APRIL 4 – MAY 17, 2024
Reception April 6, 3 - 6pm

Welcome remarks 4pm
Free and Open to the Public

Gallery Hours:
Thursdays & Fridays 4 PM to 8 PM
Saturdays & Sundays 12 PM to 5 PM
44 Troy Street, Fall River, MA 02720



APRIL 11 – MAY 17, 2024
Opening reception April 11th, 5-8pm

AHA! Night, Thursday, April 11, 5-8 pm, ArtTalks 6 pm
Reception: AHA! Night, May 9, 5-8 pm, ArtTalks 7 pm

Free entrance every Thursday or with a UMassD ID

Ruth Douzinas

Ruth Douzinas

Ruth Douzinas is a New York based artist, environmental engineer, and entrepreneur primarily working in ceramics, while also branching out into weaving and sewing found materials. She received a BA from Dartmouth College in Environmental Biology and holds an MS from Stanford University in Environmental Engineering and Science. Ruth works in Long Island City, Queens and is currently an MFA candidate in Ceramics at UMass Dartmouth.

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at NCECA Sacramento, the Yellowstone Art Museum in Montana, the Workhouse Art Center in Virginia, and Katheti Cultural Center in Greece, and other institutions.
Artist Statement

Made of clay and found materials, my large-scale sculptures are either constructed through stacking or assembly of disparate parts. They are based on iconic manmade forms—pallets, cinder blocks, and columns—that are foundational to our economy, but often overlooked and abandoned: relegated to the stream of waste. Broken, repaired, and meticulously reworked using layers of glaze to create worn surfaces, these sculptures honor useful objects. Patina, scale and presentation devices are used to represent an inquiry into value - what is saved and repaired versus what is thrown away and exposed to natural degradation. Interweaving feelings of hope and futility, I leverage the pace of the discarded object as commentary on current environmental change and human ingenuity.
Ruth Blue Pallet - 2023

Ruth Douzinas
Blue Pallet I, 2023
Clay, wire, 31” x 30” x 5”
Photo Jeff Smudde

Zeph Luck

Zeph Luck

Zeph Luck’s inspiration of nature started at a very young age. He spent his earliest years living in Tidewater, Virginia playing in the ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, and then moved to a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. His deep connection to these locations and the flora and fauna that are around him on a daily basis is the inspiration for his art.

Zeph’s formal training started in high school when attending Weaver Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts in North Carolina. Next, he received his BFA in Drawing and Printmaking from UNC at Greensboro. Luck is currently a candidate for MFA in Painting at UMass Dartmouth.
Artist Statement

In our current age of instant information and technology we have lost our sense of curiosity and wonder. People no longer find awe in everyday things. It is this part of the world that inspires my art – the quotidian flora and fauna that we see in and around our ecosystems. I believe the ecosystems we encounter each day are just as capturing as those in faraway exotic places. All we need to do is take the time to admire them.

I work in several mediums, including painting, drawing, and printmaking. However, the methods I use in creating my compositions remain consistent across them. I add, subtract, overlap, and interweave subjects until I reach a balanced composition of visual complexity. I create my images like puzzles with subjects that need time to find their way through. In this process of creating and decontextualizing them, I transform these subjects from just being animals, plants, or fungi, into something more. This invites the viewer to reconsider them and use their own lexicon to create an individual understanding of the work. Through this experience, I hope to remind the viewer to stop, slow down, and really look at the world around us.
Zeph Luck Atlantic Cod- 2023 - repeat pattern silkscreen print 55x96

Zeph Luck
Atlantic Cod, 2023
Repeat pattern silkscreen print, 55” x
Photo by the artist

Matthew Napoli

Matthew Napoli

Matthew Napoli is an artist based in Providence, RI working in painting and natural materials including live plants. After beginning his training at San Jacinto College in his native Houston, TX, he earned his bachelor’s degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and shortly after completed a residency at the New York Academy of Art.

Napoli has exhibited his work in cities including Houston, Baltimore, Dallas, and New York City. He was a finalist for the 2022 AXA Art Prize, and in 2023 was awarded a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. As an art educator, he has taught and been a visiting speaker at UMass Dartmouth, MICA, SUNY Oneonta, University of Texas at Arlington, and the Newport Art Museum.
Artist Statement

Experts name our place in natural history the Anthropocene, defining today’s earth as under the dominion of humans. Finding inspiration in a time characterized by environmental crises and a sense of precarity, my artwork appraises and poeticizes the difficult feelings of estrangement from creation.

Through the imperfection of painting, I process the imperfect shape of life today-- and the difficulty of constructing positive meaning in our disordered home. These paintings are premised on the insolvency of any philosophy which considers humans as distinct from, or superior to, nature.

We might be wise to consider other species and their success; ginkgo biloba trees have lived on earth for a thousand times longer than us. What have they done right to make it on earth for so long, and what have we done so wrong in a comparatively brief amount of time? How might humans more elegantly and sustainably position the place in natural history we so viciously asserted?
Napoli Does A Man Also Eat Himself, Also Contain Poison [24x20] (1)

Matthew Napoli
Does A Man Also Eat Himself, Also Contain Poison, 2023
Oil on canvas, 24" x20"
photo by artist.

Fallon Keiko Navarro

Fallon Navarro

Fallon Navarro, a New Bedford, Massachusetts-based ceramic artist, utilizes unexpected material combinations and color to reimagine narratives and call to attention new ways of being in the world. Her work invites viewers to contemplate the nuanced interplay of time, identity, and the body in her distinctive artistic language.

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Fallon received her BFA in Ceramics at Arizona State University. She is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate in Ceramics.
Artist Statement

By organizing individual-built ceramic objects and utilizing the familiar and unfamiliar, I create a physical dialogue of hybrid environments. Coiling, pinching, and piping become a form of embodied ritual, tactile processes that document and physicalize time. Utilizing these meticulous, repetitive processes, accumulation and layering become a vehicle for translating my inner world into tangible objects. I employ a visual language of lattices, grids, and screens to create and reimagine functional objects. Using negative space, color, the organic tilt of the object, and the overt intention of a drip, I further highlight a coexistence of dualities between seen/unseen and interior/exterior. The juxtaposition of distorted elements within familiar settings prompts reconsidering what is known.

My work emerges as a tangible reflection of the unseen inner forces that shape our physical and emotional landscapes, encouraging myself and viewers to make space for the unknown.
Fallon - Museum3

Fallon Keiko Navarro
A Place Like Home, 2024
Site-specific installation, 3 ft x 6 ft, ceramic, piped unfired clay, antique table

Darley Ortiz Garcia

Darley Ortiz Garcia

Darley Ortiz Garcia l is an animator and storyteller based in Rhode Island. Her stories aim not only to introduce an audience to other cultures and larger societal issues, but also to inspire that audience to explore more of the world and establish deeper connections with those around them.

Ortiz Garcia's Mexican heritage and close family bonds powerfully shape their work, inspiring narratives centered on the importance of family. Darley earned a BFA in both Graphic Design and Animation + Game Arts at UMass Dartmouth and is currently pursuing an MFA in Digital Media
Artist Statement

I have always loved to tell stories, more so creating them. This passion often leads me to conversations where I am frantically explaining how the world I created, Lernel works and how characters like Delmare or her parents are impacted by the ecosystem in which they live in.

While it is important to me that the characters feel real, with not just goals and flaws but also include moments where they appear irrational, moody or even out of character. This emphasizes their humanity. After all, everyone has quirks that can be charming one moment and lead to their downfall the next.

While working on this project, I realized that animation with sound would allow the audience a deeper exploration of the culture I have been developing.

My hope is that my work conveys that world-building is more than creating backgrounds or characters. It was about creating cultures, languages, and traditions that make the world feel lived-in.
OrtizGarcia_Shocked (1)

Ortiz Garcia
3D Model

The UMass Dartmouth MFA Thesis Exhibition is a much anticipated and celebrated annual event showcasing the artwork of graduating Master of Fine Arts students from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. This year’s exhibition celebrates the work of graduates Ruth Douzinas, Zeph Luck, Matthew Napoli, Fallon Keiko Navarro, and Darley Ortiz Garcia. The creative work of these graduating students includes painting, drawing, ceramics, digital media, and site-specific installation.

This year, the exhibition takes place in two locations, just 15 miles apart: The Ignition Space on 44 Troy Street in Fall River, MA 02720, and at the New Bedford Art Museum (People’s Gallery) at 608 Pleasant Street, New Bedford, MA 02740. Each student exhibits different pieces of their work in both locations. 

The Opening Reception at The Ignition Space in downtown Fall River is planned for Saturday, April 6, from 3 - 6 pm, with Welcome Remarks at 4 pmFree on-street parking is available over the weekend. Refreshments will be served and music will be provided by DJ Andrew Kepinski. 

The exhibition at The Ignition Space is open from April 4 through May 17, 2024. The gallery hours are Thursdays & Fridays 4 PM to 8 PM, Saturdays & Sundays 12 PM to 5 PM. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The opening reception at the New Bedford Art Museum (People’s Gallery) is planned for AHA! Night on Thursday, April 11, 6-8 pm, with Artist Talks at 6 pm. The exhibition is open in the People's Gallery through May 17, 2024. The museum is open Thursday – Sunday: 9 AM to 5 PM. Free entrance every Thursday during the MFA Thesis Exhibition or with UMassD ID. Additional AHA! Night reception will be held on May 9, 6-8 pm with the Artist Talk at 7 pm. 

Both locations can be accessed by free SRTA Bus Route 9, Fall River-New Bedford Intercity, that stops at UMass Dartmouth Campus Center before going either West to Fall River or East to New Bedford. 

The College of Visual and Performing Arts would like to express its sincere thanks to Fall River Arts and Culture Coalition (FRACC) for hosting us in The Ignition Space. This venue was recently renovated as a part of “Gather” in a former wallpaper factory thanks to the Mass Development TDI, with Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art as a part of this complex. Thank you to Ashley Occhino and Dorothy Mahoney-Pacheco for making our transition to Fall River such an exciting collaboration. We would also like to thank the New Bedford Art Museum for opening their People’s Gallery to our students, especially to the Museum Director Suzanne de Vegh. Thank you also to all our faithful audiences for their ongoing support of our students and exhibition programming. 

For more information, please contact Viera Levitt, UMass Dartmouth Gallery Director and exhibition curator at [email protected].
More information:
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