April 24th through May 12th

Reception and Poster Sessions Thursday, April 22 from 2:00 – 5:00 pm

2017 Ignite logoIgnite your curiosity. Ignite your imagination. 

Welcome to Ignite: St. Thomas Aquinas College’s second annual Art, Design, and Scholarship Exhibition. Ignite is a celebration of our undergraduate students, their research, and their creativity from multiple disciplines across campus. The scope of the presentations featured showcase the outstanding caliber of our undergraduate students at St. Thomas Aquinas College. We hope that this exhibition will ignite a passion for discovery and ingenuity in all of our students for years to come. 

The projects on display also demonstrate the ongoing commitment of our faculty to supporting undergraduate research. As is true of their faculty mentors, these students and their work hold the potential to contribute positively to the world. Each of these students has benefitted from guidance provided by exceptional faculty. We thank the faculty for their efforts on behalf of these students. 

We strongly encourage you to share in this showcase -- visit the poster presentations, view exhibits on display in our gallery, and read the collection of abstracts included in this program



March 27th through April 16th

Reception and Artist Talk Wednesday, March 29 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Pamplet of exhibition "Perpetual Award" by Ellie Murphy

Ellie Murphy is a Queens-based artist who creates large, braided yarn sculptures. Crafted of brightly-colored yarn and other materials, her work evokes simple geometric patterns reminisecent of hairstyles, tassels or curtains. Of her work, Murphy says she would like to,”point to and play with the many interdependent and overlapping cultures in our world and the unintended and humorous connections between them. At the same time, I want to explore the relationship of personal and cultural nostalgia while questioning the borders between fine art and the traditional craft forms of everyday life.”

Her work is influenced by her biography. Born in Illinois in 1964, Murphy grew up in a small town in Kansas in the 1970’s. As a result, much of her work references doll hair, crafts, folk motifs and Americana from this time. She is also inspired by the multicultural neighborhood she lives in in Queens, with its abundance of traditional craft and hand work imported into her neighborhood by families from all over the world.

Murphy has exhibited her sculptures throughout New York and nationally. Her has created works of public art for the Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota and the Fulton Ferry/Brooklyn Bridge State Park. She lives with her husband and son in a formerly-abandoned house they renovated themselves.

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February 27th through March 19th

Reception and Performances Wed, March 8 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Pamplet of STAC students exhibitionSt. Thomas Aquinas students submitted art, design and spoken word. 

Exhibition designed and executed by students in ART261: Art Gallery Practicum.

Participating students include John Bhatti, Melissa Urena Castillo, Erin Colgan, William Decker, Elena Dongaris, Abraham Gill, Maria Keegan, Natacha Martinez, Theresa McKenna, Kelly Monzon, Aislynn Nichols, Emerald Perez, Samantha Piehler, Faralynn Sanchez, Gabrielle Serrano, Angelique Trujillo, Clint Walker and Gabrielle Yum








January 23rd through February 19th

Reception and Artist Talk Wed, Feb 1 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Pamplet of exhibition "Dimentions Inventions" by Amir HaririWhat is decay and how does it fit into progress? Amir R. Hariri’s work explores the multiplicity of that question and its answers. In his paintings, which resemble surreal blueprints or models of impossible designs, buildings exist in a liminal state, being constructed and decaying simultaneously. Using traditional materials such as oil and acrylic, as well as experimental materials such as concrete, Hariri blurs the boundaries between progress and ruin.

Hariri’s vision represents his wide range of education and experiences. Born in Tehran, Iran, and educated at Harvard, Cornell, and the Art Students League of New York, Hariri’s work unifies his training in engineering and his study of printmaking and painting. Furthermore, his facility at moving between cultures and disciplines influences the nature of his paintings. Between the poles of decay and evolution, his work refuses to condemn progress or embrace utopian visions. Instead, he offers a different perspective: what if decay is part of the newness that we crave?

This in-betweenness is also present in Hariri’s depiction of borders. Frequently, his borders dissolve or are broken, creating an image that spills beyond its white frame. By creating uncertainty in the image’s boundaries, Hariri incites and encourages what the poet John Keats described as “negative capability”: “that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, [and] doubts . . .” Paradoxically, a great deal of insight and understanding is to be found in those spaces.

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November 21st through December 18th

Reception and Artist Talk Wed, Nov 30 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm

"Thought, Process, Action: Faculty Research and Creative Work" Script

Entitled Thought, Process, Action: Faculty Research and Creative Work, this year’s faculty exemplifies professional practice in the creative arts. The aim of this exhibition is to show how, as faculty, we work though problems, engage with our communities and demonstrate scholarship in our disciplines. 

Professional practice in the arts is frequently equated with studio practice, separate from the rituals of the classroom, but here we argue that professional practice is more of a dialogical extension of pedagogy, incorporating cultural and political interventions and social practice. Art can be a physical artifact, an action, an interaction. It can be research or conversation. It can be process. 

This show of faculty work also hopes to illuminate the thinking process shared by those working in creative fields. It aims to demonstrate the forms of artistic practice, critical empathy and social agency that inform our teaching, suggesting that the art classroom be an open space used to foster the development of ideas. 

Featuring the work of Nina Bellisio, Ethan Finkelstein, Matthew Finn, Daly Flanagan, Timothy Hull, Carol Lagstein, Monica Wendel and Barbara Yontz.

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October 10th through November 6th

Reception and Artist Talk Wed, Oct 26 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm

"To the North"  exhibition's Collage

New work by painter Virginia Bryant will be shown at the Azarian McCullough Gallery at St. Thomas Aquinas College. The first seeds motivating the move north were sown by seeing the work of Hudson Valley painters in  galleries on the Rue Royal in the French Quarter in New Orleans 1989-91. The lushness and hallucinatory splendor of the tropics of south west Florida in the 22 years immediately following this were foundational to the development of her painting vocabulary and still are an active element of the work in this exhibit.

About her painting the artist says, “My proclivities for the mystical and the sublime are tempered by a strong drive towards balance. My preoccupations with balance relate to surroundings that are dangerously out of balance. If I can achieve harmonious balance in the diminutive spaces of my paintings, this message can be manifested outside of it too. Informed by the wabi sabi tropical baroque terrain of southwest Florida which acted as my chief visual inspiration during my time there, I am habituated to using natural environments as my primary inspiration. The new palette of the northern environment is blue, cooler and more greyed.” 

Trained as a classical dancer, the gestural orientation of Bryant’s paintings are outgrowths of early experiences as a dancer, performer and choreographer in San Francisco where she also worked as a fabric, costume and garment maker and designer. 

While in Florida she worked as an art educator, founding the West Wing Gallery, which under her directorship brought artists to Naples from all over the country. She continued independent curatorial activities under the auspices of Art Projects from her time in San Francisco in the 80’s ending in the last project of 12 artists in “Aspirants Shamans & Mentors”, bringing acknowledged masters together with local artists. 

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September 6th through October 2nd

Receptions Wed, Sept 14 from 2:30 – 6:30 pm, Remembering Adele at 5:00 

Sun, Sept 18 from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, Remembering Adele at 3:00

Pamphlet of "Remembering Adele: A retrospective"

Sister Adele Myers OP was a Sparkill Dominican, widely respected as a teacher, arts advocate and curator. She was also a gifted designer and artist, whose work evolved into a unique style that won her ten one woman shows, inclusion into many group exhibits and eleven reviews by the N.Y. Times. 

This exhibit offers us an opportunity to discover relationships between artistic form and content, as well as the forces which drive artistic endeavor and growth. Adele’s work may also remind us of our own search for meaning,  spiritual or otherwise;  a search that combines what we already know and accept, with that which we have as yet to fully understand.

Learn more about her work and legacy in this booklet.