May 14, 2020
The exhibition features student work in color and design, digital design, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture. Presented via Zoom, the opening featured speakers including faculty artists who coordinated the student work in each area.
Manny Romero, executive director of Public Affairs at BMCC, opened the event and welcomed participants who viewed the work as it scrolled across the screen.
“We’re really happy to be able to showcase student work in our first digital exhibition,” said SFAC Director Lisa Panzera. “The works on view are really impressive and a testament to all the hard work of students and faculty during this difficult time.”
“Art must go on,” said BMCC Interim President Karrin E. Wilks. “Art is more important now than ever. We are so proud of our students. Thank you also to our faculty, for keeping students engaged in meaningful work during this time.”
Students show talent in sculpture, photography, painting and other areas
Many of the student artists are BMCC Art Foundations majors, a program that offers associate degree programs in Art History and Studio Art.
Both programs are part of the Music and Art Department. Students can earn an Associate of Art (A.A.) degree in Art History or an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Studio Art. BMCC also offers a range of courses in studio art, digital design and communications technology.
“For our students, it’s exciting to have their work visible online and being able to share it with their peers and friends,” said Art Professor Sara Haviland, who coordinated the exhibition’s student work in sculpture. “The student sculptures reflect realistic observation, relief work done originally in clay and then cast in sculpture, experimental work in silicone, seaweed and other organic materials. Some of the works are based on a theme, such as the piece centered on the Parkland shooting, and move into a whole new realm of social commentary.”
Art Professor Siobhan McBride, who coordinated the student work in drawing, quoted American artist David Hockney: “Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache.” Students this semester “have shown remarkable
resilience and grace,” she said. “All the work in this show looks so good. Many of the students had no previous art experience which makes the quality of this work even more impressive.”
Painting coordinator and professor of art Thaddeus Radell said, “We’re building a really solid painting program. The faculty and students have assimilated very easily into this new Zoom world. Most of the paintings you’re seeing were done during the pandemic. We have an advanced painting program that is very robust, and a lot of these pieces are homework copies of master paintings; we set up these models and then paint it in a modern idiom.”
Color and Design artwork by Carlos SuazoAccording to Art Professor Peter Greenwald, color and design coordinator for the exhibition, “BMCC students in our program are introduced to basic color theory, as well as to the fundamental principles of 2D design. Through hands-on projects, the students learn core concepts of light and color for themselves. They learn about hue, value and intensity, relationships, monochromatic color schemes and a lot more.”
“Students learn mechanics of the camera,” said Terttu Uibopuu, professor of art and photography coordinator for the exhibition. “They learn about color, how to experiment with motion blur, light and composition. You can see how each student is starting to develop their own voice as photographers. I encourage them to photograph with their phone cameras, use collage and abstraction and see what they can make in a challenging time. It was great to see how many of them started to photograph themselves and make inventive photographs while under quarantine. They’re learning to challenge the medium, push the boundaries.”
Art Professor Adele Shtern talked about the digital design work in the exhibition, which was coordinated by Professor Jessica Ramirez who was not able to attend the opening. “We explore the grid and all the terms that we want our students to be familiar with; composition, value, color, shape, line and other,” Shtern said. “This work is photo-montaged, Photoshopped. They also use the graphic design program InDesign. We explore superimposing different images; repetition, gradation, plane, contrast. I’m really impressed with what the students have done in terms of their imagination. It’s important to be seen and to be heard.”
SFAC Director Lisa Panzera closed out the virtual opening and speaker program.
“Our plan is to continue to developing online content,” she said. “We’re excited about the new kinds of content we can present on the BMCC website. We look forward to creating ways to have engagement and share this work by our students, which is pretty fantastic.”
- Shirley Fiterman Art Center at BMCC celebrates student artists with a virtual opening of the the 2020 Digital Student Art Show
- Presented via Zoom, the opening featured speakers including faculty artists
- “Art is more important now than ever. We are so proud of our students,” said BMCC Interim Presiden Karrin E. Wilks.