Graduating Art and Art History Department seniors at SUNY Cortland always put their very best portfolio work on display during their thesis exhibition.
Two graduating Art Studio: Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) majors — Lindsey Richards of Liverpool, N.Y., and Jacob Robinson of Seneca Falls, N.Y. — will share exhibition space as they put their final projects of abstract paintings on canvas and monochromatic drawings on paper in the university’s Dowd Gallery in Dowd Fine Arts Center. The exhibit will run from Thursday, Dec. 8, to Friday, Dec. 16.
An opening reception, followed by oral defenses, is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Dowd Gallery, Dowd Fine Art Center on the corner of Graham Avenue and Prospect Terrace.
The audience, along with BFA committee members comprised of Art and Art History Department faculty, will have a chance to interact and direct questions to the candidates after their presentation.
The gallery exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.
Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Additionally, the gallery will be open to visitors on Saturday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11, from 1 to 4 p.m.
A virtual tour, recorded talks and exhibition slide show will be accessible on the Dowd Gallery’s website and social media at the end of December.
The displayed final collection of artworks, writing and oral presentations but the graduating seniors fulfill the year-long thesis requirement in their designated programs.
Painter Richards and graphic designer Robinson will showcase thesis projects concluding their B.F.A. studies. Robinson also is a dual major in new communication media who will complete a minor in graphic design and digital media.
Richards will present her thesis exhibition, “Time Is Out of Joint,” showcasing a collection of abstract paintings on canvas produced over an extended period.
In her exhibition, the artist navigates and reconciles the fears that come with mortality, pointing to a shared reality aligned with the universal struggle through life.
“Richards creates a body of work that hints at the blank ‘abyss’ always lurking in our vibrant surroundings,” said Gallery Director Jaroslava Prihodova. “The premise for her paintings centers around a reminder that human life, as well as the environment, is impermanent. With influence from historically significant thinkers, classic stories, existentialist philosophers and her love of cinema, Richards creates a haunting essence of landscapes that reveals the awareness of one’s place in time.”
Richards’ past works were included in several annual Student Select exhibitions sponsored by the Art Exhibition Association. Most recently, she received the Muriel and Newell Keegan Prize for Excellence in Studio Art.
A four-season SUNY Cortland varsity softball team member from 2019-2022, she was honored as a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar Athlete.
Robinson’s exhibition, titled “In Tongues,” will debut his thesis series of large- and small-scale drawings, sound poems and process video pieces that are intended to engage the viewer with theories in structural anthropology, Jungian psychology and general Eastern philosophy.
According to Robinson, the immediacy of drawing with a stick of charcoal allows for the reliable yet tasteful visualization of thought and its changing form captured on paper, generating novel expressions.
The body of Robinson’s work explores the deconstruction of writing and speech under the contemporary movement of Asemic Art, which was inspired by Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Primitivism.
“Process-oriented drawings were inspired by a framework of a psychedelic experience, constructing a climate for a boundless, unencumbered state as a primordial condition of being,” Robinson said of his work.
His mechanical technique aims to explore the expressive capacities of other abstracted elements of speech, such as the sounds of consonants and vowels.
“The mark-making is a physical manifestation of a fictional language illustrating glossolalia, that is, free association or speaking in tongues, with no sanction or filter over vocalization,” Robinson said.
This academic year, Robinson served as the Art Exhibition Association club president and offered technical support for the Dowd Gallery.
His work was awarded honorable mentions in Dowd Gallery’s annual Student Select exhibitions in 2020 and 2021. Selections of his art were part of the Best of SUNY 2022 exhibition in Albany, N.Y. Robinson is displaying pieces in SUNY Cortland’s Memorial Library until mid-May 2023.
Visit Dowd Gallery’s website for details about future exhibitions, other programs, safety protocols and online booking. For more information, to inquire about an appointment, tour or to see additional images, contact Gallery Director Jaroslava Prihodova at 607-753-4216.