campus news and events

Senior Artists at Colby-Sawyer College Display Their Best Work in Final Exhibition Before They Graduate

NEW LONDON, N.H.– The Fine and Performing Arts Department at Colby-Sawyer College will host the annual Senior Art Exhibition, featuring an opening reception, awards ceremony, and the students' best work in ceramics, drawing, graphic design, mixed and new media, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

The show opens on Friday, April 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Marian Graves Mugar Gallery at the Sawyer Fine Arts Center. The opening reception will include the presentation of both purchase and merit awards such as the Presidential Purchase and Susan C. Harp Memorial Purchase Award. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

The senior exhibition highlights the work of Studio Art and Graphic Design students in the Class of 2012, displaying their growth and development as artists over the course of their Colby-Sawyer careers. Their work will reflect the diversity in the artists' preferred media, techniques, influences and experiences.

This year's exhibition will showcase the work of 23 senior artists: Julie Albiani, Susan Azodi-Kazeroony, Michael Bacote, Andrea Brownell, Andy Chew, Brianna Courey, Chris Diego, Michael Fairbank, Spencer Hazzard, Nicole Humphrey, Lauren Pearsall, Alexandria Piper, Sarah Raiche, Derek Veilleux, Dana Blauss, Bradley Breslin, Meridyth Burbank, Molly Csere, Deanna Finlayson, Michael Lepore, Matthew Mahan, Katherine Martin and Kameron Mertz.

“I'm really excited,” says graphic designer Molly Csere in anticipation of the show. Csere, who came to Colby-Sawyer undecided on a major, developed an affinity for graphic design and the creative freedom it allows. Recalling her endeavors in other media, she states, “I really liked ceramics, but ceramics did not like me. The computer works for me.”

Senior artist Chris Diego says his artistic interests originated early: “I've liked the arts ever since I was little. I would always be inside coloring instead of going outside to play.” Diego originally intended to complete a Media Studies major with a minor in Studio Arts but found he could not resist the arts once his minor requirements were filled, so he chose to pursue a double major. “At one point, I decided I needed art in my life,” he says, “because I would be miserable without it.” Diego now tries to intertwine the two fields, applying what he has learned in Media Studies to his artistic projects, and vice versa.

(The slide show above features three portraits in a series by Chris Diego called In Good Company, 11' x 15" watercolor.)

While differing in their artistic origins, both Csere and Diego express a similar appreciation of the Fine and Performing Arts Department. “I honestly feel like we're a big family,” Diego confesses. “If someone asked me, 'Do you like this professor or this professor better?' it would be like asking me if I like my mom or my dad better.” Csere proclaims, “It's a big circle of love!”

Regarding the student art exhibitions on campus, Diego, whose work has been represented in six shows, believes that these events “push the students to better themselves” and cultivate an environment where critique is shared openly and acceptingly. Csere appreciates the exhibitions, along with recent projects such as the Honors Suite mural, for extending the arts to the larger college community but, she says, “we definitely need to do more things to reach out to people who aren't in the arts program.”

While Csere and Diego are just two of the 23 senior artists, they represent the wide range of the art media and styles that the exhibition will feature. Discussing his thoughts on effective art and artists, Diego explains, “To be successful, you have to have a lot of technical skills, and if you want to be loose, that's fine, but you need to exhibit that you are strong technically.”

Csere favors experimentation, believing that “everybody does it differently. Some people like to work really cleanly, whereas I'm more of the person who thinks, 'let's look through my texture folder and throw this on and see what it does.'”

While these talented artists will leave Colby-Sawyer in May to pursue graduate programs or professional careers, their impact on the community will surely continue on campus. Csere hopes to find a job in the graphic design field after graduation and has advice for upcoming art students. “Even if you hate the project,” she says, “give it your best effort because sometimes the best work comes when you're really frustrated and fed up.”

Diego, who anticipates going to graduate school and pursuing a career in teaching, provides similar suggestions. “Don't get discouraged,” he says. “When your professor is nagging you to complete your hundred-drawing book or you're behind on some paintings, just keep painting and drawing and doing what you love.”

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts

With a 12:1 average student-faculty ratio, 24-hour access to studios on campus, and integration with the other liberal arts programs on campus, the Department of Fine and Performing Arts offers unlimited possibilities to explore and develop as an artist through its programs in Art History, Graphic Design and Studio Art. Additional courses and experiences in dance, music and theatre are available.

For more information about Colby-Sawyer's Fine and Performing Arts Department, please visit

-David Hart

David Hart '13 is a student writer for College Communications at Colby-Sawyer College.*

Colby-Sawyer College is a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Founded in 1837, Colby-Sawyer is located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000