4/25/2014 1:20:58 AM

Creative Capstones

Monday, May 06, 2013

By Sarah Vistocco '13

For senior creative arts majors Jen Cullen ’13 and Erin Griffin ’13, four years of hard work, learning and personal growth were the ingredients necessary for success in the final project of their undergraduate careers, the creative arts capstone. Capstone projects are required of all creative arts majors; the presentations represent each student’s unique knowledge and passion for creative work.

This year, 19 students completed capstone projects that ranged from performing and visual arts to television news reporting. The projects were shared with the Siena College community during "Here, There and Everywhere: A Festival of Creative Arts Capstone Projects."

“I love to act. I don’t know how to live without it,” said Cullen. To display her talents as a well-rounded performance artist, Cullen chose to write, perform and stage an original play with Ashley Broady ’13. The play’s dialogue came from Cullen’s original work and existing monologues that had special meaning to Cullen throughout her student career.

“Jennifer’s capstone project is a true culmination of her creative arts work over the past four years,” said Paul Ricciardi, M.F.A., assistant professor of creative arts. Ricciardi guided Cullen and other students in their capstone work during the Senior Seminar in Creative Arts.

As a double major in Psychology and Creative Arts, Griffin’s visual artwork involved research data. She spent the fall 2012 semester studying abroad in London. While there, Griffin became interested in her everyday interactions. She began documenting the time she spent alone, in the presence of others and interacting with those around her.

To further her research, Griffin asked individual students to record the same interactions for one day. She also asked them to note one impressionable moment from that day. The chosen moment could be anything that seemed memorable, such as receiving a good grade or running into an old friend.

Griffin chose three students’ data and presented the breakdown of their day with colored X’s representing the three different categories of time. She then accompanied each visual representation of the data set with a work of art depicting their one impressionable moment from that day.

“This project is my way of freezing that moment from a single individual’s day and presenting it as something important,” said Griffin. The students’ impressionable moments ranged from donating hair, seeing karma in action and feeling as though they were on an alien planet after the silence of a snowstorm.

“Erin’s project shows the versatility of her creativity in being able to translate something like research into an artistic act, making the viewer’s response happen on a visual and contemplative level,” said Assistant Professor of Creative Arts Liz Blum, M.F.A. Blum joined Ricciardi in leading the Senior Seminar course.

Both Cullen and Griffin intend to pursue careers in the arts. “This class not only adds to my portfolio but also adds a legitimacy to my creative arts degree that will show when I’m applying for jobs,” said Griffin.

Cullen feels similarly confident about her future after Siena. She stated, “No matter what happens, this has taught me I can do whatever I set out to accomplish.”

Click here for more information about creative arts at Siena College.

Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

Back to Siena News.