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Amalgam installation view

Amalgam: Senior Concentration Seminar 2016

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery at the College of the Holy Cross will show the work of graduating senior visual arts majors in the exhibition “Amalgam”, which will be on view from Thursday, April 28 through graduation day, Friday, May 27. Students Michael Allen, Liz Baker, Rebecca Blackwell, John Gallagher, Sarah Kane and Caroline O'Day will give presentations about their work in the Gallery during the Academic Conference on Wednesday, April 27 at noon. The opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, April 28, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Visual Arts students who have participated in the year-long Senior Concentration Seminar, a course that is the capstone experience for the Studio Art major, are given the opportunity to exhibit a body of work they have developed over the course of both the fall and spring semesters. Each student is given an individual studio space and are encouraged to experiment with ideas and mediums, and guided through a process of cultivating an independent studio practice.

Students engage in rigorous critiques with faculty, visiting artists, and Roger Hankins, the Cantor Gallery’s director, to not only push their work to its highest potential, but to also consider and conceptualize how it will exist in a formal exhibition space. The Senior exhibition provides these students with the experience of seeing their work transform through a professional presentation, in relation to the work of their peers, as well as through the reception of a public audience.

Cristi Rinklin, associate professor of visual arts and instructor for the second semester of the seminar explains, “For Studio Art majors, this is the defining moment in which they transition from thinking of themselves as students to seeing themselves as artists.”

Hankins adds, “These students produce a very engaging show, one that reflects the intellectual and aesthetic growth of each of them.”

Michael Allen’s interest in Japanese anime and video game animation and storytelling is the inspiration for his installation. Liz Baker has created a series of photo and painting based studies of family, shelter and service dogs that seeks to reveal the essence of these canine personalities. Rebecca Blackwell has produced large-scale photographic portraits of characters based in Greek Mythology, using make-up and other materials to transform her subjects into symbolic representations of the gods, with Aphrodite and Artemis among them. Jack Gallagher’s work employs analog drawing and digital manipulation to create illusory diorama landscapes that are both realistic and alien. Sarah Kane constructs colorful, atmospheric and immersive environments using decorative lights, translucent fabrics, and reflective materials which entice the viewer with their dream-like qualities. And Caroline O’Day combines selected fabrics with repetitive patterns, simplified figures, and provocative text to challenge audiences through subversive humor.

In conjunction with the senior exhibition, Professor Beth Sweeney, of the College’s English Department, will host the annual celebration of Senior Creative Writing Concentrators in the Cantor Art Gallery, alongside the work of their visual arts peers on Thursday, May 5th from 4 – 5 p.m. The public is also welcome to attend this event.


  • Academic Conference Presentation by Senior Studio Art Majors

Wednesday, April 27, noon -1:00 p.m.

  • Opening Reception

Thursday, April 28, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

  • A Celebration of Senior Creative Writing Concentrators

Thursday, May 5, 4 – 5 p.m. 

Amalgam installation views