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BFA Students Recognized in Statewide Competition


At first glance, Jieun Kim’s oil painting appears to be moving across the canvas, waving fields of crops and waterways beneath an awakening city. A closer looks reveals simple geometric shapes that repeat to illustrate a strong sense of repetition and movement.

BFA Student Jieun Kim
Jieun Kim's abstract and semi-abstract paintings illustrate a strong sense of repetition and movement, while visually exploring the theme of urban city. In this painting, which was recognized in the SUNY Art Student Exhibition Series, she has produced a city look that interacts with pre-existing nature. At SUNY Cortland she is combining her background in architecture with fine art and abstract art to produce such recognized work.

“Taking the simplest motif and layering it for maximum diversity is similar to how we build a city,” explains Kim, a third year student in SUNY Cortland’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program. “Although one single architectural element can be produced as planned, the development of a city allows more free space for intuition and interaction to its neighboring environment. That's why I'm drawn to visually explore the theme of urban city, bringing seemingly different aesthetics into one composition.”

Kim studied interior design at Cornell University before transferring to SUNY Cortland to study fine art. She is one of three art and art history students whose work was recently recognized by the SUNY Art Student Exhibition Series. Her oil painting was one of more than 200 pieces chosen for the series, which drew from submissions across the 64-campus State University of New York system. Her painting also earned an honorable mention and monetary prize of $500 at the SUNY exhibition.

A sculpture created by Tara Evans, a BFA student currently in thesis, was selected for the “Best of SUNY” art exhibition and is on display through September in the SUNY Administration Building in Albany. Evans award includes a $1,000 cash prize.

Alumna Tiffany Ward Hensen ’10, was selected for the 2009 exhibition with her new media work.

In 2002, SUNY began an exhibition program to feature the best student artists from all the participating SUNY colleges.

“SUNY Cortland only recently became involved in the SUNY Student Exhibition Series,” said Assistant Professor of Fibers Jenn McNamara, chair of the BFA committee. “Our involvement is paying off with the recent recognition of three of our students.”

In 2007, SUNY Cortland created a BFA major for students interested in pursuing professional art careers or continuing their area of focus with graduate study. The College now has 80 students enrolled as art majors, nine of them are BFA students. SUNY Cortland is one of 13 SUNY campuses with a BFA program. The degree offers specializations in painting, sculpture, ceramics, print media, fibers and new media design.

“We are very proud of the unique attributes of our program at Cortland,” said McNamara. “We are one of only two programs that offers a fibers specialization, and are the only program with that specialization geared specifically to fine art applications.

“We also have a wonderful study abroad opportunity developed by Professor Jeremiah Donovan that takes place in the summer in China. The new media program has multiple opportunities for internships thanks to Assistant Professor Martine Barnaby. Overall, we are a small department dedicated to giving our students personal attention and education that they could not necessarily receive from a larger institution.”

Studying human and environmental relationships in the design field, Kim chose the fine arts program to allow her to explore the development of today’s cities in relation to nature using a medium that offers more freedom.

“Through my fine art classes at SUNY Cortland, I am learning to visually represent the constantly changing relationship between nature and human cultures,” said Kim.

“This interest in the human-built environment and nature has been my main study and will be further investigated during the one-year thesis program using a non-traditional material, casting resin,” said Kim.  “I’m very happy with the BFA program for the intense scholarly discussions I have with our professors and its openness to any kinds of exploration in fine art. The twice-a-year critiques with all faculty members helped me to build public oral presentation skills which are critical when students go out to the art world after graduation.”

For more information, contact Ellis at (607) 753-4190.