January 25, 2023
“Working On It,” an exhibition of recent work by faculty artists from the Music and Art and Media Arts and Technology departments at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY), will open with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22 in the college’s Shirley Fiterman Art Center (SFAC). The show will run through March 22.
The SFAC is open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 12 to 5 p.m. Visitors can also view the exhibition by appointment. Please schedule by reaching out to ShirleyFitermanArtCenter@bmcc.cuny.edu.
Faculty artists share their process and breakthroughs
The exhibition will showcase BMCC’s diverse and talented faculty artists working in a wide range of media, from traditional painting and sculpture, to installation art, experimental photography, video and works employing new media.
The featured faculty artists are Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Tess Bilhartz, Simon Carr, Hector Canonge, Erik den Breejen, Cathy Diamond, Louis Esposito, Janet Esquirol, Caroline Falby, Pat Genova, John Goodrich, Xico Greenwald, Jesse Alexander Madden Harding, Sarah Haviland, Jayne Holsinger, Thea Lanzisero, Siobhan McBride, Patrick Mohundro, Lisa Nicchi, Eloy Ortega, Carol Pereira-Olson, Anna Pinkas, Thaddeus Radell, Jessica Ramirez, Owen Roberts, Ryan Seslow, Rachel Stern , Robert Thill, Alizabeth Towery, Terttu Uibopuu, Clare Ultimo, Madeline Weibel, Bez Vise and Emily Zuch.
Professor Simon Carr, deputy chairperson of the Music and Art department, says he is showing 12 drawings in the exhibition; six figures drawn from life, and six landscapes. “The figures were drawn with students in the college’s Life Drawing Club,” he said. “When I draw with them we face all the same problems of representing the figure. They are enormously inspiring to work with.”
Art Professor Patrick Mohundro, who teaches Digital Imaging Studio I, says one of his works in the exhibition, “suspicious1,” is made of stained glass and porcelain. “The porcelain is cast to look like stretched canvas, while the stained glass is a stand-in for paint,” he said. “If painting has anything to do with color, and color light, this work upholds painting conventions while breaking free from traditional painting practices.”
“Visitors May Lift Cloth” is the piece in the exhibition by Robert Thill, a professor in the Media Arts and Technology department. It features an unusual group of historic notes and letters by L.A. Angelmaker, Sigmund Freud and William Wilberforce. “In an era marked by peculiar personal and political truths, this subtly interactive work sets distinctive correspondence in an unlikely conversation to engage viewers’ imaginations and reveal associative narratives,” says Professor Thill.
Art Professor Pat Genova, who teaches Painting 1 and Drawing 1 and 2, has an acrylic on canvas piece in the show, “From the Chair Series: Partire.” She explains that, “All my work deals with the play of space and light, with the chair and shadows sometimes changing their nature as ephemeral or solid shapes — but the search for and solution to aesthetic problems is a predominating focus. Yet a transitory quality of ‘presence of absence’ exists, evoking a human element not visible but having once lived within the image’s confines.”
Anna Pinkas, a professor in the Media Arts and Technology department who oversees the BMCC Makerspace Digital Media program, says that digital media is essential to her art practice and teaching, “but I like to combine it with traditional techniques that add texture and meaning to each piece.” This back-and-forth between digital and analog is at play in her series ‘Passing Blooms’, which reflects processes including digital photography, drawing, vector illustration, laser cutting and painting.
Media Arts and Technology Professor Janet Esquirol, who teaches Graphic Design, has a piece of digital collage using original imagery, “Gathering Together,” on display in the exhibition. “The piece represents a breakthrough for me,” she says. “I have always loved collage, and I am often taking pictures, but for some reason I had not put the two activities together in my own work even though I am a graphic designer!”
She explains that during the lockdown in early 2020, she would take her five-year-old daughter on neighborhood walks, a healing experience. “I took photos as we gathered flowers to put in a pressing kit, found a dead bird in a graveyard and played with snails crawling on the fence of a community garden,” she says. In late 2022, the images she had collected began to come together in a classroom demonstration.
Art Professor Louis Esposito, who teaches Drawing Studio 1 and Life Drawing, has four pieces from the same series in the faculty exhibition: one oil painting, Descent, and three pastel studies: Haleakalā I, II and III. “Currently, my paintings stem from a synthesis of drawings and color studies done while traveling,” he says. “These drawings and paintings explore my felt experiences, observations and memories through an abstract space: translating the energy of a new place into my work, such as my trip into the crater of Haleakalā National Park.”
Aspiring art historians, videographers, artists and more find degree programs at BMCC
BMCC students benefit from having professors engaged in exhibiting their work; the public aspects of being an artist, and who share their passion and professional experience with their classes.
Students also benefit from having a variety of hands-on, career-minded associate degree programs that link to bachelor’s degree programs throughout CUNY and beyond.
The Music and Art department at BMCC provides two Art Foundations degree programs.
The Art Foundations: Studio Art program confers an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree with concentrations in Drawing, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, and Digital Imaging. Studio Art majors work with BMCC art faculty to build portfolios that help facilitate their transition to top art and design schools.
The Art Foundations: Art History program confers an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree. Art History majors focus on major historical periods and art from around the world. A thesis course guides students to a final research paper. Many Art History faculty members are established art history scholars who have organized and participated in colloquiums, some held here at BMCC.
To learn more about BMCC’s associate degree programs in the Music and Art department, contact (212) 220-1464 or Musicemail@example.com.
The Media Arts and Technology department offers three associate degree programs.
Students can earn as Associate of Science (A.S.) in Animation and Motion Graphics, and learn the fundamentals of two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D) animation, motion graphics and special effects.
Another option for students is the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree program in Multimedia Programming and Design, which guides students in the use of text, audio, images, animation and video in presentations, websites and other forms of communication.
Finally, talented visual storytellers can earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in Video Arts and Technology, completing a dynamic education in video, audio and television production.
To learn more about degree programs in the Media Arts and Technology department, call (212) 346-8525.
PLEASE NOTE: Thumbnail image on homepage is Pat Genova, From the Chair Series: Partire, 2022, acrylic on canvas
The Shirley Fiterman Art Center supports BMCC’s strategic goals including Strategic Goal #6: Strengthen BMCC’s Role in a Thriving NYC and as a Leading Community College Nationally.
Exhibition showcases BMCC’s faculty artists working in a wide range of media — traditional painting, sculpture, installation art, experimental photography, video, new media and more
Faculty share insights into the public display aspect of an artist’s career, as they make art with students