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WCSU announces 2024 M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition: Opening reception for exhibition featuring six artists to be held March 21

DANBURY, Connecticut — The Department of Art at Western Connecticut State University will host the 2024 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition from March 21 through April 7, 2024, in The Gallery at the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury.

An opening reception and Alumni Night, co-sponsored by the Department of Art and the Alumni Association, will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2024. Register for the reception at www.eventbrite.com/e/wcsu-2024-mfa-thesis-exhibition-opening-reception-alumni-night-tickets-853774030107. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. The Gallery will be open for viewing from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Master of Fine Arts is the terminal degree for practicing, professional artists. The M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition is the capstone experience of the graduate program, demonstrating a personal direction and mastery in the work of the artists.

Six graduate students will present their thesis work this year:

Amy Caco
Amy Caco

Amy Caco is an Albanian-American illustrator born in Waterbury. Working in a variety of mediums, such as colored pencil or digital illustration, she continually explores new materials and methods. Her work is delicate and vulnerable, often influenced by fantasy and folklore. Most recently, she is incorporating poetry into some of her pieces. “The work should speak for itself,” Caco has said, “but sometimes there are just some things that I want to say.” She values beauty and decorative elements in illustration,  while still conveying deeper meanings. In her artist statement, she writes, “I want to experience the world through someone else’s eyes, the same way I want someone to look at my art and understand me.”

Hunter - Amy Caco
Hunter – Amy Caco

Caco earned a B.A. in Illustration from WCSU and has since worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the Art Department. Her work has been published and exhibited in Danbury and Ridgefield, and she has also done freelance work for several private clients. In 2022 and 2023, she was commissioned to paint two large murals for the Great Hollow Nature Preserve in New Fairfield.

Lucy Gallagher
Lucy Gallagher

Lucy Gallagher is an artist from Waterbury. She received her B.A. in Studio Art from WCSU. Her artistic practices include paintings, works on paper, and sculpture. They are a direct reflection of her life, both past and present. During her current studies, Gallagher has worked as a graduate teaching assistant in several art courses, including painting and printmaking. In her own words, she “is inspired by the creative energy that flows through each of us and the importance of nurturing that flame.”

Mother - Lucy Gallagher
Mother – Lucy Gallagher

Gallagher’s work has been shown in several galleries in Connecticut, including Alix Gallery in Waterbury and Art in Common Gallery in Ridgefield. Her work was also included in “Human Connection,” a group exhibition curated at the Danbury Fair Mall in 2023. In her artist statement, she writes, “I have this insatiable desire to figure out my identity through creating. My work focuses on moments from my past that remain in my internal narrative, invade my dreams, and constantly remind me that I am human. I embrace the inspiration that comes from my observed world and from within. In response, I create my fantastical truth through the use of color, light, and line.”

Taylor Green
Taylor Green

Taylor Green, from Waterbury and Danbury, received a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from WCSU, with a minor in Studio Art. She is a visual anthropologist who attempts to not only observe the world around her, but to understand it through creation. Her artwork stems from the human experience of wonder and exploration, as well as research and advocacy. Green’s paintings are strongly influenced by her background in social science and social justice; not only painting about humanitarian crises, but also the rest of the human experience. She is also a curator who firmly believes that art can bring people together to spark important conversations.

The Lovers - Taylor Green
The Lovers – Taylor Green

Green’s paintings have been shown at Art in Common Gallery, Ridgefield. During the past year, she has been a graduate assistant in The Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center. In summer 2023, she was invited by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut to guest curate a group exhibition at the Danbury Fair Mall, which she entitled “Human Connection.”

Andrew Mark
Andrew Mark

Andrew Mark, an illustrator and designer based in Hudson Valley, New York, graduated from Marist College with a B.S. in Digital Media. He typically works in digital illustration, as well as acrylic painting, and pen and ink. His work consists of bright colors and bold outlines reminiscent of animation and comic books, with a focus on character design. In his artist statement, he writes, “I am a passionate storyteller, building entire worlds from scratch and breathing life into characters I create. I enjoy introducing fun and zany characters that are familiar, yet out of this world. My subjects are influenced by folklore and mythology, as well as graffiti art. I also draw much of my inspiration from life experience, particularly within my heritage of being a fourth-generation Chinese-American, and of being bilingual and bicultural.”

Yeti Momos - Andrew Mark
Yeti Momos – Andrew Mark

Mark grew up going to anime and comic book conventions through his family’s import toy business, a big influence on his art studies and art career. Mark is the founder of Kalun Studios, a lifestyle brand dedicated to producing unique, happy and cute designs. He has also created work for a variety of clients, including colleges, dining services, local businesses, and festivals.

William Parrott III
William Parrott III

William John Parrott III is an interdisciplinary artist who utilizes a multitude of processes that draw inspiration from his background in photography, painting, printmaking, spray painting, sculpture, and collage. He was born in Waterbury and resides in Naugatuck. He earned his B.A. in Photography from WCSU. In his artist statement, he writes, “Process is what really drives me in the creation of my art. Using traditional tools in unorthodox and unusual ways to achieve specific marks, indentations, brush strokes, and more, is what helps me set my work apart from the traditional. Getting deeply in touch with the processes I use allows me to enter the state of flow of creation where my hands work on their own, but the touch is still mine. While my physical touch is apparent in my bodies of work, they hold the capability to speak about themselves on the walls. This is my method, and where I draw my energy to create.”

Connecting Thoughts - William Parrott III
Connecting Thoughts – William Parrott III

Parrott has worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the photography department at WCSU, as well as a graduate assistant in The Gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center. His work has been exhibited in several local galleries, including Art In Common Gallery in Ridgefield.

Denise Rosa
Denise Rosa

Denise Rosa, of Danbury, is a painter who received her B.A. in Studio Art from WCSU. Her current work is primarily portraiture, some self-portraits, and others of those dear to her. Her artist statement reveals much about her painting: “I was born in Brazil and proudly became a U.S. citizen in 2004. My life experience has taught me the importance of balancing reality with a spirit of hope. I am inspired by stories of people who have crossed my life. My landscapes and figurative oil paintings translate memories and recreate those narratives. My work is instinctual, allowing my inner child to express feelings. Light, color, and texture are important elements. There is always a message to be revealed through the viewer’s interpretation. I believe in the power of diversity and creative viewpoints, pushing me to be flexible as an artist and human being.”

Meditation - Denise Rosa
Meditation – Denise Rosa

Rosa’s work has been in several local exhibitions, including a mural project in 2022 at the Danbury Fair Mall, where her painting is now in its permanent collection. In summer 2022, she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Rome Art Program in Italy. And, upcoming in March – April 2024 is a solo exhibition of her paintings at the Danbury Public Library.

For more information, contact the Department of Art at (203) 837-8403 or WCSU Communications and Marketing at pr@wcsu.edu.


Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.