MFA Thesis Exhibition

The Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center, Western Connecticut State University

Apr. 2, 2024 - Apr. 13, 2015

43 Lake Ave Extension
Danbury, Connecticut 6811

MFA Thesis Exhibition 2015

The Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center
Western Connecticut State University, Westside campus
43 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury, CT 06811

April 2 – April 13, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 2, 6–8 pm
Gallery hours: Monday–Thursday 12–4 pm
Saturday and Sunday 1–4 pm

The Department of Art at Western Connecticut State University is pleased to announce the Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition of 2015. It will take place in The Art Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center on the Westside campus and is free and open to the public. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 2nd, from 6–8 pm, and the show will run through April 13th.

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 the artists. This year eight graduate students present their work.

Kerri Gaudelli received her BFA from UCONN and has exhibited her work in Italy and the U.S., most recently at the Katonah Museum of Art. During a semester in Florence, Italy, she discovered a love for perspective and the human perception of space through her study of high Renaissance art. Developing an interest in space as both a place and theoretical idea, she uses the scientific method of two-point perspective to explore her fascination of our place in the vast universe. Gaudelli works primarily on paper, often large-scale and layered, in a very reduced palette. Born in Danbury, she currently resides and works in western Connecticut.

Kanika Khurana grew up in Delhi, India, where she earned her undergraduate degree. She came to Connecticut in 2013 to study at WCSU, and also studied at the School of Visual Art, NYC. She takes a mixed media approach to her work in illustration, using traditional drawing materials in conjunction with digital techniques. Her recent ongoing project, ‘Metta’, which means loving-kindness, is a series of paintings documenting the generosity of people who helped her during her move to the U.S. They are portraits accompanied by descriptive interviews about acts of kindness. Khurana believes that “since beauty arouses
joy, art can bring spiritual enchantment”. Her hope is to offer a sense of harmony.

Stacey Kolbig lives in New Fairfield, CT, and received her BA from WCSU. She also studied at the New York Studio School. Her recent works are site-specific installations with projected drawings sourced from previous work. Two-dimensional paper is manipulated into three-dimensional organic forms. Metal rectangles project from the wall, and string is used as a drawing tool, creating linear tension. Cast shadows appear as drawings in space. Kolbig’s intent in her work is to “repurpose the terms of painting through sculptural form”. Her work has been shown in Connecticut galleries and at the Katonah Museum of Art.

Colleen McGuire was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and now resides in Sharon, CT. She received her BFA from SUNY at Purchase College, and has shown her work in NY and CT. Working from observation, she depicts images of domestic interiors in which a sense of time and place is captured. Her paintings possess an atmosphere that is palpable and emotionally felt, without being overly sentimental. Through the exploration of color and light, McGuire infuses her work with a familiarity and quietude that implies a human element, reminiscent of Edward Hopper’s interiors.

Jill Harrington Nichols grew up in Fairfield, CT, where countless days along the water and walking trails instilled in her a deep appreciation of nature. She was further immersed in the landscape, having earned her BS degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She now lives in Shelton, CT. Her distinctive brush marks add a fresh directness to her subjects, from small in-situ seascapes to large constructed paintings. These works reveal the transitory nature of life and unveil the hauntingly familiar wonders that can be found in ordinary, daily encounters. Her work has been selected and exhibited for numerous juried shows, including the Westport Art Center.

Peri Pfenninger received her BFA from New York Institute of Technology. She was born in Queens, NY, and lived for many years in Marin County, CA. In 2013, she moved to Stratford, CT, deeply affected by her mother’s illness and loss. Her recent “Willow Tree Series” is a growing body of work that includes oil paintings, monotypes, and charcoal drawings, often done on-site at the Westside campus of WCSU. Pfenninger shares a thread with other painters such as Van Gogh and Burchfield, who found trees to be their subject in seeking consolation from the anguish of the human condition. Her work has been shown in CA and NYC and includes many commissioned public murals.

Abbie Rabinowitz grew up in Bethany, CT, and received her BFA from SUNY at Purchase College. Her parents are both artists and founders of the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven. After living in northern California for 30 years, where she had numerous exhibitions, she returned home to help care for her elderly parents. Her thesis is a series of paintings that grew from her experience living at home. Each work is about the relationship and affection between her parents, and the intimacy she shares with them. Her focus is solely figurative with an emphasis on human connection and tenderness.

Corinne Speidel creates paintings in oil, charcoal and sand on canvas. She also creates works of handmade paper from plant fibers. These works are inspired by abstractions she observes on the ground: rock patterns, evaporated water, cracks and crevices. Speidel spent years as an educator in the Australia outback, the Alaska bush, and the Montana wilderness. She lived in close connection with nature and its elements, its sounds, its silences, its marvels. These remembrances influence her work. Born in Rochester, NY, she now lives in Newtown, CT. Her work was recently exhibited in a juried show at Blue Mountain Gallery in NYC.

For more information, please contact Darby Cardonsky at 203-837-8881 or Lori Robeau at 203-837-8403.

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