Please join us for the opening reception of Prismatic, a reflection on transgender and non-binary experience, on February 18th from 6-8pm in room 109 of the Art Building! This IDEA Grant will be on display in the VAIS Gallery from February 18th to the 22nd


prismatic flyer

Perspectives on #MeToo 


Thursday February 7, 12:15-1:45 pm 
Branford House, UConn Avery Point

This will be a discussion among UConn students, faculty and staff about sexual violence and consent.It will be offered in conjunction with a gallery installation featuring the work of UConn graduate student Jeanne Ciravolo, and is based on UConn’s Humility and Conviction in Public Life’s “Encounters” reflective, structured dialogue model. This discussion will include a variety of experts: representatives from Safe Futures, UConn’s Counseling and Mental Health Services and UConn’s Women’s Center.

Lunch will be served.

Artist Talk: Shen Xin

February 7th
9am to 11am
Dodd Center Konover Auditorium

Shen Xin

Shen Xin was born in Chengdu, China and currently is living and working in London
and Amsterdam. She graduated from La Salle College of the Arts in Singapore and
earned her MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art in London.

Provocation of the Nightingale , 2017 and Forms Escape: Prologue , 2016, are two of
Shen Xin’s exhibited multichannel media works that are complex and profound, and
require time and concentration to decipher. Both works avoid linear narrative and the
use of irony, for Shen Xin does not want to restrict viewers’ freedom to make their
own assumptions. “It’s a very sensory experience when things are complex because
you have to be open. That’s why I want to move away from irony because I want to
explore how to be even more engaged with that ability to open up space when
viewing the film.” You are continually challenged to assess how you come to believe
and form opinions about something. For Shen Xin, that something is connected with
notions of love, suffering, emotional pain and spirituality along with afflictions of
contemporary capitalism’s relationship with power and how Buddhist philosophy and
everyday life interconnect.

Artist Talk: Sibyl Kempson


Sibyl Kempson


Sibyl Kempson’s plays have been presented in the United States, Germany, and Norway.

She launched the 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr & Perf Co in 2015. Productions include Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag (Abrons Arts Center, NYC), Public People’s Enemy, an adaptation of Enemy of the People, (Ibsen Awards and Conference in Ibsen’s hometown of Skien, Norway), Sasquatch Rituals (The Kitchen, NYC) and 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens, a 3-year cycle of rituals for the new Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District of NYC, begun on the Vernal Equinox in March 2016, recurring on every Solstice and Equinox through December 2018.

Other current projects include true pearl, a new opera with David Lang for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston premiering in October 2018 and The Securely Conferred, Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S. premiering in NYC in 2019.

Kempson is the recipient of a 2018 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for American Playwright at Mid-Career. She is also a 2014 USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow and a 2010 MacDowell Colony Fellow. She received four Mondo Cane! commissions from Dixon Place between 2002-11. I Understand Everything Better, with David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group, received a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production in 2015, the same year her play Fondly, Collette Richland, penned for Elevator Repair Service, premiered at New York Theatre Workshop.

Her plays are published by 53rd State Press, PLAY: Journal of Plays, and Performance & Art Journal (PAJ). MFA Brooklyn College under the instigation of Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney. She teaches and has taught experimental performance writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Brooklyn College, Victoria College of the Arts at the University of Melbourne, and the Eugene Lang College at the New School in NYC.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2234839566769949/

Sendak Young Illustrators’ Prize 2018


In conjunction with the CT Children’s Book Fair hosted by UConn and Barnes and Noble, our undergraduate students studying Illustration participated in the Maurice Sendak Young Illustrators’ Prize program.  Participants were treated to an individual critique of their works by professional illustrator Doug Salati.  Salati was a 2015 recipient of The Maurice Sendak Foundation’s Sendak Fellowship.


Congratulations to the 2018 Prize winners:

First Place: Hal Tedeschi

Second Place: Aberdeen Taylor

Third Place: Hayley Joyal

Honorable Mention: Gillian Partyka


Visiting Artist: J. R. Uretsky

J. R. Uretsky

J.R Uretsky

Visiting Artist Presentation

Thursday, November 1, 2018, 3:30pm

Artist Presentation – Storrs Campus, Art Building, Room 222

J.R. Uretsky weaves performance, video, puppetry, and sculpture into emotionally charged, affective artworks that shift seamlessly between autobiography and fiction. Uretsky’s work confronts viewers with expressive confessions that test the bounds of comfort, personal space, and acceptable presence. The characters that emerge through her performances are relatable yet also alien and non-specific, forging an ambiguous space where emotion is the remaining constant.

J.R. Uretsky curates independently and is a performing artist who has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues in New York, Los Angeles, Finland, and Germany. Her work was included in the 2013 DeCordova Biennial at The DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. She has also performed and exhibited at Art Basel Miami, FL, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, Rhode Island School of Design Museum as well as the Museum of Art and Design in New York. Uretsky’s work has been published in print, online and video journals such as Headmaster Magazine, Gaga Stigmata, Big Red & Shiny, and ASPECT: The Chronicle of New Media Art.

The Aggressive Love Project

The Aggressive Love Project (2011-2013) featured in 2013 deCordova Biennial, curated by Lexi Lee Sullivan,  DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA—a series of video documentations and sculptures from site-specific performances—explores the darker side of generosity through acts of invasive gift-giving.


bro puppetry and video showcase


Bromance was a performance that used puppetry and video to showcase white, male anxiety through interviews with men. I relocated interviewee’s stories from their white, male bodies to a strange, non-gendered object. Bringing the “Bro” into a conflicted body that is queer because of its multiplicity, fluidity, and failure.


feeling feeling exhibition


Feeling Feeling a collaborative exhibition by Emmy Bright & J.R. Uretsky showed at the Distillery Gallery in Boston from September 8 – October 14, 2017

Feeling Feeling: a series of dubious choices, earnest efforts, collaborative installations, missed opportunities and new works on paper, wall, and in time.

UConn’s MFA Art Sale is Live: Support the Next Generation of Artists

UConn’s annual MFA Art Sale is live! The sale, which supports MFA thesis exhibitions in New York City, offers a range of 2D and 3D work by faculty, current graduate students, and alumni, all at affordable prices. Drawn from the interdisciplinary studio art program, the work spans a breadth of media, including photography, painting, ceramics, screen printing, lithography, illustration, and performance documentation. The MFA Art Sale runs continuously, with special promotions offered around the holidays.

UConn’s MFA Art program supports a broad range of art making including painting/drawing, installation/performance, photography/video, printmaking, and sculpture/ceramics. Its international faculty and superior facilities in a rural environment are centrally located in Southern New England for easy day trips to New York, Boston, Providence, Hartford, and New Haven. The three-year program culminates with an exhibition in a New York City gallery and a thesis exhibition in UConn’s William Benton Museum of Art.

Visit the sale and subscribe for updates at uconnartmfasale.com.

Discovery Day for Prospective Students at Storrs

School of Fine Arts: Discovery Day for Prospective Students at Storrs

Monday, November 12, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Observe and participate in classes, workshops, presentations, and exhibits for a unique opportunity to explore what it is like to be a student in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut in one of the four exciting artistic disciplines: Art & Art History, Dramatic Arts, Digital Media & Design, and Music.

Parking is available in the North and South garages and the Storrs Center Parking Garage (located on Royce Circle) for a nominal fee.

Register at https://connect.uconn.edu/register/sfa-discovery-day

For more information: https://sfa.uconn.edu/openhouse/

Open House: Join Us Sunday, Oct. 21st!

Meet with Dean Anne D’Alleva for the School of Fine Arts Dean’s Welcome 
Von der Mehden Recital Hall
10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Then meet with faculty in a round-robin Q & A to explore our Degree options, Areas of Concentration, see student work, discuss career paths in Art and Art History, tour facilities, and more!

Department of Art and Art History
Arena Gallery, Art Building

10:30 am – 1:00 pm

We look forward to seeing you!

MYTH: Paintings by Kamar Thomas, MFA ’16

Exhibit Dates
Oct 1 – Dec 7, 2018

Artist Reception
Fri, Oct 26, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
prior to performance by Kathleen Battle, soprano & Joel Martin, piano 
Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey

Jorgensen Gallery
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts
2132 Hillside Road
On the UConn campus in Storrs, CT
Gallery Hours
Due to classes scheduled in the Jorgensen Gallery, hours for fall 2018 are: 
MWF 10am – 12pm
Tues  10am – 4pm
Thurs  1pm – 4pm
Prior to performances and during most intermissions. 


Kamar Thomas is a fine artist from Port Antonio, Jamaica, currently Adjunct Faculty at the University of Connecticut. He graduated with a Master’s in Fine Art at the University of Connecticut in 2016 and a BA from Wesleyan University in 2012 where he became interested in how people present themselves, the masks they wear, and the differences between who/what is presented and how people really are.


King Midas is a mythical king from way back when who only wished for one thing: gold. He did what kings do and asked the Greek gods for him that wish. They did. With his new power, he touched a knife and boom: gold. He touched a fork: solid gold. He touched everything he could and became the richest king ever. He called a feast to celebrate his new gold-touching status. This was a feast to remember complete with a long table, giant turkey leg and stuffed pig with an apple in its mouth. When Midas reached out to eat that turkey leg, as soon as he touched it: gold.

This is a problem. Gold is hard to eat, even harder to digest and tastes terrible. Midas’ only daughter saw how sad he was and gave him a hug to cheer him up. As soon as he touched her: solid gold daughter. 
The richest king ever, couldn’t eat, killed the only family he cared about 
and starved to death. Sad story. Or was it?

I have made some of my favorite paintings to look at the same problem King Midas faced: becoming who you want to be and paying for it. Everybody has that problem. These large portraits intend to show how much contradiction there is and yet attempt to be beautiful. 
I am interested in how flexible and unfixed identity is.

Co-sponsored by the H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center, celebrating 50 years at UConn

DREAM LOGIC A multimedia exhibition

Presented in UConn Avery Point’s Alexey von Schlippe Gallery

Opening Reception – Wednesday, June 6, 5:30-7:30PM

Artist Talks & Performance – Thursday, June 28, 6-8PM

On View June 7 – August 19, 2018

Gallery Hours – Thursday-Sunday, 12-4PM

Please join us Wednesday, June 6, 5:30-7:30pm for the opening reception of Dream Logic, a multimedia exhibition featuring UConn MFA in Studio Art students and recent graduates. The exhibition is presented by UConn School of Fine Arts & UConn Avery Point in the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery, The Branford House, on UConn’s  Avery Point Campus (1084 Shennecossett Road, Groton, CT 06340).

Dream Logic features new work by Jeanne Ciravolo, Elizabeth Ellenwood, Shadia Heenan, Melanie Klimjack, Kelsey Miller, Jelena Prljević, Kaleigh Rusgrove, Luke Seward, Erin Koch Smith, River Soma, Claire Stankus, Jordan Thuman, Chad Uehlein & Ting Zhou.

The exhibition and all related events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Dream Logic is curated by Olivia Baldwin.

Dream Logic Facebook Event

Alternative BFA Photography Show – Apr. 17

We are pleased to invite you to view our latest photographic work. This work is independent and reflective of each artist’s endeavors over the past few months in Senior Project. Come and celebrate our finished work and enjoy delicious appetizers and beverages during the opening reception on Tuesday, April 17th from 5-6:30pm. The work will remain hanging in the Art Building until Friday, April 20th.

MFA Studio Art Group Exhibition

Close Third Person: MFA Studio Art Group Exhibition
April 3-May 6, 2018

Opening reception:  Wednesday April 18
5 pm – 7:30 pm
Free of charge and open to the public

Close Third Person highlights new work by the Studio Art MFA class of 2018. The exhibition features painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, ceramics, installation, and digital animation.

The Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art program at the University of Connecticut is an intensive, multidisciplinary approach to the development of work in a wide range of media, including painting and drawing, photography and video, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics, and installation and performance. The three-year program focuses on the advancement of each student’s abilities as an artist. New graduate studio facilities in the historic Kirby Mill, situated on the banks of the Natchaug River, offer each student a fresh, well-lit space in a tranquil setting. Work in the studio and studio-based classes is combined with courses in art criticism, theory and history, and teaching to provide a context of ideas for developing students’ visions. Frequent contact with faculty members and visiting artists exposes the students to diverse viewpoints and practices. The Studio Art MFA program at UConn combines the creative excitement and intellectual energy of an art school and a major research university, providing students with the best of both worlds. Learn more at https://art.uconn.edu.

Artist Talks: Close Third Person
2018 Studio Art MFA candidates discuss their work.
Date: Wednesday, April 18, 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

Participating Artists:

Kelsey Miller
My art turned overtly political in January 2017 when I made letterpress signs for the Women’s March. Now the air is ever more clouded, fervent. Political opinion simmers continuously below the surface of the everyday and news advances at a rate faster than we can comprehend it. Belief, denial, complacency, and fear are emotional complexities that often seem at odds with scientific data. My work addresses the polarization of opinion and fact, informed by current events, archival documents, nationalism, and weather—a symbol of change and its real harbinger. The act of making resists the act of skimming, insisting that I absorb and respond to what has happened and is happening. My practice is a call to action, but also a pause, with the intention of offering a moment of reflection and sanctuary, in hope of finding better solutions for navigating this changing world.
Kelsey Miller was born on the island of Antigua and moved to the United States at the age of ten. She earned a BA in Studio Art from Wellesley College and spent four years as a chef on a sailboat before returning to land and pursuing her MFA at the University of Connecticut. Kelsey exhibits work nationally and internationally in solo, juried, and small group shows.

Jelena Prljević
As a storyteller, I use layering to build narratives. Using erasure, light, and the regenerative power of shadows I suggest time. Through process and material, my drawing serves as an invocation of place and reflects experiences of transition. Life is always in flux. Light and time give perspective, allowing change to unfold. Who defines whom? Does a final form exist or is its essence fluid? These questions are constant in my work. I champion the power of personal mark-making to build structures, erase them and build again to reveal life as it moves between light and shadow. My drawings and animations illuminate intimate observations grounding them in a present moment. Documentary, magical and sentimental, my work embraces the healing potential of storytelling through fragments of time, memory, and motion.
Jelena Prljević is an artist from Serbia whose practice exists within the intersection of drawing, animation, and installation. She holds a BFA from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, RS where she received several awards for painting and drawing. During this period, she participated in many national and international group exhibitions and collaborative projects. Jelena was awarded The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant to support the development of her MFA thesis project.

Kaleigh Rusgrove
Narrative photography exists between fact and fiction. I use my camera to create false moments of importance and to record artifacts of questionable authenticity. I interlace the seen with the contrived. Together these elements build a convincing story; one leaving the viewer unable to find their footing in either reality or fantasy. This body of work, this story, focuses on current environmental issues. Climate change falls into the same strange in-between where my work exists. The reality of the situation is distressing, the political response both alarming and laughable, and information presented is often contorted. Through research I find inspiration for image-making, combining what I have witnessed with what I have imagined. In my practice, I have come to learn that the most frightening moments are not always born from the wildness of the mind, but exist in real life.
Kaleigh Rusgrove was born in Bristol, Connecticut and spent her formative years photographing her younger sister against a leaf-patterned bed sheet with a Kodak disposable camera. Moving on to a point-and-shoot as a teenager, she made a series of portraits of local troublemakers that earned her moderate praise among the other neighborhood kids. Kaleigh eventually settled on the solitude of photographing herself with a DSLR. At some point she decided to keep making pictures forever.

Erin Koch Smith
My work often starts with something abstract—like a wayward emotion or a decontextualized word or phrase. I like language that feels vaporous and substantial, as if a dream sat on your head. Narrative is important as an impetus to painting, but my paintings are not stories. They are plotless, hero-less, scattershot moments, birthed from boredom, loneliness, and heartache, operating within the welcome limitations of the language of painting. On canvas, there are no rules for gravity, and floating objects can be heavy as lead. I search for form through scraping and damaging the surface, playing with images of swan beds, mangled chairs, and rainbows the way I used to play with Barbie dolls as a kid, bashing their plastic parts together, trying to land on something tender.
Erin Koch Smith was born in Richmond, VA where she fell in love with drawing and painting at an early age. Her studio practice encompasses a variety of approaches including painting, drawing, installation, and performance. She earned a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005, and after living in Ithaca, NY for a number of years, relocated with her family to pursue an MFA in Art at the University of Connecticut.  

Claire Stankus
Tidy piles of studio scraps, flowers on the floor, puzzle pieces, and birthday cakes are recurring features in my work. I collect seemingly banal and discarded objects and paint my daily encounters with them; expressing that even a pile of junk is worth painting. While some paintings are made directly from observation, others start from photographs of quickly-passed moments. I use casual marks, flattened fields of color, and invented line and shadow to break down the recognizable into something ambiguous yet familiar. The remaining abstraction is where we may find unexpected humor or joy. I want each painting to become something odd or sweet and give viewers a second chance to spend more time with an experience they may have overlooked.
Claire Stankus was born and raised in the suburbs of Albany, NY and earned a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University in 2012. She has attended artist residencies at the Chautauqua Institution, Vermont Studio Center, and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. Claire was recently interviewed and featured on the podcast Studio Break.

We would like to express our gratitude to our families, friends, faculty, and peers who have provided continuous support and guidance over these three years.
We would also like to thank UConn’s Design Center for the creation of this catalog and accompanying materials.

Art & Art History Scholarship Show is Coming!

Hello Art & Art History Majors,

Before you leave the thrills of Spring Break behind…I thought I’d remind you to bring back your best artwork from home for the Scholarship Show.

The official call for entry will be sent out when you return next week.

It’s free to enter, and we have literally thousands of dollars to give away in scholarship money, so keep your eyes peeled for the email reminders!

 *APPLICATIONS will be DUE Monday March 26th

As always, we look forward to seeing what you’ve got!

Professor Paul

Spring into the Arts! 3/26

Dear Prospective (Admitted) Art & Art History Students,                  

I’m very happy to invite you to join our faculty and current students on Monday, March 26, for a special event: Spring into the Arts!

We’ll begin with a welcome reception at 2:00 pm, in the Arena Gallery, located in the Art Building at 830 Bolton Road, Storrs.  From there, we will proceed to two unique hands-on workshops with our faculty, followed by dinner with current students and faculty. We wrap up at 7:00 p.m., which is in plenty of time for you to take in an evening arts event on campus or explore our downtown.


Of course, we’re looking forward to the chance to spend time with those of you who’ve already decided to join the Class of 2022, but we’ll be equally glad for a chance to show those of you who are undecided the best of who we are and what we do at UConn Art and Art Hisotry.  Please come see why taking advantage of the Best of Both Worlds – an immersive studio or art history education in the context of a major research university – provides a wonderful foundation for careers in the arts.


This event provides a unique opportunity for prospective students to spend time with us, as part of our community.  As a side note, while we’re usually very happy to see parents and families, Spring into the Arts! is an event for admitted students only.   However, we will be hosting a parents’ session from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. on this evening in Room 101 of the Art Building.  Parents and families will be able to speak with Eva Gorbants, Assistant Dean and Director of Advising for the School of Fine Arts.  Assistant Dean Gorbants is a great resource, and is very knowledgeable about all academic matters here at UConn.  Parents and families will also be welcome to join us at the general University Open House on Saturday, April 14.


The following are itineraries for admitted students and parents:


Spring into the Arts! – 3/26/18 (Admitted Students)
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. Welcome Reception – Arena Gallery, Art Building
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Hands on Watercolor Workshop: Participants will work with Professor Kathryn Myers.  This workshop will be held in the Art Building, Room 116.
4:00 – 4:15 p.m. Break
4:15 – 6:00 p.m. Studio Lighting Demonstration: Participants will see a demonstration of lighting techniques, and the resulting effects.  Participants will actually take photographs, with the guidance of the Photography instructors.  This workshop will be held in the Art Building, Room 102.
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Taco Bar Dinner – Arena Gallery, Art Building


Spring into the Arts! – 3/26/18 (Parents/Families)
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Parents’ Session w/Eva Gorbants, Assistant Dean and Director of Advising – Room 101 of the Art Building

To reserve a place at Spring into the Arts, RSVP to art@uconn.edu by Wednesday, March 22, and please let us know if you have any special dietary needs.  Feel free to contact us with any questions at that email address or by phone at 860-486-3930.


Cora Lynn Deibler

Department Head