Two Exhibits Feature Artwork By Alumni Winners of Studio Art’s POD Award


Two exhibitions open in the Hopkins Center for the Arts on June 28, 2011. Both feature artwork by alumni who received the Studio Art Department’s Perspectives on Design (POD) Award. Melissa Brown, Paintings and Work on Paper opens in the Strauss Gallery, and the POD Award Exhibition opens in the Jaffe-Friede Gallery with works by three young alumni—Max Heiges ’10, Kari Cholnoky ’10, and Julissa Llosa ’10—who all received the POD award last year as graduating seniors.

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POD Award winner Kari Cholnoky ’10 worked as a Dartmouth Studio Art intern this past academic year. (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

A studio art major who graduated magna cum laude in 1993, Brown was a talented artist who died in 2001 of breast cancer, a disease she was diagnosed with at the age of 24. She received her MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999, and also studied at the New York Studio School and the Chautauqua School of Art. Her work was exhibited at the Lee Hensley Gallery in Raleigh, N.C.; Diego Rivera Gallery in San Francisco, Calif.; the New York Studio School in New York City; and the Washington Art Association in Washington, Conn., among others.

“The Studio Art Department presents this exhibition in celebration of the life and artistic achievement of Melissa Brown,” says Professor of Studio Art Colleen Randall, who was one of Brown’s instructors. “She not only met her illness with courage, tenacity, and grace, but also drew upon the experience of vulnerability as a metaphor to open doorways into her vision as an artist. Her intention was ‘to imbue the skin of canvas with the language of the body.’ These sensitive, observant, deeply felt visual images embody an astonishing physical, imaginative, and spiritual power. We are left with the gift of her accomplished and inspired body of work.”

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Indelicate, oil on canvas, 58 x 64 inches, by Melissa Brown ’93 (Courtesy of the Hopkins Center for the Arts)

Gerald Auten, director of the Department of Studio Art exhibition program, points out that it is fitting for Brown’s work to be exhibited in the gallery adjacent to her fellow POD award recipients. And like Heiges and Cholnoky, Brown also spent a post-graduate year at Dartmouth working as a Studio Art intern.

Cholnoky, a painter, and Heiges, a sculptor, were grateful not only to receive POD awards, but also to have another year to work with Dartmouth faculty and students as Studio Art interns. “Being an intern and having studio space, facilities and the highest caliber faculty surrounding me for another year was unbelievable,” says Cholnoky, a native of Darien, Conn. “My work progressed and matured beyond what I had expected, and I know it wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t been here doing what I was doing. I took full advantage of my space and my tools, and the strength of the work being shown in POD is entirely due to that.”

“I was thrilled to receive the award and honored to be selected alongside Kari and Julissa,” says Heiges, a Mill Valley, Calif., native who says he has explored the idea of home and family in his work this past year. “It is also a special opportunity and an additional honor to be shown next to the work of Melissa Brown. This year has been non-stop thinking about the show. Not a day went by where Kari and I didn’t talk about it.”

Heiges, a former Dartmouth football player, is currently in New York City taking summer session classes at the New York Studio School while Cholnoky has subletted studio space in Norwalk, Conn., and is also pursuing art-related jobs in New York. Both plan to apply to MFA programs next year. Julissa Llosa, the third POD award recipient, is a printmaker who just finished the first of a two-year commitment to teach high school math in Brooklyn, N.Y., for Teach for America. “When I graduated I knew that if I wanted to someday make art into a profession, I needed to contextualize it in the real world,” says Llosa, who grew up in Callao, Peru. “Teaching has taught me so much and has exposed me to a very flawed education system. I hope to bring these new experiences to my art.”

There will be an opening reception for the three POD award-winning artists on Tuesday, June 28, at 4:30 pm. The opening reception for the Melissa Brown exhibition will be held on July 16 at 4 p.m. Both exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public. For more information call Gerald Auten at the Studio Art Exhibition Program at (603) 646-3651.

POD Award Exhibition: Kari Cholnoky, Max Heiges, Julissa LlosaJaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center June 28 through August 20, 2011 Reception: 4:30 p.m. on June 28, 2011

Melissa Brown: Paintings and Work On PaperThe Jacob H. Strauss ’22 Memorial Exhibition Strauss Gallery, Hopkins Center June 28 through September 4, 2011 Reception: 4 p.m. on July 16, 2011

Bonnie Barber