top of page

Western Connecticut State University
2024 MFA Thesis Exhibition
June 18 - July 6, 2024

Reception: June 20, 5-8 pm

Amy Caco

Lucy Gallagher

Taylor Green

Andrew Mark

William John Parrott III

Denise Rosa

CATALOG

The Department of Art at Western Connecticut State University is pleased to announce the 2024 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition at Blue Mountain Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, Suite 200, New York, NY.

 

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, June 20, from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibition will run from June 18 through July 6, 2024. The gallery is open for viewing 11 am to 6 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays.

 

The  MFA Thesis Exhibition is the capstone experience of WCSU’s Department of Art’s Graduate Program. MFA degrees are available in Painting, Illustration, and Interdisciplinary Visual Art. The exhibition is supported by the Jason and Ellen Hancock Student Endowment Fund at WCSU. Six MFA graduates will present their work:

 

Amy Caco is an Albanian-American illustrator born in Waterbury, CT. Working in a variety of mediums, including colored pencil, watercolor, ink, and digital, she continually explores new materials and methods. Her work is delicate and vulnerable, often influenced by fantasy and folklore, and recently incorporating poetry. “The work should speak for itself,” Amy has said, “but sometimes there are just some things that I want to say.” She values beauty and decorative elements in illustration, while still conveying a sense of mystery and symbolism. In her artist statement, she writes, “I want to experience the world through someone else’s eyes, the same way I want someone to look at my art and understand me.”

 

Amy earned a BA degree in Illustration from WCSU and has been a Graduate Teaching Assistant in undergraduate illustration courses. Her artwork has been published and exhibited in Danbury and Ridgefield, CT, and she works as a freelance artist with private clients. In 2022 and 2023, she was commissioned to paint two large murals for the Great Hollow Nature Preserve in New Fairfield, CT. @aviiamy

 

Lucy Gallagher is an artist from Waterbury, CT. She received her BA in Studio Art from WCSU. Her artistic practices include paintings, works on paper, and sculpture. They are a direct reflection of her life, both past and present. Lucy has worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in several art courses, including painting and printmaking. In her own words, she “is inspired by the creative energy that flows through each of us and the importance of nurturing that flame.”

 

Lucy’s work has been shown in CT galleries, including Alix Gallery in Waterbury and Art in Common Gallery in Ridgefield. Her work was also included in “Human Connection”, a group exhibition curated at the Danbury Fair Mall in 2023. In her artist statement, she writes, “I have this insatiable desire to figure out my identity through creating. My work focuses on moments from my past that remain in my internal narrative, invade my dreams, and constantly remind me that I am human. I embrace the inspiration that comes from my observed world and from within. In response, I create my fantastical truth through the use of color, light, and line.” @artbylucy_27

 

Taylor Green, from Waterbury and Danbury, CT, received a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from WCSU, with a minor in Studio Art. She is a visual anthropologist who attempts to not only observe the world around her, but to understand it through creation. Her artwork stems from the human experience of wonder and exploration, as well as research and advocacy. Taylor’s paintings are strongly influenced by her background in social science and social justice; not only painting about humanitarian crises, but more broadly about human experience. Additionally, she is a curator who believes that art can bring people together to spark important conversations.

 

Taylor’s paintings have been shown at Art in Common Gallery, Ridgefield, CT. During the past year, she has been a Graduate Assistant in The Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center. In summer 2023, she was invited by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut to guest curate a group exhibition at the Danbury Fair Mall, which she entitled “Human Connection.”  @art.by.green

 

Andrew Mark, an illustrator and designer based in Hudson Valley, New York,   graduated from Marist College with a BS degree in Digital Media. He typically works in digital illustration, as well as acrylic painting, and pen and ink. His work consists of bright colors and bold outlines reminiscent of animation and comic books, with a focus on character design. In his artist statement, he writes, “I am a passionate storyteller, building entire worlds from scratch and breathing life into characters I create. I enjoy introducing fun and zany characters that are familiar, yet out of this world. My subjects are influenced by folklore and mythology, as well as graffiti art. I also draw much of my inspiration from life experience, particularly within my heritage of being a fourth-generation Chinese-American, and of being bilingual and bicultural.”

 

Andrew grew up going to anime and comic book conventions through his family’s import toy business, a key influence on his art studies and art career. Andrew is the founder of Kalun Studios, a lifestyle brand dedicated to producing unique, upbeat designs. He has also created work for a variety of clients, including colleges, dining services, local businesses, and festivals. @akmartist

 

William John Parrott III is an interdisciplinary artist who utilizes a multitude of processes that draw inspiration from his background in photography, painting, printmaking, spray painting, sculpture, and collage. He was born in Waterbury and resides in Naugatuck, CT. He earned his B.A. in Photography from WCSU. In his artist statement, he writes, “Process is what really drives me in the creation of my art. Using traditional tools in unorthodox and unusual ways to achieve specific marks, indentations, brush strokes, and more, is what helps me set my work apart from the traditional. Getting deeply in touch with the processes I use allows me to enter the state of flow of creation where my hands seem to work on their own, but the touch is still mine. . . This is my method, and where I draw my energy to create.”

 

William has worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the photography department at WCSU, as well as a Graduate Assistant in The Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center. His work has been exhibited in several galleries, including Art In Common Gallery in Ridgefield. @wjp_studioworks

 

Denise Rosa of Danbury, CT, is a painter who received her BA degree in Studio Art from WCSU. Her current work is primarily portraiture, some self-portraits, and others of people close to her. Her artist statement reveals much about her painting: “I was born in Brazil and proudly became a U.S. citizen in 2004. My life experience has taught me the importance of balancing reality with a spirit of hope. I am inspired by stories of people who have crossed my life. My landscapes and figurative oil paintings translate memories and recreate those narratives. My work is instinctual, allowing my inner child to express feelings. Light, color, and texture are important elements. There is always a message to be revealed through the viewer’s interpretation. I believe in the power of diversity and creative viewpoints, pushing me to be flexible as an artist and human being.”

 

In the summer of 2022, Denise was awarded a scholarship to study at the Rome Art Program in Italy. Her work has been shown in various exhibitions, including a mural project in 2022 at the Danbury Fair Mall, where her painting is now in its permanent collection. In March - April 2024, a solo exhibit of her paintings was held at the Danbury Public Library in CT. @denise_rosa_arts

 

Supported by the Jason and Ellen Hancock Student Endowment

 

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

bottom of page