School of Visual & Performing Arts

Department of Art


Saturday, September 1, 2018, 10:00 am–1:00 pm

Jerry's Artarama is sponsoring a free bus trip to their Norwalk store for WCSU Art Students. This is a great opportunity for students to stock up on needed Art Supplies for the semester during their big Fall Sale! Jerry's will have extra staff on hand to help you with your purchases and answer any questions you may have about your supplies. Don't miss out!

The Details:

Sign up for the bus in the Art Office, VPA 143
Be sure to pick up their Fall Sale Flyer and special WCSU student discount coupon!

10:00 am – Leave the VPAC North Arts Entrance (back parking lot)

12:00 pm – Leave Jerry's to return to the VPAC by around 1:00 pm

Save the dates – Fall Semester Visiting Artists


  • Deborah Zlotsky, painter
    Mon, Sept 24, 2018
  • Fritz Horstman, interdisciplinary
    Mon, Oct 8, 2018
  • Jon Krause, illustrator
    Tues, Oct 23, 2018
  • Glenn Goldberg, painter
    Mon, Nov 5, 2018
  • Elena Sisto painter
    Mon, Nov 19, 2018

Eric Valesquez, illustrator
Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center, room 144
WCSU, Westside Campus

Illustrator Eric Velasquez was born in Spanish Harlem and he grew up in Harlem. He earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts. Eric has been illustrating for over 30 years.

He has illustrated over 30 children’s books, his first picture book “The Piano Man” by Debbie Chocolate, published by Bloomsbury won the Coretta-Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. In 2010 Eric was awarded an NAACP Image award for his work in “Our Children Can Soar” which he collaborated on with 12 notable illustrators of children’s literature. Eric also wrote and illustrated “Grandma’s Records” and its follow up “Grandma’s Gift” which won the 2011 Pura Belpre’ Award for illustration and was also nominated for a 2011 NAACP Image Award. Eric’s latest book “Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library” by Carole Boston Weatherford has gathered rave reviews, and has also won the 2018 Walter Award from the WNDB organization as well as the SCBWI’s The Golden Kite Award.

Eric Velasquez lives and works in New York. He teaches book illustration at FIT (The Fashion Institute of Technology) in NYC. For more information please visit his web site at

Free & Open to the Public. Limited Seating Available.


Gallery Opening

Sept 4 – Oct 14

Artist Reception / Gallery Talk: Sept 6, 6–8 pm
Curated by Jane Rainwater

Featuring the work of four critically acclaimed artists, Mia Brownell, Leeah Joo, Jennifer Knaus and Nathan Lewis whose work demonstrates a realistic and traditional painting style, yet substituting subject matter with more compelling critiques on today’s culture and society. 

The guest curator, Jane Rainwater, is an artist, independent curator, designer and educator who holds an M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Boston. She is the owner of Rainwater Design; illustrator, author and designer of eight books; and adjunct professor in art, illustration and design at Eastern Connecticut State University and Manchester Community College. "Each of these artists has breathtaking technical expertise in painting, yet each one approaches their realistic subject matter in unique ways going way beyond what one might expect in this genre.”

RSVP for the Artist Reception / Gallery Talk HERE

Sip & Sketch

Friday, Nov 9, 7–9pm

Enjoy a fun and creative evening of drawing from a live model in a relaxed environment while you sip wine and sample assorted snacks in our Drawing Studio (VPA 241) on the 2nd floor of the Visual & Performing Arts Center. Materials are provided but you may bring your own supplies too. All skill levels are welcome. Must be 21+ to attend. $25.00 per person (includes all materials & refreshments). WCSU Alumni get $5 discount (email for discount code)
Sponsored by the Department of Art and the WCSU Alumni Association

Get tickets HERE.

MFA graduates to exhibit works in New York City

Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition 2018

Blue Mountain Gallery

Opening Reception:
Thursday, June 21, 5–8 pm

On view: June 19–July 7
Gallery Hours: Tues–Sat, 11 am–6 pm

530 West 25 Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York

The MFA Thesis Exhibition is the capstone experience of the graduate program, demonstrating a personal direction and mastery in the work of the artists.
Six graduate students will present their work this year at Blue Mountain Gallery: 

Jesse Navarra

Jennifer Oliveira-Florio

Jonathan Schreyer

Barbara Sinisi

Alyssa Voytek

Erin Walrath

View the Exhibition Catalog

Spring 2018 NYC Bus Trip

NYC Museum Bus Trip to

The Whitney Museum/Chelsea Galleries

Thursday, April 26, 2017

Open to all SVPA students (and guests), faculty and staff.
All ART Classes are cancelled for that day. 
Purchase tickets at the VPAC Box Office to reserve your seat!
Ticket sales end when the bus is full so be sure to reserve your seat today!
Due to charter reservation and limited seating, refunds will not be available.

The bus leaves the North Arts Lot at 9:00 am sharp
and will leave NYC (in front of the Whitney) at 5:00 pm sharp
to return to Danbury around 7:00pm. 
Admission to the Whitney is $18 with student ID. Chelsea galleries are free.

Sponsored by The Department of Art. 
For more information contact the Dept. of Art at 203-837-8403 or the VPAC Box office at 203-837-8732.

Don't miss the chance to go to the Whitney, hit the High Line, visit the Chelsea Galleries and run around New York City for only $10.00!!

2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition

The Department of Art and School of Visual & Performing Arts at Western Connecticut State University is pleased to announce its candidates for the 2018 Master of Fine Arts degree

Jessee Navarra

Jennifer Oliveira-Florio

Jonathan Schreyer

Barbara Sinisi

Alyssa Voytek

Erin Walrath

Sip & Sketch

Friday, March 23, 7–9pm

Enjoy a fun and creative evening of drawing from a live model in a relaxed environment while you sip wine and sample assorted snacks in our Drawing Studio (VPA 241) on the 2nd floor of the Visual & Performing Arts Center. Materials are provided but you may bring your own supplies too. All skill levels are welcome. Must be 21+ to attend.
$25.00 per person (includes all materials & refreshments)
WCSU Alumni get $5 discount (email for discount code)

Sponsored by WCSU Alumni Association

Get tickets online HERE.

Faculty Spotlight

David Boyajian, Adjunct Professor of Art

Adjunct professor, David Boyajian was selected from a field of 5 artists by the Connecticut commission on the arts. His free standing Gateway sculpture made from stainless steel was chosen by the Commission to be installed at 450 Columbus Blvd in Hartford, Connecticut.

His project was completed in two phases: Phase I included a free standing sculpture on the pedestrian walkway. Phase II is a large wall relief composed of positive and negative cut out images of branches and oak leaves, representing a young grove of oak trees or scions from the charter Oak. Phase II will be installed on the wall below the pedestrian walkway and will be completed in June of 2018.

Alumni Spotlight

Janet Warner MFA 2017

Congratulations to MFA alumna, Janet Warner who is currently one of seventeen artists on the installation team for the exhibition Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings: Expanding a Legacy. Under John Hogan the installation Director and Archivist for the Sol LeWitt Wall drawings, Janet is working on three of the seven drawings, numbers #142 progressive lines (not Straight), #610 isometric figure with color ink wash superimposed, and #372 six geometric figures (parallelogram). The installation takes place from January through the end of February. The exhibition opens March 2nd, and there will be a gallery talk “Not Straight Lines: Installing Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings” with John Hogan and the installation team on March 7th. For more information about this talk and additional related programming, visit Janet will not only be credited as an artist on the wall text during the exhibition and go into the LeWitt archives, she will also be credited in the Artifex Press Catalogue, Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings Catalogue Raisonné

Be sure to check out a short video clip of the installation on the Yale University Art Gallery Instagram page.

About the Exhibition:
Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings: Expanding a Legacy features seven drawings newly donated to the Yale University Art Gallery from the artist’s estate, making the Gallery’s collection of LeWitt’s work in this signature medium the largest of any museum worldwide. The drawings on view represent a range of the artist’s techniques, including bold geometric patterns executed in colorful ink wash and works composed entirely of fine graphite lines. The exhibition also celebrates the newly inaugurated Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing Study Center at Yale West Campus, which will house the archive of this groundbreaking artist and be an international nexus for research on his work.




Student Spotlight

Jesse Navarra MFA 2018

MFA student, Jesse Navarra was recently published in the Winter 2018 issue of Illustrators Journal, featuring a step-by-step progression of his work "Plastic Ocean Project". The Illustrators Journal is a trianual print and digital publication which features established and emerging artists and their work. 

Jesse is a second year MFA student and will be graduating this May. Currently he is working toward his thesis which will be displayed in the 2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition opening March 29 and will remain on view through April 9 in the Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center. 

Congratulations to Jesse for his achievement! He is off to a great start towards a bright and successful career! 

Gallery Talk

Wednesday, January 31, 6:30 pm

In the Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center
Free and Open to the Public

Guest Curator’s, Lori Glavin & Patricia Spergel will discuss the work and process of curating the Parallel Practices Exhibition on view through March 4, 2018 in the Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center.