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Expressing Their "Power" through Art, B.F.A. Seniors Exhibit At Dorsky Gallery

Thursday, May 8, 2014

From photography and video to graphic design and sculpture, 15 art and design majors at St. John’s University spent their senior year creating works in a variety of media for display in the 2014 BFA Thesis Exhibition, “In Defense Of,” at the Dorsky Gallery in Long Island City, NY.

Held from April 16 to April 27—with a closing reception on April 26—the event showcased the students’ thesis projects for the B.F.A. program. This is the fourth consecutive year that St. John’s art and design majors have exhibited their work at the Dorsky Gallery. A faculty advisor guided each student through the process of creating a conceptual artwork from statement of intent to finished piece.

The process forces students “to justify the work not just aesthetically but also conceptually,” St. John’s art professor Paul Fabozzi, M.F.A., told the Times Ledger about the projects. “We challenge them so they have a clearer sense of how to move forward.”

The students produced paintings, sculptures, photographs, video, and graphic design pieces for their projects: Dallas Adams ’14C, Lucia Burrafato ’14C, Evane Corder ’14C, Georgina Diaz ’14C, Sharlotte Fondeur-Casas ’14C, Kristin Hauser ’14C, Sabrina Issagholian ’14C, Lauren Muggeo ’14C, Lourdes Rivera ’14C, Kalen Roach ’14C, Caroline Roecker ’14C, Elena Suarez ’14C, Diamond Watts-Walker ’14C, Rebekah Yeh ’14C, and Kaixi Zhou ’14C.

The works included a “found art” display by Rivera, who used items gathered during a trip to the Dominican Republic. She visually explored her family’s origins in the Caribbean nation and what it means to have a cultural connection to another place. One item in Rivera’s piece was a metal pole used to pull down the grate at a business owned by members of her family.

Also featured in the exhibit was a collage of images of Roach’s family that he edited with different colors and designs to reflect the diversity of his relationships with the people shown.

In his artist statement, Roach wrote: “Each individual in this show may call him or herself something different—such as artist, designer, illustrator, photographer, etc. Yet the power of self-determination lies with each of us. It’s time to take possession over that power—ourselves, our work, our vision, and our desires. It’s time for each of us to be able to say, ‘This is mine and I am here to defend it.’”

Students in the B.F.A. program also presented their work on the Queens campus on April 30 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in DAC 407. Prior to the presentations, the seniors participated in a career workshop to prepare them for entering the professional art field after graduation. Now that they have exhibited the “power of self-determination” over their work, it is time for these B.F.A. seniors to direct that same energy toward their nascent careers.