A Showcase Solely for Seniors: Art Thesis Exhibition and Dedication Impresses

Photo by David Khorassani.

In a brightly lit room where art is the only thing that can be seen, future artists stand tall as their work is viewed in the open. Musicians were playing, refreshments were served and people were present to both admire and critique their work.

This building is none other than the Fine Arts Building at SUNY New Paltz and the artists are none other than the fourth-years who are presenting their art. This presentation is meant to be their final exhibition before they graduate this May.

The Bachelor of Science and Visual Arts Thesis Exhibition took place Friday, April 29, showcasing the culmination of all the undergraduate’s four years of work at SUNY New Paltz. Thirty students took part in the event, showing their work to the people of New Paltz.

“The art was presented in all ways that could be,” said organizer and SUNY New Paltz fine arts professor Suzanne Stokes. “There are arts on pedestals, walls and even the ceiling.”

The event presented the art in a traditional style with two floors presenting different dimensions. The 2D exhibitions included drawings, paintings, print makings and graphic designs. The 3D exhibitions included ceramics, metals and sculptures.

The students, having prepared for the exhibition, have developed artist statements describing their work, short bios describing themselves and developed labels to show their work and explain specific details about it such as its name or canvas.

One of the students named Tamara DelBoccio, a fourth-year visual arts major, presented her water paintings which utilized watercolor, colored pencils and acrylic paint. Each painting took six hours to complete and each one is different.

Bone paintings were her choice of presentation, which she referred to as “Skelescapes.” These paintings are an experiment by DelBoccio to rid herself of some of her anxieties and fears by projecting them onto the canvas. She said she is able to relax and paint away any fears.

“Ironically, I was always afraid of skeletons as a young child,” DelBoccio said. “These paintings have given me a way to express myself and to help rid myself of my current fears and anxieties that I deal with today.”

Another student named Gratia Taft, a fourth-year graphic design major, specializes in corporate design and utilizes design making through programs such as InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator. Her illustrations and minimalistic style allow her strong type of skills to show through her work.

Taft presented her graphic designs she made with Photoshop, a digital media-illustrator and InVision to make ‘adopt me’ posters, event advertisements and iPad apps that focus on her love for animals and the community. She hopes one day to run her own company.

“I want to take on a nonprofit job back home that supports the needs of animals,” Taft said. “I want to become a corporate designer so I can focus on branding and advertisements.”

Travis Fishman, a fourth-year visual arts major, is another student who is evolving the landscape of art by exploring the intrinsic and esoteric values of jewelry. He investigates points of views surrounding history, materiality and artistry.

The designs of jewelry from unique looking necklaces are made from silver bands, copper rings made with enriched naval brass and rough cut stones made out of jade, carrara marble and aquapros. He said these pieces of art inform of the perceived monetary value and provenance an item has.

“How does a raw material become a coveted object,” Fishman said. “How do the ideas of ownership, authorship and branding account for its history and worth?”

It is the creativity of these fourth-years that have spurred them to explore their skins past college. As they go on to graduate from college, they will explore their new lives that will allow them to further express themselves and to achieve new heights.