Senior Thesis Art Exhibit Showcases Class of 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

APRIL 11, 2012 (PHILADELPHIA) – “Eleven on the Thirteenth,” the 2012 Saint Joseph’s University Senior Art Thesis Exhibition, will open on Friday, April 13, marking the 13th year of the annual showcase. Held in the new gallery on the second floor of Merion Hall on the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus, this year’s exhibition features the collected works of 11 student-artists working with pastels, ceramics, painting and photography. The show runs through May 31, with an opening reception scheduled for Friday, April 13, from 5 – 9 p.m.

Each year, graduating fine arts majors come together in the senior capstone course taught by Ron Klein, M.F.A., associate professor of fine and performing arts, in which they assemble a culminating portfolio of their creative works.


“I am most impressed by the growth of this year’s artists,” says Klein. “They learned to integrate their own styles and concepts to produce personal and beautiful work. This is no easy task and I am very proud of the exhibit and their hard work.”

Representing four different media, the 2012 installments range from photographic portraiture to functional, design-centered ceramics.  In their own way, each artist engages with gallery viewers by presenting a unique interpretation of art and the world around them. Meagan Arthurs ’12, a ceramicist from the Germantown section of Philadelphia, creates unique, expressive hand built pieces.

“I am interested in leaving the viewer with the impression of things perceived, discovered, lost…a sort of poetry realized in clay,” says Arthurs. “In depiction, I see a tendency toward the surreal; my forms have a fantastic, spontaneous quality attributable to an affinity for the bizarre in nature.”

Evan DiPaola ’12 of Eastampton, N.J., explains that his photographs explore the concept of identity and identity creation by displaying his subjects as more than themselves. “The question I raise is, ‘Is identity based on private knowledge, or is the language of portraiture a universal one?’” says DiPaola. “My photographs push the boundaries of classic portraiture, to call into question the true identity of the sitter.”

Like DiPaola, Megan Brady ’12 of Warminster, Pa., uses her art to explore the depth of her subject matter. Painting figuratively and on large-scale canvas, she employs unusual and unlikely colors to “show the gritty, everyday life that can be boring, gruesome and consumed with excessive but meaningless ideals and lifestyles,” while at the same time invoking “a narrative of mystery and humor.” Brady incorporates the face and hands, inviting her audience to relate to the depictions and consider their own conclusions to her narratives.

Painter Holly Colaguori ’12 takes her works in another direction, striving to uncover the space between dream and reality. Also producing large-scale paintings, she uses oils to create renderings of what she describes as the “mystifying and fascinating experience of dreaming in waking life.” A resident of Lansdale, Pa., Colaguori will continue her study in the fall by pursuing her M.F.A.


Some, like ceramicist Tina Eccleston ’12, of Islip, N.Y., will take their knowledge into schools, teaching students like themselves about the fulfillment of art.

“I strive to teach my viewers about how my own artwork fits into the history of art in the same ways that I hope to teach my students about art and history,” says Eccleston. “As an educator, it is my goal to instill a life-long appreciation of art and all of its positive qualities in my students. I set the same standards for my viewers.”

In addition to Arthurs, DiPaola, Brady, Colaguori and Eccleston, the senior exhibit features the work of Kaitlin Ammirati of Lorton, Va. (pastel); Angela Bennie of Cherry Hill, N.J. (ceramics); Laura Colussi of Ambler, Pa. (photography); Darby Cotter of Stratford, Conn. (ceramics); Cara Howell of Syosset, N.Y. (photography); and Martina Tagher of Nigeria (painting).

Merion Hall is located off of City Avenue, on Saint Joseph’s University’s Maguire Campus at 376 N. Latches Lane in Lower Merion, Pa. A campus map may be viewed online. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 610-660-1840, or visit the gallery website at

An exhibition of junior artwork is being held in Boland Hall on Lapsley Lane in Lower Merion, Pa. until Friday, April 20, 2012, with an artist reception on Friday, April 13 from 4-6 p.m.


As Philadelphia's Jesuit, Catholic University, founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts. SJU ranks as a top university in the Northeast, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in the College of Arts and Sciences and AACSB accreditation of the  Erivan K. Haub School of Business. The University is also deeply committed to the Jesuit tradition of scholarship and service, earning a place on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. With courses offered on campus and online, SJU prepares its more than 8,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students to lead lives of personal excellence, professional success and engaged citizenship.


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