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Masters of Fine Arts display masterful works

torch photos — Alex divincenzoUMass Dartmouth is constantly elbow-deep in beautiful artwork.

Maybe you've never noticed any of this artwork before.

Perhaps you've always been too busy to drink in its' splendors.

Well, drink deep my friends- the annual Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) Exhibit is officially up and ready to be ogled shamelessly.

The MFA Exhibit is at the Star Store until May 15 in the Main Gallery. This is an exhibit for all of the CVPA artists about to receive their Masters of Fine Arts Degree, showing work in a wide variety of mediums and across various disciplines.

A Master's degree is not an easy thing to receive and the exhibit is a great place to steep yourself in the essence of their hard work. Every piece contains an aura of artistic strife, every piece is genuinely beautiful and every piece is special.

The show features two illustrators, Michele Noiset and Melanie Cataldo. Noiset's artwork, primarily in pastel, is impacting and immediately disturbing.

The illustrations, all of them concerning books, are muted, yet colorful in their language and vicious in their deliver with dramatic lighting and dark, impressionistic tones.

“Lord of the Flies (by William Golding)” is an excellent example- it is haunting and immediate, yet clever in it's imagery, mixing the forms of the symbolic pig with that of a young child.

Melanie Cataldo's work, all mixed media, is simultaneous dramatic and fanciful.

All of the illustrations are from her “story in progress” with the intention of being incorporated into a book.

Each illustration is easy to read and presents an excellent sense of story progression- even without words; the viewer is immediately intrigued with the story.

Cataldo’s style is light and airy, with an excellent sense of perspective and effective lighting, such as in “Untitled”, an illustration of a boy on a dock with a whale's eye beneath. The green palette combined with the lighting evokes just the right sense of threat.

Dha-Mee Herling presents silver and found objects.

The pieces are fresh, irreverent and at times completely hilarious in concept and education.

“Nailbiter's Award” for example is a nail shaped military-style medal of silver that holds actual nail clippings- the medal itself, while streamlined and formally beautiful, becomes amusing and a little grotesque upon the realization of what it holds.

Everyday objects and refined style clash in a sophisticated and thoroughly tongue-in-cheek manner.

The work of the painting grad students, represent a full and unusual spectrum of artistry, subject matter and medium.

Kate Barry's paintings, all focused on dramatic representations of whole and broken seashells, is airy, light and almost human.

The seashells, such as in “Reclining Conch” mimic a resting human form, the colors breathy and calm.

Claudine Metrick's paintings are dark, turbulent and thought-provoking amalgamations of composition, abstract imagery and swirling colors.

The paintings run the gamut of human emotion, from inspirational and awe-inspiring to dark, mystifying and anxious.

Featuring mixed media as well as 3D embellishments, attachments and additions- here the paintings can be felt as a result of a process, a painstaking creation rather than a simple painting.

Also in the abstraction spectrum, Mellissa Morris' paintings have a certain uniformity about them, the shapes, colors and vague yet identifiable figures almost forming a succession, acting as parts of a whole story.

Each of them is named after a certain emotion, detailing touching human concepts like sadness, grief and anxiety and each piece imparts them in raw, visceral way.

Hayley Perry's paintings stand out, alternating between traditional canvas abstractions and large, intimidating three-dimensional installations that resemble a cross between crunched up canvases and colorful shattered glass.

Sharp, imposing and lovely, the installations invade the viewer's space, such as the piece “Shields”.

Julie Anne Richmond, working in ceramics creates pure whimsy and delight.

With large, imposing mixed media pieces that should beg children to come ruin them, they would be equally at home in an art museum or children's museum.

“Shoe-ni-cycle,” for example, plays with both words and concepts, changing the integrity and hilarity of the common unicycle.

Arlynn Nobel, also working in ceramics, creates seemingly traditional ceramics with a fresh and visually pleasant twist.

“Rising Into Balance”, as each piece is titled, are otherworldly and symmetrical, featuring turbulent organic swirls and planes.

“Lidded Vessel” one of many variants, looks like a small natural disaster, full of captured motion and threatening to topple off of their stands.

The MFA show is a shining rainbow of what art is capable of and what art can make you feel; it is waiting to prove you wrong and maybe let you realize what you've been missing.

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