WestConn MFA Thesis Exhibition Opens April 4

A peek at MFA graduate Karin Mansberg's thesis. She self-published a book, 'Nature and Technology,' as a part of the project.


The Western Connecticut State University Department of Art will host the annual Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition from April 4 through 15 in The Gallery at Higgins Hall on the WCSU Midtown campus, located at 181 White Street in Danbury. The exhibition will be open to the public Monday through Thursday from noon to 4pm, and a reception for the artists will be held on Thursday, April 4 from 4:30 to 7pm.


The Thesis Exhibition demonstrates the culmination of two years of work in the MFA program and represents the students’ highest personal and academic achievements. The graduates, consisting of four painters and one illustrator, will present a distinct range of work from the figurative to the fictitious.


Pamela Boily, of Sandy Hook, was raised in New Orleans and bases her work on the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina. Within the chaos of the debris and cleanup efforts, she senses the resiliency of the human spirit.


Antonio Carvalho, of Danbury, is from Portugal and his realistic paintings come from both careful observation and from his imagination. He says his “invented paintings” are “a summary and distillation of all [his] inner tension.”


Xenia Hodza, born in New York City and now residing in southwestern Connecticut, uses large, collage-like canvases that reference historical art. She says, “My work is an attempt to discover what the paintings themselves have known all along. No matter from which trailhead I begin, the marks lead me to that cairn at which I find another painting beckons.”


Karin Mansberg, of Danbury, is a student of illustration, born and raised in Estonia. Her work is a complex collage of mixed media and source materials, control, and experimentation. She says her work is about people’s experiences of the world, and she uses language-based symbols to interpret her subject matter.


Sherri Schwartz, of Hartford, says, “My portraits are natural, yet stylized. They are reductive, almost minimal. My choice of editing is just as important as painting what is important.” Her portraits are penetrating and very personal, edited down to the essentials of both form and color, remaining revealing.


The MFA in Visual Arts was the first terminal degree offered at WCSU, and remains its only full-time, residential graduate program. The only graduate degree program of its kind within the Connecticut State University System prepares students for their professional career by helping them to develop personal vision, confidence, and the expertise to maneuver successfully within the demanding art world.


For more information, call Moira Kelly at (518)894-3755 or Lori Robeau at (203)837-8403.

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