The 17th Annual College Show

About this exhibition

One of our favorite annual exhibitions returns, this year with a virtual twist. The Seventeenth Annual College Show is a juried, online exhibition open to Worcester-area college students in any major. Below, engage with the work of 44 students with a broad range of academic concentrations, as well as insights from the artists themselves.

This year's juror is Aprile Gallant, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Smith College Museum of Art. From over one hundred and eighty submissions, Gallant selected 51 works by 44 artists in traditional and new media, including film, printmaking, photography, paint, and digital art.

For all purchase inquiries please contact the gallery at Not all works for sale are framed.

Congratulations to this year's prize winners!

Congratulations to the prize winners of the 17th Annual College Show. Juror Aprile Gallant awarded three prize winners, all of equal value and receiving cash awards. She also selected two artworks for honorable mentions.

Prize Winners

Yekaterina Martin, College of the Holy Cross '21, Woven

Dana Mendes, Assumption University '20, Translating Cancer: Sister Koi

Tayla Cormier, Clark University '21, It's Just a Skull

Honorable Mentions

Sydney LaQue, Assumption University '20, Elephant Skull

Nicholas Sposato, Assumptions University '22, Corona Nightmare

We thank Aprile Gallant for her time and thoughtful selections, as well as the faculty of Worcester-area colleges and universities who encourage the next generation of regional artists.

Stephen Acquista

Assumption University, 2022, Cyber Security / Computer Science

Ed's House, sharpie and pen on sketch paper, 8.5" x 11", 2020, Not For Sale

Zachary Alicandro

Worcester State University, 2021, Visual and Performing Arts

Mirrors, photo printed on Epson premium luster photo paper, 11" x 8.5", 2018, Not For Sale

Nelselly Alsina

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Economics and Spanish

Breaking News, photograph featuring newspaper clippings, 12.3" x 18.5", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "All my life I longed to be the subject of someone's work to later realize that someone could be myself. After spending many of my younger years competing in pageants, I noticed that many people had created their own preconceived notions of who they thought I was. This was confusing given I had not yet “found” my own self, but to others I was either too shy or too outspoken, too skinny or too heavy, etc. Through photography I found my sanction, where I am able to show all the many different facets of me.

"My work sets out to lure a different emotion for its audience within each photograph using the same subject, myself. Within this project I have implemented a variety of materials, paper, fabric, plastic wrap, and more acting as a bridge between the art work and the art meaning. My intentions were to convey a visual breakthrough along with the many and different emotions/facets of my physical and emotional self. Society has continuously constructed expectations for women which stray far from using our voices to implement a change. This collection displays my sentiments towards these notions, and what I plan to spend the rest of my career doing, breaking through it all."

Breaking News in progress

Cloe Bridge

College of the Holy Cross, 2023, Environmental Studies

Snow on the Picket, digital photograph, 15.57" x 16.67", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "As a photographer, I aim to create images that capture the simplicity of nature and our surroundings. I am deeply inspired by the outdoors, and it is my favorite subject to photograph. My process involves focusing on the smaller elements of a moment. I try to best capture the lighting, details, and shape of these elements which contribute so much to the magic of the larger scene.

My photograph, “Snow on the Picket”, examines the freshly fallen snow resting on a fence picket in my backyard. The goal of this image is to convey the beauty and simplicity of a snowy morning using a “less is more” approach. Through my art, I hope to inspire the audience to look more deeply at the world around us and appreciate it in a new way"

Austin Butler

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Studio Arts

Cultural Landscape: My Playground, photograph, glossy finish on photo paper, 8" x 10", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "This photo was one in a series that I did for a Cultural Landscape project. I chose to photograph outdoor basketball courts that showed, culture, history, and/or landscape. This particular photo was one of my favorites because of the sunrise in the background and the rays illuminating the basket and the court. I took the image as a RAW image and made some edits before converting it to a JPG file."

Zachary Caspersen

Clark University, 2021, Studio Art and Geography

Palazzo dei Priori, iron-on photo intaglio with press-n-peel copper etching, 13 1/4" x 10 1/2", 2020, $152

From the artist: "I have made copper etchings using an Iron-on Photo Intaglio with Press-n-Peel film technique to translate my memories from abroad in Italy into prints. This style of printmaking lends to the visual moment in time; paused and still. The concept of memory and its loss intrigues me in great depths and makes me question my past, present, and future. When you view these images, allow yourself to imagine standing in these moments and spaces. Question what you may be doing if you were to be standing there. Our brains are wondrous things and can place us anywhere we desire to be. Take ownership of these images and relish in them. Just as much as they are mine, they are not mine at all."

Palazzo dei Priori in progress

Tayla Cormier

Clark University, 2021, Biology, MSClark University, 2021, Biology, MS

It's Just a Skull, mixed media (graphite, pastel, India ink, collage), 18" x 12", 2020, Not For Sale

- Prize Winner --

From the artist: "Poetry, sounds, and lyrics are some of the greatest modes of emotional communication, and they serve as the greatest inspirations for my work. I consider my artistic practice a way for me to channel inspired emotion into a visual representation, which acts as an outlet for myself, but also as a way to lay bare those feelings for others to interpret or relate to. I embed symbolism and metaphor into my work, with the hope that the viewer will glean some meaning from it and sense the hope, sadness, wonder, desperation, or any other range of feelings within my work. My goal as an artist is to communicate, through many different types of mediums, the beauty of what it means to be human, including moments of struggle and triumph."

It's Just a Skull in progress

Artist talk

Tayla Cormier invites us into her home and studio space to discuss the inspiration behind her prize-winning work, It's Just a Skull.

Ben Correa-Goldberg

Clark University, 2023, Psychology and Media, Culture, and the Arts

Saturday Afternoon, video recorded exclusively on iPhone for smartphone media class, duration: 00:02:04, 2020, Not For Sale


Sam Damon

Clark University, 2021, Business Management

Lack of Attention, 35 mm analogue, 8" x 12", 2019, $200

From the artist: "Lack of Attention was shot on December 30, 2019 with a Canon AE-1 with a 35mm 2.8 lens. Street Photography has always been a passion of mine, as I value the open-endedness and spontaneous aspects of it. Capturing life in motion is truly a treasure to capture."

Olivia Dylewski

Clark University, 2023, Undeclared

Temptation, silver gelatin on RC paper, 8" x 10", 2020, $250

From the artist: "At the time I was planning the creation of this photograph, I knew I wanted to explore a thematic photo concept. After giving the subject matter of my photo some thought, I decided I wanted to explore the idea of knowing something may not be good for you but deciding to go for it anyway. Once I made that decision, I made the choice to incorporate symbolism within the image and thought the use of cigarettes was an interesting concept to play around with. After I decided on a concept and props, I started thinking about what I wanted specifically in frame. At first, I began taking portraits of the subject smoking but then decided it was most logical to exclusively include their hand reaching for the cigarette instead. I thought this was a logical change to make because I thought having an entire body in frame would distract from the concept I was trying to convey in my work, in that I would have only been conveying a portion of it where the subject decides to engage in something they should not. To elaborate, a portrait in my opinion would have excluded the conscience element to the theme that I wanted to incorporate within the photograph. After coming to this realization, I shifted the focus to just the subject's arm and hand along with the cigarette and asked them to make their hand appear as though they were reaching for it. When it came to naming this photograph, the word temptation immediately came to mind. I believe the feeling of temptation is most often present in our minds when we wish to give into the things in life that we know are wrong for us because doing so can bring us exhilaration. With that in mind, I ultimately think of this photograph as a reflection of our motives and desires to engage in certain behaviors."

Julia Gaudette

Assumption University, 2021, English Literature

Self-Portrait, digital art, A4, 2021, Not For Sale

Sophia Haywood

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Economics

Floral Pane, collage, original photographs, painted imagery, thread, 9" x 11", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "Floral Pane is a mixed media portrait collage that I created in November 2020 while in isolation. I photographed my friend Caitlin Tzimorotas in the spring of 2019 and used colored thread to stitch the portrait with a portion of Claude Monet’s Cap Martin, near Menton, 1884. Monet once said, “Everyday I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it”. I have felt this way countless times and feel that Monet perfectly puts into words how we can be both wildly excited and simultaneously overwhelmed by the boundless possibilities of life. As it relates to art, I strive to create pieces that are vibrant and exhilarating, by constantly experimenting with new mediums and taking inspiration from the artists and people that I encounter and adore."

Floral Pane in progress

Kira Houston

Clark University, 2023, Art History and Spanish

Nepenthe, digital art, 1334 x 1126 pixels, 2019, Not For Sale

From the artist: "Kira Houston is a transgender storyteller and artist. He seeks to bring the whimsical, cartoony style and vibrant colors of digital art into the medium of oil paint. This is one of his digital works, which was drawn and painted in Photoshop. The character is an alien forest god named Nepenthe who features in a science fiction RPG campaign Kira wrote. His design was inspired by the carnivorous pitcher plant."

Nepenthe in progress

Albert Hurley

Clark University, 2021, Studio Art

A Frog's Tale, 2D animation made in Adobe Animate, duration: 00:02:09, 2020, $1000


From the artist: "There is no drug stronger than what our own brains are capable of. Sometimes our own mental illness comes together to create a symphony of nightmares in our own heads, and when we awake we are, in a sense, reborn. A Frog's Tale is a short animation about the fears we harbor and manifest, about the capability of our own darkness- and the light that will always come after, in time. It's about how we evolve so much internally in our lifetimes, how our perception can shift and things become clearer and calmer. Of course, this is a complex subject that has not yet been fully understood, precisely what informed the perplexing nature of this animation, more and more is told after every viewing. The nature of my art is subversive but relatable, it's sublime but so simple. Just as in everything there exists a duality."

Still from A Frog's Tale

Rachael Inlow

Clark University, 2022, Geography and Studio Art

Play Structure, watercolor on paper, 19 3/4" x 18", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "A series of four paintings total, these pieces were completed after the majority of my peers moved back home in the spring. Each contains a selection of figures - all my friends, and all in some phase of movement. Play Structure is based on a photograph of two of my friends sitting on top of a play structure at another friend's childhood home we visited this past fall. The friend was moving from this home, and this visit came during a time of personal growth and movement as well. These themes are expressed in the stability of the physical structure and the plane on which it sits, the central emphasis on the gaze of both figures down into the unknown, and the bright line that can be traced throughout the scene."

Robert Israelian

Worcester State University, 2021, Communication

Self Portrait, pencil on bristol paper, 9" x 12", 2020, Not For Sale

Lily Kaplan

Clark University, 2023, Environmental Science

Shadow Play 17, 35mm film, scanned, digital-inkjet print, 10" x 14", 2020, $180

From the artist: "I wanted to take the simple and make it art and show the appreciation for the simple and beautiful. Beauty of simplicity is sometimes the most calming thing to seek out."

Shannon Kittredge

Worcester State University, 2020, Sociology

Moonlit Moth, linocut, 7" x 11", 2020, $40

Jonathan Klinker

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Political Science and Religious Studies with a concentration in peace and conflict studies


Andrew, digital-inkjet print, 18" x 20", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: Andrew was taken on a bitter winter day while two friends explored Providence, Rhode Island. While inspecting a river-side dock I dropped my lens cap and looked back up the ramp and saw my friend standing at the top. The composition and framing clicked in my head and I snapped the photo. Andrew represents my favorite aspect of photography: creative exploration. You never know what images you can find in the world around you and finding them is what keeps me shooting."

Marena Koenka

Clark University, 2021, Business Management

Hà Huynh, Beneath, digital-inkjet print on premium luster paper, 21.7" x 13.5", 2020, $310

"The pandemic has been devastating and frightening for everyone in the world, and our age group has definitely felt the effects. The early twenties are a time when an individual is learning a lot about themselves and the world and trying to shape this new identity as they step into true adulthood. The pandemic has forced us to walk this path in a very different way."

- Caitlin Kim

From the artist: "Beneath every mask is a person with a story. This project explores the thoughts of people between the ages of 19 – 23 living through a global pandemic. In a time of social distancing, it has become harder to connect with others.

"Photographing people allows me to create a deeper connection with the stories I capture. My photographs are a glimpse into someone’s being. This project challenges people to look beyond the veil of a mask to the person and feelings underneath."

Sydney Laque

Assumption University, 2020, Graphic Design and Studio Art

Elephant Skull, mechanical graphite pencil on white mixed media paper, 30" x 45", 2020, $800

-- Honorable Mention --

African Wild Dog Skull, mechanical graphite pencil on white mixed media paper, 18" x 21.5", 2020, $500

From the artist: "I feel as if my skull-animal series shows the viewers the seriousness of life on our planet and it’s effects it’s had on the beautiful creatures we share earth with."

Simeon Lloyd-Wingard

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Studio Art

Enough is Enough, gif, 2020, Not For Sale


Mason Magruder

Quinsigamond Community College, 2021, Humanities General Studies


Nebula, spray paint, acrylic, alcohol on canvas, 30" x 40", 2020, $5450

From the artist: "My art is derived from a cross neural condition called synesthesia, with music and environmental stimulus I create what I sense around me. Placing the canvas on the ground and using gravity as a tool forms organic molds ambient of our Earths crust. Enjoy viewing the energy in motion."

Nebula in process

Nathan Manna

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Performance Studies

Got Milk?, printed images collaged, 25" x 10", 2020, $200

From the artist:

"This specific piece explores the idea behind "thirst" as a slang term (meaning being attracted to something) and combines vintage and contemporary homoerotic imagery alongside the slogan of 'Got Milk?'"

Yekaterina Martin

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Studio Art

Woven, collage, paper, string, 48" x 20", 2020, Not For Sale

-- Prize Winner --

Nina Masin-Moyer

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, English

Untitled, collage (paper, thread), 10" x 15", 2020, Not For Sale

Emily Maynard

Clark University, 2021, Studio Art and Biology

Overgrown 3, digital-inkjet print, 30" x 47", 2020, $320

From the artist: "We are surrounded by objects left to pass through time. As time pushes on, the landscape they are surrounded by begins to consume them. These objects are transforming into something new as the original purpose is lost. I'm interested in knowing what occurs when abandoned things are given room to grow."

Ethan McGrath

College of the Holy Cross, 2020, Chemistry

Untitled, charcoal on paper, 4' by 3', 2020, Not For Sale

Dana Mendes

Assumption University, 2020, Secondary Education in Visual Arts

Translating Cancer: 5 Years Post-Transplant, oil on canvas, 48" x 36", 2020, $2000

From the artist: "In this 3-part series, I’ve displayed my portrait and five koi fish. In Japanese culture, koi fish represent strength, perseverance, bravery, prosperity, overcoming challenges, and other admirable traits. The combination of colors that koi possess also signify different traits or concepts. There are five koi, one representing each member of my family. The colors they possess represent distinctive traits in each family member that I recognized during our journey together, and their character in general.

"I chose koi fish because my older sister, Bianca, who was also my bone marrow donor, is a Pisces (the koi), and I’m a Gemini (the twins). In the main piece, she is the topmost koi, and I on the right. The color red represents bravery, and the combination of black and white represent life transformations, rebirth and overcoming obstacles. These traits strongly describe my sister and I’s journeys as donor and recipient, and the unique mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual transformations we respectively experienced during and after treatment.

"Though the final display of my piece is not picture-perfect exhibit material, it’s the reality of working through a senior thesis amidst a pandemic. I comfortably situated myself in my basement, but with fluctuating levels of motivation to work through all that is expected in receiving a degree online. There has been more time on our hands, but mentally, emotionally, and sometimes even physically, we are challenged when required to transition to a life of solitude and isolation. Thankfully, this is a life that I have experience in.

"This quarantine has paralleled my previous post-treatment isolation, where for eight months, I was restricted as to where I could go, who I could see, and what I could do. In quarantine, I’m once again confronted on similar aspects as I did in isolation, and hope to encourage meaningful thought and contemplation in the lives of others. How do you handle the challenges in your life? Do you have an outlet? How have your relationships changed? Does the fragility of life limit or empower you? How often do you take risks? In your current season of life, are you growing or stagnant? It’s these questions that others can think upon as I have, but in the face of devastating circumstances - cancer diagnoses or pandemics - we can flourish immeasurably."

Translating Cancer: Sister Koi, oil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2020, Not For Sale

-- Prize Winner --

From the artist: "Part 3: The yellow koi is my eldest sister, Tania. The color yellow represents brightness, energy, creativity, intellect, and happiness. Tania was, and always is, the spirited energy that uplifts anyone a room, while also possessing fierce knowledge and wisdom. Within the four walls of my in-patient room, she instilled joy and encouraged adventure. The color yellow also represents wealth and prosperity, and I feel rich indeed having her as my sister."

Swapnil Mishra

Clark University, 2021, Environmental Science and Policy

Queer Dance Theory, digital photograph on premium luster paper, 8" x 10", 2018, $250

Queer Dance Theory, digital photograph on premium luster paper, 8" x 10", 2018, $250

From the artist: "This series of pictures depict Queer Dance Theory: Smashing the heteropatriarchy, creating body and sex positive dances, and what it means to be a queer artist. The photo series examines the different stages of a relationship: depicting freedom, anxiety and doubt, and the desire for possessiveness."

Tien Nguyen

Worcester State University, 2022, Public Health

Watercolor Composition, watercolor, 9" x 12", 2020, $100

Grace Papandrea

Worcester State University, 2021, Art

Geometric Abstract, watercolor, 15" x 22", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist:

I feel this abstract project to be a real challenge, as I am strongly rooted in realism. However, after studying the referenced materials, I was re-energized and really began to enjoy this new challenge.

The freedom in choice of colors and dimensions opened new doors to my perception. This project spurs me on to embrace abstract painting with zeal.

Elliott Potter

Becker College, 2020, Interactive Media Design, Unrequited


Disappointed, digital painting, 17.0" x 11.3", 2020, $130

Emma Sa

Becker College, 2024, Game Art

Imaginary Birdhouse, charcoal on toned paper, 9" x 12", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "This piece was an art prompt called 'Imaginary Birdhouse.' I love drawing people and we'd mostly been drawing still life in the class, so I wanted to change it up a bit. The piece probably took a total of 10 hours to complete but I had a lot of fun with it. Some people may find this piece to be mysterious but when I look at it I feel at peace because of the complacent expression on her face."

Remi Sage

Clark University, 2021, Art History and Studio Art

3, 500 Yards Of Coats & Clark 2250, embroidery on tablecloth, 71" x 51", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "As time moves closer to marking a year since the pandemic began, festering cravings for sharing experience and intimate connection are tied to free-floating surges of anxiety in isolation. My first art teacher, my grandmother, says an artist always paints herself to explain why her sculptures often mirror her slender features, Jewish nose, and my mom’s smile. In this experiment in portraiture, I sketched a single line drawing while focusing on anonymity and my own reflection by playing with proportions and over-simplification. As the quantity of faces grew, feelings of globally shared isolation in quarantine began to be replaced with thousands of threads woven and sewn together."

Stella Shapiro

Clark University, 2021, Studio Art and English double major

Kurt Vonnegut, pen on paper, 22.5" x 19", 2018, Not For Sale

From the artist: "This is a portrait of the American writer Kurt Vonnegut. The shading consists of his quotes as well as excerpts from his novels.

"For example on the right cheek it says: 'If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.'

"'So it goes' is a common phrase that flows throughout the piece, as well as 'Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt,' two quotes from Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five."

Shapiro's home studio

Kurt Vonnegut (detail)

Dante's Inferno: Canto XXIII, The Trail of Hypocrisy, oil paint and gold leaf on canvas, 14" x 10.75", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "Waking up in America 2020 one may wonder, is this a sort of hell? Traditionally American history has not favored the minority and in the face of a global pandemic, economic crisis, racial injustice battles and deterioration of the planet one realizes the 'minority' is actually the majority of Americans. The middle class begins to disappear as the gap between billionaires and Americans widens; there is no balance between the rich and the poor, no punishment for the people in power who take advantage of the majority of people. Life is not fair.

"Could the afterlife be fair?

"In 1320, Dante Alighieri wrote The Divine Comedy, an epic poem following the journey of the soul after death through hell, purgatory, and heaven. “Dante’s Inferno” is perhaps the most well known section of the poem due to its harsh and violent punishments and our curious nature when it comes to hell. As the soul travels downward deeper into the inferno the environment becomes more sublime as the soul experiences hell and divine justice.

"This painting depicts Canto XXIII, where hypocrites are sent for all eternity. These spirits walk around the canto with a heavy burden; they wear cloaked hoods that are guided with glittering gold but are lined with bulky lead."

Kaila Skeet Browning

Clark University, 2022, Community, Youth and Education Studies

Gloria and Emayu, linocut print, 9" x 12", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "This year was my first time trying printmaking, and I found myself most drawn to the linocut method due to my love of high contrast image making. I chose to make a print of a photograph I took of two of my friends earlier in 2020, and found myself engaging in the photograph in a whole new way when forced to focus on key shapes and light patterns. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of printmaking in the Spring semester."

Alek and Esha, film photograph, 11" x 14", 2020, $75

From the artist: "Kaila Skeet Browning is a photographer who was born in Spain and lived there for eight years before moving to Vermont, and then to Worcester, MA to attend Clark University. She loves to photograph her friends, with an emphasis on bringing to light their unique sense of style as well as portraying relationships between them. This photograph is of Alek and Esha, who despite living far away from each other have managed to maintain their relationship throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Alek and Esha both are on the Hip Hop Dance team at Clark and will often create dancing together, but Kaila wanted to show their closeness through stillness rather than motion in this photograph."

Gabrielle Smith

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Accounting

Kitchen Table Series (#2), digital photograph, 4032 × 3024 pixels, 2020, Not For Sale

Kitchen Table Series (#6), digital photograph, 3989 × 2962 pixels, 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "My Kitchen Table Series was inspired by Carrie Mae Weem’s “The Kitchen Table Series” from 1996. This semester, my group of five friends and I lived in Gilford, NH on Lake Winnipesaukee. We took our classes online together, ate every single dinner together, and laughed and cried about the ups and downs of virtual college together. Because of the nature of working and studying from home, our kitchen table was used for everything. Our kitchen table became the classroom, the library desk, the hangout space; it became the dining location for morning coffee, “family” dinners at 6:30, and midnight Dorito study snacks. The series consists of eight pictures and I sought to show the transformation of the kitchen table throughout one week."

Nicholas Sposato

Assumption University, 2022, Graphic Design

Corona Nightmare, digital art, Adobe Illustrator, 3" x 4", 2020, Not For Sale

-- Prize Winner --

From the artist: "This piece was my final for my Illustration course in the Spring. The prompt of the assignment was to create an image expressing our experience during quarantine. The Corona Virus Pandemic was, and continues to be, a time of great uncertainty, worry, and fear--at the beginning of the Pandemic I kept thinking to myself how unreal it all was, like a terrible nightmare. This is what I wanted to express in this piece."

Jose Tenorio

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Studio Art

Energy, book cloth, rubber stamps, and velum paper, 8" x 10", 2020, $100

Tenorio_Jose_energy 2.mp4

Audrey Tokarz

Assumption University, 2021, Theology and Political Science

If I Were a Tree, mixed media - pastels, markers, and colored pencil on paper and acetate (3 layers), 32" x 20", 2020, Not For Sale

From the artist: "This work is part of a series which illustrate my original poems. The layered approach showcases the complex state of mind that inspired the work. The middle layer, which is the most figural, contains a symbolic illustration that captures the heart of the poem. The negative space surrounding this figure is carved into a net of patterns through which you can see the third layer, which is simply a field of colors, representing the chaos of emotion. The top layer presents the full text of the poem handwritten in Sharpie on acetate. It is presented as an almost indistinct field because, even tried to capture my internal experience in a particular moment, I find that words tend to serve as an obstruction between what I feel and what I am able to share with others. This overall motif of hiddenness or masking is also represented by the use of layers."

Fernando Torralba

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Visual Arts Major

Figures on Ice, digital photograph, ‪1200 x 800 pixels, 2018, Not For Sale

From the artist: "This photograph is representative of my interest in the human form and how compositional arrangements can create narratives within the frame without the need for words."

Nhi Vo

Worcester State University, 2024, Business

Abstract Geometric, watercolor, 22" x 15", 2020, $125

Jasmine Williams

College of the Holy Cross, 2021, Studio Art and Psychology

Ink City, charcoal and ink on plain paper, 24 x 18, 2019, $400

From the artist: "Representation in abstraction is a prominent and versatile concept present throughout my work and artistic process. Working primarily with lines drawn in black ink I capture a flow of consciousness. The abstract nature of thoughts which are continuously and spontaneously branching off each other are parallel to the network of lines being represented on the page. Each line is its own thought, behaving as its own element. The rigidity yet fluidity of the medium of black ink pen provides a sense of control. During this process, the control of thoughts is transferred to the control of the pen, and the mind is free from inhibition. This is the very purpose of embracing this spontaneous artistic process, to release control and ultimately visualize a state of mind. Formal qualities such as the line thickness, direction, and shape are each subconsciously influenced by the flow of one’s thoughts."

Disease, acrylic paint, ink, watercolor, graphite, colored pencil on paper, 33" x 30", 2019, Not For Sale

From the artist, continued: "Likewise, color choice and material usage are also influenced by this flow of consciousness. Graphite and charcoal are additional prominent materials used within my work. “Ink City” embodies a sense of contrast between the abstract and the representational. Graphite and charcoal in my work are typically used to represent an image more accurately, whereas the black lines are used to represent abstract ideas. Throughout this piece are words, moments of consciousness in time embedded into a web. The combination of this web with the city buildings signifies the business of the mind. “Disease” embodies this business further, taking form as an explosion of thoughts which erupt into a sea of color and emotional intensity. The top of this sea of color and collision of varying materials such as colored pencil, watercolor paint, and ink are met with another face. Another opposing sense of identity to the gloomy, melting, and evaporating face on the bottom. It is the contrast of color and the contrast of abstraction and representation that captures the duality of the nature of thoughts sought to be expressed within my work."

Thank you

Thank you to Aprile Gallant, Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Smith College Museum of Art, who served as this year's juror. ArtsWorcester also wishes to thank the faculty of Worcester-area colleges and universities who encourage the next generation of regional artists.

Prizes for the Seventeenth Annual College show are generously supported by Marlene and David Persky and the Artist Prize Fund.

ArtsWorcester exhibitions are sustained in part by the C. Jean and Myles McDonough Charitable Foundation.