Arts and Entertainment editor
On Friday, April 12, the Thorne Art Museum was opening their doors to families and students to showcase the works of 20 graduating art majors here at Keene State.
“Yeah, this is kind of my end-of-the-year senior thesis. As I was becoming a senior, I wanted to work with sculpture. I found out I was really into clay and mold making so I made all of these plastic molds,” said Senior Christopher Mitchell as he was beginning to explain his art capstone.
“I would go to Puggy’s, Big Red Shed, other various thrift shops around. And I’d find the objects, I also worked with a 3-D printer and to make other objects and what not. But, I had to make slip cast molds outta plaster so I used liquid clay, terracotta, earthenware and have it liquiate,” said Mitchell. He continued to describe his lengthy process of pouring them all, cracking them all, and putting the molds into a humid box. Mitchell also described the end of the process, “Later, they’re still at a malleable state so I take them, recreate them, pin them up, and then kinda create my own little narrative to the stories. The narratives to the stories all have an exact storyline; I don’t have a poem, or a book or anything to go with them. They just kinda go in as themselves. Then I’d make my own glazes then I’ll use a honey glaze to go and decorate my pieces. At the end of the year they all kinda all just fell in line, I made my own stands with steel underneath. It all kinda varies, they all kinda communicate and talk to each other.”
Senior artist Brian Hickey said, “I really like Chris Mitchell’s sculptures, he has a lot of found second hand objects. He also did mold making as well. He did with ceramics but he has them all collaged together in these little pieces all sorts of different glazes [that] I believe he makes himself and what he’s displaying is only maybe a third of what he has that he has made this year. So he’s been cranking out.”
Hickey also worked with sculpting, creating a pair of polyurethane arms that took a semester and four smaller plaster sculptures that took another semester, basically taking a full school years time to finish. Reflecting on his time, Hickey said the most rewarding thing he took away from this experience was, “I guess just appreciating other artists’ ideas and the way they go about making things because you never really… don’t know how hard it can be until you go about it.”
Senior Haley Kean also reflected on her experience, saying, “One of the most rewarding things I have taken away from this experience is the experience itself, there’s truly nothing like the catharsis of pouring your heart and soul into a project and then seeing it come to fruition, it’s almost surreal. It was also rewarding to grow and be inspired by the amazing art faculty and fellow peers!”
Kean’s piece was a statement on gun violence in schools. This hit close to home for her because she is from Newtown, Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting occurred December, 14 2012. “One of the biggest things I’ve learned from this project is that the work never stops, I’m already thinking about ways I could continue this concept and subject and push it further. I also have learned that due to the nature of my installation, little details mean everything. I changed the lighting and bought my own fluorescent bulbs in order to change the mood of my space and everything. I also learned that as an artist, you need to give your project room to grow and change, the ideas I had in early September looked nothing like the final project, and I’m grateful to have gone through that creative process.”
Joseph Guzman can be contacted at