Platform, Fairfield University's Annual Junior Senior Seminar art exhibition opens April 15 at the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery



Image: Platform exhibitionFairfield University's Studio Art Junior Senior Seminar exhibition, Platform, opens on Thursday, April 15 at the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free and the public is welcome. This event is part of the Arts & Minds season.

Platform runs through Sunday, May 16 and features the work of sixteen students, ten juniors and six seniors, working in a range of materials including, drawing, collage, installation, oil on canvas, mixed media, printmaking and sculpture.

In addition to the students' personal artistic expressions, Platform also includes sixteen artistic views on the concept of love, the Junior Senior Seminar's contribution to The R&J Project, a University-wide multi-disciplinary effort.

Suzanne Chamlin, associate professor of Studio Art in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, described the upcoming exhibition thus: "The Junior Senior Seminar course is the capstone course for students majoring in Studio Art. These students are exploring concepts ranging from what is considered beautiful, to personal histories, figuration and abstraction."

The exhibition concept of Platform was a class decision. Tricia Galinat '11 (Hamilton, New Jersey) designed the exhibition postcard after the conceptual decision was made. "When I was thinking about how to design the announcement, I considered how everyone in the class has such a unique and distinctive style and I wanted to incorporate everyone's own style so I took an image of a train platform with a person on it, divided it into sixteen pieces, and asked each of my classmates to pick one of the pieces and re-create it, adding their own individual flair. When they were finished, I assembled the pieces - like a puzzle!"

For her exhibition piece, Galinat explores the interaction of color through the facial features she felt most connected to, female lips and mouths.

She sees this feature as "an object separate from the human body, unique in color, and provocative of the ways that say, not only is the mouth so essential to our lives, it has also become a symbol of beauty." By transforming the mouth's beauty in unconventional colors, Galinat says, "Ultimately, I want to tie in these ideas and personify the human mouth in eye-opening, mysterious, and dreamlike images that allow the viewer to connect reality and fantasy."

Another view of fantasy and beauty comes from Alessandra Fiorenza '10 (Bronx, New York) who has spent her time working on an installation piece. "I am working with the concept of fantasy and beauty and how our perceptions of beauty change in a world that does not really exist. For the exhibition, I am building a fantasy world out of cloth and creating everything within it out of cloth. The dolls that ‘live' in the world question beauty because their bodies are oddly shaped and their faces are not typical."

Using plaster, antique braid, antique linen, nails, glass, wood, paper and ink, Anthony Nicoletti '10 (Orange, Conn.), a double major in Studio Art and English and in the Honors Program, uses a creative approach that embraces "the kinesthetic act of making a mediation of, as well as a meditation on, the physicality of materials, which is essential. It is my touch, my giving up to these materials as I shape them, that grounds them within a state of consciousness - my own as well as, I hope, those that view the work." Nicoletti's process fuses his own artistic flexibility with the energy of the space as he creates his installation entitled, "Well," within the space. He says of his work, "It is this interaction of space, objects and viewer that is most intriguing to me, especially when the balance of these three is so finely honed and quiet that it suggests the sacred."

Amanda Milligan '11 (West Hartford, Conn.) has created a series of oil paintings of musicians; Shannon Berger '11 (Princeton, New Jersey), a double major in Studio Art and Art History, uses ink wash and pencil on velum to depict environmental architectural themes and Stephanie Burr '10 (Thomaston, Conn.) uses mixed media to create a graffiti-like Madonna.

Kate Reilly '11 (Albany, New York), a double major in Studio Art and English and in the Honors Program, creates a self portrait; Simone Jadczak '10 (Wyndmoor, Penn.) expresses herself in balloon figures and balloons; Melanie Rice '11 (Cheshire, Conn.) focuses on the theme of history as depicted in graveyards; Kai Robinson '11 (Milford, Conn.) works in abstract with oil; Lauren Rosito '13 (Fairfield, Conn.) chooses nature expressed in watercolor; Maxine Townsend '11 (Hampton Falls, New Hampshire), a Larrabee Prize winner and in the Honors Program, uses the dandelion cycle of life as her theme; Mesha Joseph '11 (Brooklyn, New York) creates her idea of a perfect city.

Completing this group of talented artists are Stephanie Ard '12 (Fairfield, Conn.), Brian Hekkar '10 (Darien, Conn.), a double major in Studio Art and New Media and Nicole Namy '10 (New Rochelle, New Jersey).

Platform is one of the final elements in The R&J Project crescendo that culminates with a nine-performance run of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" beginning April 20, directed by guest artist Barbra Berlovitz. Guest artist Sonya Berlovitz designed costumes for the production. An exhibition of her work, "Costume Design and Paintings: 1993-2010" was sponsored by the Studio Art Program for a limited run at the University's Lukacs Gallery.

Admission to the gallery is free. The hours are: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday: Noon to 4 p.m. Closed Monday. The gallery is always open when performances occur at the Quick Center for the Arts.

Directions: Fairfield University is located off I-95, exit 22 at 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 1, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 255