Facing (and Embracing) Their Fears

Fine Art Students Show Their Final Work as NCC Students

By Katherine Noll,

Fine Art Students with Professor Bruce Wall"It's one thing to do art that someone else tells you to do. It's a whole other thing to look inside yourself and say 'Who am I as an artist?' It is terrifying at times, but you all came through. Thank you for letting me be a part of that," Bruce Wall, professor of art at Northampton Community College, told his fine art students at their final, capstone presentation on May 5.

Ten students, who spent the entire semester preparing for this project, showed slides of their journeys as artists to the audience and explained their process at an artists' talk. Afterwards a reception was held in Communication Hall, among the results of this hard work in a group exhibition by the students.

Many of the artists spoke of their fear of learning different mediums, but persisted through their apprehension to master and even love new techniques. 

"Computer graphics was a medium that scared me, the final images looked so professional. But I realized, once I got into the program, that it was easier than I thought," Ostara Frost shared, while Annie White revealed that at first she was "scared to take painting because I didn't know how to paint."

The willingness to challenge themselves presented new opportunities.

Paul Lewandowski

Abril Diaz, who only worked in 2D mediums before her final semester, decided to venture into the world of 3D for her final project. She created wire sculptures and enjoyed it so much she now wants to pursue a career in industrial design.

Transforming pain into art was the basis for Paul Lewandowski's final project. Drawing from health problems he has experienced, he covered himself in packing tape before cutting it off, creating a model of his body. He then covered it with empty pill capsules.  

Others shared how they advanced over the course of the two-year program. Both Kenny Bush and Ben Rader shared paintings created in Painting 1 and Painting 2. "I want to say I have improved," Bush said.

Many told of how they came to NCC through recommendations from family, friends and neighbors. "I have many relatives who came here and all have been very successful. It seemed like a no-brainer to me," Rader shared.

As for the future, many have plans to transfer to four-year colleges and universities. White is going to devote herself full-time to her commission art business, Arts Unlimited, after graduation.

Three students were chosen by faculty as show winners.

"This year was very tough to judge the art," Tom Shilliea, director of NCC art programs, told the students. "It was very even and very creative."

The winners are:
First place:  Paul Lewandowski
Second place:  Ostara Frost
Third place:  Sabrina Rattigan

The students featured in the Fine Arts 2016 exhibit are:
Kaitlyn Berdini
Kenneth Bush
Abril Diaz
Danielle Dronebarger
Ostara Frost
Paul Lewandowski
Benjamin Rader
Sabrina Rattigan
Samantha Short
Annie White