WCSU to hold ‘Five Artists’ M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition in New York
Blue Mountain Gallery in Manhattan to host exhibit

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Department of Art will present “Five Artists,” the 2014 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, featuring the paintings and illustrations of WCSU M.F.A. students, from Tuesday, June 17, through Saturday, July 5, 2014, at the Blue Mountain Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, Fourth Floor, in Manhattan. There will be an artist reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 17. The exhibition and reception will be free and open to the public.

The Master of Fine Arts is the terminal degree for practicing artists and the Thesis Exhibition is the capstone experience of that program, demonstrating a personal direction and mastery in the work of graduating artists. This year, five students will present their work.

Katie Bassett was born in New Haven and currently resides in Bethel. She works in a heavily mixed media style. Her training in traditional sculpture and graphic design has led to a nontraditional approach in installation and process-based work. Bassett received a Bachelor of Arts from WCSU with a double major in sculpture and graphic design. From 2011-13, she was curator of the Mercurial Gallery in Danbury and currently owns “you & I,” an arts service business. Represented by TrailerBox Gallery in Danbury, Bassett has had numerous exhibitions with reviews in Art New England, The Mercurial and SculptSite.com. “All of my work expresses the need to rebuild what has been altered by breaking my own preconceived rules of art, expression and materials,” Bassett said. “I utilize a large range of domestic materials to represent fragments of my existence as an artist and a woman.”

Andrew Campbell is an emerging American painter whose work reflects a history of growing up on Long Island. Starting with a very familiar setting, the beach, the true content of his paintings is revealed slowly through the destruction and rebuilding of the figural and gestural elements involved, based on intuition and memories. Campbell began his artistic training at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1999, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration in 2003. He then received a Master of Arts in Visual Arts from Ashwood University in 2006, and a Master of Science in Childhood Education in 2009 from Fordham University. After teaching briefly in the New York City public schools, Campbell came to WCSU with a total focus on painting. He resides in Shelton.

André Eamiello employs a unique painting process that combines watercolor and earth ephemera to create a nature aesthetic that is both abstract and representational. From the fusion of dream state imagination and action painting, structures emerge that evoke the botanical, the aquatic and the celestial. Eamiello grew up in various towns along the Connecticut coastline and developed a profound connection to the natural surroundings of his environment. This affinity for place endured even after he left Connecticut in 2004 to attend San Francisco Art Institute. At SFAI, he experimented with different types of environmental immersion, including public social intervention projects. Returning to the East coast, Eamiello came in 2012 to WCSU where he has focused on developing a practice that unites his interest in biology, metaphor and personal connection to landscape. He lives in Danbury.

Miranda Girard is an exhibiting and commissioned Connecticut artist living in Trumbull. She graduated summa cum laude from Maryland Institute College of Art with a bachelor’s degree in general fine arts and a minor in creative writing. Her figurative, representational paintings and drawings are motivated by expression, emotion and environment. “Presently, I have been focusing on painting portraits of people I know and love to see what feelings emerge through the paint or what compositional or stylistic elements are influenced by these personal relationships,” Girard said. “In these new, more intimate portraits of family and friends, I am learning about myself and my relationship to the subject.” Girard is the recipient of the Connecticut University Grant, was recognized as Connecticut’s Artist of the Year, and is currently represented by MDH Fine Arts in New York City.

Katie Ross is a visual artist and educator from northwestern Connecticut who now lives in Kent. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from UMASS Dartmouth. Her current body of work features oil paintings on steel along with a variety of drawings, etchings, mono-prints and metal sculptures. Trained in both two-dimensional studies and metalworking, Ross has discovered a process of oil painting on steel, a smooth surface on which medium and content glide. Depicting portraits of antique machinery and tools, the dialogue between past and present is an inherent part of both her content and methodology. “From monolithic industrial monsters such as power hammers, steam locomotives and furnaces to gas torches and drill bits, they represent America’s rich industrial heritage, each with their own story to tell,” Ross said. “Charmed by the sensuousness of functionality, and drawn to the darkness and mystery behind the fire, steam and rust, I relish the careful crafting that goes into each piece. I follow a trail of valves, gears, holes, bolts, pipes and rivets to see what these anthropomorphic shapes will reveal.”

For more information, contact the Blue Mountain Gallery at (646) 486-4730, Darby Cardonsky at (860) 837-8881 or Lori Robeau at (203) 837-8403.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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