The Art Gallery

UNH Senior Art Students Ready for Public Debut

Annual BA/BFA Exhibition Opens May 6

By Tracy Manforte
UNH News Bureau

DURHAM, N.H. -- With the final stroke of a paint brush, and a last firing of the ceramic kiln, graduating seniors of the University of New Hampshire art program are ready for their public debut. The Art Gallery presents the 2000 Senior Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition May 6 through May 20.

A preview reception is planned Friday, May 5, from 6 to 8 p.m., with music by UNH students Bryan Killough, on guitar, and Jeremy Hill, on bass. Wednesday, May 10, graduating seniors of the bachelor of fine arts program will lead a gallery talk at noon.

The exhibition and related events are free and open to the public.

Associate Professor Michael McConnell, B.F.A. senior thesis coordinator, has worked closely with the candidates, guiding their progress, along with other faculty who critiqued the students' work as it developed.

"This exhibition is a classic study in the diversity of style and content. While some students have selected topics that deal with intimate or personal issues," McConnell explains, "others are exploring the universal conditions and concerns that we struggle with in our daily lives."

The B.A./B.F.A. exhibition is the first major achievement for UNH graduating artists. According to McConnell, it gives the community an opportunity to publicly congratulate the students and it gives the students an opportunity to gain experience working with a gallery to install and present their work.

Among this year's graduating artists are the following B.F.A. candidates:

  • Judith Heller Cassell (Rochester, NH) -- A native of Virginia, Cassell recalls the thrill of drawing in the dirt as a young child in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains. "Making art has been my lifelong passion," she says. "I use plaster, sand, metal and discarded objects along with printmaking techniques to create sculptures that evoke many different emotions and ideas."

  • Glenn Szegedy (Nottingham, NH) -- After earning a degree in environmental design, Szegedy went to work for a Boston firm in his field, but he was an artist at heart. Despite the financial implications, he decided to follow his instincts, reduce his work schedule, and enroll full-time in the UNH fine arts program. Szegedy says his work in biomorphic forms and organic materials "creates metaphors for everyday occurrences and feelings, such as birth, death, isolation, sex and shame."

    "Procession 2000"
    by Jason Blair Roberson
  • Jason Blair Roberson (Wolfeboro, NH) -- Roberson is a painter who relies on spirituality to influence his work. Drawing on Zen Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, Yoga, Native American and African culture, he creates vibrant, colorful paintings with a soothing overall effect.

  • Janet Carlson (North Hampton, NH) -- After a number of years working in professions from banking to teaching, Carlson decided to explore her passion for painting. For her thesis, the non-traditional student worked her creative brush at the Sunbridge Care and Rehabilitation in Exeter. With color and realism, Carlson captured the beauty and strong spirit of the elderly residents in her paintings.
    "Lip Biter 2000"
    by Patricia Dooly Connarton

  • Patricia Dooly Connarton (Manchester, NH) -- Connarton is a figurative sculptor who created portrait busts for her thesis. A non-traditional student with an interest in the human form, she took her subjects from the UNH Department of Art and Art History. "Art can never equal reality," she observes, "however, through truthful interpretation of the subject, it is possible for the viewer to experience an emotional reaction similar to the human encounter."

  • Marnie Hobin (Hampton, NH) -- Hobin draws on life's difficulties and triumphs to inspire her painting. Hobin concentrated in oil painting and created a thesis project to illustrate her relationship with Jesus Christ. This series of paintings is based on her experience giving up a child for adoption. "Painting this series has been a healing process for the loss I felt during that time," she says, "and an affirmation of the grace, peace and love that I felt and now feel from God."
  • Gallery hours are: Monday - Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m. The gallery is closed Fridays, university holidays, and Easter Sunday, April 23. School and group tours are offered free with advance reservation and can be scheduled by calling the Outreach Program at 603-862-3713. For more information, call 603-862-3712 or email

    EDITORS and NEWS DIRECTORS: For slides or photos, contact Amanda Tappan, publicity coordinator, at 603-862-3713.

    April 11, 2000

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