Cultural Events

WCSU Spring Semester MFA Artist Lecture Program Includes Newtown Graphic Artist

Published: February 17, 2019 at 08:00 am


DANBURY — Artists whose critically acclaimed works span a wide spectrum from illustration and painting to digital, sculpture, installation, and mixed media will discuss their artistic philosophies and creative process during the Western Connecticut State University spring semester Master of Fine Arts lecture series, which continues through April 24.

All lectures, sponsored by the WCSU Department of Art MFA in Visual Arts program, will be the Visual and Performing Arts Center (Room 144), on the WCSU Westside campus, 43 Lake Avenue Extension in Danbury.

Admission is free, and the public is invited. Registration is requested at

The series began on February 5 with a lecture by Nancy Stahl, whose works in both traditional media and digital creative platforms during a career stretching nearly five decades earned her election in 2012 to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.

Other artists featured in the 2019 MFA spring semester lecture series include:

*Tuesday, February 19, at 11:30 am: Hilary Doyle, who works in diverse media, including painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture to explore myriad aspects of class, gender, and the human psyche.

Ms Doyle earned her MFA in Painting at Rhode Island School of Design. She has shown her works in 45 solo and group exhibitions since 2007 across the United States and in England, most recently at the Saatchi Gallery in London and at Field Projects in New York.

She has held artist residencies at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and the Vermont Studio Center and has curated exhibitions at RISD and at New York galleries, including Projekt722, where she served for three years as co-director.

In an artist statement about her creative process, Ms Doyle explained that many of her works begin with “mundane moments observed” that inspire exploration of “the rituals and emotions of daily life. People reveal their disposition in their folded arms, baby carts, laughing eyes, tightly clutched bags or work uniforms. These clues spark imaginary narratives about people’s lives in each work”;

*Tuesday, March 5, at 11:30 am: Newtown resident Ross MacDonald, who learned his illustration, graphic design, and printmaking craft on the job at several small printing and publishing houses in his native Canada before embarking in the United States on a career that has popularized his works in magazines, newspapers, movies, TV shows, comics, and children’s literature.

His illustrations have appeared in scores of publications including Vanity Fair, Harper’s, The New Yorker and Rolling Stone, and his children’s books Another Perfect Day and Achoo! Bang! Crash! The Noisy Alphabet have earned Publisher’s Weekly, Child Magazine and Nick Jr. Best Book awards.

His professional honors include a retrospective show at the New York Times and recognitions for artistic excellence from the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, the Society of Publication Designers, and Communication Arts.

His skill with letterpress and drawing in recreating retro-styled illustrations has earned steady work to create period “graphics props” for many TV series, including In Treatment and Boardwalk Empire, and movies, including Silver Linings Playbook, Seabiscuit, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, and Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight. He also has created animated shorts for Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live as well as cards for MOMA and a postage stamp design.

*The series will continue on Tuesday, March 19, at 11:30 am, with Leslie Cober-Gentry, an adjunct professor of art at WCSU and adjunct instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, who has created illustrations for approximately 50 publishing and corporate clients ranging from The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic to Sony Records, Disney, Sesame Street, Nike, and Microsoft;

*Monday, April 1, at 11 am, with Fritz Drury, professor of illustration and faculty member at RISD since 1981 who focuses at his Brooklyn studio on figurative oil paintings that evoke a poetic narrative derived from literature, art history, and contemporary experience;

*Wednesday, April 24, at 11 am, with Kenny Rivero, who draws deeply from his childhood roots in the Washington Heights neighborhood in upper Manhattan to create a diversity of painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation works.

For more information, contact the WCSU Department of Art at 203-837-8403.


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