Whimsical sculpture of animal-people

From the Whimsical to the Somber, Alumni Art on Display in Czurles-Nelson Gallery


Arresting photographs, thought-provoking prints and paintings, unusual sculptures, and more constitute a new exhibit on display in Buffalo State College’s Czurles-Nelson Gallery (CN) in Upton Hall.

The Buffalo State Art and Design Alumni Exhibition, which opened January 27 and runs through February 26, isn’t just brimming with artistic talent. It also speaks to the quality education Buffalo State students receive in their visual arts courses.

Twenty-seven alumni, who graduated from 1970 to 2018, contributed to the exhibition. Their work includes eerie prints of abandoned buildings by Rachel Lyons, contemporary paintings by Rob Lynch, statement-making embroidered aprons by Lily Booth, and whimsical brooches by Alan Thompson.

“We loved putting together this exhibition because it really showcases the quality work of our alumni,” said Marie Bogner, visual resources curator with the Art and Design Department and CN Gallery coordinator. “Whether the artists graduated recently or decades ago, it’s nice to provide another venue for their work to be shown and appreciated.”

The exhibition also benefits current art and design students.

“Our students can get so wrapped up in their schedules, projects, and extracurriculars that they sometimes lose sight of big-picture goals like building a career as an artist,” said Caitlin Skelcey, assistant professor of art and design, who teaches courses in 2-D and 3-D design foundations. “When they view the exhibition, they can see what’s been done and what’s possible for them to do in their field of study.”

Art and Design faculty members identified the alumni to include in the exhibit and invited them to submit their work. They curated the exhibit in conjunction with the Exhibition Committee, which is made up of rotating faculty members who are responsible for all exhibitions and activities in the gallery. 

The other alumni included in the exhibit are Kari Achatz, Joyce Cromwell, Donna DeAquino, Dennis DeJonghe, Chao Ding, Dylan Goodsell, Carrianne Hendrickson, Seth Hughes, Bethany Krull, John La Falce, Scott Losi, Kaitlyn Malinowski, Drew Luan Matott, Gerald Mead, omni prism, Steve Polanowski, Vincent Pontillo-Verrastro, Jessica Rohl, Eric D. Rose, Stephen Saracino, Megan Sweeney, Aric Verrastro, and Hilary Waters.

“We definitely plan to have more alumni exhibitions in the future since we have many alumni doing great work,” said Brent Patterson, associate professor of graphic design and chair of the Exhibition Committee.

A reception will be held Thursday, February 20, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Upton Hall lobby. It’s free and open to the public.

Other CN exhibits scheduled for this spring:

  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation Exhibition: March 2–20
  • Fifth Annual High School Invitational: March 30–April 7
  • Art and Design Student Exhibition No. 2: April 15–May 6
  • Across the Visual Arts XI/Dean’s Entrepreneurship Awards Exhibit: May 15–September 4

For more information, please visit the Czurles-Nelson Gallery website or Facebook page.

Photos by Jeremy Jindra, Photography Student Assistant