The 18th Annual College Show

About the College Show

Drawing on the creative strengths of Worcester's colleges and universities, the annual College Show is a juried, online exhibition open to undergraduate college students in any major. Now in its eighteenth year, the exhibition recognizes the next generation of regional artists. This year's juror was Jessica Roscio, Director and Curator, Danforth Art Museum.

This year, prize winners will be exhibited in-person at ArtsWorcester from February 17 to March 27, 2022. Find out who won below!

Engage with the work of forty-seven students with a broad range of academic concentrations, as well as insights from the artists themselves.

Jessica Roscio joined Danforth Art Museum at Framingham State University in 2011, was appointed Curator in 2015, and became the Director in 2020. Selected exhibitions include The Memory Palace: Domesticity, Objects, and the Interior; Beautiful Decay, Dressed, Family Circle, Barbara Swan: Reflected Self; and Lois Tarlow: Material Vocabulary. Prior to the Danforth, Roscio held positions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She taught courses at Emerson College and Suffolk University, and has been a regular contributor to Aspect Initiative, an online gallery focusing on contemporary photography in New England. Roscio has an MA in Art History from the University at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in American Studies, with a focus on the History of Photography, from Boston University.

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

Prizes for the 18th Annual College show are generously supported by Marlene and David Persky and the Artist Prize Fund.

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

Juror's Statement

It was a pleasure to jury this exhibition, and I was impressed with the quality of all the submitted work. The diversity of media and subject were exciting, and many works approached our current anxieties in varied and surprising ways, creating a window into contemporary practice on the college level. An on-line exhibition offers an alternative way of viewing works, and creates the challenge of translating media with depth and texture to a screen. I was drawn to the works in which materiality played a significant role, even without experiencing the work in person.

Each of the pieces in this exhibition are worth noting, and I thank all of the artists for sharing their work. The prizes were awarded to pieces I returned to repeatedly—for varied reasons. Both Place of Repose and Fragments of Myself use traditional elements of figuration, but through the application of paint and the manipulation of form they make traditional, contemporary. Bruges at Night is another work that uses traditional subject and media to distill the artist’s experience to simple forms and blocks of color that are quite striking. Procession for the White Rhino is impressive in skill and monumental in scale, while the intentional miniaturizing of Mini Mart evokes nostalgia in composition and material. Tendrils and Tensions gracefully uses minimal forms—stems, arms, hands—to convey deep meaning. Our societal anxiety is evident in the sickly green and intentionally strained setting of Drained as well as the darkly playful Masked Makeup—works that convey our emotions both inside and out. Flying Glitter is bright, vibrant, and a thoughtful portrayal of a simple act—a visual contrasted by the artist’s statement of more melancholy thoughts. Finally, Unexpected perfectly sums up how I am feeling now—I have no idea what is coming next, but it will likely not be anything I could have imagined.

--Jessica Roscio, Ph.D.

Director and Curator, Danforth Art Museum at Framingham State University

Explore The College Show

Christian Bachez

College of the Holy Cross, 2023, Psychology, Studio Art Double Major


Momento De Curiosidad

matte print, 12" x 12", 2021, $77


My mother would bring home a Colombian cattleya flower from Jackson Heights every Sunday. She made the trek there every week to not only visit my aunt, but also to pick up authentic breads and cheeses. Arriving at home, our cat, Cutie, would destroy the plant. With this piece, I wanted to capture el momento de curiosidad (translates to “moment of curiosity”) before the attack. The vibrant colors and style is an ode to my Colombian heritage and is a direct reference the work of neo-muralist, Ledania.

May Bees

Clark University, 2023, Studio Art


acrylic paint and newspaper on watercolor paper, 12" x 9", 2020, $250


The early months of the global Covid-19 pandemic imbued a sense of urgency and fear in everyone and forced many of us to restructure our views on what is important. During my own quarantine, I created this piece using simple materials, newspapers and acrylic paints, forcing myself to think creatively and intentionally within my limited space about the people and things in my life that I deemed truly essential. As the piece ages further from its moment of creation, it gains historical value as a window into the hearts and minds of Americans in such an unstable and frightening time.

Maria Campos

College of the Holy Cross, 2025, Biology


My Immigrant Dad

archival inkjet print, 9" x 12.5", 2021, $145


These are three captured black and white photographs of the everyday life that my father lives as a mechanic in my hometown. This series captures the moment he arises to drink his morning coffee to his early commute through the cemetery to go to work. My dad immigrated from the Dominican Republic in 2011, and he came with the idea to work in industrial mechanics. But carrying the profession to a different country without the ability to speak the language fluently, diminished this idea. He still needed to provide a roof for his family and their basic needs. The theme that this series expresses is the life of a low income person still working at the age of 63 to be able to support themselves and their family. My father shows how hard immigrants work in America from Monday to Saturday.

Maria Campos

College of the Holy Cross, 2025, Biology


My Immigrant Dad

archival inkjet print, 9" x 12.5", 2021, $160


Maria Campos

College of the Holy Cross, 2025, Biology


My Immigrant Dad

archival inkjet print, 9" x 12.5", 2021, $160


--Honorable Mention--

Aldona Casey

College of the Holy Cross, 2024, English and Studio Arts


oil paint on stretched canvas, 16" x 20", 2021, $350

I wanted to create a distorted and uncomfortable setting that would reflect this character’s inner anxieties. Her posture and nudity communicates her vulnerability, while her unrealistic streaks of hair were meant to show a sense of dysphoria. The green color is sickly, while the red is almost bodily and inappropriate.

Linda Casey

Worcester State University, 2024, History


watercolor and ink, 11.75" x 17.5", 2021, Not For Sale


Julia Chappell

Assumption University, 2021, Studio Art and Graphic Design

Self Portrait

oil paint, 19" x 25", 2021, $200


Julia Chappell

Assumption University, 2021, Studio Art and Graphic Design

Sunset Drive

Pastel, 19" x 24", 2021, $150

matted without frame

Ramon Colon

Clark University, 2021, Environmental Science & Policy


4 Horsemen

film photography, printed on Premium Luster paper, 4" x 2.78", 2021, $50

--Honorable Mention--

Aliyah Coplan

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Studio Art, Biology

Bruges at Night

drypoint, 11" x 14", 2021, $100

I am interested in all of the intricate parts that make up the world around us, how they define our reality and how we as humans perceive and respond to our surroundings. This piece was inspired by a transformative trip to France and Belgium with my school several years ago that expanded my worldview.

Julia Covelle

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Sociology and Studio Art


oil on canvas, 48" x 48", 2021, Not For Sale

This piece emerged as a part of a series of painting created from ideas of physical comparison of the individual. Through this piece I became interested in the color, pattern and repetition of the form of the nose. The piece aims to both re- enforce and abstract the form, both overstating and eliminating each nose's meaning.

Julia Covelle

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Sociology and Studio Art


oil on canvas, 40" x 36", 2021, Not For Sale

I am drawn to the study of people and the spaces in which they inhabit. This scene became an atmospheric observation of the fleeting, mundane and bittersweet moments of my senior year.

Jeff Coyne

Hampshire College, 2022, Critical Theory/Music


risograph print, 8.5" x 11", 2021, $75

Evelyne Diaz Araque

Clark University, 2022, Photography and Computer Science



analog photography, 16" x 10", 2020, $250


“RECONNAISSANCE” was born as a consequence of my lifelong saga with mental illness. Depression is largely hidden; it takes place behind closed doors, in my mind. It never occurred to me to position myself in front of the camera as I am usually behind it. Nevertheless, the constraints I was presented with pushed me to create. I was keen to explore self-portraiture to unravel the many layers of fear, shame, denial, and sadness in a world full of insecurity and judgment. I open the doors for the viewer to my safe haven, my vulnerable and scared self, in an attempt to reshape the discourse around gender, mental health and communication.

“Reconnaissance” is a military jargon used to describe the inspection of the rival’s territory to locate the enemy. In this body of work, it serves as a synonym for the dialogue with my own inner enemy.

--Prize Winner--

Wynne Dromey

Clark University, 2025, Studio Art and Business


Place of Repose

acrylic paint and mixed medium on canvas (recycled paper, food wrappers, trash, etc.), 11" x 14", 2021, $500

I created this acrylic paint/mixed media portrait on canvas to represent the beauty of identity and the appreciation towards my cousin. I was interested in creating texture in my work by pasting recycled materials on the canvas before painting on it. Not only do the paper, receipts, dried paint, plastic bags, etc. add movement and depth to the piece, but they also give these items a second life. In addition, I wanted to show how my cousin’s inner and outer beauty and aura have the ability to bring value and importance to the commonly disregarded materials. Overall, this piece works to promote self love and highlight the grace and creativity of my cousin.

--Prize Winner--

Jori Dudzikowski

Clark University, 2021, Studio Art & Art History


Procession for the White Rhino

mixed media on cloth (gouache, acrylic, oil pastel, colored pencil), 87" x 32", 2021, Not For Sale

When I was young, I was destined to be a primatologist. I read every book at the library on primates, every Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey biography, I lived and breathed monkeys. I suppose from my very first breaths on Earth something called me to the jungle. At the spry age of six years old, a miracle happened. I got the opportunity to meet my hero, Jane Goodall. I had been “fundraising”-- nickel and diming my neighbors and family-- to raise money for orphaned chimps. I donated my collections to her foundation and Jane wrote to me asking if we could meet. As I got older I realized I was pretty much incompetent in any form of math or science, despite countless hours of tutoring, crying, and flashcards. While my voice may have been silenced in the world of STEM, I found my own way to continue the mission I started so long ago. Procession for The White Rhino depicts only a fragment of the critically endangered species that walk together on our planet. Working on this piece was emotional and healing for me. Painted on repurposed recycled fabric, this piece serves as a memorial; much like the species we’ve tragically failed, it too will eventually wither away with time. Material is important in my making, I repurpose my recycling bin to create my three dimensional pieces and welcome surprising textures such as pistachio shells or discarded Mylar. The fragility of my work and its ability to break down over time and return to the ground is attractive to me. I feel as though artists have an absolute responsibility to be political. This collection of work explores landscape as symphonic spiritual realms and responds to the changing climate. Gravitating towards bright colors and rhythmic mark making, I seek to make sense of the motions of Earth: life cycles, the spilling of water and waves, the sound of a bird call, the wind brushing through the grass, the vibration of erosion, the endless hum of our orbit.

Olivia Dylewski

Clark University, 2023, Studio Art


digital inkjet print, 5" x 5", 2021, $150

“Free” serves as a representation of a daydream into a world of escapism, a place without distraction of the world that surrounds, fully immersed in oneself in the most carefree way possible. This photograph ultimately captures the unparalleled lightheartedness one experiences when becoming indifferent to the outside world. Given this was the creation of a photograph displaying feelings of freedom, it seemed logical that there be minimal staging. Not doing so would go against the philosophy I set out for this image. The one instruction I gave the subject was to shake her hair back and forth. The rest was all her. Once she began moving she suddenly became gleeful, an occurrence that truly added something to the image because at that moment, she jumped into her own world. This became the key that opened the gates to this land of pure reverie I sought after with this piece.

Paige Epp

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Architectural Studies


City of Cortex

wood, foam board, metal, plastic, cardboard, acrylic paint, spray paint, cardstock, 47" x 70" x 5.5", 2021, $120

One of the main themes that I look to explore in my work is how humans connect to everyday environments. The goal of this piece is to highlight the complex interaction between humans and the built environment by revealing the interconnected layers of different building systems, grids and landscapes that make up our cities. Through the guidance of maps and architectural imagery, I look to create a three-dimensional, abstract piece inspired by the geometric patterns, structures and topographies of existing cities. I use a variety of mixed media and layering techniques, implementing plywood and foam board as well as laser cutting to create layered structures, grids, and plots of land representative of the multiple components of the city that I am uncovering. By integrating digital technology into my 3D work, I am able to create complex geometric recreations of street patterns, structures and landscapes.

Mia Franks

Clark University, 2024, Biology


Texture #5

graphite and white charcoal on toned paper, 15" x 15", 2020, Not For Sale

Contrasting colors of paint were splattered onto my art teacher’s hands to create a statement about the playfulness of art.

Victoria Freitas

Assumption University, 2023, Graphic Design


Winter in the Neighborhood

pastel chalk and charcoal on black paper, 17" x 22", 2021, Not For Sale

As I began to draw more landscapes, I discovered I gravitate towards night scenes the most. The black paper is a perfect medium for contrast, and for expressing warmth.

Isiah George

College of The Holy Cross, 2022, Studio Art


film, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 2021, Not For Sale

Olga Grzebyk

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, English major, creative writing concentration


Honeymoon Hotel

digital inkjet print on exhibition fiber paper, 11" x 8.5", 2021, $80


I am drawn to the topic of liminal space. My residence in the cobwebbed space between the past and the present made me a prisoner to nostalgia. The comfort of memories becomes painful when you’re no longer their visitor. Each celebration of reality is a farewell with the past. You part with your adolescence when you turn eighteen, your childhood home when you move across the country, your old friends when you go away to college. In these infinite goodbyes, you lose sight of the hellos that come soon after. The present is a blur, your future distant and difficult to fathom. Your own existence is out of reach. You watch the days go by, a voyeur of your own life. In holding onto moments long gone and irreplaceable, I ceased to exist in the in between. Reminiscence consumed me. The invisible, passing moment is captured in my work.

Alexandria Hensel

Worcester State University, 2023, Liberal Studies- Concentration in Art and Communication, Minor in Education


Guiding Light

linocut, woodcut, and mono printmaking with water-soluble inks, watercolor paint, and salt on rice paper, 11.5" x 7.5", 2021, Not For Sale


In the printmaking course I took last semester we explored many different printmaking methods. This piece explored layering the different blocks and mono prints I had created over the course of the class. I had a lot of fun playing with more familiar mediums like watercolor but practicing their use in less conventional ways to create the background mono print. In the mid ground I explored mixing gradients with the water-soluble printer's inks on a tessellating linocut block. Finally printing the foreground with a new woodblock print I had carved.

Arsema Hindeya

Clark University, 2024, Majoring in Marketing w/ a Minor in Studio Art

A Door within a Door

digital photography, 3487 x 4631 pixels, 2020, Not For Sale

Grace Hoelscher

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Studio Art and International Studies



pastel on paper, 3' x 4', 2021, Not For Sale

Tyson Hugee

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Religious Studies

Hitting the Nail on the Head

digital-inkjet print on Premium Luster paper, 6" x 8", 2021, Not For Sale


This was from an 'Idiom Project' where I tried to depict literal idioms. For this submission I chose to tackle, “Hitting the nail on the head.” It is a phrase that means find exactly the right answer.

Evelyn Kitchen

Assumption University, 2022, Criminology and Sociology



pastel on paper, 19" x 24", 2021, $250

Evelyn Kitchen is a senior at Assumption University studying criminology and sociology with a minor in studio art. She is pursuing a law degree after her time there.

Ben Lawson

Pratt Institute, 2025, undecided


A Series of Thoughts No. 2

watercolor and marker on watercolor paper, 5" x 7" each, 2021, $200

Ben Lawson

Pratt Institute, 2025, undecided


Woman in a Window

oil paint, oil pastel, and pencil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2021, $400

Ben Lawson

Pratt Institute, 2025, undecided


Untitled Face No. 1

oil paint, acrylic paint, and pencil on canvas, 20" x 16", 2020, $350

Annie Lineberger

College of the Holy Cross, 2023, Sociology

Duality of Life

plaster, 2' x 2' x 2', 2021, Not For Sale

Michelle Sijia Ma

Smith College, 2023, Studio Art (photography track) and quantitative economic double major

Scan It

digital photography, mixed media collage, 18" x 12", 2021, $100


Whether I was aware of it or not, my ideals of race and identity were shaped by and linked through social media contents. In my ongoing photography project Scan It, I unravel my experience of being abused, marginalized, and dismantled on social media. These images were produced in September 2020 during the peak of coronavirus outbreak and during United States’ political upheaval. I investigate the ways our identities have been connected to societal expectations by combining self-portraiture within QR codes. From scanning, connecting, and alternatively isolating, I regard these QR codes as a representation of the unsearchable status that was not afforded equally to those I loved.

Mason Magruder

Quinsigamond Community College, 2022, Associate of Art

Goldenrod Garden

latex paint, acrylic, enamel, aerosol on paper, 15" x 11", 2021, $250


I'm looking to capture an experience, during this process I work from an unconventional state of chaos. This piece is translating a garden from spring and the natural sense it brings.

Mason Magruder

Quinsigamond Community College, 2022, Associate of Art

Music Visualizer: Nirvana - Pennyroyal Tea (Live and Loud Seattle / 1993)

acrylic, latex paint, enamel on canvas, 20" x 16", 2021, $700

Bridey McGlynn

Syracuse University, 2022, Studio Arts BFA with a minor in Entrepreneurship

Embedded Comfort

bleach on indigo-dyed muslin, 10.5" x 7.75" each, 2021, $400

matted without frame

Through explorative printmaking, I question the importance of the body’s physical appearance and my own internalized fatphobia. Creating multiples with common themes of abstraction and materiality allows self-reflection and discovery in my work as I explore the different levels of control occurring within the art process. Going through this process becomes a form of catharsis for me as I explain my experience to not only the viewer but myself. In this specific work, I thought about the comfort I find in physical touch and materials. The body is a part of this work but, by abstracting it, it's physical appearance is not vulnerable to being scrutinized by the viewer.

Bridey McGlynn

Syracuse University, 2022, Studio Arts BFA with a minor in Entrepreneurship

A Forced Structure

ceramic, high-fire glaze, 35 pieces, 5" x 3" x 1" each, 2021, Not For Sale


Through explorative printmaking, I question the importance of the body’s physical appearance and my own internalized fatphobia. Creating multiples with common themes of abstraction and materiality allows self-reflection and discovery in my work as I explore the different levels of control occurring within the art process. Going through this process becomes a form of catharsis for me as I explain my experience to not only the viewer but myself. A Forced Structure is a body of work I created about the lack of control I have over all the changes my body goes through. I screen printed images of my figure in ceramic glaze and embraced the uncontrollability of the kiln as the color and shapes of the forms were altered by the firing process.

Brendan McKenzie

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Visual Arts and Psychology

Masked Man

enhanced matte roll paper, 30" x 20", 2021, $600


--Prize Winner--

Shea O'Scannlain

College of The Holy Cross, 2022, English and Studio Art

Fragments of Myself

oil paint on masonite, 48" x 72", 2021, Not For Sale

My work circles around ideas of memory and identity drawn from images of family that are abstracted in ways that suggest realistic form while also keeping interpretations open. In abstracting familiar concepts, I attempt to get viewers to consider how we remember small moments and the ways they are blurred, fragmented or broken down with time. In contrast to drawing from life, a photo is naturally warped and flattened which I embrace in the painting process. The natural warping of a photo in tandem with cutting up and collaging an image to paint from complicates something as familiar as the figure. In Fragments of Myself, I wanted to take photos from my past and zero in on the smallest moments of them to collectively create a piece that brings on feelings of nostalgia and memory.

Emily Parish

Worcester State University, 2022, Visual and Performing Arts


Mixed media doll with fleece cloth body, button joints, and polymer clay acrylic-painted head, hands, and feet, wearing cotton dress with ribbon, lace, and beaded details; cotton and lace petticoat; and cotton and ribbon apron with embroidery, 11.5" x 7" x 6", 2021, Not For Sale

With this piece, I wanted to explore my interest in historical fashion by reimagining a mid-nineteenth century dress on an unconventional model. I connected with the past through the historically-inspired design as well as the techniques I used to create this doll and her clothes. Everything is hand-sewn, without the aid of a machine, and patterned from scratch. I enjoyed thinking about duality during the creation of this piece—movement and motionlessness, hard and soft, old and new. Because of her hybrid form, Martha is representative of the Victorian ideal of womanhood (a cooing, nesting “angel of the house"") as well as a symbol of freedom and self-determination. The contradiction between these modes of existence is very interesting to me, as a modern feminist with an affinity for the past.

Tae Park

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Sociology and Art


acrylic paint, 55" x 35.5", 2021, $500

My work relies on the spontaneity of medium and controlled variables regarding ongoing themes and topics. I do not believe in conceptualizing before work because no one can predict the nature of indeterminism in art. Instead, I enjoy the process of improvisation as it often pleasantly surprises me with an unexpected outcome. Distortion is another big part of my artwork because it allows me to share what I imagine in enhanced abstract form. I often deform the figure in my painting in a grotesque manner because I enjoy the visual shock it generates. I also find it aesthetically pleasing. When I work on the figure drawing, I often choose complementary colors for the background of the painting because it highlights the main character of my work.

--Honorable Mention--

Caroline Quinn

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Major: International Studies, Minor: Art History

Masked Makeup

archival inkjet print on semi-gloss paper, 12" x 8.75", 2021, $290


As a photographer who loves to play an active role in the creative process, I have an affinity for studio photography where I can alter the lighting, colors, and wardrobe to my liking. I also model for many of my projects because I feel empowered having control over my facial expressions and body positioning. Much of my work explores themes related to the strength and beauty of femininity, as being a woman is a strong part of my identity.

This image is from a project called “Intentions of the Artist” in which I was tasked with researching an influential photographer and cultivating several images inspired by his/her work. I learned about Irving Penn whose photographs graced the covers of Vogue for more than 60 years. Most notably, he bridged the gap between women’s fashion and fine art. I applied several of his stylistic elements (including a simple grey backdrop, dramatic lighting, and color selection) to a contemporary context in my series entitled “COVID-Chic”. This particular image comments on how we look at the fashion and beauty industries in light of the pandemic. Many women use clothing and makeup to express themselves, so I challenge the viewer to think about the role of clothing and makeup in conjunction with the necessity of PPE (personal protective equipment, including medical masks and gloves).

Paige Riendeau

Assumption University, 2023, Clinical Psychology

Beethoven in the Garden

mixed media on paper, 8.5" x 11", 2021, Not For Sale

Paige Riendeau is a 21 year old college student currently pursuing a degree in clinical psychology with an intended minor in studio art. Using collage has been a new experience for Paige.

Sommer Ross

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Studio Art

Wave in Multimedia

yarn and wire on wood pallet, 48" x 40" x 21", 2021, $300

Given the events I have experienced during my college career - the loss of my best friend Grace Rett, a global pandemic, and multiple concussions, I feel my work is the safest place to cope with it all. Due to the compounded nature of these events, I struggle with anxiety and depression and so I seek to create work that tackles mental struggles in a unique and personal yet universal way. I find it extremely important to use my work not only as a space for personal healing, but also as a platform to advocate for awareness of mental health. Tapping into my personal experiences and emotions within my work allows me to create a feeling of understanding and empathy for what many people may also be struggling with. In constructing these multi-media installations I not only create a space of healing for myself, but also seek to create a supportive space where my viewers can also engage with loss and struggle.

Bailey Schiering

Clark University, 2024, Studio art and sociology


Lost Faces

gouache on paper, 30" x 50", 2021, $200

I painted this with gauche paint for my final project in my art class. I mixed portraits from the 1600s with vibrant patterns.

Kiera Seaver

Savannah College of Art and Design, 2024, Animation


Monetizing Self-Expression: A Portrait

black and white charcoal pencil on toned Canson paper, 19" x 25", 2021, Not For Sale

As a college sophomore pursuing a career in animation, I had to come to terms with the idea of monetizing my passion for a living. For me, art has always been something to fall back on as an outlet for self-expression, but I learned that enjoyment can morph as demands, deadlines, and monetary value come into play. Art is no longer just a means of self-expression for me but a means of survival, and with the strong tie between art and self-worth, this can be potentially devastating. This piece is a full-body self-portrait for my Draw200 life-drawing class and is meant to depict this shift. Stripped down to my underwear and covered in paint, this representation of myself expresses the vulnerability and intimacy of making art. The simple images on the wall beyond my figure are traced from drawings I made when I was young, creating a stark contrast.

--Honorable Mention--

Kaila Skeet Browning

Clark University, 2022, Community, Youth and Education Studies


Tendrils & Tensions

digital-inkjet print, 12" x 12", 2021, Not For Sale


This piece is a result of my decision to lean into my disability (neurological movement disorder) and create images where I highlight, rather than hide, the unusual and often painful ways my body moves. Photographing my tics has forced me to embrace both fluidity and tension in my work and explore where my movements take me, rather than trying to fit into poses that I physically cannot hold. In this way, taking self portraits has also translated into an act of care, and a continued reminder to reject ableist notions of what is considered normal and beautiful.

--Prize Winner--

Mariam Soas

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Neuroscience

Flying Glitter

archival inkjet print, 9" x 12.5", 2021, Not For Sale

"Flying Glitter" is a photograph that is meant to capture irony in a frozen moment. The subject is blowing glitter at the camera and while we tend to associated glitter with happiness and celebration, the subject has red-rimmed eyes and is does not appear happy. The photograph is an image of the subject's inner feelings of loneliness and sadness that she is attempting to cover up with flying glitter as a means of fake happiness.

Mariam Soas

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Neuroscience

Drowning in Thoughts

archival inkjet print, 9" x 12.5", 2021, Not For Sale

"Drowning In Thoughts" is a photograph meant to capture an abstract portrait of the subject. As much as the subject can be photographed in normal staged settings, this photo is meant to express the inner feelings and mindset of the subject at a certain point in time as she is frozen and seemingly drowning in her thoughts.

--Honorable Mention--

Nadia Sostek

Clark University, 2022, Psychology and Studio Art


Mini Mart

polymer clay and basswood, 24" x 24" x 10" (1:12 scale), 2021, Not For Sale

I am an adult using childish materials. Although this statement is true, I manipulate it in a more refined way which can be expressed as fine art. My work is the recreation of my feelings from childhood, the stress-free, I have nothing to worry about attitude, and being able to get lost in my imaginative world. This is my imaginative world, and these are the feelings that I have lost as I navigate towards adulthood. The possibility that I am chasing a nostalgic feeling that doesn’t exist anymore has occurred to me, but each individual creation is an attempt at experiencing something I lost a long time ago. I create these miniatures because it is comforting to me. The incorporation of my childhood is expressed not only in the dollhouse-like presentation of my work, but in the material I use. Polymer clay is a crafty material, and because of this it is easy for children to use, which gives people the idea that any art that comes out of it must be unprofessional. With my work, I change that narrative and give spectators a chance to see how polymer clay can be used in a professional manner. I went from a child to an adult, like how my art went from craft to fine art. I did not change, neither did the material, it is just a different, more mature, representation of the same thing.


Anna-Li St. Martin

Clark University, 2022, Studio Art & History

Vegetopia & The End

animation, 00:37, 2021, Not For Sale

I am a graphic designer serving consumerism; I relay information to my viewers – sometimes to make it more readable or visually appealing. In these vignettes of anthropomorphic objects, objects with human characteristics, I communicate complex topics about mental illness and death.

I consumed a lot of television in my life. As children, we watch TV our caregivers put on, often in the form of cartoons, like talking animals, shapes, food and any object imaginable. While television teaches children about math, science, languages, cultures, friendship, etc., it only skims the surface of the complexities of society that are not always explicit. By portraying mental illness and death in animation form, I show these complex topics in a simpler way.

Breaking down mental illness and death was difficult, as I had to correlate my own experiences with imagery in an uncanny way. These vignettes are short but speak loudly to my experiences.

Chris Stalmok

Assumption University, 2022, Marketing


pastel on black paper, 24" x 18", 2021, $200

Jacob Strock

Clark University, 2022, Studio Art and Music

Bed Brain

acrylic paint on canvas panel, 12" x 16", 2021, Not For Sale

The idea for this painting came to me in the daze of insomnia, unable to sleep in bed staring into my bedroom that's plastered wall-to-wall corner-to-corner in my own things, artwork, ideas, preferences, my life, my brain (so to speak). Bed Brain is one in a series of three; I created this series while taking a class on mythology and symbolism in studio art.

Makenzie Wilson

Assumption University, 2023, Graphic Design

Flying the Freak Flag

digital graphic, 11.25" x 11.25", 2021, $350

Dance like no one is watching. I wanted this statement to ring true to this piece. While this world can be unkind to those who are different, I want to encourage everyone to fly their "freak flag". Take those negative words and turn them into something beautiful.

Jiaying Zhang

College of the Holy Cross, 2022, Psychology and Studio Art


digital photography, 2021, $98

Ursula Zia

Clark University, 2024, Global Environmental Studies / Studio Art


Orb Theory: The Eukaryotes

watercolor on paper, 9" x 9", 2021, Not For Sale

There is a blue orb that holds the secret to all of life. From the primordial soup, water, outlined the silhouette of cells, organisms and united interactions between them. Just like watercolor, life on Earth is free flowing yet contained. Abstract details of organisms are individualized yet interconnected. The invisible forces that unite life on Earth cycle back to an origin and continue to explode outward, into the ocean.

Thank you

Thank you to Jessica Roscio, Director and Curator, Danforth Art Museum at Framingham State University, 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 Eighteenth 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.