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The Next Generation of Artists


Creative Visions: Exploring Powerful Personal Narratives Through Art

Earlier this week, the Division of Communication, Art, and Media’s inaugural Art + VAEM Capstone exhibit wrapped.

The recent installation transformed the Charles L. Flynn, Jr. Academic Resource Commons into a showcase of intimate, compelling works by a few of the Mount’s senior student artists—all now recent graduates of the Class of 2022.


Featuring the work of Kayla Campbell, Storm Gibbs, Miguel Losa, Frederick Reyes, and Stevie Velez—from Professor Laura Elayne Miller and Professor Thomas Ray Willis’ Spring Senior Capstone Seminar—the artists employed a breadth of art-making strategies to engage viewers in their unique expressions of the momentum of transformation.

“Ultimately, art is communication, and like all communication, it applies to every field,” said Thomas Ray Willis. “It involves so many skills and even more entry points, with principles you can apply to just about any discipline. As we saw in the exhibit, there is not one model. However, the one thing these projects share is the creative process, which involves harnessing one’s thoughts and emotions to connect ideas, engage an audience, and deliver creative solutions. It is a fulfilling practice.”

Capturing dark humor, interpretative autobiography, geographic exploration, and the underbelly of socio-politics in sports, each artist considered the inherent juxtapositions within temporality, sharing the intimacies of their personal perceptions.

“The Capstone course of study invites the students to choose their own conceptual inquiry and their preferred methods of making artwork, therefore, each student’s creative process is different,” said Laura Elayne Miller. “It’s so exciting: they’re honing their individual creative visions and personal creative practice as they bridge their college education and their future creative careers. It’s very different from the studio courses they’ve taken up to this point, however it synthesizes these experiences and gives each student the opportunity to connect what they’ve learned so far and express themselves in the ways they feel most interested. The curriculum focuses on artistic professional development: how to conceptualize a significant new artwork, create it, and display it, all while learning advanced art making techniques in their chosen medium, as well as generating the critical art writing to accompany their work. The students walk away having created a significant portfolio piece and having had a gallery exhibition, and so they gain real confidence in what they can do.”

What’s next for the arts at the Mount?

The Division has a goal of growing this annual event into its own student art gallery someday—offering an art space that would contribute to the education and cultural enrichment of the campus through regularly programmed exhibits, while engaging the College community in learning opportunities that support artistic diversity. Such a space would encourage students to take creative risks on a broader scale, teach the installation and exhibition process from start to finish, and give art majors a social space they can call their own.

From left: Laura Elayne Miller, Miguel Losa, Kayla Campbell, Stevie Velez, Frederick Reyes, Storm Gibbs, and Thomas Ray Willis.

“To everyone at the Mount: remember the creative community. Gratitude is necessary in the arts, because work is born out of talents not obligations. Support your friends who are creative—be active, go see their work, and collaborate with them in your disciplines.”

About the Division
The Division of Communication, Art, and Media provides a robust theoretical understanding of the principles and practices of various fields. Studio Art students work one-on-one with professional artists and art history professors, learning valuable skills that enhance their ability to solve problems visually, conduct research, develop a creative process, and hone a professional work ethic. Class sizes are limited to ensure student collaboration, exceptional faculty support, and access to innovative materials and techniques. Art majors can choose from a wide range of courses from painting and sculpture to printmaking and ceramics, which lead students to careers in graphic design, art education, publishing, advertising, film production, art criticism, art therapy, conservation, and exhibition design. Visual Arts and Experimental Media comprises a range of cutting-edge, experimental courses in visual arts, electronic art, media, photography, video art, and sound art. The program integrates traditional media, processes and methodologies from the arts, communication, networked media, and computer media. Our campus is home to state-of-the-art digital media labs, visual art studios, a post-production lab, and brand-new television and radio studios, allowing students and faculty to work independently and collaboratively to create radio shows, films, videos, podcasts, and interactive media projects. Off campus, students have thousands of internship and networking opportunities throughout New York City with arts organizations, foundations, design agencies, and media houses.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.