Department of Art

Fritz Horstman

Visiting Artist Lecture

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus


Fritz Horstman is an artist, educator, and curator based in Bethany, CT, where he is Education Director at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. He received his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and his BA from Kenyon College. Recent exhibitions of his work include solo shows: Glacial Movements at Ishibashi Gallery; Glacial Folds at Seton Hill University; Folded Cyanotypes and Formworks at Jennifer Terzian Gallery. His work has been exhibited in recent group shows at Wadsworth Atheneum; Martin Museum, Baylor University, TX; drj art projects, Berlin, Germany; and in a traveling exhibition “Arctic Hysteria” in Asker and Bergen, Norway, and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Fritz’s curatorial work includes many projects, among them: Anni Albers: Work with Materials at Syracuse University Art Museum; In Thread and On Paper: Anni Albers in Connecticut at the New Britain Museum of American Art; Becoming Trees at Concord Art, Concord, Massachusetts; and Water Access at the Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, Connecticut.

Fritz is the recipient of many awards and residencies, including the Connecticut Art Fellowship; Bauhaus Dessau Artist-in-Residence; the Arctic Circle Residency; and Shiro Oni Residency, Japan. He has lectured and given workshops at l'École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Lebanese American University in Beirut, The Royal Academy of Art in London, MoMA, Yale University, Princeton University, and many other institutions.

Ying Li

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, Sept 28, 2022

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus


Ying Li was born in Beijing, China, and studied traditional landscape painting at Anhui Normal University, where she received her BFA and then taught for six years. She immigrated to the U.S. 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 is represented by Pamela Salisbury Gallery in Hudson, NY, Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia, and Alice Gauvin Gallery in Portland, Maine. It has been featured in 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 American 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.

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, Canada, and the U.S. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Forum, Art in America, and Hyperallergic, among others.

Eric Valasquez

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2022

*This event is closed to the public


Eric Velasquez is an illustrator who lives and works in New York. He was born in Spanish Harlem, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, and attended the High School of Art and Design. He earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and studied with Harvey Dinnerstein at the Art Students’ League. He has illustrated over 30 children’s books and teaches book illustration at FIT in NYC.

Velasquez began his career as a freelance illustrator in 1984, and in the first 12 years, completed over 300 book jackets and interior illustrations. These included the complete series of Encyclopedia Brown and The Ghost Writers, among others. In 1997, he illustrated his first picture book, The Piano Man, by Debbie Chocolate, for which he won the Coretta-Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. Many books and awards have followed. He received the NAACP Image Award in 2010 for Our Children Can Soar, on which he collaborated with 12 notable illustrators of children’s literature. He also wrote and illustrated Grandma’s Records and Grandma’s Gift, which won the 2011 Pura Belpre Award for Illustration. His book Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library, by Carole Boston Weatherford, won the 2018 Walter Award, as well as the Golden Kite Award.

Eric’s recent books include Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Doreen Rappaport, and She Was The First! The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm, by Katheryn Russell Brown, which won the 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature for Children. His newest book is ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance that Crossed Color Lines, by Dean Robbins.

Josephine Halvorson

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, Nov 2, 2022

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus


Josephine Halvorson makes art that foregrounds firsthand experience and takes the form of painting, sculpture, and printmaking. Born in Brewster, Massachusetts, she received her BFA at The Cooper Union and her MFA at Columbia University, with additional studies at Yale Norfolk. She is Professor of Art and Chair of Graduate Studies in Painting at Boston University and lives in western Massachusetts.

In 2021, Josephine was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. She is also the recipient of international residencies and fellowships, including the U.S. Fulbright to Vienna, Austria, and the Harriet Hale Woolley at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris, France. In 2014-15, she was the first American pensionnaire at the French Academy in Rome at the Villa Medici.

Josephine’s work has been exhibited internationally and is represented by Sikkema Jenkins & Co., NY, and Peter Freeman, Paris. Selected recent exhibitions include: Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, North Carolina; Storm King Art Center, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Foster Prize Exhibition; and Ríos Intermitentes, a group exhibition part of the 2019 Havana Biennial. In 2021-22 she had a solo exhibition at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, NM, where she was the inaugural artist in residence. Halvorson’s work and practice have been written about extensively, and she is a subject of Art21’s documentary series New York Close Up.

Amy Smith-Stewart

MFA Visiting Artist Critiques

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2022

*This event is closed to the public


Amy Smith-Stewart is Chief Curator at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Since 2013 she has organized forty-two exhibitions and projects, bringing artists to the Aldrich during pivotal stages of their careers. These include first-time solo museum presentations with artists Milano Chow, Eva LeWitt, and others, as well as survey shows with Jackie Winsor, Harmony Hammond, and Karla Knight. Harmony Hammond: Material Witness, Five Decades of Art was named one of the best exhibitions of 2019 by The New York Times. The show traveled to the Sarasota Art Museum and was accompanied by the artist’s first monograph.

Smith-Stewart’s current curatorial project is 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone. It revisits the historic exhibition, Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists, curated by Lucy Lippard in 1971, and joins with it a new roster of 26 female-identifying and nonbinary emerging artists. It tracks the evolution of feminist art practices over half a century.

Amy is founder of the eponymous nomadic, curatorial project, Smith-Stewart, previously located on NYC’s Lower East Side from 2007–2009. She began her career as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1), where she mounted nineteen exhibitions and projects. From 2006–2007, she was a Curatorial Advisor for the Mary Boone Gallery. Amy also organized exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum, and was the Guest Curator for the Peter Norton Collection. She has taught in the graduate art programs at SVA and Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Her writing has been published in numerous books and catalogs.

Breathing Space

WCSU Student Poets & Artists Collaboration

During the Spring 2022 semester, WCSU writing students and art students came together to create Breathing Space Broadside Series, which is a collection of poems by 15 student poets and one faculty member on beautiful posters illustrated and designed by WCSU student artists and designers on display around both campuses. You also can view all 16 broadsides in flipbook format by clicking the image to the left.

Robert Nadeau

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Rob Nadeau is a painter born in Rochester, NY. He received his BA degree from Brown University and his MFA in painting and printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. He is a recipient of prestigious awards and grants, among them, a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant in 1999 and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Career Opportunity Grant in 2006. He has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown. In 2010, he was Artist-in-Residence at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where his work was shown in a solo exhibit entitled “Primal Scene”.

Other solo shows include LFL/Zach Feuer Gallery (NYC), Mixed Greens (NYC), Marlboro College, VT, and Markus Winter Gallery in Berlin, Germany. Since 2002, he has been included in many group exhibitions, among them, Freight & Volume, Jason McCoy Gallery, Marlborough Gallery, The Painting Center, and Artspace in New Haven. Rob has also curated and co-curated several exhibitions in NYC and Berlin. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, Wall Street Journal, and The Brooklyn Rail, among others.

In his own words about his painting, Rob pursues “… an emphasis on process and materiality, a conscious disregard for resolution or finish in the traditional sense, a slight hint of humor, and a flirtation with near constant failure.” A resident of NYC for many years, he now lives and works in Litchfield, CT, and teaches studio art at Queens College in NY.

Student Spotlight

The Department of Art is proud to announce, Art major, Daisy Gesualdi, was awarded the 2022 winner of the Steven Ward Community Service Award for her long-standing and consistent passion for community service. She has actively sought diverse experiences to improve local communities including and curating an exhibition that opens on April 2, 2022 entitled, Tangible Traces at the Brookfield Craft Center. The exhibition includes works by Janice Mauro, Ellen Schiffman, and Isabella Saraceni.

Congratulations, Daisy!

The Home Project – Closing Celebration

No Place Like Home:
Exploring the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Middle East
with artist Mohamad Hafez and guests.

Thursday, March 3, 2022, 6-8 p.m.

in the Veronica Hagman Concert Hall
at the Visual & Performing Arts Center

In celebration of the completion of the NEA supported, The Home Project with WCSU, the Department of Art invites the public to spend an evening learning about Mohamad Hafez, his artwork and the Middle Eastern culture through history, film, music, storytelling and cuisine.

Offering a variety of perspectives, the presenters educate the audience about their cultural heritage by sharing personal stories, music, art and food, deepening understanding and appreciation for Arabic culture.

Joined by other guests, they will focus on the traditions of the Middle East, illuminating the region’s beauty and diversity, encouraging connection and empathy, fostering dialogue and understanding.

This event is funded in part by a grant from the CT Humanities Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and WCSU's Office of Diversity and Equity, the Office of Intercultural Affairs, and the Kathwari Honors Program.

Free and open to the public. Seats are limited:
Reserve your seats through Eventbrite Here

Judy Glantzman

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, March 29, 2022, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Judy Glantzman is a native New Yorker and graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. Exhibiting since 1983, she first received critical attention for early shows in the East Village at Civilian Warfare and Gracie Mansion, then later with Blum Helman and Hirschl & Adler Modern. Since 2006, she has been represented by the Betty Cuningham Gallery. She has taught at RISD, New York Studio School, MICA, and Purchase College. In 2018 she was artist in residence at Dartmouth College.

Glantzman’s work was honored by the The Dactyl Foundation in NY with a thirty-year retrospective in 2009. Among her numerous awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NY Foundation for the Arts grants, a Pollock Krasner Foundation grant, and a NY Artist Space exhibition grant. Her works are in many collections, including the Whitney Museum and San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art.

Judy’s 2019 solo show at Betty Cuningham was a forty-year retrospective. It inspired a public interview with art historian Jennifer Samet, later published in Hyperallergic. In speaking about her work, Glantzman said, “I come out of an Abstract Expressionist tradition. The notions of impulse, improvisation, and intuition are at the core of my interests.” In Samet’s words, “Glantzman’s work has a pulsating energy . . in harmony with the way she navigates the world: rapidly, generously, in motion and in conversation. Her paintings and her sculptural objects feel emergent and raw, suggesting unadulterated desire, yearning, and grief.”

Caitlin Berndt

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Caitlin Berndt was born in Baltimore, MD, and lives in Brooklyn, NY. She received her BFA from Maryland Institute of Art (MICA) and her MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle. In 2007, she was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshield’s Foundation grant and has had fellowships in Spain, Italy, and Israel. In 2013, she was awarded a residency at the Vermont Studio Center. Her work is in private and public collections including the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C.

Since 2008, Berndt’s paintings have been exhibited in NYC, Chicago, and Seattle. She has had numerous shows in NYC, most recently a solo exhibition in 2019 with Kate Oh Gallery. From the press release, “This series of small gouache paintings and larger oil paintings incorporates spray paint, acrylic airbrush, and sand. Like waking dreams, it takes your eyes a minute to adjust and decode what you’re looking at. Couples, little girls, spiky cacti, and Venus flytrap structures flicker in and out of focus revealing themselves in psychedelic-colored worlds. These dreamlands are playful, sexual, and strange.”

In addition to her studio practice, Caitlin has taught at Pratt Institute, MICA, University of Washington, and College of New Jersey. Currently she is an Adjunct Professor at City College of New York.

Stephen Kroninger

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, February 22, 2022, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Stephen Kroninger is an award-winning illustrator and photo-collage artist, based in New York City. His work has appeared in major U.S. and international publications, and he is also the author/illustrator of three award-winning children’s books. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Stevan J. Dohanas Award from the Society of Illustrators.
Stephen has also worked in animation. A short film produced for Nickelodeon was selected for the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Another, for Chris Rock, was a festival award-winner, and he also created animation for an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kroninger’s work is in the permanent collections of MoMA, The Library of Congress, and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. It has been exhibited in NYC at the Society of Illustrators and most notably in a solo exhibition at MoMA in 1992.

Kroninger has participated in MoMA’s Family Education program and has lectured in MoMA’s Conversation with Contemporary Artist series. He has been active in the metropolitan area in a wide range of education programs, from workshops in elementary schools to the Art Directors Club’s program for high school students. He has also worked with Scholastic’s program, serving as a judge and keynote speaker for their National Student Art & Writing Awards. He currently teaches at NYC's Parsons School of Design

Stephanie Pierce

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Stephanie Pierce was raised in Memphis, TN. She received her BFA from the Art Institute of Boston and also studied at Yale Norfolk School of Art. She earned her MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Pierce’s paintings explore relationships between light, time, and perception. In a 2018 interview, she said, “I paint during all times of the day, preferring daylight, and use the changes in light as it happens. In the process . . . I paint both towards understanding what I see and away from it until things are brought to a heightened experiential intensity and have a hallucinatory sensation.”

Stephanie’s work is represented by Alpha Gallery in Boston and Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects in NYC. With numerous exhibitions throughout the U.S. since 1993, her work has been published and reviewed in the New Yorker Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Hyperallergic, and the Boston Globe, among others. Collections include William Dreyfus, Boston Public Library, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Stephanie received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 2014, and a Peter S. Reid Foundation grant in 2018. For 10 years, she taught at the University of Arkansas before moving to NYC in 2016. Currently she is Assistant Professor of Painting at FIT in NYC, where she also serves as Chair of her department. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Chuck Webster

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Chuck Webster is a painter and printmaker in NYC who has also engaged in collaborative and curatorial work. He received his MFA in painting from American University and his BA from Oberlin College. He is a recipient of awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy in Rome, and Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, with residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Virginia Center for Creative Arts, among others.

Webster’s paintings and editions are in the public collections of MOMA, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as Baltimore Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His work has been widely reviewed in publications such as The Boston Globe, The New York Times, New York Observer, Hyperallergic, The Brooklyn Rail, and Artforum.

In a New York Times review of a solo show, Roberta Smith described Webster’s paintings as “very much, if not startlingly, little big paintings: they have a strange, irrepressible scale, a largeness that exceeds their size and creates a distinctive, slightly comedic sense of intimacy. . .The bigness resides within the paintings, in the three-way tension involving panel size, the drawing of the linear motif and surface textures. . .The whole thing jumps. But each painting is very much its own pictorial being: vulnerable, rambunctious and fully inhabited.”

Dorie Petrochko

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Dorie Petrochko is an award-winning wildlife painter and illustrator. She is a  founding instructor of the Natural Science Illustration Program at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, teaching classes in drawing, watercolor, mixed media and colored pencil. She is an active member and exhibitor of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. In 2019, her work was included in the guild’s International Exhibit in Sydney, Australia. She has also had recent shows in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

Petrochko is the recipient of the Don Eckelberry Fellowship for wildlife painting, the Julia and David White Artist Fellowship in Costa Rica, and the Big Cypress National Park artist residency in Florida. She received her master’s degree in art education from SCSU and a certificate in botanical and natural science illustration from the New York Botanical Garden.

Petrochko’s dedication to educating others through art about the changing environment and species preservation is a life-long commitment. In her artist statement, she writes about her bird paintings: “What does it take to be a bird artist? Primarily, a passion for birds and an intense focus on all things avian, including research, birding, travel and conservation. Bird paintings are ever evolving. The added challenge is that there is something intrinsically spiritual and secretive about birds that is often untouchable. That is what keeps me going.”

Kyle Staver

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Kyle Staver is a New York artist originally from Minnesota. She received her BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and her MFA from Yale University. She is a recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an American Academy of Arts & Letters Purchase Prize. In 2019, she received the College Art Association Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work.

Staver’s work encompasses paintings, relief sculptures, drawings and prints. They are narrative, employing myths and legends, often with a strong female protagonist. Her work has been shown throughout the U.S. and in NYC at The National Academy Museum, Tibor de Nagy, Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects, Kent Fine Art, and Zurcher Gallery, where she is now represented. In 2019, she had her first solo exhibition in Paris.

Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New York Sun, NY Observer, Art in America, and Hyperallergic, to name a few. In a review of Staver’s 2020 show at Zurcher Gallery, Dana Gordon wrote, “Staver’s new work is gloriously conceived, magnificently painted, and seriously fun. I can’t remember a group of new paintings this thrilling.” Staver has been a visiting artist at many schools, among them MICA, University of Indiana, Chautauqua, and Vermont Studio Center. She also teaches at The New York Studio School.

Glenn Goldberg

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Glenn Goldberg is a painter who lives and works in NYC. Born in the Bronx, he studied at the New York Studio School and earned his BA and MFA degrees from Queens College, CUNY. He has taught at Cooper Union and the NY Studio School and currently teaches at Queens College. He has also been a panelist and visiting artist for MFA painting programs at Yale, Columbia, Boston University, American University, Hunter College, and others. A recipient of many awards, he has received grants from the Edward Albee Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In Hyperallergic, Jennifer Samet described Goldberg’s painting to be “about this meeting point of the ordinary and the other, regularity and refinement. . . He likes the hobbyist nature of tinkering with objects – but his work, and ideas, are ethereal.”

Goldberg’s work has been shown extensively throughout the U.S., with solo exhibitions at Betty Cuningham Gallery and Jason McCoy Gallery in NYC. In 2018, a two-person exhibition with Goldberg and Amber Scoon, entitled “?” (A Series of Collaborative Works), was held at the gallery at WCSU, which coincided with the publication of their book, “?”, by Atropos Press. His works are in private and museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum, National Gallery of Art, High Museum, and Museum of Contemporary Art, LA.

Maria De Los Angeles

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Maria de Los Angeles is a multidisciplinary artist who addresses ideas of migration, belonging, and identity through her drawing, painting, printmaking, and wearable art. She was born in 1988 in Mexico and is based in New York, New Jersey, and California. De Los Angeles holds an MFA in Painting & Printmaking from Yale University and a BFA in Painting from Pratt Institute. She was awarded the Blair Dickinson Memorial Prize by Yale University in 2015 for her artwork and her role in the community.

De Los Angeles has been an artist in residence at several institutions, including MASS MoCA, El Museo del Barrio in NY, the LA County Museum of Art, Mana Contemporary in NJ, and the Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland, Oregon, where she had a solo show in 2018. In 2019, she had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Sonoma County in her hometown of Santa Rosa, CA, where she also curated a group show with ten artists in her community.

Recent group exhibitions include Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, LA County Museum of Art, International Print Center NY, Every Woman Biennial, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, St. Johnʼs University, Robert Mann Gallery, and E.TAY Gallery. De Los Angeles has also participated in a panel discussion on xenophobia and deportation in America at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. Her work has been featured in Hyperallergic, NY Magazine, HelloGiggles, and The Observer.

Art Department awarded NEA Grant for “The Home Project”

We are pleased to announce that the Department of Art was awarded a $13,000 National Endowment for the Arts "Project Grant" in the Fiscal Year 2021 granting round. "Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) is the principal grant category of the National Endowment for the Arts, supporting public engagement with, and access to, various forms of art across the nation, the creation of excellent art, learning in the arts at all stages of life, and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life."

The awarding grant will be used to support "The Home Project," which is a year-long artist residency and exhibition for Syrian American artist and architect, Mohamad Hafez. Born in Damascus and educated in the United States, Hafez creates 3D assemblages incorporating found objects that explore the devastation of war, feelings of displacement, and nostalgia for home. The year-long residency framed around the concept of "home" and "displacement" will include collaborative art installations, an exhibition, an artist talk, panel discussion, and extensive outreach to the Harambee Youth Center in Danbury.

After communicating with Mohamad Hafez for the past three years, Melissa Ralston-Jones, project director/gallery curator, and Lori Robeau, project coordinator/Visual Arts Assistant, worked with the artist to develop a concept for an exhibition and residency at WCSU. Mohamad’s contemporary art practice deals in issues of home insecurity and The Home Project focuses on these issues as it relates to displacement and how these concepts are represented in art, as well as the artist’s role in depicting and humanizing these experiences for the students and community.

As part of the residency, Hafez will mentor WCSU students and Harambee Youth Center 6-12 grade students in Danbury to create personal three-dimensional assemblages representing "Home." Assemblages will be combined into a collaborative installation and exhibited alongside the artist's work in the university art gallery (The Gallery at the Visual and Performing Arts Center) and in downtown Danbury storefront windows, where work is accessible to the surrounding community. Hafez offers a unique artistic perspective and skills, nurturing inspiration for student expression. Students benefit by working with a renowned professional artist and engage with scholars from the university to explore the relationship between people and their environment. Social issues are addressed through multiple perspectives of “home,” encouraging connection, and empathy, for displaced persons.

The Home Project will take place in the fall 2021 semester in conjunction with a class offered through WCSU, “There’s No Place Like Home,” led by faculty mentors, Sabrina Marques and Dr. Christine Hegel-Cantarella. Together with Mohamad, they will help students broaden technical skills across various media and organize visual elements to communicate concepts and experiences of home. Sharing their experiences, students become active listeners and demonstrate presence while engaging in cross-cultural conversations. Through a holistic approach using dialogue and the creative process, incorporating found objects and other materials to create three-dimensional assemblages representing their personal interpretations of “Home.” Students from WCSU combine their assemblages to create a single collaborative installation exhibited alongside Mohamad’s work in the university art gallery. Juxtaposing the varying home environments as seen through a multitude of perspectives.

A public panel discussion and artist talk will take place at the university, highlighting important issues of our time and extending the conversation to the community to help deepen understanding for people affected by home insecurity. The project will also work with Harambee Youth Center students in Danbury, Spring 2022. Mohamad, faculty mentors, and two student peer mentors from WCSU will assist Harambee youth in the creation of assemblages, over 6 weeks in April and May. Selected by faculty mentors, peer mentors from the university will lead discussions and work with youth, reinforcing their own learning while sharing similar discourse with younger students, allowing for greater understanding. Community partner City Center, Danbury will secure locations where the completed assemblages are installed in storefront windows.

Spring Virtual Art Workshop Series

The Department of Art presents

a series of Virtual Art Workshops by WCSU MFA Alumnae throughout the month of April

Intuitive Watercolor Painting with Abbie Rabinowitz

Come join us on Friday, April 9, 2021 from 3:00–5:00 pm for an Alumna-led virtual art workshop where Abbie will begin the workshop from Hawaii with a guided meditation and gentle breath work, designed to promote balance and prepare for creative expansion and surrender. The workshop will focus on experimentation and abstraction. Watercolor allows us to explore our use of control while challenging our ability to let go. A variety of watercolor painting techniques will be introduced including wet-on-wet, layering, and creating different textures. Students will be encouraged to experiment with materials and have fun! Supportive critique. All skill levels are welcome from beginner to advanced. The Workshop Zoom link will be provided with registration.


About the instructor:

Abbie paints in an expressive, painterly style while observing and painting intuitively from nature. Her subjects include pleinair landscape, figure and portraits, and painterly abstractions. She completed an emotionally evocative portrait series of her elderly parents for her MFA thesis (2015 WCSU). After receiving her 200hr yoga teacher training certification (in India) in 2017, Abbie has at times, integrated aspects of her yoga training with her art courses. She encourages her students to breathe and relax and to come from a place of equanimity in their creative practice. Abbie currently lives on the Big Island of Hawaii where she has established herself as an island artist. She teaches art workshops online and leads art retreats in Hawaii.
Check out more of her work on her website at

Potato Print: printed mandala with Karin Mansberg

Come join us on Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 1:00–3:00 pm for an Alumna-led virtual art workshop where we will make stamps out of potatoes and create mandala prints and other patterns (on paper or fabric). The marks you print can be as simple as a circle, a semi-circle, or more complex ones. The emphasis is on process and experimentation with printed pattern and color. All skill levels are welcome from beginner to advanced. The Zoom link to the workshop will be provided with registration. Be creative! Grab some potatoes and let’s print!


About the instructor:

Karin Mansberg, a WCSU MFA Alumna, is a printmaker and a teaching-artist. She teaches multidisciplinary classes and printmaking to all age groups. Since 2014 her focus has been on block-printing and sharing her experience with others. Karin's style has developed over the decades through her personal art practice and academic training (including studies in art history and criticism). She has worked for private clients, collaborated with small businesses, solo entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizations on various projects such as banners, logo design, art stamps, book illustration, art direction, wall murals, and art projects for a forest school. She also creates surface pattern designs for private clients and sells fabric, gift wrap, and wallpaper at her online store Spoonflower. Check out more of her work on her website at

Out the Window: Amaryllis Cityscape Watercolor Painting Workshop with Jess Bartlett

Come join us on Friday, April 23, 2021 from 3:00–5:00 pm for an Alumna-led virtual art workshop. Be inspired by women painters and look no further than out the window to make art. Students will learn about organic vs inorganic shapes, the nuances of 3D space in a 2D picture, and a fun way to use watercolor to suggest buildings! Don’t worry about the drawing! A sketchbook scale copy of just the drawing will be sent out to students ahead of time to transfer. This class will be focused on making beautiful watercolor paintings that are super simple to create and pack an added benefit of teaching valuable lessons about technique, color theory, and women in art history.


About the instructor:

Jess is a professional artist living and working in Northwest CT. She holds a BFA from Eastern Michigan University and an MFA from Western Connecticut University. She has been professionally showing in New York City as a member of First Street Gallery since 2010. Bartlet is passionate about art and excited for getting the chance to share it with you!

Laini Nemett

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Laini Nemett holds a dual BA degree from Brown University in Visual Arts and History of Art & Architecture, and an MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Queens Council on the Arts, The Awesome Foundation New York, and the Fulbright Program. She has been awarded many U.S. residencies, including Yaddo, Joan Mitchell Center, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as international residencies in Ireland and France.

From Laini’s artist statement, “My work responds to the lived, remembered, and imagined histories that emerge from aging buildings, ancient dwellings, and new constructions to reflect on how we live across cultures and communities. I collage and collapse planes to fuse times and places. . . . My current work includes large-scale canvases that explore the epic nature of endangered sites, as well as more intimate paintings of their inner walls.”

Nemett’s work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, including Italy, China and Africa. She has lectured about her work at universities including Cornell, Adelphi, Pace, and MICA, and at art institutions in Italy, Germany and Spain. Nemett lives and works between Brooklyn and Schenectady, New York, and is Assistant Professor of Drawing and Painting at Union College.

Co-sponsored by Weir Farm Art Alliance

Nina Buxenbaum

Faculty Artist Lecture

Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Nina Buxenbaum was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, in a multiracial and politically active family. As a biracial woman, she addresses themes of race and identity in her work, particularly in her Topsy-Turvy doll paintings. Confronting contemporary issues of the public versus private persona, Nina works in a traditional figurative painting style and maintains her studio in Bethel, CT.

She received her BFA in Drawing and Printmaking from Washington University in St. Louis, and her MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art. She was awarded residencies in France and the U.S., among them the Skowhegan School, Artists Alliance, and Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Slater Museum, The Painting Center, Kentler International Drawing Space, and many other galleries. Reviewed in the International Review of African American Art, her work has also been written about in The Daily Times, Time Out New York, and The Examiner.

Nina is a Professor of Fine Arts at York College, CUNY, where she has taught since 2002. She is also the Coordinator of the Fine Arts Discipline in the Department of Performing and Fine Arts. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor of painting at WCSU.

Clintel Steed

Faculty Artist Lecture

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 1:00 am

Clintel Steed was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA from Indiana University. He also completed Advanced Studies at the New York Studio School. His work has been in numerous exhibitions, recently his 2020 solo show “Allegory of Now” at M + B gallery in Los Angeles. His current solo exhibit at Mark Borghi, NY, “Under the Hood” is a response to the postponement of the Philip Guston retrospective.

From Mark Borghi, “Steed joins more than 2,000 artists in opposition, arguing that the decision silences an important conversation to be had . . . In Behind the Hood, Steed presents 24 figurative paintings – the same number of works that depicted Ku Klux Klan imagery in the Guston exhibition – that reference the prejudice experienced by Black Americans both in the past and present day.”

From M + B gallery, “Steed has made a suite of new paintings based on works by canonical painters such as David, Rubens, and Giotto. Selected for . . . such universal themes as loyalty, judgment, and punishment, each narrative remains relevant today and is a reflection of how the world feels to the artist now.”

Clintel is the recipient of the John Koch Award from the National Academy of Arts and Letters. Recent press includes Hyperallergic, Artcritical, and The New York Sun. He has taught at the New York Studio School since 2007 and also teaches at Pratt and at WCSU in the MFA painting programs.

Virtual Faculty Artist Talk

Colleen McGuire

WCSU Alumna, Painter & Adjunct Professor of Art
Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 6:00 pm

Free & Open to the Public

Colleen McGuire is a professional artist whose work focuses on domestic interiors and scenes from ordinary life. Her process involves careful observation and attention to composition and light in order to emphasize painting’s traditional use of light and illusion. McGuire’s work relates to early modernist painters such as Hopper and Vuillard.

"I see my paintings as a visual record of places I encounter throughout my day, with the intention of capturing sensations of light and space. I am drawn to architecture and nature, different times of day, and the seasons. Finding motifs in surroundings that are familiar to me allows me to examine them deeply, with the hope of capturing the experience of seeing through the materiality of paint."

Colleen received a B.F.A. from SUNY Purchase and her M.F.A. from Western Connecticut State University. She has taught at Southern CT State University and currently teaches Studio Art courses at WCSU.

Register to attend via Eventbrite here:

Scott Bakal

Visiting Artist Lecture

Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Scott Bakal has been creating art for print and exhibition since 1993 when he graduated from the School of Visual Arts in NYC.  He earned his MA from Syracuse University and his MFA from Hartford Art School, where he received the prestigious Hartford Art School Regent’s Honor Award.

Other numerous awards include gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators and Creative Quarterly. He has been honored by Alt Weekly, 3 x 3, Association of Education Publishers, American Illustration, Communication Arts, and many others.  In 2010, he received the Dean Cornwall Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators, and the Artist / Educator Award from 3 x 3.

Scott’s client list includes the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Discover, Smithsonian, to list a few. His work has been widely exhibited and featured in the permanent collections of the Norman Rockwell Museum and the New Britain Museum of American Art, wherein 2012, he curated the exhibition “Pixelated: The Art of Digital Illustration”. He has lectured at many colleges, organizations, and museums throughout the US, in England and Ireland. Currently, he is an Associate Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Grier Torrence

Torrence_Cup That I Drink lighter

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 11:00 am

Visual & Performing Arts Center
WCSU, Westside Campus

Grier Torrence received his BFA degree at Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA degree at Yale University. He also studied at Stanford University. He has taught at several art schools including Pratt and is currently the Visual Arts Director at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT.

Grier is a recipient of numerous grants and awards, among them a Ford Foundation grant, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant, and 4 residency awards at Vermont Studio Center. His works have been shown in many solo and group exhibitions and he is represented at Bowery Gallery in NYC.

In his own words, Torrence is “interested in the world within, the psychology of being, the spiritual. This is a devotion, a practice, and a process. Interiors and buildings interest me. There is a parallel. Light comes into a place. There is depth. . . The ideas that come, seem to me to be a gift, and my job is to serve as a conduit for them, in reverence to the creative force. Those whom I love, those who affect me, are here in my work.”

Guy Billout

Visiting Artist Lecture

Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 1:00 am

Guy Billout has been called the Buster Keaton of the illustration world. His works are funny, acrobatic feats of mental agility that challenge the laws of logic. His characters retain composure no matter what; impending doom does not unnerve them; and under the dark humor, optimism prevails. In 2016, Billout received the highest honor: he was inducted into the Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame.

He was born and educated in France and moved to Paris in the 1960s to work in advertising design. He came to the U.S. in 1969 as an inexperienced illustrator with an improvised, unique portfolio, presented to Milton Glaser at New York magazine. Glaser loved his work and published it in its entirety.

For 24 years Billout created a stand-alone page in The Atlantic magazine, in full-color, with total editorial freedom. His client list includes Esquire, Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. He is the recipient of many awards, among them the Hamilton King Award and The New York Times “Ten Best Illustrated Children’s Books” for five years. At his Hall of Fame induction, Billout was described as “more than an illustrator, a compassionate poet of the absurd.”

View more of his work HERE.

MFA Visiting Artists – Spring 2021

We have a great lineup for the Spring 2021 Visiting Artists. Click on the image below for more information.

WCSU Podcast Tribute to Late Professor Margaret Grimes

@WCSU pays tribute to one of WCSU's revered professors and the founder of the MFA program, Margaret Grimes. Host, Paul Steinmetz is joined by six of Margaret's former students to help give us an idea of who Margaret was and what she meant to them.

Alumni Spotlight

Andréa Rios – BA 2017 / MFA 2019

Congratulations to BA & MFA alumna, Andréa Rios whose biological illustration was recently published in an article in the scientific journal, PHYTOTAXA. Over the past year, Andrea had been working closely with WCSU's Professor of Biology, Dr. Thomas Philbrick in creating scientific illustrations for one of his research papers on new species of aquatic plants from the Amazon. The article entitled, A new species of Lophogyne s.l (Podostemaceae) from the Amazonian savanna of Amapá, Brazil, by Claudia P. Bove, C. Thomas Philbrick, and Arthur R. Lourenço contains Andréa's illustration seen here.

To view the article click here.

For more information about Andréa Rios and to see more of her work
check out her website and Instagram page!


Virtual Portfolio Day

Free portfolio review for high school and college transfer students interested in pursuing higher education and careers in Art & Design.

The Western Connecticut State University  Department of Art will offer an opportunity for high school and college transfer students interested in the fields of art and design to have their artwork reviewed by members of the WCSU art faculty during a “Portfolio Review Day” zoom meeting from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020.

Register to schedule your individual 20 minute time-slot. After registration, participants will be sent an email with a link to the Portfolio Review Zoom meeting and details about submitting portfolios as a single multi-page pdf.

On Dec 5th participants will Zoom meet individually at their selected time slot with professional artists who teach at WCSU. Faculty members will critique portfolios to provide feedback and guidance on works presented and also will be prepared to discuss professional career opportunities in art and design, as well as specific concentrations for study in the Art Department’s Bachelor of Arts program.

Admission is free and advance registration is required; reservations may be submitted online at Attendance is not only encouraged for high school and college transfer students interested in the fields of art and design, but parents, teachers, and guidance counselors are welcome to sit in as well. 

Limited time slots are available. A waitlist will be available for those who were not able to register for a time slot and if there is enough time they may be taken at the end or if enough are on the list, a second review session may be scheduled.

For questions or more information email the Department of Art at or call (203) 837-8403.

The Department of Art at Western Connecticut State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design


Margaret Grimes

1943 – 2020
Professor of Art, 1980 – 2012

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Margaret Grimes. Professor of Art at Western Connecticut State University, she taught for thirty-two years before retiring in 2012. She was awarded the Henry Barnard Foundation Distinguished Lectureship award in 1990 and in 1992 received a lifetime appointment as a Connecticut State University Professor, a distinguished professor award. She also initiated the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts program, which she coordinated from 2000 to 2012. The MFA was one of only three MFA programs in painting in Connecticut.

Margaret’s work has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries both regionally and nationally, including one person shows at Fischbach Gallery, Green Mountain Gallery, Weir Farm National Trust, the National Academy of Sciences as well as numerous colleges and universities. She has also had solo shows at Blue Mountain Gallery in New York City since 1980. Her work has been included in many group shows, including the National Academy of Design, NYC; Denise Bibro Fine Art Gallery, NYC; the Chautauqua Institution; the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK; the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL; the Davenport Museum, Davenport, IA; the Center for Contemporary Arts, Wilmington DE; the Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI; the Rahr-West Art Museum in Manitowoc, WI; the Reading Museum, Reading, PA; the Queens Museum of Art, NYC; the Provincetown Art Museum in Provincetown, MA; and the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia, PA.

Margaret’s work has been discussed and reviewed in a number of publications, among them: Art in America, Art New England, The Hartford Courant, The Boston Globe, The New Haven Register, Art Critical, Gallery & Studio, and Art Scope. Her paintings have also been included and discussed in several books on American landscape painting including, Green Woods and Crystal Waters: The American Landscape Tradition, by John Arthur, The Artist in the American Landscape, by John Driscoll, Paintings of New England, by Carl Little and Fractals: the Patterns of Chaos, by John Briggs. Her biography is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Art. She is a member of the National Academy of Design, where she was awarded the Benjamin Altman prize in 2004. She continued to receive awards throughout her career, including her most recent in 2019, The Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters for her painting, Baldwin Hill Road, February 2010.

In a review by Jennifer Samet for the exhibition Margaret Grimes, A Retrospective, at WCSU in 2013, Samet writes, “Margaret Grimes’s paintings are about vastness, not just the all-encompassing kind, but also vastness at the molecular or cellular level. She paints the individual leaf and the entire screen of the forest.” She continues, “The patterns the roots form are not exactly grids, but they nonetheless imply matrixes because they play with our desire to find patterns and regularity in the midst of chaos. In this sense, they are about the sublime, the beauty that is at the edge of our grasp.”

Margaret studied at Washington University in St Louis, Governors State University in Illinois, and in a workshop at Notre Dame with Alice Neel. She received her BA from Governors State in 1972 and an MA in 1975. In 1980 she received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied with Neil Welliver.

Margaret Grimes was a prolific, powerhouse artist, working up until her health began to fail in 2019. “In art school, we were told to look at nature as if we were seeing it for the first time. Now we look at it as if we were seeing it for the last time, hence the need to meticulously observe. I desire to find the abstract in the natural, and, by close observation of the intensity of individual moments, approach the transcendent.” (Margaret Grimes)

Jon Sideriadis

Visiting Artist Lecture - MFA Program

Tues, November 10, 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.


Jon Sideriadis is an illustrator, author, and adjunct professor at the University of New Haven. He is also the Art Director and curator of the Spartan Museum of Art. His specialty is mythological art and storytelling / world building. In July 2020, his original mythology of the cosmos, a book of 200 pages and over 100 artworks entitled Astromythos, was published by The Art Order.

Jon’s works have also been published in film, television, video games, books, comics, board games, trading cards, and the music industry. He has worked in Hollywood as a creature-effects artist and sculptor. Represented by Haven Gallery in NY, he has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the country, including Society of Illustrators, NYC, Eric Carle Museum, Amherst, MA, and The Gallery at WCSU.

Sideriadis has been a guest artist, guest speaker, and panelist at many conventions, including FaerieCon 2015, 2016, 2018 and IlluxCon 2018. He received the Best in Show Award at GenCon 2019. He has lectured at Trinity College, Paier College of Art, and the University of Hartford MFA program. He has been a featured artist in several publications: Ink Magazine, The Hartford Courant, and the National Herald, among others. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Jon received his MFA in Illustration at the Hartford Art School.

Richard Klein

Visiting Artist Lecture - MFA Program

Tues, October 27, 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.


Richard Klein is a curator, artist, and writer. Since 1999 he has been Exhibitions Director of The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT. In his twenty-year career as a curator of contemporary art, he has organized over 80 exhibitions, including solo shows of the work of Roy Lichtenstein, Sol LeWitt, Mark Dion, Hank Willis Thomas, Mary Temple, Jack Whitten, Jessica Stockholder, Tom Sachs, Elana Herzog, and others. Major curatorial projects at The Aldrich have included Fred Wilson: Black Like Me (2006), No Reservations: Native American History and Culture in Contemporary Art (2006), Elizabeth Peyton: Portrait of an Artist (2008), Michael Joo: Drift (2014), and Weather Report (2019). Klein has acted as a guest curator at numerous institutions, including Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ, and Chesterwood National Trust for Historic Preservation, Stockbridge, MA.

As an artist, Klein has exhibited widely, including the Neuberger Museum of Art at SUNY Purchase, Caren Golden Fine Art, NY, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, WI, Hales Gallery, London, Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown, MA, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, OR, Tufts University Art Gallery, MA, the Gallery at WCSU, and the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, VT. His work is included in numerous public and private collections, including the Norton Family Collection, Santa Monica, CA, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA, and the Connecticut Artists Collection, Hartford, CT.

Klein’s essays on art and culture have appeared in Cabinet Magazine and have been included in books published by Hatje Cantz, Damiani, Picturebox, Ridinghouse, and the University of Chicago Press, among others.

Michael Garland

Visiting Artist Lecture - MFA Program

Tues, October 13, 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.


Michael Garland is a New York Times best-selling author and illustrator of forty children’s picture books. He has also illustrated more than fifty books by other authors. His work has won many honors and is frequently included in the Society of Illustrators, the Original Art of Children's Book Show, as well as annuals from Print, Graphis and Communications Arts magazines. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Michael is also a fine art painter with many works in private and corporate collections.

Among his numerous awards, Garland’s Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook won the California and Delaware State Reading Awards. Birds Make Nests won the 2018 Correll Book Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Informational Text. It also received the Outstanding Science Trade Book Award, and Outstanding Merit, Bank Street Best Books Of The Year. Pizza Mouse was a Junior Library Guild Selection. Fish Had A Wish was a Star Review of Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Top Twenty-Five Picture Books of the Year. Miss Smith and the Haunted Library made the New York Times Best Seller list.

Garland has also done cover commissions for Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek magazines, as well as best selling novels. He has illustrated for celebrity authors, including James Patterson and Gloria Estefan. His illustrations for Patterson’s SantaKid were the inspiration for Sak’s Fifth Avenue’s Christmas window display in New York City. His latest children’s book Ferry Boat is soon to be published by Holiday House.

Christopher Manning

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.

Faculty Spotlight

Professor of Art, Sabrina Marques becomes New Director of the Kathwari Honors Program

The Department of Art would like to congratulate Sabrina Marques, Assistant Professor of Art, for her new appointment as Director of the Kathwri Honors Program. For the past four years, Sabrina has been a member of the Honors Council and a professor of Honors courses since 2017. The program offers outstanding students a highly interactive and interdisciplinary course of study and is built on the fundamental assumption that knowledge is an open set of questions and ideas to be explored, rather than a closed set of facts to be memorized. There is no doubt that with Sabrina's teaching philosophy, past positions, and artistic projects, she will surely bring a unique and creative perspective to the program.

Read the WCSU News release about the appointment HERE.

Listen to a WCSU podcast interview with Sabrina Marques HERE.

Faculty Spotlight

Gallery Curator, Melissa Ralston-Jones to present at CAA Conference 2021

Gallery Curator and Adjunct Professor, Melissa Ralston-Jones, along with two professors from Baylor University and UConn submitted a session proposal for the College Art Association Annual Conference 2021, "From Museum to Lecture Hall: Shared Pedagogy in Practice." Of the roughly eight hundred proposals, a very high response despite the continuing effects of the pandemic, their proposal was accepted and will be included in the 2021 conference program. CAA will hold its 109th Annual Conference as an online program on February 10–13, 2021.

Read Melissa's Bio HERE.

For more information about the CAA Conference 2021 click HERE.

2020 Senior Portfolio 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.


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.

Exhibition Opening

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


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

Ellen Harvey

Visiting Artist Lecture

Monday, November 18, 2019, 11:00 am 

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

Free & Open to the Public
Limited Seating Available

Ellen Harvey is a British-born artist living and working in Brooklyn. She is a recipient of numerous awards, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016.
A graduate of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, she also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and a J.D. degree from Yale Law School.

Ellen has completed numerous public commissions for New York Percent for Art, New York Arts in Transit, Chicago Transit Authority, the Philadelphia International Airport, San Francisco Airport, and the Federal Art in Architecture program. She recently completed “Atlantis”, a permanent installation commissioned for the Miami Beach Convention Center. Her work is in many collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Ellen’s work has also been shown extensively in galleries and museums worldwide. Solo museum exhibitions include: The Barnes Foundation, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Bass Museum, the Whitney Museum at Altria in NY, the Groeninge Museum in Belgium, and the Center for Contemporary Art in Poland. Her work will be included in the exhibition “Weather Report”, opening this fall at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum; and a retrospective of her work will be at the Turner Contemporary in the UK in summer of 2020.