Q&A: Thoughts from art school students

. . .

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

This is the sixth in a series of posts in a series where PCA&D students talk about their art, inspirations and influences, and thoughts about their education.Casey Capese, Julya Nichols, Maurice Butler, and Ian Williams, continue sharing their thoughts about their favorite media and professors.

The current exhibition in PCA&D’s Main Gallery, Selected Artworks from the BFA Program at PCA&D, features a selection of outstanding artwork created by two dozen of our rising junior and senior BFA students, including Casey, Julya, Maurice, and Ian. A wide variety of media are represented including digital and hand-painted illustration, sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography and graphic design.

What is your favorite medium to work with? Have you discovered a new media during your studies that you never thought you would use? If so, describe the media and how it has changed or influenced your work.

Casey Capece, Graphic Design, Class of 2018

My favorite medium is working with acrylic paint. However, I enjoy working with chalk pastels too and really because they’re just fun to work with.

Julya Nichols, Photography, Class of 2018

My favorite medium to work in currently I would have to say is any form of film photography. I have taken a class on this medium back when I was in high school during the summer but I never truly got to explore it as much as I wanted to until my sophomore year at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design. When I first started to study the art of photography I thought that I would be more interested in digital photography than anything else but when I first got to experience film photography in a class taught by Professor Eric Weeks, I instantly fell in love with it. Discovering this new way to create photography has influenced me to not just snap a shot of something I find beautiful but to create something with my hands whether it be developing it in the dark rooms or even just creating a set or characters within my photographs.

Maurice Butler, Fine Art, Class of 2017

Charcoal on primed paper seems to be my lane. The paper in my sketchbook is a bit fragile in how aggressive I work. I worked around the problem by making the paper tougher and sanding it down to a comfortable spot. I felt as though wood would be a fun medium to work on. The grit of wood will satisfy me needs in how I work. I can go all out without worrying about messing up my image whether I’m drawing or painting. I can truly be myself and my tendencies won’t fade away because I’m working on a medium that’s fragile to my needs.

Work by Ian Williams, '18

Work by Ian Williams, ’18

Ian Williams, Digital Media, Class of 2018

Being a Digital Media major I enjoy working with basically anything digital and love to work in basically any adobe program. Coming into PCA&D I have started in photography. I never had really used a camera before school but found how much I really did enjoy it and since then most of my works center around photography or cinematography and is supplemented and highly manipulated digitally.

Has there been any particular assignment, or certain faculty member who has strongly influenced your work?

Casey Capece, Graphic Design, Class of 2018

Believe it or not, I go to art school and I am not the biggest fan of drawing. With that being said, I would say that both Bill Mamarella and Thomas Scullin have influence my work greatly. I never spent so much time working on my drawing skills before until I had classes with the both of them for Drawing I and Drawing II in my Foundation year at PCAD. From perspective to shading to color blending, I learned a lot from the both of them and after their classes, I find myself thinking back to those skills that I have learned from them as I am creating my art now whether it’s traditional media or on the computer.

Work by Julya Nichols, '18.

Work by Julya Nichols, ’18.

Julya Nichols, Photography, Class of 2018

So far the project “Mysterious Narratives” has definitely influenced my art. Going into this project I was terrified since I was still a bit leery and unsure on how to create the image that was in my head. But once I got started on scouting out the environments along with creating the characters I wanted to be portrayed in those environments, the outcome was something I never thought I was capable of creating. This project was definitely a project that has pushed my limits and challenged me to expand my abilities. Besides this project, there hasn’t been a particular facility member who has influenced my work but all of them have defiantly made an impact on my art and myself as an artist. If none of my professors so far would have ever taught me I don’t believe I would have blossomed as much as I did not only as an artist or as a person. In my opinion that is how a professor should impact a student, by helping them blossom and become a figure out how to become a better version of themselves to build the life that they want to build for themselves.

Maurice Butler, Fine Art, Class of 2017

I can’t really picked out a certain aspect an assignment or faculty that strongly influenced my work. But I felt as though each member did change the way how I look at things. Evan Kitson thought me to be more critical on the process of my work. Causing me to carefully choose the satisfying composition to the marks I make. David Moss showed me that the best work I make is when I’m more passionate about and to thrive for that goal with ambition and meaningfulness in each step. Stay true from the beginning to the end with hesitation. Becky Blosser has taught me to never question the idea of trying. That failure should not be feared but rather drives the process. If you’re making something that has a high chance of failure but you NEED to make that art, then take your chance and don’t look back. The idea of trying something that looks impossible and still getting a very satisfying result in the end is invaluable to the human mind. I appreciate each faculty member for being honest with me to the end. And don’t get me started on my classmates! They helped too.

Ian Williams, Digital Media, Class of 2018

I have actually had two really great assignments this past year that have pushed my processes and experiences. In my intro to gaming class Natasha Warshawskypushed us to constantly try new techniques, which led to a video game the broke the fourth wall and taunted the player with mocking google searches. My other great experience was my montage project in my motion and story class where Brenten Klinger taught us how to really connect with the viewer through different video techniques and allowed me to explore cinematography in a richer way.


“Selected Artworks from the BFA program at PCA&D” will be on exhibit in the Main Gallery at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, 204 N Prince Street, Lancaster, from June 3 to August 12, 2016.  Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.