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 MCLA Gallery 51: Past Shows: 2012: Coming Up Next

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Gallery 51 is proud to present Coming Up Next! MCLA's Emerging Artists, a group exhibition of the largest class of graduating art majors since the program's inception. The opening reception will be on April 26, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. and the exhibit runs through May 27, 2012.

Coming Up Next! is the thesis project of the nine graduating MCLA art majors: Jessica Atanas, Pam Buchanan, Joanna Gillis, Kristen Parker, Gordon Polglase, Greg Sacchetti, Fiona Slattery, Kira Smith, Shanti Sponder. The work runs a spectrum of mediums from photography, collage, drawings and paintings to fiber arts, scenic art, book arts and sculpture. The artists express a multitude of subject matter from the humorous to the macabre.

The thesis is show is coordinated by MCLA Assistant Professor of Art Melanie Mowinski. It is the fourth installment of the senior art show since the art major's inception four years ago.  Mowinski prepares students about to enter the art world by guiding them through processes that real world artists practice daily.  Students create a resume, CV, exhibit catalog, website, a formal artist talk and a final exhibition.  "It's really exciting to see such committed, engaged and creative students working together individually on their own projects, and together as a group to put together this show. Many of these students I met four years ago when they first enrolled at MCLA. It's an honor to see them reach this important milestone," commented Mowinski

Pam Buchanan, "It's fantastic that this exhibition is the culmination of all of our efforts   throughout our educational experience...the show represents the creative diversity that is encouraged at MCLA"

Buchanan creates prints, artist books and mixed media collages to develop visual narratives illustrating themes of child abuse and domestic violence.  This allows her to productively channel emotions enmeshed in her own memories of abuse and to provoke dialog to provoke dialog to prompt others to share their stories.

Shanti Sponder is theme-driven, she focuses on the memories and connections she made during her childhood that continue to inspire her to create works centered around fungi. 


Kristen Parker works in a variety of mediums to explore and understand emotional reactions, associations and control in regards to ideas involving death, dying and mortality. 


Joanna Gillis is theme driven as well, her work explores the influence of romance during the early 1900's and expresses stories that reference a time in history where love was elegant in the forms of collage and bookmaking.

Gordon Polglase's artwork is primarily theme orientated and draws on the artist's emotion, personal experiences and hardships to create Netherworld, a fictional world of symbolism, suggestion, and mystery.

Jessica Atanas' artwork focuses on theatrical scenic artistry and design; inspired by storytelling and the theatrical world, it draws from many mediums in order to create new realms of experience. 


Fiona Slattery's work is focused on themes of the past and childhood. She uses collage and text to recreate the details of her memories and as a tool for confronting and accepting what has come to pass.

Coming Up Next  runs through May 27. MCLA Gallery 51, a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, is open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on this exhibition, check out the Student Artist Blog here!