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Senior capstones begin again, six featured

Three movie posters on a white wall depicting the woods, an alien invasion, and two wizards.
Maddison Behringer / THE GATEPOST

By Ryan O’Connell

Associate Editor

The Mazmanian Gallery featured six studio art majors’ capstone projects, including works of illustration, painting, ceramics, and mixed media, in the first of two senior thesis exhibitions April 10.

Caroline Tornifoglio, concentration in painting, had two pieces displayed. “Object” appears in the show as a conglomerate of different materials, but she said it didn’t always look that way.

She said this piece was created from 23 cutouts of fashion models sourced from magazines sent to Framingham State around 1970. She added these were models and magazines her grandmother may have looked at as an FSU student studying home economics around the same time.

“It’s a bummer they don’t do home economics anymore,” she added. 

Tornifoglio said she flipped the cutouts upside down, sprayed adhesive to them, and stuck them to life drawings she had done in a previous class. She said she then aligned them in a pleasing order, and then sewed them together by their limbs.

She added the cutouts turned into the version of “Object” on display after their “walk in Boston.

“That was the alternate exhibition that we had to do, where you had to show your work somewhere else. And it could last anywhere from five minutes to until they tell you to [stop],” she added.

Tornifoglio said it was raining the day of her walk, which led to the figures warping and twisting in interesting ways. She added it got tangled up during the walk too, and she likes it more this way anyways.

She said “Dislocated: Object” - the photo collage of the individual pieces of “Object” - tries to mirror the spirit of the source project.

“I took a bunch of photos and then arranged them in a way that tries to capture the same essence as the thing - I called it ‘Object.’ Because I think it’s funny,” Tornifoglio added.

She added she isn’t really interested in fashion, despite its focus in the two pieces.

Tornifoglio said it took her some time to finalize the idea for her capstone, and her work changes often.

“I move around a lot. I dog sit and baby sit, I’m always moving houses and traveling so I have to bring what I’m doing with me, and it usually changes,” she said. “Everything always kind of changes. I think it’s inevitable.”

She added even now, she isn’t settled. 

“I would have loved to have had - obviously - more time, more photos, more hands, more brains and resources,” she said. She added the restrictions of a semester-long project make that difficult, however.

Six paintings on a white wall depicting streets, a courtyard, and a house.
Meghan Spargo / THE GATEPOST

Daniel Munoz, concentration in illustration, said his capstone project is a set of five paintings based on photographs sent by family members in the Dominican Republic. He added he asked for the photos to be “normal.”

Munoz’s paintings in the gallery are mostly oil paint, he said, but also use clear tar gel mixed with black acrylic paint in order to create the thick, raised brushstrokes seen in his collection.

He said the bold black brushstrokes “are a style that’s derived from a lot of Dominican paintings,” which he saw a lot of growing up.

“That’s where a lot of my inspiration came from,” he added. 

Munoz said he was glad most of his family members instantly recognized the style influence. “It was a good moment of interaction with them that we don’t really have that often,” he said.

Although all of the paintings in his capstone are of buildings and architecture, he said he wouldn’t label himself a landscape painter.

“I dabble in a lot of illustration, character design stuff. I’ve done a lot of charcoal stuff that I enjoy and a lot of oil painting stuff that I enjoy as well. But I don’t let any one of them really dominate my life too much,” he said.

Munoz said he settled on the idea for his capstone after his professor, Brian Bishop, instructed the seniors to create a work that meant something to them individually. 

He added later he began the project and the transition from creating for a more generalized audience to an audience of friends and family. 

He said this shift allowed him to make more specialized style choices, such as adding the tar gel. 

“I didn’t really intend for it to matter to anyone else, really,” he said.

Munoz said he has a lot of family members in the Dominican Republic, but that they don’t communicate as much any more.

“We visit occasionally. It’s not as frequent,” he said. “I kind of wanted to use this assignment to make that bridge. We don’t talk as much, but I wanted to interact with them more.”

Munoz said the capstone showing is the first exhibition he’s been featured in. 

“This is way out of my comfort zone,” he said. “But I still think it was a good experience overall. And I’m glad I can be around other peers who are in this space as one.”

Gabi Prego, concentration in printmaking, said her capstone project consists of paintings and ceramics, and is about the ocean - specifically its textures.

She added she also focused on the rising acidity of the ocean due to human pollution, which she feels strongly about.

Prego said she’s been an artist since high school, yet she’s still discovering what she wants to do. “I try everything - I like mixed media, but I do stick to printmaking and ceramics,” she said.

She said she’s most proud of one of the ceramic pieces on display, featuring heavily textured renditions of coral reefs, marine biology, and the nature of the ocean.

“It took me a long time, and it turned out really good,” she said. She added it took about three weeks to complete the one ceramic.

Prego said her favorite painting in the collection is one of pink waves on the beach. She said she used a large mixture of different mediums to achieve the raised texture of the waves, which she likes.

She said she enjoys the way her collection looks on the wall, and overall thinks she did “good enough.

“I would’ve tweaked certain things,” she said. “Not doing ceramics, because it’s time pressuring. I love it, but I just didn’t know it was going to take so long.”

Nicole Barbosa, concentration in graphic design, submitted eight movie poster designs as her capstone project, all using a vibrant color palette and advertising original titles.

She said she made one poster for eight different genres of film - drama, thriller, horror, adventure, comedy, fantasy, sci-fi, and animation.

Barbosa said she chose to do the movie posters because she “wanted to do something fun” for her capstone.

“I know I do graphic design, but I wanted to work more with illustration. … I like drawing and stuff. I just thought it’d be fun,” she said. “And I wanted to do something that pops.”

Barbosa said sourcing the ideas for the rough drafts of each poster was the most difficult part of the process. After she got an idea, however, the rest was easy, she said. 

She said this is her first time in a gallery. It was intimidating at first, she said, but now thinks it was a fun process. 

Barbosa added she’s proud of the time she put into her capstone, and has no regrets about the finished project. 

“I finished I think like four days before I had to put it out,” she said.

Sabrina Longo, concentration in illustration, made four “zines” - short, miniature magazines - alongside stickers of her art and a small installation for reading her work as her capstone project.

Longo said she spent most of her focus on the content of the zines, until her professor mentioned people might also enjoy a space to sit and read them. 

“And that’s how it kind of formed into a little nook, like a reading hideaway,” she said.

Longo said for the content of the zines, she focused on personal challenges and issues which have made her life more difficult.

“Different things that people wouldn’t know if they even worked with me,” she said.

She said writing a story so personal felt a little difficult, but mostly just different.

“It wasn’t my normal stuff. I like to do illustration, I like to illustrate other stories,” she said. “So this was kind of like my story.”

She said seeing it now in the gallery, she likes it.

“It’s out of my comfort zone but I also know it’s very relatable and people seeing it … might have the same issues, and that’s a good thing, a relatable audience,” she added.

Longo said she’s working on illustrating a children’s book and a dummy book in her Advanced Illustration class. A dummy book, she added, is a book of rough sketches made to send to publishing companies.

She said she wished she could have put more on the walls surrounding her exhibit and spent more time around the installation. 

“It’s hard to know what you’re going to have, even when you go and explore the empty gallery,” she said.

Longo said when she started the capstone, she was most interested in learning a new form and was interested in zines from the start. She added she enjoyed the medium and would like to make more of them in the future.

“I really liked them - I liked the accessibility of them, and the touchable art in a more digital world,” she said.


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