Press Release: Fresh Faces 2024

January 19, 2024
Jesse Zuo, "Rain," 2023. Oil on panel 16 x 12 in.
Jesse Zuo, "Rain," 2023. Oil on panel 16 x 12 in.

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present our sixth annual Fresh Faces, an exhibition that introduces new artwork by the Northeast’s most talented student artists, located inMassachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont & New York. The exhibition features 38 artists from 11 schools working in a variety of styles and media. 


Amanda Pickler is an emerging visual artist and a recent Master of Fine Arts graduate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts through Tufts University. She is originally from Seattle, WA where she received her BA with Honors distinction from the University of Washington, but currently resides in Boston, MA. As a gay interdisciplinary artist Pickler’s research and studio practice currently focuses on celebrating the queer intimacy in her life and within her community. Her large-scale oil paintings exhibit figures saturated in color and feeling as she captures the atmosphere within various lesbian bars and the shared joy from the residing patrons. Pickler’s work has been exhibited in a variety of shows across the country. Her dedication to the arts transcends beyond her studio practice and is enmeshed in her community through teaching, activism, and her ongoing mentorship to young artists. She is a Mary Gates Leadership Scholar and a Deans Research award recipient. Her research is driven by connecting with her community and visually depicting the softness of queer imagery in media.


Amy Dyer is a visual artist and painter based in Somerville, Massachusetts. She received an  engineering degree and worked in software development for 7 years before deciding she would prefer to draw, instead. She returned to MassArt, where she received a BFA in Painting in 2023. Her work is primarily autobiographical: she paints and draws as a tactile way to create a diary. She uses the slow process of art making to inhabit and understand the real world, away from her laptop and phone.


An Ha (b.2004 Việt Nam) works with used materials, overlooked marks, and forgotten memories. “Where do memories go? As I’m typing this, there is dust on my laptop screen and there is dust on your laptop screen, things that one might want to wipe away. Within it, I see the cosmic dust, my biological bits and your biological bits, traces of my ancestors and your ancestor, my being and your being, my memories and your memories. Through the dust that floats in the space that seprate us, it carries the knowns and unkowns, the contradiction that I find beautiful.”


Angela Pistilli is currently a senior pursuing a double major in Painting and Printmaking at Boston University. Angela was born in 2002, and is from East Brunswick, New Jersey. With a focus on oil painting and etching, Angela delves into themes of femininity and masculinity, gender stereotypes, and the essence of womanhood. Angela is inspired by her role as a competitive powerlifter and explores the physical, mental, and emotional strength of the body in her work. Her pieces feature women engaged in various tasks or interacting with nature, creating almost mythical scenes. Her paintings and prints convey a celebration of the female form and what it means to value your own body. She has been featured in group exhibitions including "Here and Now" and "In My Room" both at Boston University Gallery 5,  "Awakenings" at Gallery VERY, and "20 Times I Changed" at Boston University in Venice, Italy. In addition to her academic pursuits, Angela works as a Printmaking Workshop Assistant at Boston University and has worked as a Summer Intern at Pace Prints Gallery in New York.


Aoife Bergeron is currently a student at the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA, and is part of the 2025 graduating class. They are concentrating their studies on Art Education to hopefully be an art teacher at the secondary level. Aoife has had their heart set on being an art teacher since around age 14 after taking a liking to both art and working with kids. Great experiences in art classrooms in high school confirmed this dream as a career goal. Outside of teaching Aoife has taken a liking to painting, and is honing their skills as a painter with both oil and acrylic paints during their time at college. Their degree requires them to become well rounded and become involved with several different art forms, which they embrace. They have always enjoyed working in multi-media and expanding their skillset when it comes to being creative. 


Arpita Kurdekar is a Ph.D. candidate in the Integrative Studies Program at the University of Connecticut with a diverse background in both engineering and art. Her doctoral research focuses on exploring the innovative use of virtual reality in interdisciplinary education, specifically integrating engineering and art to nurture creativity in students. Arpita is an avid oil painter, and her work has been featured in multiple group and solo exhibitions throughout Connecticut. Her determination to overcome physical obstacles due to her disability to pursue her love for painting has led her to find alternative ways to create art by attaching a brush to a splint and using a joystick-controlled mobile easel. She believes her fight to navigate these challenges has become the driving undercurrent for her expressive use of color and bold brushwork. Most recently, her work was exhibited at the Connecticut Women Artists, Inc. (CWA) National Juried Exhibition, where she was presented with the Juror’s Award for her painting, “The Boy and the Pelicans.” Her other art exhibitions were at Five Points Gallery in Torrington CT, Arts Center East Gallery in Vernon CT, Mansfield Community Center in Storrs CT, Dye and Bleach House Gallery in Willington CT, Faber Birren National Color Award Show at the Stamford Art Association Townhouse Gallery in Stamford CT, and WORK_SPACE Galleries in Manchester CT. Her story and art has been featured in the UConn Today magazine. Arpita's educational background includes a Master's in Bridge Engineering from the University at Buffalo in New York and a Bachelor's in Civil Engineering from Sinhgad College of Engineering in India. She has pursued learning art at the University of Connecticut and mostly through curious self-exploration.


Ashley Pelletier is a painter living and working in the Boston and Providence areas. Her work is about intuition, play, and humor. Ashley has exhibited her work at the Bristol Art Museum, the Attleboro Arts Museum, and other galleries throughout the Northeast. Ashley holds an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and currently works at  the Rhode Island School of Design.


“My name is Avery Cather, but growing up my grandmother would call me her “sensitive flower.” I am a video artist based in Boston, MA attending Emerson College. My practice is centered around grief, sacred ritual, memory embedded in spaces, and ephemera. While it may be hard to accept change and life transitions, my art is fueled by it. My work combines documentary and experimental narrative as I tell stories through photography, film, installation, and performance. Using techniques from my background in dance and film, I use the body and camera to bend mediums, expressing emotion and creating an embodied experiences throughout my entire process. I am inspired by what I see everyday; a cracked eggshell, an elderly couple on the train, a fallen tree branch. I implement empathy and active listening to continue my development as an artist.”


Carter “Crater” Powers is a Boston-based interdisciplinary sculptor pursuing their BFA at the School of Museum of Fine Arts. He creates multi-dimensional, immersive speculative furniture objects by synthesizing ceramics, woodworking, fibers, digital fabrication, welding, and other various media. His multidisciplinary practice is concerned with exploring experiences of queer embodiment within the built environment, specifically spaces considered to be private or domestic. Their work has been shown in galleries across New England such as the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and Silvermine Art Galleries. 


Catherine Nelson is a sculptor and installation artist working primarily with wood, textiles, and metals.  She earned a BA in Art, Art History, and Spanish from Duke University and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Connecticut. She has exhibited in spaces including BronxArtSpace in New York, Redline Contemporary Art Center in Denver, AUTOMAT in Philadelphia, and the Kniznick Gallery at Brandeis University. Her artist residencies include Vermont Studio Center, Women’s Studio Workshop, and Second State Press. She has collaborated with New Orleans-based dance company Known Mass and apprenticed in craft-based small businesses, all of which inform her approach to artmaking. 


Cheyenne Yu is a San Francisco born, Boston based artist currently studying Studio Art at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her work is a tapestry of diverse influences, deeply rooted in the power of touch and sensory experiences, while harboring a profound desire to explore and reflect on family relationships and Asian American identity. 


Danyang Song was born in China and received her bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University, and her MFA from the Ceramics department in Rhode Island School of Design. Formerly a researcher at the Institute of Tea Ceremony Art in Tsinghua University, Song has recently joined the School of Visual Arts in New York City as the Ceramics Studio Manager. Her works have been shown internationally in the United States and China. Collections include Tsinghua University. Danyang’s works involve contemporary ceramics, industrial design and new media art. The materiality of ceramics plays a key role in her works. Other materials, covering wood and metal, are also included. Ceramics, as a traditional Chinese material, inspires her to create works to reflect Chinese culture, while encouraging her to explore various possibilities of ceramics in contemporary art and combination with other mediums. The topics she explored include individual emotion and feelings, culture conflict and social issues.


Darci Hanna is a multimedia artist based in Somerville, Massachusetts. After fifteen years of curatorial work in museums, she has returned to the studio and will complete an MFA at MassArt in 2024. Originally trained in jewelry, metalsmithing, and sculpture, her practice has expanded to include a combination of both traditional and innovative painting and printmaking techniques. Recent works include a focus on the complicated cultural landscape surrounding breastfeeding, early motherhood, and the objectification and over-sexualization of women's bodies in the popular imagination.


After a significant period in New York City, Davit Botch relocated to Boston, MA, to start a Master's in Fine Arts program at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design (MassArt) in 2021. “My passion for art started when I was a kid. But my art faced its biggest challenge when my hometown, Tskhinvali in Georgia (Europe), was thrown into chaos due to Russia's invasion after the Soviet Union fell apart. Tragically, I lost a family member in those troubled times, and my family and I had to become refugees in Gori, Georgia. Life as a refugee, an immigrant, and as a queer individual hasn't been an easy one. Still, my determination to chase my artistic dreams never wavered. I was fortunate to have scholarships and student loans to receive higher education in Europe and the U.S. For over a decade, I worked a full-time job in the travel industry while supporting my family in Georgia.  In my rare moments of free time, I used oil painting to express myself.”

Deborah Way is an artist living in western Massachusetts. She is currently working towards her MFA in Studio Art at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, with a projected graduation date of 2025. Previously, she completed an undergraduate degree in studio art at Hampshire College in 1994. In between now and then, she worked as an editor and writer, and has been making art and craft for herself and close contacts, participating in several local solo and group exhibitions over the years. 


Fallon Lavertue is a New England artist whose mediums include traditional oil painting, drawing, sculptural weaving, and printmaking. Her subjects include the figure, animal portraiture, abstraction, mythology, textile, and color. Lavertue has shown her work in New Hampshire, at Claremont Opera House, Lebanon AVA Gallery; in Massachusetts, at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and The Kathryn Schulz Gallery for Cambridge Art Association. Most recently, she was selected as one of the recipients for the Stephen D. Paine Scholarship by the Boston Art Dealers Association. Lavertue also received the Russel P. Coleman Jr. Award from Massachusetts College of Art and Design Fine Art 2D Department for their yearly Juried Open House, and Emerging Artist Award from the Cambridge Art Association at their Exhibition Red; both in 2023. In 2022 she received the Foundation Painting Award as one of three selected sophomores, again from their yearly Juried Open House. Lavertue is currently pursuing her final year of a bachelor’s fine arts degree in painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She works professionally as the Art Educator for the Fenway Community Center in Boston, offering art workshops to the Fenway neighborhood residents and guests. She also continues to work as a independent artist, currently making pieces for her 2024 Thesis Show.


Grace (Gray) Winburne is a multidisciplinary sculptor from Houston, Texas working within the intersections of fatness and queerness in the contemporary landscape. They received a BA in Honors Visual Arts and Engineering from Brown University in 2021 and an MFA in Studio Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in 2024. Their work has been featured in spaces in Boston, Providence, Houston, and online. Their highlights include a solo show in Boston Sculptors Gallery’s Launchpad in 2024 and a curation project through Students Curate Students titled “Party of One” in 2023.


Hannah Stoll (b. 1997, NYC) is an MFA in Painting Candidate (‘25) at Boston University. She was raised in Middlebury, VT and graduated from Colorado College in 2020. Shortly thereafter Stoll brought her studio practice to Carbondale, CO while interning with the Anderson Ranch Arts Center Painting and Printmaking program. Over the next several years, she taught children’s art classes for Anderson Ranch and several other creative non-profits (The Art Base, Carbondale Arts, and The Red Brick Center for the Arts). Stoll also assisted in the studios of several local artists, including Isa Catto and Reina Katzenberger. Her paintings were exhibited in multiple group shows across the state and in two solo shows: "Prospects" at Carbondale’s R2 Gallery in May 2022, and "Together in the Dark" at The Art Base in July 2023. Stoll’s paintings capture moments of action that engage with human precarity, vulnerability, and illusions of control. She gives precedence to the emotional realities of a wide range of subject matter, augmenting color and line through layering and subtractive techniques. Considering the experience of each painting as a potential empathetic interaction, Stoll immerses the viewer spatially or through the attentions of painted figures. 


Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ivo Makianich is a Boston-based painter. With a background in architectural electrical engineering, Ivo simultaneously pursued his passion for fine arts, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from Cal State University Long Beach, and a Master of Arts degree in Art from Eastern Illinois University. He is the recipient of the Summer Undergraduate Residency Program Academy Scholar Award 2023 at the New York Academy of Art and The King-Mertz Research/Creative Activity College Award of Excellence. Currently, as an MFA candidate in Painting at Boston University, Ivo is dedicated to artistic exploration and the continued development of a successful studio practice. He has exhibited work in Long Beach, CA, St. Louis, MO, Charleston, IL, Dayton, OH, Boston, MA and New York City, NY.


J Grace Giordano is a Boston-based painter and current MFA candidate at Boston University. Her work investigates the encountering of language as physical, and ideas around authorship, personal history, and humor. Giordano is from Kentucky and received a BFA in Art and Design from the University of Michigan.


Jesse Zuo is a Chinese figurative painter based in New York. “My educational journey, adorned with a BFA and MFA from the School of Visual Arts, is the foundation for my commitment to the visual arts.

My art explores what it means to be a woman, feel our bodies, and ride the rollercoaster of emotions. I stick to the roots of traditional realism, but I like mixing it up with a modern twist with chromatic colors, allowing the audience more freedom to understand when and where the moment has occurred.

My art is like a personal diary reflecting my life as a young woman figuring things out in a foreign place. The canvas captures the ups and downs, the struggles and victories of my journey. Every brushstroke holds the weight of my vulnerability, strength, and the quiet moments when I find my power.

What keeps my creative fire burning is this deep need to capture and share those small, beautiful moments that makeup life. These moments often get lost in the daily grind, but they're the heart and soul of my art. With my brush, I shine a light on the beauty in the ordinary—sunlight playing tricks, a quick expression, or the strength in being alone. I see my art as a personal gift—a visual story that invites people to connect with the human experience. It's not just about me; it's about all of us. Each painting tells a story of meaning and connection and celebrates the fleeting beauty of life, no matter where you're from.

The rush to share these moments comes from my own journey, navigating the emotional twists and turns of life as a young woman in a new place. My art is a bridge, linking different experiences and cultures and creating a sense of shared humanity.In every brushstroke and color choice, I want the audience to feel the joy in those temporary, beautiful moments surrounding us. My art speaks to that universal longing for connection and the understanding that life is fragile and lovely. Through my work, I want to make a space where we can all share our feelings, tell our stories, and celebrate the beauty of being together.”


Lu Adami (they/them) is working on a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art at School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. While originally from Chicago, IL, they have called New England home for nearly a decade. Their creative work deals with family histories and issues of identity through multimedia work including collage and quilt-making. In addition to their studio practice, Lu has championed transgender students and colleagues through a series of ongoing academic and socially engaged projects.


Mac Sloan Anderson is a painter and designer who works across mediums to explore the potential of composition, material, and color. Mac grew up in rural Western Massachusetts and the communities and landscapes he lives in are a major source of inspiration for his work. Mac started apprenticing with local painters when he was nine and has had a passion for creating ever since. Mac has studied art at Greenfield Community College, Pratt Institute, and is now working towards a BFA in painting and a BFA in communications design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.


Mason Burns is a painter from the Boston area that wrestles with themes that confront young, vulnerable, gay people. In his work, he uses the male form as a catalyst to charge natural environments with a predatory sense of waiting or stalking, a kind of prey response that takes place in cruising. This work is accompanied by an equally quiet yet moving theme where he and his grandmother collaborate on quiet compositions of objects she finds on their walks together. Due to her degenerative memory disorders she can’t remember how these compositions arose and they remain as quiet relics, or removed portraits of her beautiful mind. Burns is a current student at Boston university in the Dual Degree Program studying Painting and Marine Science. He works as a studio assistant to Lucy Kim, working both in the Lab and studio for her work. He has shown work at a few galleries in the Boston area along with studying and showing work at L’Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, Italy. 


Providence-based artist Matthew Napoli has been working in representational painting and drawing for 7 years. Selecting subject matter that invokes feelings of tension or threat, he composes images that appraise and embrace the difficulties of anxiety, admiration, desire, and doubt. His recent work, influenced by his studies in geology and natural history, addresses our species’ troubled relationship to our environments-- and ourselves. Poeticizing the uncomfortable realities of today’s ecology, Napoli proposes that by thoughtfully working through these discomforts, we can improve our relations to our surroundings, within and without ourselves. Napoli is presently a graduate teaching fellow at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He earned his undergraduate degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2021, and completed a residency at the New York Academy of art that same year. He was also the finalist for the 2022 AXA Art Prize, and in 2023 he was awarded a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation.


Originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Miranda Pikul received her B.A. at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2022. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Boston University College of Fine Arts. Her focus explores the psychology of behavior and human connection through figurative and narrative painting. Miranda’s work has been exhibited in galleries such as The Wonderstone, New Wight and Stay Home Gallery. 


Monica Hamilton is an artist from Massachusetts working primarily in photography and book arts. She is a current MFA ‘25 candidate at the University of Connecticut and holds a B.S. in Studio Art from Skidmore College. Hamilton’s current work revolves around themes about the passage of time and how it relates to the grieving process. She blends images and texts to direct the narrative in a deeply personal way that invites the viewer to look introspectively into their own experiences.


Nami Yamaguchi is a Boston based artist in their final year at Massachusetts College of Art and Design focusing on fiber arts and techniques. The larger body of Yamaguchi's work is focused heavily on large-scale weaving installations, in an attempt to create a space outside of time for the viewer. Yamaguchi blends natural ink making processes with fabric painting and foam carving to create soft sculptures. These foam sculptures are often the artist's iteration of objects that reference physical spaces where the artist has found a connection beyond this realm, such as their family grave plot, and temples throughout Japan. These soft sculptures that are covered in painted polyester and satin sit within these woven portals. The endless loop of time and ancestors, both in past and present are what drives the conceptual side to Yamaguchi’s process. 


Nick Ortoleva is a photo based artist studying at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He aims to celebrate and render the world around him, as well as his community through a series of abstracting light and through environmental portraiture. His photographs are shaped by an interest in social interaction and psychology, through slow, contemplative images. He often turns to the camera to aid in visualizing this sense of feeling unarmed but receptive and open to the world. He uses the camera to document and capture moments and glimpses of the surreal, dream-like world he feels as though he is an observer in. Nick’s photographs depict personal relationships, feelings of isolation, and an overwhelming wonderment.


Ophelia Arc is a multidisciplinary artist based in Providence Rhode Island. Using sculpture, video, and installation, Arc investigates psychoanalytic themes as they relate to her personal experiences and memories. Selected exhibitions include No Gallery (New York, NY), Whitebox (New York, NY), Kates-Ferri Projects (New York, NY), Westbeth Gallery (New York, NY), and Collar Works (Troy, NY). She is currently pursuing her MFA in sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design.


I am Paul Cwikla.

I am Paul Cwikla.

I am Paul Cwikla.

I was born in 2001 In Binghamton, NY.

I live and work in Oswego, NY, as I acquire my BFA.

I create work that appears to be:



Or Blasphemous.

Though at the heart of my art, there is:



And introspection.

My goal is to stimulate a conversation between the viewer and Paul Cwikla. However, it lets each audience decide if they are talking to Paul Cwikla, the confident artist who covers walls with his name. Or, Paul Cwikla, the God-fearing atheist who is panicking about time, memory, and identity.

In creating these understandable conversations for every viewer, I aim to dismantle preconceptions about “Fine Art” and destroy the veil that makes it appear inaccessible. The current belief is that realism and landscapes are the most accessible and legible art forms. I aspire to broaden this perception to include contemporary and conceptual art. 


Quincey Spagnoletti is a photographer whose work explores her interests in gender roles and the female form. She investigates the impact society has on women and their unconscious behaviors made on a daily basis. She will graduate with her Master of Fine Arts in May 2024 at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University. She earned a BA from Colgate University in Art & Art History where she was the recipient of the Gary M. Hoffer Prize for Excellence in Photography. Her senior thesis “In the Spare Room,” was featured at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Visual Arts, in LaCrosse Wisconsin. Spagnoletti has most recently exhibited at The SE Center for Photography in Greenville, South Carolina, the Dallas Center for Photography in Dallas, Texas, Panopticon Gallery in Boston, MA and the Leica Gallery Boston in Boston, MA. Spagnoletti was born in Syracuse, NY and currently lives in Boston, MA. 


Samuel Morrison is a Boston-based artist who works in ceramic, fiber, paper-mache, print, and illustration. He is a graduate of Friends Seminary and attended the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College program and currently studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Morrison has shown work in New York City and London and currently has a sculpture on display at the Brushes With Greatness Gallery in Soho Square. His work aims to examine community dynamics and focuses on themes around food, familial interactions, and American advertising.


Sylvie Mayer is an artist originally from Rhode Island and currently living in Boston. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Painting in 2018. She is currently an MFA Candidate in Painting at Boston University and a 2023 grantee of the Elizabeth Greenshields foundation. 


Téa Chai Beer (she/her) was born in Boston in 1995 and is currently in the second year of the MFA in Painting at Boston University. As a (cisgender) queer and mixed-race Korean and White (Protestant and Ashkenazi) American, how she embodies and expresses herself often feels fluid, depending on context or her perception by others. Her work aims to embody this multiplicity of the self through layered semi-transparent drawings and paintings on raw translucent fabrics, like silk and poly silk, that explore complex emotions felt either sequentially or in collapsed time. Beer also explores themes of mental health through mining her experiences with anxiety, depression, and dissociation. Through self-portraiture, she hopes to exploit, cannibalize, and resist ideas of affect, identity and morality at stake in her practice.

Beer received her BA in Art (Painting/Printmaking) from Yale University in 2017 and attended the Yale Norfolk School of Art in 2016. She was the project manager of Passenger Pigeon Press, an independent art book press, and artist assistant to multimedia artist Tammy Nguyen from 2017 to 2022; she also taught Art to K-12 students at the Pierrepont School in Westport, CT from 2019 to 2022.


Vivian Tran is an artist based in Boston and Toronto. She is currently working towards a BFA and a BS in cognitive science at Tufts University, set to graduate in 2025. Her work explores personal and public archives in search of interwoven moments across time and space.


Yulia Spiridonova is a contemporary artist who works with photography, archive images, collage, and installation. Yulia was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1986 and currently lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. She has participated in a number of exhibitions in Russia, the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands. Yulia graduated from The Moscow State University in 2008 and Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2014. She is currently an MFA candidate at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (2024)

Ziggy Smith is a senior at Montserrat College of Art studying sculpture. Smith is interested in working as an independent artist and using his knowledge of film, sculpture, painting, and interactive art to reinterpret his personal history and lineage as a black man.

About the author

Abigail Ogilvy

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