Photos by Jeannette LaPointe.
Years of blood, sweat and tears were transformed into beautiful works of art and showcased at the BFA Thesis Exhibition II show.
Friends and family gathered in the Samuel Dorsky Museum on May 5 to admire the artwork and congratulate the artists.
Fifteen artists were featured from printmaking, photography, metals, sculpture and painting, including Melanie Berardicelli, Lillian Helling, Talya Kantro, Kelly Knowles, Jeannette LaPointe, Kaitlyn Niznik, Abby Nohai, Kristen Matuszak, Jaclyn Padich, Danny Perez, Jared Peer, Shelby Petruzzo, Dana Reifer, Alyssa Romano and Jonathan Wittmann.
Alyssa Romano, fourth-year photography major, drew inspiration from her love of movies and desire to work on film sets for her thesis titled, Casting (Re) Call. The idea came from the story of a Puerto Rican actor whom she knows.
“I remember that a lot of casting calls I would see online, when he was looking, would ask for white males and sometimes females, as leads and people of color as supporting characters or stereotypical roles,” Romano said.
As Romano got more immersed in her project by watching the Oscars, she became more aware of “the issues in the mainstream film industry.”
Although she has completed her thesis, she doesn’t see it as finished and would like to go back and expand on it in the future.
“As stressful as it was, it was still a lot of fun to do, so I can just see myself wanting to continue it,” Romano said. “I think I’d just want to photograph a lot more people and see what new ideas we can come up with.”
With a background mainly in woodworking, Jared Peer, fourth-year sculpture BFA and art education major, designed wearable materials from wood for his thesis. His inspiration and interest in the creation of his thesis comes from how people fidget or move atypically.
“Conceptually, my main inspiration comes from understanding how psychological conditions and factors dictate body language and then translate into spatial interactions,” Peer said. “I wanted to have an interface where I could explore those spatial relations and conceptual goals in the most seamless manner, which is why all of the works are wearable.”
Initially, Peer looked to be an engineer major in college. He combined both of his backgrounds by incorporating technology into his thesis. For instance, he used arduinos, a fairly simple and small object that can be coded to make something interactive, to make his some of his works moveable.
“The incorporation of technology into a traditional media that I am very accustomed to working with, in this case wood, was a contemporary challenge that I wanted to be a part of and attempt to work out,” Peer said. “It really is a blending of all the ideas, concepts and practices that I’ve been working with for a long time. I was very glad to find a mean of creating that blended those worlds together while still being able to hold integrity when discussing my conceptual goals.”
Peer also created and displayed a video to show how each of his pieces of work functioned.
Completing thesis was the final step in the undergraduate careers for these artists. All of their hard work for the past three or four years has paid off and they will continue on after college to either keep working on their art or go to graduate school.
“[Thesis] was what I had been working towards for three years now and to see the work finalized, installed and to receive such amazing feedback was truly phenomenal,” Peer said. “I am very much a perfectionist and constantly work to improve off of what I made, but I’m stepping back and am honestly very proud of the work that I created. It has truly been an honor to be in the sculpture BFA and then in this exhibition.”