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Learning the Ropes of the Art World

Spring BFA Exhibition Showcases Student Art

Art piece created by UMass Lowell student Anna Chan
Anna Chan created her Watt M.I. Lamps using recycled products made to look like designer pieces.

By Julia Gavin

May is a busy month for graduating seniors with papers to write, finals to ace, and resumes to polish. Thirty-three soon-to-be-graduates have another task standing between them and that diploma: a public art show.

The Spring 2011 BFA Exhibition showcases the senior thesis projects from the Art & Design studios featuring a variety of media produced within UMass Lowell’s bachelor of fine arts degree program. The exhibit will be on display in both the University and Dugan Galleries May 12 to 26 with a reception May 12 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“The exhibit is a way of providing the students with a professional introduction into a career in the art and design world,” says Michele Gagnon, gallery coordinator for the university and art department.

Graduating seniors use the Senior Studio Seminar course to produce a large amount of high quality work in their final semester, many pieces of which become their professional portfolio. The demanding schedule of planning, producing, and reviews by their peers and instructors readies the art students for the rigorous work they can expect as professional artists and designers.

With the wide array of artistic media and messages put forth by the 33 students displaying their work, the BFA Exhibition will offer viewers a glimpse at the robust art and design programs at UMass Lowell. 

Sustainability and modern life are a few of the topics that will be explored by artists in the exhibit. In Diane Shugrue’s Non-textile, Non-traditional Wedding Attire the artist has designed and sewn wedding garments using plastic, commenting on modern attitudes toward materials and institutions. 

Anna Chan’s Watt M.I. Lamps were created using recycled materials according to her artist statement: “The idea of using what society regards as disposable and cheap will be transformed to look sophisticated and organic.”

Reflecting the many experiences of modern life will be present in Laurie Santiago’s work titled "The Cost of Fame," which explores the effects of fame on our society and stars through illustrations of Michael Jackson.

Charlotte Hyland’s "Sunny Side Up" is a photography and journaling documentary of the artist’s experience while donating eggs for in vitro fertilization, a point of view not often shared with the public.

These projects and others featuring painting, sculpture, photography, illustration, ceramics, film, graphic design and more will be on display until May 26. 

For more information, visit the Art Department website.