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School of Visual & Performing Arts

Department of Art

Christopher Manning

Visiting Artist Lecture - MFA Program

Wed, September 30, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Visiting Artist Lectures are closed to the public. Check back closer to the date of each lecture as some may go online and be attended virtually.


Christopher Manning is an artist of mixed media works, recently focused on manipulated Polaroids. A monograph of these Polaroid works entitled Everything, As Perfect As It Seems, was published this year by AINT-BAD. He also works in other 2 and 3-dimensional forms, including a series of sculptural works he refers

to as “chandeliers.” Additionally, Manning is currently the Head of Exhibitions at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, as well as adjunct professor of visual arts at Manhattanville College. He received his BFA from Manhattanville and his MFA from SUNY New Paltz.

Manning has been in numerous exhibitions since 2007 across the US and Europe. In 2016 – 2017, “Fiction (with only daylight between us)”, was a traveling exhibition in UK, Germany, Australia, CA, TN, IL, and OH. He has shown his work extensively in New England and NY, including Exit Art, NYC, Fred Giampietro, New Haven, CT, and Samuel Dorsky Museum, New Paltz, NY.

His work has also been featured and reviewed in The New York Times, Queens Chronicle, AINT-BAD Magazine, Polaroid Originals Magazine, Photoklassik International, and other publications. He has been a visiting artist /critic at the Wassaic Project, NY, and the MFA program at SUNY, New Paltz. He has also been a lecturer and panelist at the Aldrich Museum, most recently presenting “Getting Contemporary Art: Artist Talk with Chris Manning,” and in 2019, as one of three panelists on “Confronting Vulnerability.”


Jenny Lynn McNutt

Visiting Artist Lecture - MFA Program

Wed, September 16, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Visiting Artist Lectures are closed to the public. Check back closer to the date of each lecture as some may go online and be attended virtually.


Jenny Lynn McNutt is a multimedia artist living in Brooklyn. Her works in sculpture, painting, and performance have been shown in the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, and Africa. She is the recipient of numerous residencies abroad, including Africa, Netherlands, Spain, India, and China, where time spent in cultures of storytelling and dance deeply informs her work.

In 1994 Jenny Lynn was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study/work in West and Central Africa. She received an Eastman Foundation Grant for her documentary work in West Africa, with sojourns in Ivory Coast and Cameroon.
In fall 2018 and summer 2019, she was a guest artist at Taoxichuan International Artists Studio in China, where her works were on exhibition and now in their permanent collection.

Other awards include a New York Foundation for the Arts Fiscal Sponsorship, a Rothman Grant, a William Hillman Foundation Grant, and the Mercedes Matter/ Ambassador Middendorf Award (NY Studio School, 2018). She was also awarded multiple residencies in the U.S. at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Harwood Museum in New Mexico, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, and the Watershed Center for Ceramics in Maine. Jenny Lynn received her MFA from Yale School of Art and currently teaches at New York Studio School and Pratt Institute.


2020 Senior Portfolio (Virtual) Exhibition


The Senior Portfolio exhibition is the capstone experience of four years of study by Bachelor’s of Art candidates in Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, and Studio Arts. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a physical exhibition in the Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center is no longer possible, therefore we have created a virtual exhibition in place of a physical one. All are invited to visit the exhibition, explore their individual pages, and tour the virtual galleries. Congratulations to the class of 2020:

Graphic Design:
Sara Cabrera, Jonathan DeMarco, Amaris Diaz Adrian, Franzino Jose Garcia, Munia Hossain, Nicole Ilagan, Marin Keefe, Matthew Landusky, Rashonda Lee, Bianca Nguyen, Allison Novella, Alysan Pages, Daniel Paglialunga, Jessica Paternoster, Angie Perez, Francis Serra, Bhadrangi Soni, Nowshin Tabassum, Alessandra Turano

Janelle Chandler, Colleen Feenan, Mariam Haidar, Paige Kissinger, Ashton Sneed, Kurt Vinci

Jacalyn Doerwald, Steven Oyarvide, Daniela Pontaza-Santander

Studio Arts: Erik David-Lukas, Alyssa Del Giorno, Eleftherios Farina, Hannah Lauth, Joseph LoStocco, Ellie Moon

2020 MFA Thesis (Virtual) Exhibition


The Department of Art organizes the MFA Thesis Exhibition each spring as a capstone experience demonstrating the personal artistic direction and mastery in the work of candidates for the MFA in Visual Arts. This exhibition features the culmination of two years of intensive creative study by graduate candidates in Painting, Illustration, and Interdisciplinary Visual Arts. All are invited to visit the virtual exhibition online


MFA candidates' presenting their work:

Stephanie Dee
Brian Antonio McCarley
Amanda Paige Megill
Jen Olvera
Hannah Hurricane Sanchez
Wing Na Wong

AJ Masthay

Visiting Artist Lecture

Monday, March 2, 2020, 11:00 am

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

Free & Open to the Public
Limited Seating Available

AJ Masthay is a Connecticut native, currently based in Hartford. He is known for his concert art, or “gig prints”, which he creates using the medium of reduction block printing. In an industry where digital design is considered best practice, his hand-carved linoleum block prints set his work apart. His blending of traditional techniques with his love of live music has made him one of today’s most prominent figures in the rock art industry.

AJ received his BFA from the Hartford Art School, where he majored in printmaking with a minor in art history. Four years later, in 2001, he established his own letterpress studio. His work, he writes, “is heavily influenced by nature, developed through a deep love of life drawing and the figure. The graphic elements of my work are derived from vintage sign painters of the early 1900s with a touch of 60’s pinstriping.”

AJ’s long list of clients include The Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Dead and Company, Foo Fighters, South Park, The Jerry Garcia Estate, Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, and many others.


RSVP at wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com

Ying Li

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 11:30 am 

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

Free & Open to the Public
Limited Seating Available

Ying Li was born in Beijing, China, and studied traditional landscape painting at Anhui Teachers University (1974-77), where she then taught for six years. She immigrated to the United States in 1983 and received her MFA from Parsons School of Design. She lives and works in NYC and Haverford, PA, where she is the Phlyssa Koshland Professor in Fine Arts at Haverford College, where she has taught since 1997.

Ying’s work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions in the U.S., Switzerland, Italy, Ireland and France. In NYC, she has shown with several galleries, including Lohin Geduld, Elizabeth Harris, Tibor de Nagy, and Lori Bookstein Fine Art. She has been in group shows at the National Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Academy Museum, where she received the Edwin Palmer Memorial Prize for Painting and the Henry Ward Ranger Fund Purchase Award. This past November, a solo exhibition of recent paintings was held at Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia with an accompanying catalog.

Ying is the recipient of residency awards, among them Artist in Residence at Dartmouth College, Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, and various residency fellowships in Switzerland, Spain, Ireland, France, and Canada. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, and The Washington Post, among others.

RSVP to the lecture HERE.

Art Exhibition

FreeForm: exploring the creative process

January 30 – March 8, 2019
Leslie Giuliani & Roxy Savage

Opening Reception: Thursday, Jan 30, 6–8 pm
Artist Talk: 7 pm

(Snow date: Thurs, Feb 6, 6–8 pm)


Featuring both individual and collaborative works highlighting each artist’s unique vision and shared love of play. Fascinated with materials, process, and symbols, the artists will demonstrate how personal interests and technological means determine and influence the creation of artwork and how artists continually inspire each other.
Read more about the exhibition and the artists in the Press Release Here.

Andrea Wisnewski

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 11:30 am 

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

Free & Open to the Public
Limited Seating Available

Andrea Wisnewski takes her inspiration from nature, creating illustrations filled with animals, birds and flowers, along with a touch of whimsy and sly humor. She studied at Portland School of Art in Maine, then at UCONN, where she earned her BFA.

Early in her career, she was a staff illustrator for the Hartford Courant. In 1985, she started her own business Running Rabbit Press, which incorporates illustration, printmaking and design. Over the years, she has worked with many clients including The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Paris Match, Newsweek, Simon and Schuster, Clarkson Potter, Macy’s, Cricket, and Babybug.

Andrea has illustrated cookbooks and children’s books, including those for her publisher David R. Godine in Boston. Her latest books for Godine are “Trio the Tale of a Three Legged Cat” and “Little Old Farm Folk”, both written by Andrea as well. Throughout her career, she has used several different techniques, most notably paper cutting. Currently she is making her own plates by carving designs in linoleum and using a hand-built press for printing. Her prints are sold at select shows around New England and on her website.


Art Faculty Talk


Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020, 6:00 pm 

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

Free & Open to the Public, Limited Seating Available

Born in Stratford, CT, Bruce Dunbar received his BS from Boston University and his MA in Photography from New York University. He has also studied at the Silvermine School of Art in New Canaan, CT and the Photographers Workplace in East Norwalk, CT. Currently, he teaches black and white photography, digital photography, and several workshops in various aspects of photography at the Silvermine School of Art. Mr. Dunbar is also an adjunct professor of Photography at Western Connecticut State University. He has conducted workshops for the Art Explorer Program at Weir Farm National Historic Trust in Wilton, CT, an artist member of the Silvermine Guild of Artists since 1997, and active with the arts group Lamia Ink! based in New York City.

Mr Dunbar's photographs and mixed media photography have been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows in Connecticut and New York City. His work with combining photography and mixed media is an attempt at capturing an impression, an inescapable essence of what once was, the invisible force through which matter changes- the state of flux in which all organic matter is caught.

RSVP to the Talk HERE

Thanksgiving Platters & Plates Sale

WCSU ceramics sale Nov. 21 features Thanksgiving plates & platters  

Open house event at WCSU Ceramics Studio to offer ceramic works by student artists       


Hand-crafted platters and plates specially designed to grace Thanksgiving dinner tables will be offered by student artists at Western Connecticut State University during a WCSU Art Department Ceramics Studio open house and sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21.

The department’s Thanksgiving Ceramics Sale, featuring functional plate and platter ware created by WCSU students during ceramics classes this fall, will be at the ceramics studio in Room 017 of White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White Street in Danbury. Funds raised from sale of items from the 2019 Thanksgiving Series will support the Art Department ceramics program. A tour of the Ceramics Studio and information about the ceramics process will be available to visitors during the sale.


For more information, contact the Department of Art at (203) 837-8403


Friday, November 15, 2019

Enjoy a creative and entertaining evening combining clay hand building techniques and a live model, with music, wine, and light refreshments. Guided by an experienced artist, this event is open to participants of all levels and backgrounds, from the seasoned to the beginner, to participate in a shared art experience in a fun and relaxed studio environment. Located in the Sculpture Studio, room 248 of the Visual & Performing Arts Center, 43 Lake Ave Extension Danbury, CT 06810. All materials are provided. Ages 21-plus, please.

For more information, contact the WCSU Department of Art at (203) 837-8403.

This program is funded in part by the Danbury Cultural Commission,
Caraluzzi's and Stew Leonard's

Get tickets HERE.

Art Faculty Talk


Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019, 6:00 pm 

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

Free & Open to the Public, Limited Seating Available

Francis T. Patnaude attended Southern CT State University earning a B.S. in Art Education in 1975. He earned a B.F.A. in Studio Arts from Northern Kentucky University in 1978 and a MFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University in 1982. Fran also earned a certificate in Welding, completing a full Welder Certification program at Northern Kentucky Vocational/ Technical School in Covington, KY. He served as a studio assistant at Studio 70 under the direction of Michael Skop, sculptor, and studied photography under John Daido Loori. After working for five years as an art/welder /fabricator for various artists, Fran began teaching art at Rumsey Hall School in Washington, CT, in 1988, where he is currently the Department Head. In addition to teaching color and design at Western CT State University, he is also developing training methodologies and workshops in the area of creativity. Fran’s artwork consists of fabricated and cast metal sculpture, collage, video, and spatial/environmental music compositions.

RSVP to the Talk HERE