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Alumni of the Department of Art Show Their Work

Trisha Koomen ’04, Christina Laurel ’09, Charity Henderson ’10, and Mary Jo Whitman ’11 Are Represented

"Fracture" by Charity Henderson

Many former students of the Department of Art are prolific in maintaining an active pursuit of the visual arts in their lives. The department is honored to present a sampling of works by alumni who have developed an extensive record of artistic activity over several years. The Department of Art Alumni Exhibition will be on display at the Tower Fine Arts Center Gallery at The College at Brockport from through October 13, 2017. The gallery is located at 180 Holley Street, Brockport, and the exhibit is free and open to the public.

Aside from being an artist, Trisha Koomen is also a registered nurse and is more than thrilled to be part of this exhibit during this milestone season. She recalled that “in 1998 I was so happy when Jennifer Hecker, the then chair of the art department at Brockport, accepted me into her sculpture class! At the time, my husband and I were raising our four children and I worked part-time as a nurse. I can’t say it’s been easy or a straight path, but being a visual, conceptual artist is—I’ve come to realize—the closest I come to being myself. Being invited back here to exhibit my work feels like coming home in a way and a wonderful dose of encouragement. It’s simply amazing and I’m very grateful!” Most fittingly, Koomen’s sculpture, Vessel, constructed with glass medical vials, has been permanently installed in the lobby of Lathrop Hall on the Brockport campus, home to the Department of Nursing.

Christina Laurel arrived on campus as a non-traditional student, wielding a portfolio, “an exhibition resumé, and an established style. Or so I thought.” Under the gentle guidance of the Department of Art faculty, some of whom were younger than she, Laurel was pushed out of her comfort zone “into a world of seemingly endless possibilities… Now, it is with deep pleasure that my artwork will be on view. Graduating with my BS in studio art in 2009 was a milestone in my life. Exhibiting at my alma mater during the 50th anniversary of the Tower building and of the Department of Art is an honor.” Laurel currently resides in Liberty, SC. She has participated in a variety of artist residencies including Virginia Center for the Arts and at Paducah (KY) Arts. Her mission is “to create an ‘exhale’ moment; an oasis that offers a respite and refuge from our daily sensory overload.”

Aside from her undergraduate work at Brockport, Charity Henderson has also studied painting in France and Italy. She also received her MFA in painting at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. She has consistently maintained a focus on the figure, particularly portraits. Her current body of work utilizes a process of layering, involving alternating sheets of translucent and opaque drawing surfaces. She has shown her work in New York City; Boston; Washington, DC; and throughout the United States. Henderson is an active member of the Salmagundi Club, the renowned artists’ club based in NYC.

Mary Jo Whitman is a freelance artist, who serves as the director of the Roz Steiner Gallery at Genesee Community College. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for GO Art!, the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council. She has also participated in juried competitions, group exhibitions, and student shows. She also teaches students at her own art and photography studio when she is not working on commissioned pieces, such as murals, paintings, and graphic design

contact: Tower Fine Arts Center Gallery: (585) 395-2805
submitted: Fri, Sep 8, 2017 by ssoloway
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