Seniors Display Art at Final Showcase

Joan and Robert Rechnitz Hall became home to the second, and final, segment of the Senior Art Exhibition, which took place from April 12 to the 19. While the first senior show displayed works by graduating students majoring, particularly, in computer graphics and animation, the second showcase had several works by seniors who will be graduating at the end of the semester with a degree in fine arts.

The opening reception of the show, which ran April 12 from 7 pm to 9 pm was a time for enjoyment and congratulations for the students on their completed works. Guests, faculty, and students alike were invited to eat and gaze upon the works hanging upon the walls; which ranged from photography pieces to paintings, drawings, and other types of hand crafted works on several different types of mediums.

Graphic design professor, Patricia Cresson, was highly impressed by the second show; despite the difference in art from the one she is more accustomed too. “It was a well attended opening and the work looked exceptionally well in the new gallery,” said Cresson.

Although all of the works were fantastic, Cresson notes a particular collection that caught her eye upon entry. “I was particularly impressed with the photographic portraits of Marissa Sottos as you walked into the gallery on the right- [they were] very dramatic and powerful,” Cresson stated.

The collection showed several portraits of different people from all walks of life, bare shouldered and staring into a camera- all with differing ranges of expressions and emotions. But that wasn’t the part that made the piece as powerful as it was. The grandeur factor lied within, because, upon further inspection, the viewer found very faint star constellations within the positioning and posture of the people.

Cresson furthers her approval of the piece idea and execution wise, by giving a nod of appreciation the professors and staff who aided Sottos in her piece. “Her supervising photography professor is Anne Massoni, and another supporting faculty [member] was Vincent DiMattio, who teaches painting and drawing,” said Cresson.

Another student, whose pieces appeared to gain a bit of audience traffic, was senior Genevieve Outwater. Her collections of oil paintings were mesmerizing to say the least, not only in technique but in artistic content as well. One painting in particular contained a set of skulls gently resting upon a bed of pink flowers, while another set of canvases held the very realistic depiction of old baby doll heads. The real showstopper in Outwater’s series was an enlarged profile painting of a mouse skull and a live mouse, both of which were portrayed so realistically that the hairs in the fur and the cracks on the skull could be counted; not to mention the expert rendering of the light and shadow contained within the frame.

Oil paintings appeared to be a real audience pleaser within the show, as noted by freshman Danielle Cormillo. “I really liked the Indian painting,” said Cormillo, in reference to the monochromatic oil painting by Jessica Pringle. “It was so realistic that I had a really hard time imagining that it was all just paint. It wasn’t just how well it was done though, the emotion behind it was really amazing; like you could just feel it jumping out at you when you looked at it.”

There were several other pieces aside from photography and paintings were showcased at the exhibition. Among the walls of the gallery lay sculptures, masks, pencil drawings, charcoal pieces, and even some student names were contorted into art in the form of personalized logos.

Upon seeing the variety of works and accomplishments done by this years graduating class, Chair of the Art and Design Department, Dr. Andrew Cohen, noted the honor and wonder that the exhibition and the students brought, and continues to bring, every semester.

“I find the senior exhibition to be one of the more pleasing events of the year. We see the culmination of a student’s creative growth,” said Cohen. “From the early foundation courses, to the various courses in the curriculum, to this moment when a student can share visually her/his work in a professional manner it is rewarding to see.

“It is fun to see how each has matured as a person and an artist/designer. Hopefully many of them understand this is just the beginning and will continue to grow creatively and mature conceptually.”

And I must say that I agree with all of the above. All of the works shown, whether they were mentioned in this article or not, were awe-inspiring in their originality, refinement, and skill alone; allowing the pieces only serve as a small hint to what I am sure these students will develop and accomplish beyond the campus and it’s classrooms.

These words go to the entire senior arts classes collectively; to graphic designers, animators, photographers, and fine artists alike. Let it be known that your works have inspired those who still have much to be learnt here, and who only wish you the best of luck in flying high, as only hawks can.

Also, a note of thanks goes out to the great faculty and professor, without whom this show would not have been possible; professors such as Tom Baker, Mark Ludak, Michael Donato, Nick Aristovolos, Gina Torrello, Gallery Director Scott Knauer, and of course a “thank you” to the support of President Paul G. Gaffney II and his wife, Linda.