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SUNY Plattsburgh Student's Art to Be on Display in Governor's Office

Art student Madeleine Bialke’s painting, “Still Water,” will be one of 13 works of art by SUNY students to be displayed in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Washington, D.C., office.

The selected artwork represents a sampling from students within the SUNY system.

“As visitors from across the country and around the world enter our Washington, D.C., office, they will be greeted with a visual display that embodies the excellence and creativity of our state and the promise of a new generation of New Yorkers, all of whom are getting a world-class education through our renowned SUNY system,” Cuomo said in a press release.

Bialke said that, when she was informed her painting had been chosen for the governor’s office, she was pleasantly surprised.

Having set aside some artwork to apply for the B.F.A. review for her senior show, Bialke already had a selection of pieces when Diane Fine, a SUNY distinguished teaching professor of printmaking and book arts, approached Bialke with the possibility of submitting artwork for display in the governor’s office.

She chose “Still Water,” a depiction of a familiar place, from her selection. “Still Water” developed out of her interest in reflections and was painted in the Adirondacks at a beach across from her cabin.

“This was one I was really proud of,” Bialke said. “I also achieved a spatial depth that gave me an ‘aha’ moment, so it marks a little milestone in my collegiate painting career.”

A native of Trumansburg, N.Y., Bialke’s interest in art began at a young age with her desire to be like her mother, a landscape painter. Bialke decided to attend SUNY Plattsburgh to pursue a B.F.A. in studio art with a concentration in painting after taking a campus tour.

“I really liked the professors,” Bialke said. “I was impressed with the student work more so than any of the other schools I looked at.”

As a four-time Winkel Scholar, Bialke also interns for Fine and helps Fine with her personal work. Bialke credits her professors for helping her develop her art skills at SUNY Plattsburgh.

“(Distinguished Teaching Professor) Rik Mikkelson and (Associate Professor) Pete Russom are phenomenal professors,” Bialke said. According to her, they both have different ways of teaching, so you can take some teachings from one professor and some from the other and find your way, she said.

After she graduates, Bialke plans to take a year off before attending graduate school. She hopes to become a full-time painter or teach at the graduate level.

“But,” Bialke said, “That’s a long way down the road.”

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