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Student artists succeed in juried art show

Published on November 06, 2023

Student artists succeed in juried art show

Samantha Molzon's illustration won first place.

Jacob Bleggi's wire sculpture won second place.

Amritleen Kaur's painting won third place.

Twenty-one Eastern students had the opportunity to display their art for more than 80 attendees at Hope Lodge in Moosup, CT. A total of 43 student artworks were curated by Eastern faculty to be displayed in the venue’s gallery from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, with the reception taking place Nov. 3.

The works selected traversed a wide range of artistic mediums, including illustration, painting, digital art, photography and mixed media sculptures. Lora Lee, professor and chair of the Art and Art History Department, and Eastern’s Art Gallery Director Julia Winter collaborated with Hope Lodge’s Susie Bernardo to make the event happen. Lee described the gallery as “diverse, impressive and professional.”

Bernardo explained how the site is largely involved with providing young people with creative opportunities. “We want those who may want to pursue careers in the arts who maybe never got the opportunity or believed their dreams could be realized to aspire for more,” said Bernardo. “Hope Lodge Venue is honored to provide a space that nurtures these connections between college artists and high school artists, fostering a supportive environment for their growth and collaboration.”

dean todd
Dean Emily Todd gave opening remarks at the juried art show.

Eastern’s Dean of Arts and Sciences Emily Todd bestowed recognition for Best in Show to Samantha Molzon for her illustrative work. Jacob Bleggi and Amritleen Kaur claimed second and third place with Bleggi’s wire sculpture and a painting by Kaur. Honorable mentions included Kara Mahoney, Jessica Martin and Jillian Rappi.

Students from Killingly High School were concurrently displaying their work in a basement space in the lodge. According to Lee, these high schoolers attended the Juried Art Show to catch a glimpse of what artistic opportunities awaited them in college – possibly as Warriors. “The event served as an excellent recruiting opportunity,” said Lee, “many students, families, and faculty members from Killingly High School attended and were excited to learn more about Eastern.”

The event included time for food and socialization, as well as a chance for artists to expand their business connections; most pieces were up for auction, and several students sold their artwork.

“Seeing their pieces showcased and celebrated was pure joy and it was a fantastic event for the community,” said Bernardo, “I wanted to highlight their hard work, creativity, and the impressive quality of their artwork locally.  In collaboration with the high school students, they did just that.” 

Written by Elisabeth Craig