Art students define their foundation in A.F.A Exhibition

By Hania Jones

The Associates of Fine Arts Foundations art exhibition gives art students an opportunity to display their art at a gallery on Marple Campus. Photo by Hania Jones

The Associates of Fine Arts Foundations exhibition held their open reception on Oct. 20, on Marple campus to showcase artwork by students enrolled in the Foundations program at DCCC.

The opening reception included an award ceremony with guest juror Professor Aaron Thompson from the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, who announced the recipients.

“We have a relationship with PCAD,” explained DCCC gallery director Caitlin Flaherty. “Building a relationship between the two schools will get most of their credits of the arts transferred over there.”

In addition to Thompson, faculty of the A.F.A. programs were also jurors. Bob Jones, professor of graphic design, announced the honorable mentions.

Nhi Ton, one of the purchase award winners, won for her color and design artwork. It was purchased for $200 by the college to have in their permanent art collection.

“This is the third time I had my art displayed,” Ton said. “I had my art displayed in the exhibit last year and also at the Graduation Art Show.”

Rebecca Sabinga won the purchase award for her mixed media titled “Drawing II.” Sabinga shared some background information about her piece simply titled, “Shoe.”

“Basically, my assignment was scaled-up shoes,” she said. “I had no inspiration to the assignment, so I went into my family shoes and got my dad’s wedding sandal.”

This was not Sabinga’s first time having her art exhibited at a college.

“I had some art exhibited at Lake Erie College,” Sabinga shared.

Omair Ali received the purchase award for his digital print titled, “David and Goliath,” an allegory for depression.

“It’s overwhelming,” Ali said.

Among the honorable mentions were students like Taylor Super, Heather Scullin, Michelle Reif, and Eileen Toole. Other students who had their artwork displayed also shared their thoughts on their own art pieces.

“My painting, ‘Two-Point Perspective’ is about perspective,” said Rebekah Williams, who added her painting challenges the viewer’s perception of space. “Things are at a distance, so when you look at it, at an angle, it gives you a new perspective.”

Genna Hennessey shared her enthusiasm and pride over her steampunk inspired graphic artwork.

“[I am] very excited!” Hennessey said. “Honestly, it’s the best feeling having your best work displayed.”

The foundations exhibition has been at DCCC for six years. It is one of the many exhibitions that the art gallery hosts, including a student-based exhibit so art students can get exposure.

“The art sector is very heavy,” Flaherty said. “Who you know, who you are around, what galleries you’re in, just getting your work out there and getting exposure. So I think this is really great for the students to step inside that.”

According to Flaherty, the art gallery not only gives art students exposure, but also gives students of other majors exposure to the arts.

“Our mission is to reach out to other areas in the college because for such a long time, a lot of people did not know that the art gallery even existed because it was so closed off and not a lot of people knew about it,” Flaherty said. “We have students who are coming in with other majors who appreciate the artwork so amazingly much. I had so many students coming up to me and saying, ‘Students did this?’ ‘Wait, they did this?’ ‘How did they do that?’ ‘Can you put me in touch with them?’ So I hope I can make those connections with other students through the artwork of their peers.”

In addition, the art gallery has jump started successful careers of past students by showcasing their work in exhibits.

Former student Cecilia Bursell, whom, according to her LinkedIn page, has 12 years of experience in graphic design and is a design director for Nickelodeon.

DCCC alumnus Michael Houz, is a graphic designer who has worked for prominent companies such as The Heads of State and Blackrose NYC and has client experience with The New York Times, Scholastic Books, and Columbia University, according to his official website.

The A.F.A Foundations exhibition will be open until Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The next exhibit, 215 | 610 Contemporary Exhibition, will be open to the public from Dec. 7 to Jan. 13 and will feature artwork from regional artists, according to Flaherty. Pepón Osario of the Tyler School of Art and recent member of President Barack Obama’s National Committee of the Arts will jury the event.

“Fellow artists can make connections within one another and within themselves,” Flaherty concluded.

Contact Hania Jones at

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