April 20, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Gallery 51 will present this year’s senior class show, “The Human Condition,” beginning on Thursday, April 26. This annual exhibition serves as the culminating event that provides graduating artists with the tools they will need to further their careers, as they learn how to display and install their art, and more.

The public is invited to attend a free reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, in MCLA Gallery 51, 51 Main St.

The artists featured in this year’s show are, Molly Gurner ’18, Halie Smith ’18, Jacqueline Smith ’18, Nicole Stearns ’18, and Samantha White ’18.

According to White, for her artworks, “Antithesis,” she created a small series of drawings that are accompanied by poems.

“I handle the gentle medium of charcoal to illustrate the delicate relationship between formulaic graphs and natural occurrences within human anatomy,” White said. “With each graph is a poem constructed of etymology to branch that relationship into further mediums and broader subject matters.”

Gurner’s “Honoring Communication through Advocation” connects art with some difficult subject matter. She created an information cube and posters which will advocate for those with Lou Gehrig’s disease, commonly known as ALS.

“I’m working to create a typeface based on the handwriting of my late aunt who passed away from ALS, in order to advocate for the disease and raise awareness,” Gurner explained. “Through this process, I also want to honor the communication methods that are stripped from those plagued with this terrible disease.”

Sterns also explores advocacy. In her collection, “Off-White,” she made portraits that explore the experience of being a biracial woman within American society.

“As a biracial woman, I explore identity through self-portraiture. By making myself visible and proclaiming my narrative through paintings and collages, I contribute to the broader American narrative and increase representation of Asian American women,” Sterns said.

Like Stearns, Halie Smith tackles ideas of learning who she is through her connections to others. For “Relationships,”she made a series of oil paintings.

“My art collection explores the roots of my personality through self-portraiture expressing relationships and events that have developed my worldview,” Halie Smith said. “This series uncovers the foundation of who I am, revealing what lies beneath the surface and its value. This is a self-portrait of my character.”

Similarly, Jacqueline Smith explores relationships within her work by creating a series of acrylic portraits that serve as an exploration of some women she knows, as well as herself.

“I have created a body of work that centers on broadcasting the importance of positive self-esteem of women and owning their own personal strengths,” Jacqueline Smith said. “Media and social standards have dictated that it’s more widely accepted to be self-deprecating and modest, rather than being outright proud and positive of who you are. I have done this by completing acrylic portraits that highlight the strength and beauty of various women I have come to know within my personal life.”

“The Human Condition” will remain on display through May 20 at MCLA Gallery 51, 51 Main St. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

For more information about “The Human Condition,” call (413) 662-5324, or go to . For more information, go to

MCLA Gallery 51, 51 Main St., is a program of MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center. The Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) provides opportunities, resources, and support to the Northern Berkshire Community. BCRC brings together the Northern Berkshire, MCLA and greater creative communities through its cultural programming, including MCLA Gallery 51, DownStreet Art, Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP), and MCLA Presents! The BCRC promotes, facilitates, and encourages a dialogue to foster a sustainable, creative community.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth’s public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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