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BFA Thesis Exhibitions Set to Open

BFA Thesis Exhibitions Set to Open


Jerome Tiunayan’s paintings explore the lingering effects of childhood sexual repression. By likening the condition to a contagious illness, the award-winning work by this SUNY Cortland student from Brooklyn, N.Y., illustrates growth and metamorphosis of an internal conflict as an outward bodily manifestation.

Art and Art History Department classmate Josephine Cook lives on the Onondaga Nation Territory south of Syracuse, N.Y. Her work — depicting traditional oral stories of the Haudenosaunee Native American Confederacy — already has earned her commissions and honors.

Both seniors hope to receive their Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in December. Each plans a showing next month to fulfill their BFA thesis exhibition requirement.

'I Should Have Stretched First'
Jerome Tiunayan's 2016 acrylic-on-canvas painting is titled "I should have stretched first!"

Their artwork will be displayed in Dowd Fine Arts Center from Thursday, Dec. 8, to Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Tiunayan’s exhibition, titled “Warts and All,” may be viewed in the building’s Dowd Gallery, where the open hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment.

Cook’s installations will be displayed in the Critique Space on the ground floor of the Dowd Fine Arts Center at SUNY Cortland. The viewing hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. weekdays.

Opening receptions for both artists and students in a related interactive exhibition will be held concurrently from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9.

Tiunayan and Cook will each give a brief artist’s talk at around 5:30 p.m.

Students in Martine Barnaby's Interactive Media class have installed their collaborative works relating to Tiunayan's exhibition in the East Wing off the main gallery. Their display, running concurrently with the BFA exhibitions, is titled “LOSS: an Interactive Installation.”

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

Jerome Tiunayan

Tiunayan has majored in studio art with a concentration in painting. His work has been exhibited in the Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibition 2016 at the New York State Museum in Albany, N.Y. He was awarded third place in SUNY Cortland’s Student Select 2015. Last year, the College presented him with a Norma Smocynski Schlager ’62 Scholarship for the Arts.

“Warts and All” will combine influences ranging from grotesque 19th-century medical illustrations to underground commix, which Tiunayan uses to weave several narratives revolving around a singular character.

'Patient Zero'
Jerome Tiunayan's 2016 in-on-paper piece is called "Patient Zero."

“This exhibition is a way of answering a question that has plagued me for years: ‘What if the parts of me I tried to hide were the first things people saw?’” Tiunayan said.

“Consequently, upon seeing the work, the viewer is placed in a position to cast judgment, deciding if the character should be empathized with or shunned.”

Josephine Cook

Cook’s work consistently has been included in the juried Art Exhibition Association Student Select Shows. Her pieces also were exhibited at Memorial Library in the College’s Best of Student Select in Spring 2015 and 2016.

In Fall 2012, she designed selections chosen by the Syracuse Cultural Workers to create their “How to be an Ally” series in collaboration with Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation. The following summer, Cook was commissioned to create a tile mosaic replica of the George Washington Belt for the Onondaga Nation Human Resources office.

Her exhibition will consist of a mixed-media installation that merges woven fiber pieces with welded sculptural forms.

Cook said she takes on the role of the storyteller by exhibiting a physical representation of the origin of the Haudenosaunee. “Origin” depicts the creation story of her people beginning with the tale of Sky Woman.

'Water Fiber Weaving'
Josephine Cook shared this details of two installation pieces she made this year, "Water fiber weaving" and, above left, "Welded goose sculpture."

“My hope is to prevent the traditional stories from vanishing from my people while educating all who view the work of their traditions,” Cook said.

For more information about the BFA Thesis exhibitions or Dowd Gallery, contact the gallery at 607-753-4216.

Interactive Media Class

Martine Barnaby’s Interactive Media students designed “LOSS: an Interactive Installation” to bounce their own creative reflections off Tiunayan’s current exhibition.

The work is by student artists Ashleigh Cerrato, Carly Gialanella, Melissa Sprole, David Weaver and their teaching assistant, Matthew Oswald, according to Barnaby, associate professor of art and art history. 

Interactive Media installation
The Interactive Media class will share their installation work relating to Jerome Tiunayan's BFA exhibition also in the gallery.