School of Visual & Performing Arts

Department of Art

2019 MFA Graduates to Exhibit in NYC

Master of Fine Arts
Thesis Exhibition 2019

Blue Mountain Gallery

Opening Reception:
Thursday, June 20, 5–8 pm

On view: June 18–July 6
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. Eight graduate students will present their work this year at Blue Mountain Gallery: 


Dee Rose Barba          Brett M. Colon

Brian Ferreira              Greg Mursko

Mildred Paulino          Dee Dee Perrone

Rima J. Rahal              Andréa Rios


View their work in the Exhibition Catalog

Sip & Sketch

Friday, May 3, 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.

NYC Museum Bus Trip

The Metropolitan Museum of Art &
the Brooklyn Museum

Thursday, April 26, 2017

$10.00 / round trip
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 or online here.
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.

Depart from VPAC:
North Arts Entrance Westside Campus
9:00 am sharp

Bus will drop off at:
1) The MET and then continue on to
2) The Brooklyn Museum
(the bus will stay at the Brooklyn Museum until a 4:00 pm when it will go back to The MET to pick everyone up to return back to WCSU.)

Return to WCSU:
From the MET at
5:00 pm sharp

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.

Kenny Rivero

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 11:00 am

Kenny Rivero was born and raised in Washington Heights, New York City. He earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2006 and an MFA from Yale School of Art in 2012. Through painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation, he states, “My work addresses themes of Dominican-American identity, socio-geographic solidarity, cultural and familial expectations, race, and masculinity.” “I produce work that offers viewers a chance to reflect on hope, loss, and memory.”

Kenny’s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums in the US and abroad, including: Pera Museum, Turkey; Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands; The Contemporary Art Museum St Louis; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, New York; El Museo del Barrio, New York; The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington; and MASS MoCA, North Adams. He has been a guest lecturer and visiting artist at El Museo del Barrio, Bennington College, Middlebury College, NYU, Williams College, and Cooper Union.

A recipient of many awards, Kenny received a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant and a Visiting Scholar position at NYU. He has been awarded residencies at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program, the Roswell Artist in Residence Program, The Fountainhead Residency, The Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture, and The Macedonia Institute. Kenny is currently a Lecturer at Yale School of Art and a Teaching Artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Fritz Drury

Visiting Artist Lecture

Monday, April 1, 2019, 11:00 am 

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

Free & Open to the Public
Limited Seating Available

Fritz Drury is a painter and Professor of Illustration at Rhode Island School of Design, where he has taught drawing and painting since 1981. He received his BA from Stanford University and his MFA from Yale School of Art. Since 2002, he has also taught a collaborative course at Brown University in Virtual Reality Design for Science. With colleagues from Brown, he has co-authored papers on the intersection of science and art. He also co-authored a college textbook in 2007 with Joanne Stryker at RISD, Drawing: Structure and Vision. In 2011, he was chief critic for RISD’s European Honors Program in Rome.

Fritz’s studio work is based in figurative oil paintings with an emphasis on poetic narrative, derived from literature, art history, and contemporary experience. Recent works suggest an ideal state of human connection with the natural universe. Fritz is also a portrait painter with commissioned works at Brown University, Colorado College, University of RI, and other collections. Reviewed in Art in America, his work has been widely exhibited in the US, including The Painting Center and The National Academy of Design in NYC. He is a recipient of awards and grants, among them an Ingram Merrill Foundation Fellowship and RISD’s John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching.

View the complete Spring 2019 Visiting Artist Lecture Series Schedule

Sabrina Marques

Art Faculty Talk

Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 6:00 pm 

Visual & Performing Arts Center, room 108
WCSU, Westside Campus 

Free & Open to the Public, Limited Seating Available

Sabrina Marques is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art and MFA Critic at Western Connecticut State University. She received her BA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. During college, she studied painting and drawing at the International School of Art in Umbria, Italy. After graduating from Columbia, Sabrina worked in New York with theater and movie director Julie Taymor. She attended the Yale School of Art, where she received a MFA in Painting and Printmaking. Her solo exhibition titled “Mi Patria Querida (My Beloved Homeland)” at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT, explored her heritage as the daughter of a Cuban exile through paintings filled with stories of her family’s experience during the Cuban Revolution.

Sabrina has exhibited in at Wallspace and Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York City, the Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Artspace in New Haven, Connecticut. She has been in artist in residence at The Vermont Studio Center, The Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and The Studios of Key West. Sabrina was selected for the Radius Program at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, and received a Golden educator award from the National Art Education Association (NAEA) for her professional artwork and teachings. She has been on the painting fellowship committee for the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts (RISCA) and is a member of the curatorial advisory board at ArtSpa.

Leslie Cober-Gentry

Faculty Artist Lecture

Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 11:30 am 

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

Free & Open to the Public
Limited Seating Available

Leslie Cober-Gentry was born in New York City and grew up in a creative environment. She was surrounded by many artist friends of her father, Alan E. Cober, a renowned Hall of Fame Illustrator. By a young age, Leslie discovered her passion in illustration, and at age 15, completed her first assignment for the New York Times Op Ed page. She received her BFA from Syracuse University and continued to create professionally for magazines, newspapers, corporations, and advertising agencies. Her numerous clients have included: Washington Post, Forbes, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Sony Records, Sesame Street, Disney, National Geographic, Strathmore Paper, Hallmark Cards, and Nike, to name only a few.

In 2011, Leslie received her MFA in Illustration from the University of Hartford. She has been teaching at WCSU in the graduate illustration program since 2015, and also teaches illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. A recipient of numerous awards, she has been honored by The Society of Publication Designers, Print’s Regional Design Annual, Vision Awards Annual Report Competitions, and Graphic Design USA. She serves on the Executive Board of the Society of Illustrators, NYC and the Board of Directors as Event Chair. She also serves on the Board of Directors at the Fairfield Theatre Company in Fairfield, CT.

View the complete Spring 2019 Visiting Artist Lecture Series Schedule

Ross MacDonald

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 11:30 am 

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

Free & Open to the Public
Limited Seating Available

Ross MacDonald is a self-taught artist whose illustrations have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone. His work was the subject of a one-man retrospective at The New York Times and has been honored in many competitions of design and illustration, among them the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Print Regional Design Annual, Society of Publication Designers, Communication Arts, and AIGA. In 2011 he received the gold medal from the Society of Illustrators.

Ross has written and illustrated several children’s books, including Another Perfect Day and The Noisy Alphabet, closen for Best Book of 2003 by Child Magazine and Nick Jr magazine. He has also worked as a prop designer and as a consultant on period printing, design and documents for nearly 50 movies and television series, including: The Hateful Eight, Joy, Silver Linings Playbook, Seabiscuit; two HBO series, In Treatment and Boardwalk Empire, and the NBC series Parks and Recreation.

Ross has also created cards for MOMA, a postage stamp, animated shorts for Sesame Street, and animation for a Saturday Night Live commercial parody. He has lectured and taught at the School of Visual Arts MFA programs and conducted workshops in his letterpress studio. Born and raised in Canada, he now lives in CT with a studio barn full of 19th century type and printing equipment.

View the complete Spring 2019 Visiting Artist Lecture Series Schedule

Faculty Spotlight

(Photo courtesy of Erin Walrath)

Photo courtesy of Erin Walrath

(Photo courtesy of Sarah Stewart)

Photo courtesy of Sarah Stewart

Riley Brewster

Doing What Comes Naturally: Seven Painters in Their Prime
February 2 - August 4, 2019

Curated by Robert Storr

Riley Brewster
Denzil Hurley
John Obuck
Nathlie Provosty
Rebecca Purdum
Joyce Robins
Andrew Spence

An Excerpt From the Curator, Robert Storr's Essay about Riley's work:

"...Brewster's incessant drawing with a brush charged with dry, pasty oil pigments, and his comparably unceasing revisions of exploratory marks, are realized in strokes that are virtually if not totally indistinguishable from those they cover and in the process correct or reconfigure. Think Giacometti without wiry delineation or any recognizable bodies or furniture or architectural framework whatsoever. Furthermore, Brewster's paintings are devoid of the overtly melodramatic signs of anguish so many post-existentialist painters affect to the detriment of their compelling pictorial monomanias, though it is hard not to feel a deeply unsettled and hard-to-please nature beneath the second-nature of the language Brewster has chosen. Rather they evoke the implacable density of New England granite and fog.

From that vantage point, the muted values of the lichen green, pewter, and slate gray hues that make up his palette would appear to bespeak a depressive temperament, or, at any rate, may make those thus inclined think of long days without sun in northern latitudes, such as Maine, where Brewster formerly lived, or the Low Countries and Scandinavia, where melancholy comes with mother's milk. Be that as it may, looking long and hard at Brewster's work brings home the lesson learned anytime one turns the lights of a closed room low; after a brief period of acclimation and adjustment our sensory apparatus kicks into high gear permitting us to register glimmers in the gloom that would ordinarily fall below the threshold of everyday sensory habits. Each of these tiny epiphanies expands the horizons of perception, and with them the world around us, at which point all that seems brooding about Brewster's work become a somber form of elation, revelation - that which is hidden having been revealed - and ecstasy in a Connecticut Yankee mode. And once the first such break in the pall makes us aware of our capacity to penetrate the crepuscular surround, we begin to see other flickers here and there, and with them we begin to see a partial spectrum of faintly glimmering but alluring hues."

For more information about the exhibition go to:

R. Brewster- All rights reserved 2019
R. Brewster- All rights reserved 2019
R. Brewster- All rights reserved 2019

Hilary Doyle

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 11:30 am 

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

Free & Open to the Public
Limited Seating Available

Hilary Doyle is an artist from Worcester, MA, now living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work includes painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture about class, gender and psychology. She received an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work was recently exhibited at Monya Rowe Gallery and Field Projects, both in NYC, and at Erin Cluely Gallery in Texas. She has also had solo shows at The Active Space in Brooklyn and at Brown University. With exhibitions since 2007, her work has received press coverage in Hyperallergic, Bushwick Daily, and New American Paintings Blog. A recipient of many awards, she received a Vermont Studio Center fellowship and, more recently, a residency in 2017 at MassMoCA Museum of Contemporary Art.

Hilary is also a teacher and curator. She is part-time faculty at Rhode Island School of Design and SUNY Purchase College, where she teaches drawing and painting. She is the founder of NYC Crit Club which she teaches and operates with artist, curator and co-director Catherine Haggarty. She also curates with Reid Hitt as HR Curating and was co-director of Projekt722 gallery in east Williamsburg for three years. Hilary will be curating an exhibition with HR Curating at Agency Gallery in Dumbo in 2019.

View the complete Spring 2019 Visiting Artist Lecture Series Schedule

Student Spotlight

Wing Na (Wendy) Wong MFA 2020

MFA Student, Wing Na Wong is on the path for success! Her photorealistic paintings have been getting national attention! Her work was selected and featured on the nationally broadcast Ellen DeGeneres show this past December. (Click on the image above to check out the video clip from the show.) A recognition few student artists achieve while still in school. 

Wing is also one of five artists selected to display artwork in the Waterbury office of the newly elected US Representative for Connecticut's 5th congressional district, Jahana Hayes. It will remain on view for the duration of her two year appointment. 

Wing graduated from WCSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design in May 2018 and is now in her first year of the MFA in Visual Arts program. While maintaining academic success, she has also maintained a prolific studio practice and continues to exhibit her work.

Nancy Stahl

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 11:30 am 

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

Free & Open to the Public
Limited Seating Available

Nancy Stahl is an illustrator who lives in New York City. She attended Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles and also studied at School of Visual Arts. She has worked in a career split equally between traditional media and digitally created art. In 1989 she was introduced to post-production work on a Quantel Paintbox and was also invited to Adobe’s headquarters to test a pre-release of the original Photoshop. She began to work exclusively on the computer two years later.

Nancy’s assignments have ranged from editorial work for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine to corporate identity, packaging and advertising for diverse companies including: The Disney Family Museum, Stonyfield Farms, Time-Life Music, and the National Parks Service. She has also created work for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute and the US Postal Service, which has used over thirty-five of her illustrations on postage stamps. Her work is represented in The Illustrator in America, Rolling Stone: The Illustrated Portraits, and 50 Years of Illustration.

In 2012, Nancy was elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. An instructor at the University of Hartford, she has also taught at Syracuse University, School of Visual Arts, and Fashion Institute of Technology. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the US and abroad.

View the complete Spring 2019 Visiting Artist Lecture Series Schedule