June 20, 2024
Art Gallery

Students’ Art Shines in New Art Gallery Space

Ahead of its official opening this fall, The Art Gallery at Brooklyn College opened its doors for a special exhibition on May 7 that showcased students’ work created as part of their B.F.A. Capstone Thesis course.

The art was as diverse as the students who proudly showed their hard work. In years past, this exhibit was held in the lobby of the library and the fifth floor of Boylan Hall, but the new, 7,000-square-foot gallery space allowed each student exhibit to be showcased in one large and newly renovated space.

The B.F.A. Capstone Thesis course is the high point and crowning achievement for student artists in the Department of Art B.F.A. program. Students enroll in the studio capstone seminar sequence, a pair of practice-intensive courses taken in the fall and spring semesters before graduation. Students learn how to develop their ideas and create art based on their interests, researching ways to share critical dialogue relating to both personal and sociopolitical subject matter.

The special exhibit was attended by faculty, including celebrated artists Derrick Adams, who heads the B.F.A. program.

Attended by faculty and celebrated artists including Derrick Adams, who heads the B.F.A. program, Assistant Professor Eto Otitigbe, and others, the experience was not lost on the students, as well as their family and friends, who packed the gallery.

Professor of Art Mona Hadler has been working on getting a gallery at the college for over a decade and was thrilled to see the students’ hard work on display in the transformed space that was the former college bookstore.

“The new gallery is of crucial importance to the students, the Art Department, and the college as a whole, through exhibitions that support the educational and cultural diversity of the college and surrounding community,” Hadler said.

Art major Nicolette St. Fleurant proudly showed examples of her eclectic combination of sculptures and illustrations.

“I started with digital illustrations, and sculpting kind of came last,” St. Fleurant said. “This exhibit really allowed me to have the opportunity to network and explain my art, but I also was able to see all my peers’ work from this year.”

Fellow B.F.A. student Filip Times had nearly a quarter of a wall to display his nearly 30-piece collection of mixed-medium artwork. Calling it “a series that focused on mental health,” Times said he was challenged by Professor Adams to create as much work as he could for the exhibit.

B.F.A. student Filip Times shows off his work titled, “Decay: A Double Feature.”

“We didn’t find out until three months before this opened that we would have this space to exhibit our work from the past year,” Times said. “This is the fist time I have seen it all together like this, and it is just surreal.”

Adams, a celebrated multidisciplinary artist in his own right, seemed to enjoy the experience as much as the students.

“Once we knew we could hold this here, the idea was to have our student-artists self-curate, which is another great learning experience. We have big plans for this gallery, and this was the perfect way for us to share it through this soft opening.”


Student-artist Gabriela Saurez’s Capstone Thesis brought out a new love for photography, which she had on display through an exhibit titled “Bedroom Beauty.”

Student-artist Gabriela Saurez attended the event with proud family members. She said although she enjoys oil painting, her Capstone Thesis brought out a new love for photography, which she had on display through an exhibit titled “Bedroom Beauty” that captured the essence of people closest to her and their personalities through the way they present and decorate their bedrooms.

“Having all of our work displayed together here is really special,” Saurez said. “I never got to do something like this, and it is great for the students to have a place for everyone’s art all in one place.”

The inaugural exhibition of paintings, prints, collages, illustrations, sculptures, and other forms of mixed media will be on display in the new space through June 6.

B.F.A. student Aleah Leary displays her work, “Rituals for the Living.”

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