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January 29, 2016

SUNY Empire Students and Alumni Showcase Artwork

Dawn Judkins and Still Life
Student Dawn Judkin with two of her still lifes. Photo/Empire State College

Student artists, who have ambitions to be counselors, gallerists and full-time studio artists upon graduation, were joined by family members, co-workers and friends as they showcased their art, some of them, for the first time.

Kristen Holden, who completed her associate degree in 2015, and now is studying for a B.A. in Human Development with a concentration of psychology, and Danielle Poulton, who is in her third year studying Human Development and psychology, showed a project they had done in their art therapy class that implemented painted tee-shirts, feeling charts, comic books and tiny paintings. They said these items allowed children who are in therapy to express themselves. Holden, who works with disabled children by day as a school aide in the South Glens Falls School district, showed visitors her “zentanges,” intricate colored drawings of various creatures that she completed with her class. The fine drawing and coloring allowed the children to focus, despite any disabilities.

Poulton had used a broken bust as part of a display that included her poetry about brokenness following a difficult divorce. She said her own experience made her realize the dire need for family counselors. She will experience a giant leap from being an insurance broker to a counselor, which has always been a lifelong dream, she said.

Sarah Ralston Self Portrait
Sarah Ralston '16, with her self-portraits. Photo/Empire State College

Sarah Ralston ’16, said she hoped to be able to create art as a career, and planned to open a gallery someday. “I am studying business‌ and art,” she said, adding that her self-portraits and map drawings (an assignment in class) allowed her to hone her skills.

Dawn Judkin has a series of still lifes in the show. Rather than go the expected route and paint “pears and pots” she chose to do her first still life, which she titled “Date Night” of a purse, with items a woman would take out, including a perfume cask, on a first date. Her artwork, “Heidi’s Dump Treasures,” a series of multicolored glass bottles her friend Heidi collected, became the poster and flier artwork. She also told a visitor about the painted belly casts she does of pregnant women, which can later be displayed as sculpture.

The students praised Mary Ann Boardman, their SUNY Empire instructor, for her patience and ingenuity. Boardman also prepared a delectable spread herself, for guests at the reception.

Sarah Ralston said she was, “very excited to be in my first art show, especially since my co-worker and family have all come.”

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