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First MFA show opens Saturday at Fosdick-Nelson Gallery
4/09/09

Beginning this weekend and continuing each week for the next five weeks, Alfred University students who are candidates for the Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of Art & Design, will open shows of their work and deliver gallery talks at the Fosdick-Nelson Gallery, Harder Hall.

The first show will feature work by Jessica Cappiello of Mastic Beach, NY, who is concentrating in sculpture/dimensional studies; Kelly Jacobson of Makanda, IL, who is also concentrating in sculpture/dimensional studies; and Thomas Schmidt of Morton Grove, IL, who is concentrating in ceramic art.

The opening is scheduled for 7-9 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at the gallery. The artists will give talks on their work at 1 p.m. Sunday, April 12, also at Fosdick-Nelson Gallery.

Cappiello spent eight years living in New Orleans before coming to Alfred. She received a bachelor of fine arts degree in glass and a B.S. degree in anthropology from Tulane University in 2004. She has continued her studies at Penland School of Crafts and Haystack Mountain School, and worked at Pilchuck Glass School.

Her work is primarily focused on tactile memory and associations between individuals. She is interested in the power that human interaction imposes on particular objects. There is a sense of ritual and performance in her work, although it is often the evidence of action that Cappiello says she finds most interesting.

A graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Jacobson received a bachelor of fine arts degree in metalsmithing in 2001. Since then, she has had a series of internships, fellowships and residencies, including the Kohler Foundry, Rochester Institute of Technology, the Institute for Electronic Arts and the Experimental Television Center. She is published in Art Jewelry Today, and has exhibited her work in Chicago, New York, Stockholm and Beijing.

She describes her current work as “an exploration of word, memory, and the various architectural records of human experience.” For the last nine years, Jacobson has been interested in “identifying and deconstructing information structures, distinguishing leaks in language from other run-off, and making the intangible concrete.”

Schmidt received his B.A. at Loyola University Chicago, and a post-baccalaureate certificate at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Public collections include The Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Missouri, USA and The International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza, Italy.

“In my work, I am driven by a sense of discovery that develops as I engage in an ongoing investigation of material,” says Schmidt. “Combining elements of ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, and photography, I build my practice around extensive experimentation. Through this examination I aim to explore notions of perception, memory, and the simultaneous beauty and dissonance of the natural world.”

Alfred University’s MFA program is ranked number one in the country for ceramic art and second in the country for glass art by U.S. News and World Report. Overall, the MFA program is ranked 10th in the country.