Senior art exhibition opens in PCAC

By Cole Caviston
On April 18, 2014

Last Friday was the opening reception for the Senior B.A. and B.F.A. Exhibition as well as the M.F.A. Exhibition at the Museum of Art in the Paul Creative Arts Center, which was held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The event showcased the art of departing seniors and graduate students in the studio art program of the department of art and art history. 

According to a news release from the Museum of Art, the reception featured a piece of work from each Bachelor of Arts candidate and by 11 candidates for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The artwork on display consisted of a variety of paintings, drawings, ceramics, prints, sculptures and photography. 

"I am impressed with the caliber and the quality of the student work," Sara Zela, the education and communications manager for the museum, said. "The museum is a wonderful venue to highlight all the participating students accomplishments." 

The exhibitions drew a large audience of mostly family and friends of the artists in attendance. According to Zela, over 600 visitors attended the reception.  

Alongside the gallery of the senior art is the M.F.A Thesis Exhibit, which featured work by graduate students Kenneth Bini and Courtney A. Sanborn. 

Bini, whose art is featured on the upper floor of the museum, received his B.F.A. from Kansas City Art Institute in 1993.  He mainly concentrated on painting with forays into film, sculpture and drawing before deciding to join the UNH arts program. 

The emphasis placed on traditional art by the arts program is what attracted Bini to UNH. 

 "The program, in my mind, is on the top programs in the country as far as traditional paintings methods, and they're open to all forms of artwork," Bini said. "They teach painting in a technical way, and with that technical basis one can do anything." 

The work that Bini contributed to the Museum was finished last winter, but before that it had been ongoing projects with timespans ranging from two months to two years. 

"I approach each canvas as staring into a void, as a sort of possibility, and I don't know what that road is," Bini said. "I like not knowing where I'm going and having no preconceptions about how the painting is going to look or what it's going to be about."

"As the painting starts to evolve, though, some of those questions start to answer themselves." 

On the lower floor are several imposing ceramic sculptures crafted by Kevin Cray, a B.F.A. candidate from Needham, Mass. According to Cray, work on at least two of the pieces took about a month and half to get done. 

"I wanted to focus on how the combination of separate forms can create a bigger piece through the process of assemblage," Cray said, "When you look at one form by itself, it's a vessel or a random coil pot; but when it's combined with the other counter parts, it's like the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts." 

Alexandra Ianaconi is a senior in the B.A. program with a major in Fine Arts and Studio Arts and a concentration in sculpture. Her submissions were two aluminum birds' nests that are each cradled in a pair of hands. 

"The overall concept is growing up and the tensions between youth and coming into adulthood," Ianaconi said. "There is damage done to each set of hands to mark the wounds we get as we grow older, but kind of shows how we come out of it in the end with something much greater than the pain and struggle." 

 B.F.A. candidate Amber Petty from Hampstead, N.H. is one of the student photographers whose work is featured. Her photographs, shot in black and white, depict locations around her home.

"I wanted to document my childhood and my past in a way, because I'm graduating and I'm moving away from that point in my life," Petty said. " I wanted to document my childhood home in a way that reflects those memories." 

The choice to photograph in black and white was a decision Petty felt would convey mood better than a color photograph, but would also take viewers into a sense of the past.

"Most people associate black and white photographs with the past much more than color photographs, because more people associate black and white imagery with old photographs," Petty said. 

The exhibition will be open from April 11 to May 16, but will be closed from April 28 to May 2. A second reception for the M.F.A Thesis featuring art by Aryeh Lederhendler and Sean Ware will be held on Friday, May 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. 


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