Graduating fine art, photography and graphic design students revealed their much-anticipated work at the Senior Art Show in the Ice House Gallery on Friday, December 2.
The gallery doors opened to the public at 7:00 pm, where students, friends, family and passers-by admired the marvelous work of the graduating class. Packed to what felt like capacity, hundreds of people walked in and out of the exhibition during the two-hour opening reception. There was an overwhelming sense of pride in the gallery from faculty and family as students displayed their works of art that have been the recent core of their college existence.
To onlookers, no brush stroke or a single shadow in any photo went unnoticed or unappreciated. The hours spent working long after class ended, the sleepless nights, and the crumbled drafts finally had a finished product for the artists. Their inspiring work brought contagious smiles and laughter, as well as a few tears shed from the astonishing artwork in the Ice House Gallery.
The grueling hours of hard work hung on the walls confidently with the help of faculty members such as Anne Massoni (Art and Design specialist professor), Vincent DiMattio (professor of Art and Design), and Mike Richison (Art and Design specialist professor) to name a few.
Senior photography students Francesca DeSena and Moira Gallagher displayed their work on the upper level of the gallery, attracting much attention from those in attendance.
DeSena, a graduating photography major from Marlboro, had been fine-tuning her series for quite some time. The series featured a brilliant recollection of her childhood, which took place on a horse farm where she grew up.
She returned to her father’s farm to recreate the characters that influenced her in her early years. Framing her work in old dusty drawers from a dresser in the barn, attendees were graced with a vision into her larger than life childhood, which was composed with tremendous knowledge and skill set in photography.
DeSena said, “The most rewarding part of the entire process was having the people that I love come to see my work. Having my series being based on them, getting to see the expressions on their faces was amazing. It made all the hard work worthwhile.”
Gallagher, another graduating photographer, built her series around a tent-village in Asbury Park that is a discrete and full-time residence for the homeless. Her series depicted a sub-culture that few of us are aware of and astonished viewers with her work. “The experience of being inside of the village was indescribable. You have to see it to believe it. This whole project was an adventure that I will never forget,” Gallagher said.
What appears to be an appropriate send-off from the University is only just the beginning according to Massoni. She said, “Their senior exhibition marks the end of their time at Monmouth University and their role as student artists. More importantly however, it is a beginning, the beginning of their role as a professional artist. It is as important as the first step they took when they declared their major, and one that I am always honored to participate in…Students choosing art take an incredible leap of faith. They can take their interests and their budding talents and pursue a major and then a career in an incredibly competitive field. It’s always awe inspiring.”
On the lower level of the gallery, the fine arts majors and graphic design students such as Dana Fitzpatrick, Brynne Carlo, and Agatha Gorski showcased their work surrounding the generous table of finger foods and hot apple cider.
University senior, Jeremy Mercado said, “I had no idea that we had an art department like this, I just don’t feel like I’m at a school show. This feels like an art gallery in the city. Most of this stuff should have an expensive price tag on it.”
For those who missed the opening reception, works from the Senior Art Show will be in the Ice House Gallery until December 9. Their work is proof of the vast array of talent the University discovers and educates in the fine art, graphic design and photo department.
Between the extremely hard working students and the overly accommodating and phenomenal faculty that fosters creative thinking, the Ice House Gallery will continue to display wonderful work for years to come.
Looking forward to the spring semester, the faculty will showcase their work in the gallery on January 27 during their opening reception from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
The Ice House Gallery is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and is free to the public.
PHOTO COURTESY of Nick Andrew