Creation by Mary Catherine Halfpenny Selected for Show in Conjunction with College Art Association Conference

Photo: Halfpenny ArtworkMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Inspired last summer by a photo of a close friend and fellow artist, former SUNY Orange student Mary Catherine Halfpenny created a computer-generated artwork portrait that was recently on display as part of a statewide SUNY student art show and will now be hung in New York City this weekend in conjunction with the College Art Association’s annual conference.

Halfpenny’s work, entitled “Nathalina” (right), will be part of a student art show that will hang in the New York Optometry Center throughout the CAA meetings, which begin today (Thursday, Feb. 15) and run through Feb. 22.

This fall, Halfpenny, of Warwick, N.Y., was among four SUNY Orange students who had artwork selected for inclusion in the 2006 Fall SUNY Student Art Exhibition, which ran from Oct. 9 through Jan. 26 in Albany. Two of Halfpenny’s works were on display, along with single submissions from Nathalina Nesteroke, Michael Marquez and Angela Hermida. The foursome became the first students to represent the College in the SUNY show.

“It’s always nice to have your work noticed,” said Halfpenny, who is presently majoring in studio art at Vassar College after earning a partial scholarship to the school. “I’m studying fine art, and it’s a great honor to have your work recognized and displayed in New York City, one of the art centers of the world.”

After seeing a series of pictures of her good friend Nesteroke, Halfpenny was particularly taken by one photo. In one eight-hour sitting, using the computer design program Adobe Illustrator, Halfpenny created the piece of vector artwork. A few sessions of fine-tuning later, the piece was complete.

“I liked her pose, but I really liked the darkness surrounding her face. I had been looking for something to work with because I had been wanting to focus on a person,” added Halfpenny, who earned her associate’s degree at SUNY Orange last May and spent the fall semester at SUNY New Paltz before transferring to Vassar. “But with faces, it is very hard to make the art look like the person. I really wanted to make it look like her, and I’ve gotten very good reactions.”

“This is a wonderful honor for Mary Catherine. She is a tremendously capable and growing artist, and we could not be more proud of her,” said Susan Slater-Tanner, an instructor in the College’s Arts and Communications Department who coordinated the students’ submissions for the SUNY show. “We were pleased to be able to show, for the first time ever, the work of our students in Albany this fall, but having Mary Catherine’s piece selected for the College Art Association exhibit truly demonstrates not only her abilities, but the type of work many of the students here at the College are capable of.”

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940