Bulletin News

Four Art Students to Exhibit Final Projects


Four SUNY Cortland art students will exhibit their theses and senior project studies beginning Monday, April 16. Three of the students are fifth-year students in the Art and Art History Department’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program and the fourth is a studio art major.

An exhibit in Dowd Gallery from Monday, April 16, through Friday, April 20, will feature the work of three of the students. An opening will be held at 4:45 p.m. on Monday, with artist talks starting at 5 p.m. The reception and exhibitions are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

These students include:

Aborn buddha laptop exhibition
This watercolor painting by BFA
student John Henry Aborn is part of
his “Mindful Attachment” series.

• John Henry Aborn, of Milford, N.Y., a senior BFA student, will present “Mindful Attachment,” a series of watercolor paintings offering recognizable sources of suffering exposing its deeper origins paired with participant-generated sound to incite a process of mental and spiritual restoration. He describes his exhibit as “a portal through which the mind can glimpse the origins of our suffering and create a sincere, earnest dialogue about our relationship with personal electronic devices and their subtle but profound spiritual repercussions.”

• Senior studio art major Kelsey Cornell from Hadley, N.Y., will offer “Brink,” a series of large oil paintings that use fabric imagery to embody a barrier between actuality and a desired emotional state. The variations between the sheer, soft or wrinkled cloth create a calming atmosphere and the threshold to a serene and peaceful place.

Leah Fries, a BFA major from Red Creek, N.Y., will present her thesis work, “Transitional Emotions.” The exhibit will feature ceramic vessels and collage work that are an exploration of layers and transitioning forms from open to close. Fries combines the two mediums to create an environment reflecting the effects that time has on emotion.

Xena Electra Holzapfel of Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., will exhibit from Friday, April 20, through Tuesday, April 24, at 73 Main St., Cortland. The BFA major will present her thesis show, titled “Balancing on a Chair,” a series of figurative ceramic sculptures blended with parts of a chair to reveal how individuals must bear their burdens. The body language of the organic forms and their contrast with the rigid chair anatomy create a narrative of personal realization, discontent and stability.

Cornell yellow painting
Senior studio art major Kelsey
Cornell will present her series of
large oil paintings in her exhibition
titled “Brink.”

An opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 20, with an artist talk at 6:30 p.m. Viewing hours will be available by appointment Saturday through Monday and the gallery will be open from open 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

All of the exhibits are a culmination of either thesis or senior project studies, a two-semester process. One may notice a common theme of art exploring the emotions, but that was not the assignment and it is purely coincidental, according to one of the artists.

“We have been working continuously to develop our thoughts and ideas for two semesters so that we get our own personal philosophies into our work,” said Aborn. “The work will inform you as you produce it, which is its way of paying you back. I started to develop the concept well before I started thesis. Even that work started to inform what I was going to do.”

Aborn will graduate in May and was recently accepted to teach English at a school in France, where he looks forward to furthering his art studies.

The BFA is an intensive degree program in studio art, intended for students who plan to pursue a professional career in art or to prepare for specialized graduate study, in particular the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. The culminating experience is the senior year thesis project. A cohesive body of work is developed from concept to exhibition, accompanied by written proposal, summary documentation and oral presentation. Admission to the BFA program is by portfolio review. Entrance into senior thesis is by special permission attained through committee review of work at the end of the junior year.

For more information, contact Art and Art History Department Chair Lori Ellis by email or at (607) 753-4316.