MCLA's Senior Art Majors Collaborate to Curate New Show, 'Elemental Connections'


 NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Gallery 51 will celebrate the artistic achievements of the students in this year's "Senior Art Project" course on Thursday, April 24, with "Elemental Connections," an exhibition to feature a range of mediums, including drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, book arts and digital illustration.

The exhibition, which will run through May 25, will begin with an opening reception on Thursday, April 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Gallery. This event is free and open to the public.

The seventh senior art exhibition to be held since the inception of MCLA's art major, "Elemental Connections" will feature the artwork of nine seniors -  Kayleigh Brand, Georgia Costigan, Justine Curley, Aria Hatfield, Marli LaGrone, Amy Modesti, William Raymond, Stephanie VanBramer and Jessica Wheeler.

"Elemental Connections" showcases how each artist portrays connecting elements throughout his or her body of work. The show is a manifestation of metaphors and conceptualizations designed to entice reflection on the part of the audience. Each of these themes are further explored as the artists express their individual elements across a multitude of subject matter, conveying literal, figurative, and metaphorical connections within their bodies of work.

According to Laura Christensen, MCLA assistant professor of art, "Each graduating art major worked hard to refine skills and develop their own ideas, images and methods. Their art is full of wonder, color, poetry and thoughtfulness. This will be a show worth seeing!"

"This great group of artists brings unique and personal voices to the creation of new originals," said Gregory Scheckler, MCLA professor of art. "They've taken a wide array of courses from the entire college community, and so it's a delight to witness how the artists bring it all together in this culminating exhibit."

Melanie Mowinski, MCLA assistant professor of art, joined this year's seniors in facilitating and coordinating the exhibition. Mowinski prepares students to enter the real world as professional artists by guiding them through processes that real world artists practice daily. Students each created their own resume and curriculum vitae.

As a group, the students also create an exhibit catalog, design and keep a Website, participate in a formal artist talk, and host "Elemental Connections," their final exhibition.

Recent winners of the 2014 Berkshire Art Association Fellowship include Costigan, LaGrone, Modesti, Vanbramer and Wheeler, whose artwork also is displayed at the Annual Berkshire Art Association Fellowship show, which opened on April 4 in the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, Mass.

MCLA Gallery 51 is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC). The Gallery is open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, 413-664-8718, go to Gallery51 or