April 11, 2013

Imaginative meditations on life


---- — PLATTSBURGH — Childhood-sexual assault is the theme of Sierra Rose Rasco’s “Despoiled Innocence,” an installation featured at the Senior B.F.A. Exhibition 2013 at SUNY Plattsburgh.

The show opens at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Lobby and Burke galleries in the Myers Fine Arts Building. A lecture is at 3 p.m.

“It has an interior that is viewed through peepholes, the little fish-eye lenses you have on the door, to see inside of the bed,” said Rasco, a sculpture major with a complement in ceramics.

“That whole large steel thing, what’s going on in the inside is a child’s bed setup. The interior is all white fur, and there’s a large white comforter and child’s pajama outfit laid out on the bed and a bronze cast of a male penis. It’s very in-your-face. It really focuses on childhood-sexual assault. That is what that piece is about. Every piece I’ve done for the B.F.A. show is categorized in the concept of childhood-sexual assault.”

Rasco, a Plattsburgh native, was inspired to explore the topic from people she’s met over the years who have talked about their experiences.

“There’s an incredible amount of stories like this all over that I have heard so many times from so many different people and different families. It touched me. I thought it was a perfect thing to be an advocate for. It was also a healing for the people that I worked with.”

“Sexualized,” another installation, is a 6-foot-by-6-foot room decked out in white-washed kids’ furniture. Inside, a soundtrack plays. The listener hears the altered voices, the testimonies of women telling their abuse stories.

“Each person expressed such a great release to put out there and say what they needed to say,” Rasco said. “It was a healing for them, and I thought it was absolutely amazing that I could be a part of that. It’s pretty intense.”


Katherine Booth gravitated from graphic design to photography and painting.

“I love the both of them,” said Booth, who is also from Plattsburgh. “Over the course of my four years, the photography came through as what I really love to do the most. I just started working again in film, but the work in the show is digital. What I love about film is it is very hands-on and tactile. But I’m also very interested in digital work because of my work with graphic design. I found that I was able to communicate what I wanted to do in my work digitally as well.”

“Last Fall” is a digital print from her 10-piece series on reminiscing. She went back and photographed places where different life events occurred.

“Each story is personal to me,” Booth said. “I’m leaving it open to the viewer’s interpretation. The images create a universal space anyone can relate to. Each person can look at the images, and some of their own memories may come to mind without knowing the specific story.”


“Trace,” an oil on Masonite, is a landscape by Madeleine Bialke, the daughter of a landscape painter. Her concentration is painting and printmaking. She works exclusively in oil. 

“I like the smell of the paint,” said Bialke, who is from Trumansburg, N.Y. “I think the colors are really luminous. I also like working with oil as a base medium.”

“Trace” was a milestone piece for her.

“That was the first time I really broke the constraints I had placed on myself in terms of color,” Bialke said. “My palette was much more restrained and more representational.”


Jason William Lowry, an East Coaster from Virginia and several places between to Plattsburgh, has a concentration in graphic design and a complement in printmaking.

Two of his featured works are “Promises” and “Loyalty.” The former, an inkjet print, is a star-spangled hued stream of consciousness.

About the work, Lowry writes:

“‘Promises’ is a digital collage with elements of America’s ‘glory days.’ The buildings are from Detroit’s General Motors building, which was referred to as ‘Cadillac Place.’”

In a gray sky, Lowry placed a red banner with white text:

“Work for life and not for places, temples, cemeteries, and museums.

Work in the midst of everyone, for everyone, and with everyone.”

Lowry extracted the quote from an article entitled “Slogans” by Russian-born graphic designer Aleksandr Rodchenko in 1921.

Lowry writes:

“To enhance the contemporary feel, I added a group of blue drones pulled from the news of present day as well as bold copy which states ‘Health, Shelter, and Education,’ which all people (not just card-carrying Americans) are entitled to according to our constitution.”

Senior B.F.A. Exhibition 2013 also features works by Gabrielle Beckenstein, Kaitlyn Marie Foley, Matthew Henchey, Avery Kestenberg, Kelly Micheels, Meg Risley, Richelle Soper and Liam Ward. Museum-studies minor students are Amanda Barto, Joanna Fiorentino, Maximillian Fogel, Alexander Guerrero, Megan McDonough and Stephen A. Minchin.

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IF YOU GO WHAT: Senior B.F.A. Exhibition 2013. WHEN: Opens Saturday. Lecture is at 3 p.m. in Hartman Theatre. Gallery opening is from 4 to 5:30 p.m. WHERE: Lobby and Burke galleries, Myers Fine Arts Building, SUNY Plattsburgh. CONTACT: 564-2474.