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An exhibit of works by Lafayette College candidates for academic honors in studio art is on display at Connexions Gallery, 213 Northampton Street in downtown Easton, through Sunday, May 7.

The artists, all graduating seniors, are Kate Cody of Glen Ridge, N.J., a psychology major; Suzy Feiglstok of Devon, Pa. (art); Nicole Herbert of Harrisburg, Pa. (double major in anthropology and sociology and art); Kelly McAllister of Montclair, N.J. (art); and Chris Tague of Stamford, Conn. (English and art). See below for the students’ statements about their art.

The artists will present their work to an honors jury from 1-5 p.m., Monday and Tuesday, May 1 and 2, in the Williams Center for the Arts on the Lafayette campus. Some works will be on display in the Williams Center on those days and Wednesday, May 3.

The public is invited to attend a reception for the artists, from 6-9 p.m. Friday, May 5, at Connexions.

In addition, works done by four students in independent-study projects this term are on exhibit at Porters’ Pub, 700 Northampton St. The artists are seniors Moshe Burstin of Mexico (psychology); Mike Homer of Spokane, Wash. (art); Andrea LaConte of Wayne, N.J. (art and English); and Karen Shiers of Norwell, Mass. (economics and business).

The Honors Candidates Speak about their Honors Projects

Kate Cody

Her project includes sculptures using trees and roots. Her advisers are Jim Toia, who has taught painting and sculpture courses at Lafayette since 1997 and has mounted more than a dozen solo exhibitions of his own work; and Ed Kerns, Eugene H. Clapp Professor of Art, an internationally known abstract painter who has mounted 22 one-person shows in galleries in New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere.

“I have always been deeply affected by the emotional power of nature,” Cody says. “When I am outdoors I am aware of the interaction of natural forms, light, and shadow because they construct another world of negative space and silence. Nature has a pure sense of harmony and order that is created by the interaction of growing plants and trees, which has the power to evoke certain feelings. These calm, serene feelings provide a grounding force in my life. When analyzing my past work, I recognized that I have always included an organic quality that is directly inspired by the feelings I get from the natural world. I realized that there is no other environment that could completely balance, soothe, and energize my mood.

“In my thesis I have attempted to develop a method to express the emotions of calmness, peace, and a continual sense of harmony and motion in sculpture. My body of work represents my love of nature and my attempts to represent nature’s qualities in organic sculptural forms.”

Suzy Feiglstok

She has produced paintings that couple surrealism with post-impressionism. Her advisers are Toia and Kerns.

“My thesis is essentially an extension of my own life experiences, both imagined and real, through the use of the oil medium,” she says. “The use of archetypal images, color, line, and form all integrate themselves into a style that has taken elements from such influences as surrealism, expressionism, and Jungian aesthetic philosophy. The actual subject of my paintings is secondary to their execution, which is a reason why the core concept of my thesis may be hard to realize. Many of my paintings draw from completely different sources, and therefore have little similarities. The consistency of my work, therefore, lies in the sheer dedication to painting.

“My thesis is more about the process of painting rather than the actual work because I feel that this obstacle needs to overcome before I can reach my own ultimate vision of Art. Subsequently, my ultimate goal for this experience was to refine my own methods for communicating my interpretations and experiences of the world through the use of painting.”

Nicole Herbert

She produces sculptures mixing natural materials with elements of ornamentation. Her honors adviser is Jehanne-Marie Gavarini, assistant professor of art, whose special interests include sculpture and installations with nontraditional materials such as found objects, fabric, and slide projections.

“This past year, I have produced art objects that can be broadly categorized as sculptural,” she says. “The course of working on such a succinct body of work for the duration of a year has forced me to examine the actual process of my art making. At this point, I have come to the conclusion that the objects both integrate and mediate between my experiential and conceptual worlds. In other words, I utilize my anthropological training in the process of making tangible objects that also speak of my relative position within our society. Two motifs that I utilize are natural materials and an intensity of manual labor. These themes manifest my response to the disappearance of these characteristics from our increasingly industrialized society.”

Kelly McAllister

She says, “My thesis is ultimately an attempt to design my own cosmetics line from the very birth of the idea all the way to how it should be presented to a potential client.” Her adviser is Lew Minter, a painter, sculptor, and graphic designer who has developed and taught courses in design, media studies, and computer graphics since 1987. He has mounted four one-man shows of his paintings.

“I considered many of my personal views concerning how the strength of individuality seems to be lost in the fast-moving, fashion-magazine mentality of our society. Instead I am aiming my product toward a much more contemporary audience that still believes that natural beauty and individuality are more elegant and mysteriously intoxicating than following the mainstream fads.”

Chris Tague

He couples painting with poetry text, using digital imagery, traditional painting methods, and printing techniques. His adviser is Kerns.

“In writing or in art-making there is always a void that must be filled,” he says. “Blank page, empty computer screen, or gessoed canvas all represent a space which must be filled, adjusted, or subverted to make meaning. It seems strange that poetry and visual art can share this same locus, this same void, and be considered divergent art forms. This project has been about the dialogue between the two mediums, and how each one informs the other. I neither want to create illustrations for the poetry, nor descriptions of the images. Rather I see each piece as a chance to broaden (or alternatively undermine) meaning through the juxtaposition of text and image.”

Categorized in: Academic News