Meghan Balliett drawing Avocado Plant (1)
Avocado Plant-Meghan Gargano Balliet
Charles Hollinger Untitled #1
Charles Hollinger
Lauren Reeves Forging Light.png
Forging Light-Lauren Elise Reeves

Three artists from the Masters of Fine Arts program at Western Connecticut State University will be featured at the M.F.A Thesis Exhibition opening reception at the Visual & Performing Arts on March 31st.

The three students, Meghan Gargano Balliet, Charles H. Hollinger, and Lauren Elise Reeves, will all present their works at the exhibition running from March 31st to April 11th, at the art gallery at the Visual & Performing Arts Center on the university’s westside campus, 43 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury CT 06811.

The reception will be from 5-7 PM on Thursday, March 31st, at the gallery. Admission will be free to the reception and exhibition. The gallery will be open to the public for viewing from 12-4 PM Monday through Thursday, and 1-4PM Saturday and Sunday.

Each spring, the WCSU Department of Art runs the M.F.A Thesis Exhibition to demonstrate its students personal artistic direction and talent.

The following students will show his or her work in this year’s exhibition:

  • Meghan Gargano Balliet, of Woodbury, Connecticut, is, “Inspired by minimalism, nature, and Eastern philosophies. While working, I prefer quiet and solitude. Meditation has become an important part of my work: I clear my mind before beginning to work, and the act of making the work it itself meditative.”

She works primarily on paper with graphite, lithographic crayon and ink sticks.  A graduate of Lesley University, Balliet described her linear plant drawings with graphite as illuminations of an active and deep connection with her subject. In her large-scale works, she uses her artistic materials to create drawings designed to give the viewer a visual and physical experience.

  • Charles H. Hollinger, of Washington Connecticut, says , “This practice has given me the opportunity to see some of the most awe-inspiring sunups, sundowns, and all the hours of light preceding them. I try to bring forth my understanding and, more importantly, my love of light through the relationship of warm versus cool colors, light versus shadow, and contrasting shapes.”

He is an avid outdoorsman whose love for surf fishing inspired him to capture light in his paintings and drawings in full spectrum that he has experienced while pursuing his sport during prime fishing hours at dawn, dusk, and late evening. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, Hollinger paints in oils on canvas and board with smooth brush strokes, using atmospheric perspective and muted colors to draw viewers into a motionless and tranquil landscape. Recently, he has expanded his artistic exploration and does works using graphite on paper.

  • Lauren Elise Reeves, of Orange, Connecticut, says, “My art work is driven by the idea that we each have a chance to make the world a better place, if we simply believe in the light we carry inside ourselves. All it takes is one person’s decision to make a difference.”

She is an illustrator whose works convey narrative and purpose, inspired by her childhood experiences with family pets and other animals in the rural Woodbridge area where she grew up. A graduate of St. Andrews University, Reeve’s digitally crafted style reflects her interests in computing and gaming as well as science fiction and fantasy. Her thesis exhibition includes a series of portraits of shelter dogs that she ha personally come to know, accompanied by written narratives that complement her artistic portrayals of her subjects’ experiences before and after their rescue. She will also show works from her “light bulb project,” a series of illustrations of squirrels and the unique ways in which each brings light into the world.

Reeves also works at the Raven’s Lantern in book publication areas including cover design, illustration, layout, and production.


For more information, please contact the Department of Art at 203-837-8403, the Art Gallery at 203-837-8889, or the Office of University Relations at 203-837-8486.