First UNH Fine Arts Graduate Students Hold Exhibition

The Art Gallery at UNH


UNH Showcases Works of Graduating Studio Art Majors

Senior BA and BFA Exhibition begins April 20

By Lori Gula
UNH News Bureau

April 4, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire will celebrate the achievements of graduating studio art majors by showcasing their talents at the annual Senior BA and BFA Exhibition beginning April 20. A preview reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 19.

Still Life on Red Table, 2002
by Nathan W. H. Crighton
oil on canvas
16" x 20"

Download Photo Here

Along with the lengthy list of graduating bachelor of arts students, seven bachelor of fine arts candidates are graduating this year and will participate in the exhibition from April 20 to May 25 (closed May 6-10). They are Nathan W. H. Crighton, Kim Ferreira, John Gayle, Sheila Gerrior, Matt Holbrook, Alexandra Mathis and Deborah Russell.

In their final year, BFA candidates develop a body of work for their thesis exhibition in the Senior Seminar, which requires an extensive amount of studio work as well as regular critiques by studio art faculty members. "This year's senior class is a group of very talented students, all working quite differently from each other. The exciting thing for me is to see their work developing and getting stronger and to witness the camaraderie between all of these different personalities," says Associate Professor of Art Jennifer Moses, who is completing her first year teaching the BFA Senior Seminar.

Nathan Crighton, of Bolton, Mass., has completed his senior thesis in oil painting, focusing on the still life. "When I paint, I am mindful of this: Beauty is the establishment of order out of chaos. We appreciate beauty because we are conscious of the creation -- we are the conclusion of God's establishment of order
Untitled, 2002
by Sheila Gerrior
oil on canvas
60" x 58"

Download Photo Here

out of chaos. In the struggle of painting, and in the quest for beauty, we are metaphysically linked to God," he says.

Oil painting helps Kim Ferreira, of Plainville, Mass., focus on relationships and how people evolve through relationships in their lives. "One's identity is like a quilt made of pieces gathered over time. In an effort to further understand myself and my role in this world, I am exploring relationships that have deeply affected me," she says.

John Gayle, originally of Florida, now living in Madbury, is the sole sculptor in the group. His complex mixed media sculptures represent his own life and experiences. "Through my mixed media sculptures, I try to release my inner world of pain, love, obsession and excess. What motivates me is an obsessive need to empty my mind through different forms of expression," he says.

Sheila Gerrior, of Portsmouth, is an expressionistic painter who gathers inspiration from imperfect objects. "The objects I find most compelling are odd, kitschy, mundane, ugly, or broken. They are less than ideal, less than perfect. I try to reconcile these elements to the end of constructing a painting, creating my rendition of order and beauty out of this jumbled, murky world," she says.

Painter Matt Holbrook, of Bow, is an artist with a narrative persuasion. "I get my ideas from myths and other fantastical stories that capture my attention and evoke an image that I want to give a physicality to. I want the imagery to allude to the original story but ultimately, I hope to create a new mythology or an event that can take on a passage of time and space all its own," he says.

The artist's old house is the source of inspiration for Hanover painter Alexandra Mathis. "My old house is sinking into the ground. Half way between mystery and misery, its rotting walls and rickety floors keep secrets from different times." Her saturated color and smoky light effects emphasize the character and myst

ery of her home. "My paintings are about the similarities between myself and the house, about absence and presence -- empty rooms and lonely people -- half way between here and gone," she says.

Deborah Russell, of Center Strafford, paints the forest and Isinglass River near her home. "The colors, the light, the shapes, the smells and the sounds of the woods and the river are always changing, even within each season. I am developing a vocabulary of 'landscape' that goes beyond realistic pictures of nature and becomes a language meaningful to me in terms of its emotional and spiritual depth, visual richness and balance of ambiguity and clarity of imagery."

The Art Gallery is in the Paul Creative Arts Center, 30 College Road. Admission is free. School tours and other groups are welcome with advance reservation. Call 862-3713 for reservations. Hours are Monday through 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 during exhibition changes, including May 6-10. The Art Gallery will be open on Commencement Day, Saturday, May 25, 1-3 p.m.

Editors, News Directors: Color slides are available by contacting Amanda Tappan, education and publicity coordinator for The Art Gallery, at 603-862-3713. Photos are available to download at http://www.unh.edu/news/Apr02/nathan_crighton300.jpg and http://www.unh.edu/news/Apr02/sheila_gerrior300.jpg

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