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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2004
CONTACT: Jette Englund
Office of University Relations
(908) 737-3410
E-mail: jenglund@kean.edu

Kean's Fine Arts Graduate Students Put on Thesis Show

UNION, N.J. – – As graduation nears for millions of college students all over the world, five of Kean University’s fine arts graduate students will experience the special thrill of showing their paintings, print and clay projects to the public in a Graduate Thesis Exhibition, which will open on Saturday, April 3, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the James Howe Gallery on the first floor of Vaughn-Eames Hall at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union, N.J.

The 2004 Master of Fine Arts candidates for graduation are:

    Pam Fenelon-Diaz, Paintings
    Nilufur Rahman, Paintings
    Susan Roma, Prints
    Alisa Schneider, Clay
    Sherry Yee, Paintings

“Painting, for me, is an unveiling of inner consciousness,” said Fenelon-Diaz of Upper Montclair, N.J. “Making purposeful art that expresses the essence of things is what I aim for. I want to touch peoples’ lives. Showing my work in the upcoming graduate exhibit allows me the opportunity for people to react to my work and give the viewer a chance to ponder.”

Schneider, a pottery major from Hoboken, N.J. said, “I have been creating art for many years, but this will be my first public show. I mainly create functional ceramics, but for this show, I have concentrated on creating tea pots and tea sets. Making pottery is both personal and interactive, and I want the user to have a similar experience when coming in contact with the finished piece.”

“’Life Messages’ is the title of my graduate painting series that is inspired by life experience and Bible scripture,” said Yee, an Edison, N.J. resident. “They are a blending of Chinese motifs and symbolism with the modern vocabulary of abstract Expressionism. ‘Life Messages’ is the culmination of an artistic and spiritual journey I began about 10 years ago. I consider my paintings to be meditations. It will be an honor to be able to show my paintings at the exhibit as a form of love and gratitude towards God.”

Roma of Cliffwood, N.J., says of her art that her “current intaglio work expresses reflective responses to personal experiences encountered through my life's journey. Recognizable imagery is defined through rhythm, pattern, movement, and harmony with some unique transformations into three-dimensional forms. This Graduate Exhibit is a culminating event that will bring focus to my concentrated effort with the intaglio printmaking process.”

Rahman could not be reached for comment, but Jappie King Black, assistant professor of fine arts from Rockport, N.Y., called her student’s work “representational and figurative (and) also deals with interpersonal relationships. As a woman originally from Bangladesh, her paintings show some influences of two cultures, in form, pattern and color. Also, amazingly enough, all the women are working full-time as public-school art teachers.”

“The Graduate Thesis Exhibition is the culmination of the students' work in the Department of Fine Arts,” said King Black. “The Graduate Review Committee chooses significant pieces from the body of art work done by each graduate student. The pieces included in this show are usually the most recent work completed.”

The show will continue until May 7. Please call the Department of Fine Arts at (908) 737-4400 for gallery hours.