Western Connecticut State University: MFA 2010

Western Connecticut State University — MFA 2010

June 22 – July 10, 2010

Reception: Thursday, June 24, 5-8 pm

For more information about the artists go to: The WCSU graduate studies website :http://www.wcsu.edu/graduate/degrees/moabiomsa.asp and click on the link on the far right side.

Blue Mountain Gallery is pleased to announce the 2010 Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts Thesis Exhibition from Western Connecticut State University. The exhibition will run from June 22nd to July 10th with an opening reception on Thursday June 24 from 5 to 8 pm. The Master of Fine Arts is the terminal degree for practicing artists, and the thesis exhibition is the capstone experience of that program, demonstrating a personal direction and mastery in the work of graduating artists. This year’s thesis class includes six painters and seven illustrators. They have thoughtful comments about their work.

Tom Reilly says of his haunting outsize studio interiors and self-portraits: “The focus of my work is to translate people, places and things into paint. I think of paint as a medium of fossilization of all that we witness empirically and psychologically. Whether the subject is banal or exotic, I want to create an experience that cannot be ignored. Like the visual gravity a stage has, I need my paintings to be large enough to fully encompass the viewer’s field of vision. The clarity of space and objects in the painting come to varying degrees of realization as they emerge from and retreat into the reality of paint.”

Jill Sarver has been fascinated by archeology, and brings that perspective to her work: “My paintings are intuitive responses to my research, observation, and perception of women of the ancient Egypto-Roman world. At a young age I brought these silent figures to life in my mind and translated the visions into drawings. As ancient peoples were buried and forgotten, my sketchbooks laid dormant for many years. It is my desire to resurrect these characters and to express the same love, nostalgia, and haunting that I feel, to my viewers.”

Brie Mc Donald paints fascinating, complex, still lives. “Through the use of colorful patterns, familiar objects, and distinctive lighting, I transform shallow still life’s into spacious landscapes. It is the fusion of three dimensional forms and two dimensional abstract design that allows me to create these new worlds which directly relate to our own, but are experienced in new, fresh ways. My choice of scale and cropping allows these worlds to continue beyond the painted surface, creating a believable experience as if it were a world we already knew.”

“My work is a culmination of ideas that continue to resonate through me,” says Renee Rossi. “Ten years ago, I was asked to construct a place where my soul could find comfort- a ‘Spirit Dwelling’. In creating this sanctuary the accumulation of found objects, colors, and pattern relationships quietly guides me. I intuitively orchestrate and embrace clutter, which in turn inspires spaces built by natural observation (what is really there) and heartfelt invention (what I imagine in the space). I welcome the viewer into this space by sharing artifacts of my spirit’s identity with the intent to communicate an intimate connection that triggers the viewer’s personal memories.”

Betsy Davidson’s complex brightly colored abstractions create their own landscape. She says of her work: “In my paintings, I develop a complex dialogue between line, shape and space. The surface has a breathability, where elements can float, advance or recede. Until I have reached the work’s inner logic, I find my process is in a suspended state of mystery.”

David Brownell paints mysterious allegories with classical references. “My paintings contain a blend of contemporary and classical art with historical and personal symbolism. In my work, the allure of the double-tongued personal narrative is directly linked to the complexity of the composition. The vision of my work is based on the contrast between perceptual realism and emotionally charged expressionism. The paintings reach deeply into one’s psyche by evoking the sense of a specific emotion or sensation without defining them completely.”

The illustrators in the program are equally diverse. Two of this years Illustration M.F.A.’s are active professionals although still student age. David Ferreira has worked for significant corporate clients such as Dove, Sam Adams and San Pelligrino. He says of his experience at Western: “As an artist and a fan of storytelling, sequential illustration has always been of interest to me. In the past it was hard for me to take the time needed to develop a picture book. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve enjoyed the diversity that this medium now offers. This, combined with a sketchbook full of ideas, has inspired me to develop two of my stories “Eli and the Octopus King” and, “Monster Wash” in picture book form. I’m very grateful for having the chance to bring these stories to fruition under the guidance and support of the MFA Illustration program at WestConn.”

Much published Jamison Odone, author illustrator of Honeybadger’s and the Stickfiguratively Speaking: Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland comments: “A teacher once glibly asked me (years ago), ‘Do you think you’re making the world a better place with your art?’ I had no answer for him then and I have none now– but I am sure trying.”

Danielle Alpert plans a career in children’s literature. Of her M.F.A. thesis project she says: “Big Mama is a children’s book I am writing and illustrating about who can catch the biggest frog of the pond, which is ironically the hardest one to catch: Big Mama. This collection is a reflection of the spirit, energy, and the youthfulness of childhood adventures. My love of the outdoors and nature is manifested in my artwork. My paintings are slightly abstracted/simplified and are unified by a unique color palette.”

Thomasina Beasley of New Haven is fascinated with the world of Manga: “My style is designing complex patterns that I incorporate in my manga called BioAndroid Omega. In my Manga instead of using the traditional tones that you may buy in the store or download from different websites. I make my own by using different patterns that come to mind. What, I want to do when I graduate is to publish my manga so, the world can see my beautiful designs such as in my characters and in the atmosphere they live in.”

Other members of the M.F.A. in Illustration graduating class include Barbara Mansilla who came from Guatemala to study art in the United States, Hiroshi Mizuno of Nagoya, Japan and Annie Lane of West Hartford.

For information call: Linda D’Aurio 203 837-3222

Assistant to the Dean of the School of Visual & Performing Arts