Press Release: Fresh Faces 2021

March 17, 2021

Fresh Faces 2021
March 15 – April 26, 2021

Online Exclusive

Featuring: Arielle Gordon Wilson | Catherine Falco | Chunbum Park | Clara Curbera | Elizabeth Kaiser | Grace Deal | Gus Williams | Jacob Geiger | Jenny Olsen | James Parker Foley | Jillian Vaccaro | Keara McHaffie | Kester Messan | Leslie Lyman | Luke Whittaker | Marissa Giampietro | Michaela Salvo | Molly Harrington | Rita Scheer | Semaj Campbell | Shabnam Jannesari | Sierra Caley | Sonja Czekalski | Tiffany Doggett | Ula Grabski | Valentine Bonner | Yuchi Jou | Zhiqian Wang | Zoe Cronin

Abigail Ogilvy Gallery is proud to present our third annual Fresh Faces, an exhibition that introduces new artwork by the Northeast’s most talented student artists, located in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont & New York. The exhibition features 29 artists working in a variety of styles and media.



Arielle Gordon Wilson was born in Ventura California, but was raised in the small town of Millville, Massachusetts. Here she attended Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational High school and graduated with a certificate in multimedia communications. During her time at BVT she focused on photography, graphic design, and interned in the design and print center for two years. Currently Arielle attends Massachusetts College of Art and Design undergraduate program studying ceramics and sustainability science. Arielle Gordon's work is built around her passion for community and engaging communities through art to strengthen and build relationships.


 Catherine Falco’s artistic medium is dictated by the content of her work. As a consequence, she uses a wide variety of materials to create both 2D and dimensional works. She employs a personal vocabulary of symbols in her work. A red string represents a connection to a past lover and an overturned coffee cup is an expression of femininity and its potential for fragility. Through her art, she hopes to communicate her pain, as well as her potential for healing. She wants the viewer to look at her work and feel a connection between their own emotions and experiences and those which she visually represents. Although emblematic and veiled, her work brings deeply personal experiences to light and into a universal space.


Chunbum Park,The Three Muses, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 75 x 75 in.

Chunbum Park,The Three Muses, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 75 x 75 in.


Chunbum Park, also known as Chun, was born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1991. He came to the United States in 2000 to study English and attend school. He graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy in 2009 and subsequently studied at various art schools and universities. In 2020, Park obtained his BFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, where he began to explore the themes of eroticism and sexual fantasy. Currently an MFA Fine Arts Studio student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Park is delving into the topics of gender fluidity and the male gaze, which should involve varying amounts of self-gaze based on the ratio of masculinity to femininity of the male’s personality. Park has recently exhibited at the SVA Chelsea Gallery and was featured on for an online exhibit organized by SHIM. Park is also the founder of the Emerging Artists Collective, where he interviews other artists.


Clara Curbera was born in New York City in 1998, and is now based in Brooklyn, NY. She received a BFA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where she graduated with High Honors in the Art Department with a painting thesis titled Everybody Knows. She paints dark, altered images that seek to translate the world through a lens inspired by the popular culture aesthetics of 1980’s horror films and vignette-style American short stories. They emphasize the visceral feelings looming within a physical scene. Her paintings are created in direct conversation with photography and juxtapose the physicality of each medium to investigate its realism.


Elizabeth Kaiser is a printmaker and fabric artist living and working in central New York. Their work has to do with translating quick gestures through slow cooked print matrices and incorporating digital visual languages within handicraft techniques. They are currently focusing on fabric and fiber arts - knitting afghans, making sewn collages, and experimenting with constructing garments.


Grace Deal, Surf the Gulf, 2021. Acrylic and spray on vinyl. 60 x 48 in.

Grace Deal, Surf the Gulf, 2021. Acrylic and spray on vinyl. 60 x 48 in.


 Grace Deal is a Brooklyn-based artist who was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. Through painting on the surface of stretched vinyl and concrete exteriors, Deal incorporates and memorializes logos, graphics, and manufactured imagery from her rustbelt upbringing into her work. Her work has appeared at the Dayton Art Institute and the Blaffer Art Museum in Houston, Texas. She is the recipient of the City College of New York Dean’s Prize in Art, the Connor Merit Scholarship, and the Flaxman Endowed Art Scholarship. Her work has been mentioned in the Houston Chronicle, CityBook Houston, Houstonia Magazine, and Glass Mountain Magazine. Deal holds a BFA in Painting and a minor in Art History from the University of Houston and is expecting an MFA in Studio Art from the City College of New York in 2021.


 Gus Williams is from a family of house flipping hobos always looking for the next train to nowhere in particular. He currently is settled in the small town of Bristol, Maine, but throughout his life his family has spent more time fixing up and moving out than moving in. By the time he got to 12th grade he had already been in 14 different schools. The only reason Augustus has been in Bristol so long is his dad's distaste for all things less than perfection. This is his father’s curse, if you can find a problem in everything you will spend your time fixing anything. His father is the reason it was so easy for Augustus to get and keep a job in the world of skilled labor, but most importantly his father taught him how to create. To have the mentality that an idea doesn’t exist simply because you haven’t made it yet, and you don’t need to think something all the way through before you start it. He learned on the fly, not sitting on my ass thinking. He works instinctively using the tools he finds immediately around him and make them work. He takes unwanted and excess materials from different job sites and use their natural properties to create something unnatural to the eye but authentic to the limits of the material. He realized that in his process much like in life most solutions are within arm’s reach, you just have to use what you got.


Jacob Geiger is a Boston-based photographer and MFA candidate at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He obtained a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from Yale University and lived and worked in California prior to moving to Boston. He is interested in the somatic experience of being lost within images.


Jenny Olsen is an MFA 2D painting student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She will be graduating in Spring 2022. Before entering MassArt, she worked full time and painted on her own. Her main medium is oil. Her work has transitioned from abstracts to figurative and to the interplay of abstracts and figures. She is currently exploring the sound and silence, and especially the operatic singing and its effect on coloring and lines in her work. Jenny was the “Best in Show” winner of the Cambridge Art Association’s National Prize Show in 2015. Art school is giving Jenny a fresh start and she is excited with the new possibilities.

Jessica Parker Foley, 'm Your Boyfriend Now, Nancy, 2021. Oil on panel. 48 x 96 in. (diptych) Now on view with the ICA at Maine College of Art

James Parker Foley, I'm Your Boyfriend Now, Nancy, 2021. Oil on panel. 48 x 96 in. (diptych) Now on view with the ICA at Maine College of Art


James Parker Foley is a painter, naturalist, and educator living and working in Portland, Maine. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Maine College of Art, where she is also the painting technician. Her areas of research include landscape, pigments, printmaking, wildcrafting, and more recently, classic horror films. She earned her B.A. in Environmental Humanities from Sterling College in Vermont and her M.F.A. in Studio Art from Maine College of Art. She was the recipient of the 2020 Monhegan Artist Residency, which she will attend this summer.


Jillian Vaccaro received her BFA from Emmanuel College in 2014. Upon graduating she began her education career as a high school art teacher in Boston. She is a passionate educator who is committed to creating an environment where students feel valued, challenged, and are given the opportunity to explore artistic skill and experience personal growth. Jillian is currently enrolled at Massachusetts College of Art and Design where she is an MFA candidate for Interdisciplinary Studies. Jillian works across media describing memories from her past experiences. Growing up in a close family with her mother’s artistic influence, Jillian creates using familiar objects to share parts of her personal narrative through her art.


 Keara McHaffie is a freshman at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She graduated from Walnut Hill School for the Arts in 2020 and studied Visual Art for the last four years. While attending Walnut Hill she fell in love with numerous mediums but painting always stood out the most. The goal within most of her paintings is to tackle serious topics in the world but approach them in a fun welcoming way to create a less intimidating environment. Having fun, experimenting, and learning new ideas through a vibrant process is what helps make her artwork stand out.


 Kester Messan is an artist and writer from Togo, West Africa. He grew up in Cambridge, MA where he cultivated his artistic self—one that is rooted in the power of storytelling. He is a student at Williams College where he is receiving his B.A. in Visual Arts. The deeply personal task of discovering, reclaiming, and permitting oneself to exist freely in the world is what has inspired Messan in his artmaking. In recognizing that the dissonance that he’s felt as a queer black man is rooted in the denial of his body, the expectations of the people around him, and the prohibition of the spaces that they inhabit together, Messan works to reclaim autonomy and create permission for himself. Through language, declaration, performance and various media, Messan asks, tells, and demands. His practice is largely research-based and is in contention with manifestations of colonialism and control that work to inhibit and marginalize people. He asks, what is the body? How does the body feel? How does it move and connect with other bodies? What can the body do? And what can be done to the body? Messan searches for the body in public spaces, in loops, choreographies, and in scripts. In hopes of creating community that is affirming, he disrupts those spaces, breaks those loops, reworks those choreographies, and rewrites those scripts. He realizes art as a means through which we might re-imagine the sleep we get, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the words we speak, the rooms we enter, the pictures we take, the stories we tell, and what we might look and feel like in them. Messan’s practice is committed to imagination and worldbuilding through art, as a means of reclaiming persona and transforming community.


Leslie Lyman, Comfort Taken, 2020. Archival pigment print. 24 x 36 in.

Leslie Lyman, Comfort Taken, 2020. Archival pigment print. 24 x 36 in.


 Leslie Lyman is a student of history and has had a long been interested in the lives of women. She was an American Studies major at Smith College and earned her MFA at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in August 2020. Leslie uses mixed media with historical objects, historical techniques and photography to blend the past and present in order to explore the emotional labor of women. The mother of four children, her interests lie in the complex realities of today as seen from the generational history we all hold.


 Luke Whittaker is an emerging artist currently living and working in Providence, Rhode Island with a studio at the Nicholson File Company Art Studios. Born in Toronto, Canada he was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of five. In the midst of treatment, he moved to Darien, Connecticut and received treatment from Memorial Sloan Kettering. After a bone marrow transplant, radiation treatment and chemotherapy, he was rid of the cancer at the age of eight. He attended Darien High School, graduating in 2016, then went on to graduate, with honors, from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in painting. During his senior year he participated in RISD’s European Honors Program in Rome, Italy. Right now, he is working on developing his portfolio and challenging his own practice and applying to graduate programs.


 Marissa Giampietro is a Burlington, VT based multimedia artist who graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, with a degree in Painting and Sustainability. Marissa’s work derives from realism, with a focus on found spaces or objects that together, form a narrative. Through papier mache, Giampietro construct’s life-sized figurative sculptures, which work to create a fun, eclectic, mismatched environment. Her work investigates the comfort of home and that which is unseen from the outside world.  She is interested in the way we behave at home versus how we may present ourselves in public. Marissa explores narratives based on feminine aesthetics, media, and personal experiences. Through mixed media collage and sculpture, she desires to push the boundaries between sculpture and painting.


 Michaela Salvo identifies as an American social justice artist. Her work can be in a number of different mediums, but her goal is always to bring awareness to what is going on in the world around her. She tackles many areas including The Pandemic, sexual assault and mental illness. It often appears to look surreal to some but for her and her subjects, her images are very real. She recently graduated with a B.A. in Art from Central Connecticut State University in 2020 and she is currently continuing my education in the UK at Kingston University.


Molly Harrington is a sculptor and undergraduate student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a material focus on cast iron, ceramic, and paper. As an artist, she wants to provoke thought and interest in her media and the forms she creates - to tell stories and entice, intrigue, specifically through fantastical creatures and forms, mostly inspired by folklore, history and culture. Drawing inspiration from her own personal experiences as well as animal and plant life, philosophy, science, and psychology, her work takes these themes and interconnects them. Through these connections, she expresses a sense of age as well as emotion through material history, exploring the foundation of shifting and shaping materials to create 3D media. Her work at its core aims to be ancient. She is originally from Northeast Connecticut.


Rita Scheer is a painter/ printmaker working in the Providence area, where she is a Post-Bacc at Brandeis University. She has exhibited work online at (2020), at (2020), at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture (2019), and during the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts (2018 & 2019). She lives and works between Philadelphia, Providence, and Waltham.


Semaj Campbell, Untitled, 2020. Photograph. 26 x 24 in.

Semaj Campbell, Untitled, 2020. Photograph. 26 x 24 in.


Semaj Campbell is a Brooklyn, NY native. Semaj studied psychology and studio art at Trinity College, graduating in May 2018, and is now currently pursuing his MFA at Lesley University (Boston, MA). Semaj is currently an educator and coach at Avon Old Farms, in Avon, CT. Inspired by the works of Gordon Parks, Deanna Lawson, Latoya Ruby Frazier, Angelica Dass, Chi Modu and Bruce Gilden, Semaj seeks to reimagine the black gaze through his personal narrative. Semaj challenges the historical prejudices, racism, and false narratives, that have haunted the depiction of black figures in society throughout generations. His photographs seek to provide a voice for everyday people who have been oppressed and suppressed, and ultimately discarded out of society’s forefront.


 Shabnam Jannesari is an Iranian artist and a MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She incorporates drawing and painting to explore a nostalgia of distant intimacies in her life. She illuminates the plight of the Iranian woman, censored by an overreaching patriarchy. Jannesari’s paintings expresses her personal story, but they also reflect on the suppression of women across Iran. Jannesari’s carefully composed figures empower the complex realities of Iranian female identity.


 Sierra Caley is currently investigating new concepts during her MFA candidacy at Massachusetts College of Art and Design Time and space for experimentation and play remain constant, essential elements in her studio practice. While the work is impressionistic, it is important for the sculptures to operate in the world of objects. Sculptures require a viewer in motion and are never completely visually available. She is drawn to this elusive and mysterious characteristic of sculpture. The confrontation of her interpersonal relationships facilitated a visual exploration of abstract forms and structure. Her practice orchestrates under the permission of her intuition to develop a body of work that focuses on texture, form, scale, and color. She engages with ceramic and glass as a process of healing and lend it to an intuitive practice; reacting to the form as it is created and allow for each element to affect the next. She considers the process of extruding, stretching and bending material as potent metaphors for the tension and complexity that encompass her state of being. The transformative nature of ceramic and glass moving from a soft malleable state into something rigid, permanent and delicate attribute to her exploration of relationships.  


Sonja Czekalski is a contemporary interdisciplinary artist. Her current work embeds itself in the fourth wave of American feminism, using fiber arts and hand-paper making to reclaim the craft, body, and voice of the web of women who raised her. She is currently enrolled at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Massachusetts where she is an MFA candidate for Interdisciplinary Studies. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education with a concentration in painting from Rhode Island College in 2017. Sonja has pursued a career in secondary art education and is eager to continue her teaching at the post-secondary level. Sonja has been included in various group shows and exhibitions including a “Best in Show” at the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative. Sonja is an artist member at the historical Hera Gallery in Wakefield, Rhode Island, and a contributor to Witches Magazine.


 Tiffany Doggett earned her BFA in Photography from Cornell University and her master’s in art teaching from Massachusetts College of Art in December 2020. Her evolution into felted paintings springs from her obsession with light, but also from her own photographs of special places. These images start as wide open vistas, get smashed into a tiny digital screen, then scaled up again using into fiber. What happens in each translation? What does the image gain or lose in each iteration? These are questions Tiffany is still exploring! The artist lives in Groton, MA and is currently teaching 7th grade art.


 Ula Grabski is 19 years old and grew up in Haverhill, MA. She graduated high school in 2019 and went on to study art at Northern Essex Community College. Ula hopes to receive her associates degree in Liberal Arts in January 2021. Her strongest interest is in painting, and she hopes to expand all her knowledge of art. This includes progressing with her own creation, learning about marketing and selling her work, and making connections. Her dream is to be able to support herself by doing something she loves, which would be painting. Currently, Ula has become involved with a local gallery called “The Switchboard,” learning all about the backend of what it takes to run a gallery.


 Valentine Bonner (they/he) is a genderfluid printmaker and painter living in Portland, Maine. They are currently enrolled in Maine College of Art as a junior in the printmaking major, and their current work explores food, cooking, and the human form. They are especially interested in working towards the normalization of transgender bodies in art and media.


Yuchi Jou, Breast Faucet II, 2020. Stoneware. 7 in.

Yuchi Jou, Breast Faucet II, 2020. Stoneware. 7 in.


Yuchi Jou grew up on the small island of Taiwan, where she was taught not to challenge the ideas imposed by this patriarchal society. She began to think differently about her role as an Asian woman and her identity when she came to the United States. She immersed herself in the Western educational system and began to think more critically about notions she was brought up believing. She realized that women are capable of taking control and having their own voice. Therefore, her art practice explores gender in relationship to society, politics, culture and history. As an Asian woman and an immigrant, she often thinks about the ways in which she creates a dialogue about the relationship between male and female and the power dynamic between genders. She strives to reconcile her Taiwanese identity and her own voice in the art world through her artistic practice.


 Zhiqian Wang is an interdisciplinary artist whose works range from paintings, sculptures, performances, installations, to conceptual experimentation. She see her works as a means to facilitate the conversation beyond the boundary of languages, and to bring both philosophical and poetic investigations into the notion of conceptual art. Born in Guangzhou, China and as a young Asian female artist, she has noticed that there is an expectation in the western sphere of contemporary art for artists with minority status to talk about their “identity”. However, Wang believes that expectation is, in fact, a discrimination toward minority artists. She is pursuing the freedom to transcend the parameters of expectations.


Zoe Cronin is a senior at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and will graduate in May with a BFA in Art Education. She is an interdisciplinary artist predominantly working in weaving and textiles. Zoe spent the Fall 2019 semester studying in India where she participated in a block printing and natural dyeing workshop in Bagru, outside of Jaipur, Rajasthan. She is also a passionate gardener and cranberry bog enthusiast.

About the author

Abigail Ogilvy

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