Senior BFA Thesis Exhibition opens April 22

April 15th, 2009 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.—The annual spring Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibition at Plymouth State University is more than a rite of passage—it’s a requirement for graduation. PSU seniors graduating in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program must present a capstone project to their teachers, peers and the public.

Those collected works, and artist statements by the participants, compose the 2009 Senior BFA Thesis Exhibition, April 22–May 15 at Plymouth State University.

The exhibition represents months of sustained, independent, creative and technical development for the students, under the tutelage of a faculty advisor.

“Thesis courses engage students with intensive research, critical dialogue, aesthetic inquiry and debate, exploration of voice and creative process, the discipline of sustained practice and the deepening of technical skills as they work toward the creation of a coherent body of high individualized and innovative personal work,” said Department of Art Chair Cynthia Vascak.

To accommodate the 29 students’ works, this year the exhibition will take place in six venues across the campus: The Karl Drerup Art Gallery and the Collins Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building, and the Silver Center for the Arts, both on Main Street in Plymouth; the atrium of the Boyd Science Center and Lamson Library, both on Highland Street; and in kiosks adjacent to the Centre Lodge on Merrill Street.

Receptions will be held at each venue except the kiosks from 4–7 p.m. Wednesday, April 22.

Professor of Art Tom Driscoll said the exhibition is a celebration of each student’s personal vision and artistic accomplishments. “They have spent the year developing visual themes, working on practical aesthetic issues and overcoming blocks and setbacks. Although it is a difficult experience for them, it is very gratifying to witness the growth and development that occurs within each individual. The BFA show is an opportunity for these artists to share their cumulative achievements with the public.”

Alyssa Hanchett, a painter, said the thesis year has been like competing in a race, with thesis work the starting horn and much yet to be done. “I felt like it (thesis) was introducing me to myself artistically and challenging my preconceptions about what I need from other people and from myself. I am beginning to understand what will be necessary in the future to continue living the artist’s life, and it is both exciting and nerve-wracking,” Hanchett said.

Professor Phil Lonergan teaches three-dimensional arts. He said, “The BFA exhibition is the culmination of a four-year program of study for our students, who each specialize in a particular discipline. This show illustrates the best work from their senior thesis year; they select particular pieces that cohere and that demonstrate their artistic visions. This year is particularly exciting because there are a large number of student working in 3D—both sculptors and ceramicists—and their work varies widely from video installation to meticulously crafted figurative sculpture to wildly organic ceramic vessels. It promises to be a dynamic show, and these students have bright futures ahead of them in the art world.”

Graphic designer Kasey Fogg says she will use the show to represent who she is as a designer, creating business products such as stationery, business cards, letterhead, envelopes and a logo to represent a fictitious company. “This is my chance to show myself and others what I can do as a graphic designer,” she said. My goal is to produce as much as I can to show my strengths and creativity as a designer. … I want to stand out as much as I possibly can to better myself for the future.”

Zachary Friedline has won best in show for his sculptures in two Juried Student Exhibitions. “The figurative steel sculptures I create use exaggerated gesture and proportions to convey the message of a comedic satire. The intent of my work is to challenge what society portrays as normal, as observed through the media and pop culture. I want this to cause the viewer to think about themselves and their relationship to culture,” he said.

Elizabeth Collman works in clay to intuitively create ceramic sculptures that are fluid, creating a network of rounded forms and curves. “While moving around the sculpture a relationship is formed between the two different sides: the viewable rises of the exterior to the creases of the underneath of those rises. The vertical placement allows the viewer to confront the assumed structure and gives an understanding between two sides,” Collman said.

Senior BFA students working in 2D and 3D are Brian Moriarty from Lisbon; Elizabeth Collman from Franconia; Ann Marie Gauthier from Hill; Claire Higgins from Westminster, Mass.; Sarah Murchie from Portland, Maine; Reese Cardew from Ipswich, Mass.; Alyssa Hanchett from Rochester and Zach Friedline from East Andover.

Also Dave Hardman from Exeter; Anthony Cormier from Bedford; Tom Perkins and Michele Dupere from Plymouth; Brendon Swanson from Barrington, R.I.; Cortney MacNeil from Hope Valley, R.I.; Tracy Brigham from Alton; Matt Acker from Litchfield and Tonya White from Newport, Vt.

Graphic design senior BFA students are Regan Bowlen from Portsmouth; Bobby-Ann Estes from Londonderry; Kasey Fogg from Merrimack; Cody Harvey from DeRuyter, N.Y.; Benjamin Hunt from Salisbury; Nicholas Krycki from Epsom; Bethany Mayo from Center Conway; Matt Morenz from Hooksett; Haley Sawyer from Ashland; Michael Shanahan from Campton; Justin Surette from Methuen, Mass. and Elisa Yeung from Hillsboro.

The Karl Drerup Art Gallery is open Monday¬–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Wednesday until 8 p.m.

The Collins Gallery is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m –4:30 p.m.

The Silver Center is open Monday –Friday, 8 a.m –5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon–6 p.m.

The kiosks are outside and open around the clock.

The Boyd Science Center is open Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–8 p.m.

Lamson Library hours are generally Monday–Thursday, 7:30 a.m –ll:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m.–11:30 p.m.

Check online for specific dates at

For information about exhibitions contact the Karl Drerup Art Gallery at (603) 535-2416 or log on to

Information about events at Plymouth State University is available at ThisWeek@PSU,