State University of New York at New Paltz. Degree Show 2017

Exhibition  /  SchoolsDegreeShow2017  /  31 Jul 2017
Published: 09.08.2017
Masa Cong. Object: Cat’s Cradle, 2017. Copper, flocking.. Photo by: Masa Cong. Masa Cong
Object: Cat’s Cradle, 2017
Copper, flocking.
Photo by: Masa Cong
© By the author. Read Copyright.

The 2017 MFA and BFA degree shows at the State University of New York at New Paltz represent a wide range of thinking, formats, and presentation that collectively reveal the diverse concerns and directions of the jewelry and metalsmithing field.

Artist list

Brooke Breckner, Emma Chandler, Hyein Cho, Masa Cong, Talya Kantro, Kelly Knowles, Jiyoung Lee, Lydia Martin, Natalie Nicholson, Hannah Oatman, Sihui Zhang
Throughout the thesis year, students maintain individual dialogue with Metal Program faculty as well as engage in productive peer critiques, leading students to identify emergent and critical questions surrounding their work and establish clear goals for their independent research. Ultimately, the culmination is a focused body of work that melds exploration, disciplined skill, content, critical thinking, and articulate writing. Additionally, each degree candidate spends significant time developing, analyzing, and building display strategies that effectively support the content of their work to be exhibited in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.

Lydia Martin (MFA) - How Small Things Become
Jewelry mediates between liminal space and everyday life. To me, the body is a landscape, becoming a canvas for explorations of hard and soft forms. I begin with silver, an unyielding material that, when altered, starts to take on a new life. Its undulating white surface and defined edges pull the viewer into the ambiguity of the work, encouraging an exploration of the tension between thinking and feeling. 

Brooke Breckner (MFA) - Facts. Maybe. A collection of Hypotheticals
The collection of objects, set in a hypothetical future, explores the way in which aspects of out present-day lives might be perceived in the centuries to come. Manufacturing techniques employed in the future will affect how our current modes of making are envisioned. Historically, archaeologists have allowed their own understanding of their contemporary world influence the way they interpret artifacts, corrupting our understanding of how ancient objects may have been made or how they functioned within their own societies. In the future of advanced manufacturing, will we be able to comprehend the ways of old fashioned fabrication?

Hyein Cho (MFA) - Catch Me If You Can
“Kidult” is a newly coined term for an adult in youth culture. My work explores kidult’s proposition that people can escape reality through childlike play. The claw crane toy releases the inner kidult. Through games people are transported back to a time of innocence, escaping the burden of being an “Adult” for a while. Catch Me If You Can provides refuge and stimulates nostalgia for one’s younger days.

Masa Cong (MFA) - Jewelry by Accident
My work is an investigation of the relationship between body, object, and action. My understanding of jewelry in not limited to adornment; I explore the idea of “jewelry by accident.” I ask the audience to rethink the purpose of jewelry. I observe moments that happen in daily life, and consider these “frozen moments” through my work as abstract interpretations of forms and occurrences on the body.

Sihui Zhang (MFA) - Peeling
Curiosity is a natural instinct. We are easily attracted to things that are unfamiliar, yet we long for a tangible connection. Ultimately, we desire warmth, intimacy, and things that bear similarity to ourselves. I am compelled to cast strange objects in silicone, which shares the feeling of the body. I create forms that are fleshy and disturbing and at the same time, domestic and possibly comforting. Displayed on the table, these objects represent my own understanding of people and relationships. The process of making and the final result recall the series’ title: Peeling.

Emma Chandler (MFA) - “Oh, Wonder!” Votives of the Anthropocene
We fabricate keepsakes for a variety of reasons: sometimes to invoke good fortune, other times to commemorate victory and personal prowess. Items with a social life – good luck charms, political badges, award ribbons – represent exciting moments of empathy, identity and exchange within our day-to-day sartorial expressions. To further investigate the invocation of luck, protection, and perfection, I explore these practices – badges, ex voto, statuary, trophies, medallions - through color, line, and form using vitreous enamels, the permanency of metal, and soft fabric. Translating historical artifacts into a contemporary vernacular, I discover new meanings of the objects and traditions in question.

NAatalie Nicholson (BFA) - UseLess
My work explores ways that everyday objects can be collected, reimagined, and repurposed into wearable pieces of jewelry. My jewelry reflects on moments of interaction between the body and the structures we inhabit. These observations play a vital role in my process of making, presenting the viewer with objects that are disassociated from their former utilitarian purpose. By reconstructing these materials into alternate forms, I comment on our society’s consumption of mass produced goods, as well as the subsequent waste and excess. This process allows me to be mindful of the connections humans make with the objects that surround them.

Talya Kantro (BFA) - Abyssmal
I am haunted by irrational and seemingly intrinsic fears. Deep sea organisms manifest this. In my work I romanticize my terrors, reinventing these creatures as wearable reminders of otherwise ignorable fears. I identify their most frightening aspects – the eyes, jaws, teeth – and emphasize their form in each piece. Color and line are expressed with rich vitreous enamel to suggest a beauty not usually affiliated with monstrous fish of the deep. The juxtaposition between traditional beauty and the grotesque is immediately apparent. The contradictory nature of the work compels the viewer to address their own fears.

Jiyoung Lee (BFA) - PaperPlay
My current work, PaperPlay, explores the transformation of shapes into forms. To expand the boundaries of my practice while retaining the same childlike joy of making, I introduce metal to paper shapes and origami craft. By combining formal techniques with casual processes, I play with the qualities that metal and paper share while exploring their very different characteristics.
and aversions.

Hannah Oatman (BFA) - Colorscape
In this series, intensely saturated planes play off of each other, allowing separate hues to reverberate and dematerialize into a field of color. Subtle forms and carefully arranged layers invite the viewer to explore the surface before investigating supporting armatures. The enameled elements, while seemingly coarse, provoke a sense of preciousness. The resulting collages are playful and curious, urging the viewer to handle and consider them as objects first, and then as engaging adornment.

Kelly Knowles (BFA) - Physis
There is no material hierarchy in my work. I am drawn to textures and forms that embody the passage of time; this stirs a desire in me to “hunt” and gather. Exposure to the elements causes transformation, which stimulates a visual narrative. Experiences can smooth one’s edges or build layers of defense, just as a crisp brick becomes rounded or a steel part rusts. The material’s suggestion of a past prompts me to imagine a future; the object becomes part of an intimate reminder of inevitable growth and change.

Guiding Teachers:
Myra Mimlitsch-Gray (Professor and Metal Program Head)
Lynn Batchelder (Assistant Professor of Metal)
Michael Gayk (Assistant Professor of Metal and Digital Design and Fabrication)
Brooke Breckner. Object: Chiseled-Out-Of-A-Block-Of-Steel Chain, 2017. Steel. 5 x 5 x 35 cm. Photo by: Brooke Breckner. Brooke Breckner
Object: Chiseled-Out-Of-A-Block-Of-Steel Chain, 2017
5 x 5 x 35 cm
Photo by: Brooke Breckner
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Emma Chandler, Exhibition View “Oh, Wonder!”, 2017.
Emma Chandler, Exhibition View “Oh, Wonder!”, 2017

© By the author. Read Copyright.
Hyein Cho. Necklace: Catch Me If You Can #2, 2017. Gold-plated brass, acrylic, bolts, nuts.. 16.5 x 5 x 12.5 cm. Photo by: Hyein Cho. Hyein Cho
Necklace: Catch Me If You Can #2, 2017
Gold-plated brass, acrylic, bolts, nuts.
16.5 x 5 x 12.5 cm
Photo by: Hyein Cho
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Talya Kantro. Brooch: Oarfish & Hatchet, 2017. Silver, copper, enamel.. 7 x 0.75 x 9 cm. Photo by: Talya Kantro. Talya Kantro
Brooch: Oarfish & Hatchet, 2017
Silver, copper, enamel.
7 x 0.75 x 9 cm
Photo by: Talya Kantro
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Kelly Knowles. Brooch: Imperfection, 2017. Found wood, silver.. 15 x 5 x 15 cm. Photo by: Lynn Batchelder. Kelly Knowles
Brooch: Imperfection, 2017
Found wood, silver.
15 x 5 x 15 cm
Photo by: Lynn Batchelder
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Jiyoung Lee. Necklace: PaperPlay 1, 2017. Bronze. 20 x 1.25 x 20 cm. Photo by: Jiyoung Lee. Jiyoung Lee
Necklace: PaperPlay 1, 2017
20 x 1.25 x 20 cm
Photo by: Jiyoung Lee
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Lydia Martin. Necklace: Imbue, 2016. Silver, cotton strap.. 16 x 2.5 x 71 cm. Photo by: Lydia Martin. Lydia Martin
Necklace: Imbue, 2016
Silver, cotton strap.
16 x 2.5 x 71 cm
Photo by: Lydia Martin
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Natalie Nicholson. Necklace: Balloon, 2017. Steel, copper, flocking, syntethic fiber.. 11.5 x 5 x 11.5 cm. Photo by: Natalie Nicholson. Natalie Nicholson
Necklace: Balloon, 2017
Steel, copper, flocking, syntethic fiber.
11.5 x 5 x 11.5 cm
Photo by: Natalie Nicholson
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Hannah Oatman. Brooch: Colorscape Brooch 11, 2017. Steel, silver, vitreous enamel, 14k.. 7.5 x 0.5 x 12.5 cm. Photo by: Hannah Oatman. Hannah Oatman
Brooch: Colorscape Brooch 11, 2017
Steel, silver, vitreous enamel, 14k.
7.5 x 0.5 x 12.5 cm
Photo by: Hannah Oatman
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Sihui Zhang. Object: Untitled II (Peeling), 2017. Silicone, bronze.. 12.5 x 12.5 x 18 cm. Photo by: Sihui Zhang. Sihui Zhang
Object: Untitled II (Peeling), 2017
Silicone, bronze.
12.5 x 12.5 x 18 cm
Photo by: Sihui Zhang
© By the author. Read Copyright.