Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates are represented by the final collection of artworks, writing, and oral presentations that fulfill the year-long thesis requirement in the program in their collective BFA Thesis Exhibition '20. The artist's talks video recordings will be posted on the Dowd Gallery's website on May 13. The gallery is not holding a public Opening Reception in accordance with the New York State regulation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. A live question-and-answer session with the candidates is planned to be delivered on an online platform that has not yet been determined, at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14. Instructions on how to join the meeting will be posted on the Dowd Gallery's website, Facebook, and Instagram on the day of the event.
Tours of the exhibition at Dowd Gallery on the corner of Graham Avenue and Prospect Terrace may be available for individuals or a group of five or fewer people. The visitors will be expected to wear (personal) masks, and the gallery will provide hand sanitizer. Please call the Dowd Gallery at 607 753-4216 for appointments.
Maryam Adib, a BFA candidate, is a senior transfer student in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at SUNY Cortland, where she specializes in painting. Adib presents a series of paintings and mixed media installation, titled Alchemy of the Spirit. The overarching theme of her project deals with race, social thought, and stereotypes. Adib explores ideas embedded in a social construct during the slavery period and how the effects permeated the lives of African American women. The work examines the way American racism has evolved post-slavery, uncovering how racism affects contemporary African American women. She focuses specifically on the realm of reproductive rights and the representation of the black female body. Adib says, " This is a feminist issue being looked at through the specific lens of black womanhood. I am emphasizing the resilience and strength of black women. I want to depict a story of oppression and pain and how that pain can be transformed into beauty, power, and strength."
Adib's work has been shown in the Student Select exhibition in the Dowd Gallery in 2019, where she won third place. She currently has artwork on view in the SUNY Cortland Memorial Library. Maryam continues her artistic practice as a freelance mural artist in the Ithaca area.
Darien Fernandez will showcase a series of paintings titled Life on Your Feet as a part of his BFA Thesis Exhibition. The work reflects his personal connections to pop-culture through a filter that encourages imagination and personal narrative. Life on Your Feet provides a unique perspective on the fixation of sneaker culture and the impact it has on young people's lives. "Sneaker culture is a micro accumulation of a variety of influences such as art, science, music, and sports", Fernandez adds and continues, "I am indulging in whimsical thought processes that create scenes meant to emphasize the influence this phenomenon brings to the modern world. My motivation is to understand the power of objects like sneakers carry on young consumers revealing the extent to which major companies like Nike or Adidas can have on developing minds." Fernandez constructs a storyline intended to raise questions about the ways in which individuals choose to perceive reality, as well as the value systems that influence our daily lives.
In 2015, Fernandez concluded his studies at the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan, where he received a 2015 Gold Key for artwork submitted to the Scholastic Art and Writing Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Fernandez was awarded the 2015 Dedalus Art Foundation Scholarship Grant, where the winners exhibited in a group show at the Industry City's gallery, Brooklyn, NY. During his career at SUNY Cortland, in 2018, Fernandez has exhibited his work in the Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibition. In 2019, his work was shown at the community Cortland Repertory Theatre Art Exhibition, Cortland, NY. His work was included in 2017 and 2018 SUNY Cortland's Student Select juried exhibition and received First Prize in the 2019 addition. Fernandez also spent a summer abroad in Dingle, Ireland, studying landscape painting and drawing.
Sarah Zielstorf, a BFA candidate with a specialization in New Media Design, presents a video installation titled Where is Home. In this work, Zielstorf exposes her experiences underlined by feelings of loss of her family home due to a foreclosure. The emotions are represented by digitally layered archival photos from her family's home and contrasted with current photos. Sound and other visual elements from her home environment are integrated into her video work as elements intensifying the personal trauma. The installation offers a glimpse into the world that she is losing while using illustrations and video content to communicate her experience of living in a tenuous situation.
Zielstorf's work has been previously shown at several Student Select exhibitions in the Dowd Gallery. She has also created promotional material through her internship as a graphic designer with Auxiliary Services Corporation at SUNY Cortland.