
Photography: Kristen Dandignac and Erin Tornatore
Painting and Drawing: Terence Corrigan, Sludge Thunder (a.k.a. Helen Houghton), Sarah Lambert, Ryan Michiels, Alaina Nicolosi, and Cory Spraker

Metal: Kimberly Zitzow
Ceramics: Sabina Horvat and Sara Mourton
Painting and Drawing: Junmo An, Olivia Kovacevski, Zahra Nazari, Jana Weaver

Metal: Steven Gordon Holman, John Huckins, Michael Owen O’Neill, Amy Williams, and Katherine Wilson
Ceramics: Christopher Fortin
Painting and Drawing: Michelle Bennett / Lindsey Guile