With their traditional thesis shows uprooted by the COVID-19 pandemic, spring 2020 Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates found a home to display their senior projects in the artist haven of Woodstock.
“Opening DisClosed,” featuring the work of 15 SUNY New Paltz Department of Art graduates, will be on display at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM) at 28 Tinker St. through Oct. 11, including a final weekend showcase open to the public from 12 – 5 p.m. on Oct. 10 and 11.
The artists, who under normal circumstances would have capped their BFA experiences with a thesis exhibition at the College’s Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, installed their senior projects at WAAM in late August and early September. They adhered to rigid COVID-19 protocols during the installation, and only three students were allowed to be in the space at any one time.
Lecturer Michael Asbill, who teaches in the sculpture program and spearheaded the installation, called the partnership “a deeply generous and neighborly gesture to showcase an emerging cohort of inspiring art producers who are starting their careers right here in the Hudson Valley.”
The senior projects displayed in the exhibition run the gamut from photography, metal and printmaking to sculpture, painting and ceramics.
One of the projects, a photo essay by Shabiha Jafri ’20 (Photography) that chronicles the death of the artist’s mother to a brain tumor, was recently featured in Vogue magazine.
Other works include a community gathering table constructed with hand tools, and a series of paintings that examine the deep environmental impact of the recent raging wildfires in Australia and California.
“Opening DisClosed,” presented as part of WAAM’s Art Education project, signifies the museum’s first step toward reopening after being closed to the public throughout the pandemic.
To complement the exhibition, Asbill is planning an online art journal and a series of video conversations between the artists and their faculty advisors about their work in the show.
These short conversations will be recorded and posted to the Fine & Performing Arts playlist on the SUNY New Paltz YouTube channel to round out the exhibition. The first conversation will be between Professor Kathy Goodell and her Painting & Drawing students.
The graduates featured in “Opening DisClosed” are:
- Elizabeth Berger ’20
- Amanda Bogatka ’20
- Emily Cavanaugh ’20
- Miranda Crifo ’20
- Robert Cusack ’20
- Mary Flanagan ’20
- Taylor Gephard ’20
- Alexa Guevara ’20
- Shabiha Jafri ’20
- Kejiayun Ke ’20
- Sam Mazzara ’20
- Joel Olzak ’20
- Paige O’Toole ’20
- Megan Reilly ’20
- Claudia Rosti ’20.