TARNISHED Magazine Spring 2023

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Meet our team

Creative Director

Ciarra Chasse ‘23

Managing Editor

Ray Karaczun ‘24

Art Editor

Chloe Kinteris ‘23

Art Director

Erin Tilley ‘25

Associate Art Editor

Jamie Kinteris ‘24

Founder/Advisor Professor Stephen Fischer

Layout Designer Ciarra Chasse
Illustrations by Jamie Kinteris

Scribble Art

Designer: Ciarra Chasse

Writer: Angelina Clayton

Editor: Rayana Petrone

Behind Ryan Murray

Designer: Sabrina LeBlanc

Writer: Rayana Petrone

Editor: Angelina Clayton

Jaina Cipriano & Creative Possibilites

Designer: Grace Highum

Writer: Kirsten Miller

Editor: Beverly Banks

Obsessed with Joshua Sweet

Designer: Tran Quoc Huy Le

Writer: Alexis Grant

Editor: Rayana Petrone

T!lting the Music Scene

Designer: Camille Wright

Writer: Amelia Farrin

Editor: Angelina Clayton

Kerrin Connolly’s Little

Patch of the Web

Designer: Landon Reyes

Writer: Hanna Babek

Editor: Rayanna Petrone


Designer: Chloe Kinteris

New(ton) Art Center

Equals Art Accessibility

Designer: Abigail Damke

Writer: Kaie Quigley

Editor: Ray Karaczun

Alla Lazbnik: Enigmatic World

Designer: Jamie Kinteris

Writer: Joshua Varghese

Editor: Xhoana Cuni

Missing Stories

Designer: Ness Ghatak

Writer: Taya Brown

Editor: Ray Karaczun

Stuart Dunkel Left

Music for a Mouse Muse

Designer: Jake Daly

Writer: Lisa Ortiz

Editor: Rayana Petrone

Hypnotized by Dana Piazza

Designer: Alivia Pelka

Writer: Ray Karaczun

Editor: Beverly Banks

Villagers Gallery

Designer: Peilan Liang

Writer: Ray Karaczun

Editor: Ray Karaczun

Photoshoot Editorial

Designer: Ciarra Chasse & Erin Tilley

07 12 16 22 26 30 34 38 42 46 50 56


Designer: Abigail Damke

Illustrator: Abigail Damke

Writer: Ray Karaczun

Editor: Xhoana Cuni

The Willows Whisper

Designer: Ally Perkins

Illustrator: Ally Perkins

Writer: Jade Durkee

Editor: Ray Karaczun

In Pursuit of Parachutes

Designer: Jamie Kinteris

Illustrator: Jamie Kinteris

Writer: Jamie Kinteris

Editor: Stephen Fischer

Application of Matter


Designer: Huy Le

Illustrator: Huy Le

Writer: Sean Spina

Editor: Ray Karaczun


Designer: Ally Perkins

Illustrator: Angela Defelice

Writer: Ryan Roan

Editor: Xhoana Cuni

The Rabbit Keeper

Designer: Aaliyah Wyman

Illustrator: Regan Atchue

Writer: Beverly Banks

Editor: Xhoana Cuni

Strong Then, Strong Now

Designer: Aaliyah Wyman

Illustrator: Aaliyah Wyman

Writer: Aaliyah Wyman

Editor: Xhoana Cuni

Blending In

Designer: Camille Wright

Illustrator: Katie Johnson

Writer: Kaitlin O’Neil

Editor: Beverly Banks

Wandering Phantasm

Designer: Jamie Kinteris

Illustrator: Geo Sylvester

Writer: Sarai Fryer

Editor: Ray Karaczun


Designer: Anna Giorgio

Illustrator: Amelia Capron

Writer: Amelia Farrin

Editor: Beverly Banks

Pandora’s Scab

Designer: Anna Giorgio

Illustrator: Caelan Watson

Writer: Ray Karaczun

Editor: Xhoana Cuni

Layout Designer Ciarra Chasse
Photography by Ciarra Chasse & Jamie Kinteris
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A Deep Dive into Gregory Paul’s Work

Gregory Paul is a fun, hard-working artist located in Boston, Massachusetts. He mainly makes portraits with the medium scribble art. He has created lots of work over the years and has many more exciting plans for the future. Gregory has now been interviewed to share his story so we can learn more.

Gregory currently does scribble art for portraits. He creates unique work of different faces, with the technique of a bunch of small scribbles inside of it. As for color, Gregory usually stuck with black and white ink work for a long period of time. However, starting January of 2023, he started using bits of red ink. He also has evolved to use more color with certain collaborations as well when creating acrylic paintings. He says, “By having a limited color palette you’re kinda forced to be creative and create something dynamic.”

There is a deep and personal connection between Gregory and each of his pieces. He will usually put his philosophy for each one in its caption when posting it on social media. However, at the same time Gregory likes hearing the viewers’ own interpretation of his pieces. This is what creates different viewpoints and new ideas into the world.

Recently Gregory has experimented with pressing his inkcovered fingers on his scribble art. He has also created pieces all with the use of fingerprints, which he describes as “intimate.” He particularly enjoys seeing the patterns

within the prints, the consistency of it, and how the shapes sometimes unify to make faces. Gregory said he would “Just do it over and over again to see what the outcome would be.” He would oftentimes do this process by putting the pen directly onto his finger. The inspiration for this unique art technique is from the Yayoi Kusama, the “Polka Dot Lady.” The reason this concept is so interesting is because it is a repetitive mark done over and over and over. Even though the pages are filled with the same stamp, the final outcomes can all look different from one another. The deeper meaning behind the fingerprints is human identity and that he fully believes that the saying, “There are as many versions of you as there are people you have met” relates to this in many ways. Overall, all of Gregory’s experience with these different art techniques is what makes him the incredible artist he is today.

Gregory is currently working on an exciting project: A series called the “Book of Ghosts.” The reason he chose ghosts for this is because he says, “You can do as many ghosts as you want until you die because there’s an infinite number of ghosts.” He also goes into an even deeper meaning with this, talking about how sad and tragic it is with people dying on this Earth every day. Therefore, he believes the ghost is a placeholder for anyone that has died whom he never personally got to know, and so this is his own way of honoring their life.


The precursor for this project that Gregory describes as a “happy accident” started in January of 2021. Each of the 100-page books that get larger with each issue. The first book 3.5 inches by 5.0 inches, which is the size of an index card. The second book, which is in progress, will be 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches, and the first to introduce red ink. The third book will be even larger and incorporate even more colors, and the fourth book will be as big as a canvas piece. The fifth book will be really special because it will include 100 pieces in collaboration with 100 artists from all over the world. Yet to come is the most exciting sixth edition. This book is so large that it will consist of 66 murals around the world. One of the main places that Gregory plans on creating these murals is at the art wall at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Seaport. He also hopes to go to some locations in Europe, Asia, and Rio de Janeiro. He took much interest in this challenging project because of the commitment.

Another notable project was his collaboration with designer Ian Alexander. It all started when Ian Alexander wanted to create a stylish jacket inspired by the Wes Lang Amiri collab that Amiri dropped not long before this. Gregory later sent a quick photo of a one-minute sketch to Ian Alexander. Alexander quickly designed the clothing, then shipped it to Gregory so he could create artwork based on it. One-of-a-kind pieces were created because of the teamwork between these two talented individuals. Due to Gregory’s limited color palette for his personal work, he was at first hesitant at the thought of using lots of color, like Ian Alexander was envisioning. Gregory shared that his first reaction was, “Dude, I don’t do color, what the f***!” However, Gregory later decided he would commit to expanding color because he found that it would be a great opportunity to challenge himself.


The inspiration of this specific project was Ian Alexander’s new collection “Opium Dreams” which was very much influenced by the book Confessions of an American Opium Eater. The art explored the theme of love through its symbols and language. The pieces even had a deeper interpretation with the Poppy flower, specifically the Himalayan Blue Poppy. Both artists agreed that this would be the perfect symbol because it represents creativity.

Gregory says he intends to work with others more in the future. He would also like a larger studio, because he currently draws and paints out of his own home. He would also love to have people be able to come by while hosting private events. He hopes to make this all happen within the next year or two and believes it will all work out because he lives in Boston. He says he likes the slow pace, getting inspired at art museums, the growing art community, and the opportunity to become knowledgeable about the city’s history.

Gregory sites some of his inspirations for his work and his attitude towards life are Francis Bacon, Adam Riches, Ian Hodgson, Leonor Fini, and David Choe. For example, Gregory admires how David Choe had been open about bettering himself as a person, and how Leonor Fini was a self-taught artist that got her first gallery show at around 16 years old. Gregory enjoyed seeing floors of her artwork at the Museum of Sex in New York City. He also says Leonor Fini’s artwork has evolved so much over her lifetime. Gregory expresses how he feels like she is underrepresented as well as underappreciated for all the work she has created, and wishes her work was displayed much more.

Film Photos Courtesy of Suhayl Photography
Flatlay Photos Courtesy of Ian Alexander

As a beginner artist, Gregory said he would give himself five to ten years to see what could come out of his talent, even though he did not expect himself to be where he is now at all. His thought process during this time period was, “I’m just gonna do it. I’m just gonna do it to do it for the sake of doing it.” However, around five years to the exact date of starting art, he got his first really big commission. Because it happened five years after the fact, Gregory says, “It was kind of a note to self to say, ‘okay, you’re on the right path, it’s possible, you’re doing it. And it’s happening for you. So keep at it.’” With

that, one piece of advice he has to share for younger artists that don’t have an established path yet is “do not get as obsessed with what you make. Don’t give a s*** about what you make. Give a s*** about making. You need to become obsessed with the process of making, the process of just doing artwork.”

Followers notice that Gregory has never posted a photo of himself with his eyes exposed. He had the goal of wanting to see how successful he could become without having to rely on his appearance boosting his popularity, as he observes that there are often “very conventionally attractive people posting with their artwork” on social media. However, this is not his only reason for not showing his eyes. Gregory describes how it ties into his family history. Gregory was adopted at birth. For a very long time, he knew very little about his biological family. However, Gregory received a letter from his biological mother at roughly 18 or 19 years old, then a few years later he received the opportunity to meet her for the very first time, which he said yes to. However, his biological father chose not to be present during all this. Gregory says he understands where this decision came from, but it was a huge thing to process. One day, if Gregory hopes to “make noise” with sharing his own powerful stories regardless of whether his reveals his full face.

Gregory discussed how when most people think of the word “art” they think of painting and sculptures, but his definition “art” is deeper than this. “Art is not exactly a noun, per se. It’s not an object.” Rather, it is “an idea or experience. Much more of an experience of the human emotion, the human condition,” as well as, “an extension of our creation. As an extension of us.” Gregory also explained how art is his “therapy,” because his passion for it got him through his darkest times. He has enjoyed the process of change and growth that has led him to the artist he is today. Gregory has so much love for what he does, and always has.


Gregory always says, “You’re here. And you’re on this Earth,” and that “the sun’s going to explode someday… life’s gonna end for everybody. So enjoy yourself.” He also incorporates mental health, saying “you can always have this look of desperation and spiraling… but it’s all about how you have that perspective of it.” Therefore, he heavily advocates for mental health awareness by sharing his own experiences. All in all, Gregory strongly encourages everybody to believe in themselves and to never give up no matter what.

Thank you, Gregory Paul, for being so kind to give all of us an insight into your life, as well as your work. You are very talented. If you would like to see more of Gregory Paul’s work you can go to his website https:// www.gregorypaulsart.com/drawings or his Instagram or TikTok both at @gregorypaulsart.

Layout Designer Ciarra Chasse
Angelina Clayton
Photos Courtesy of Gregory Paul

With nearly 150,000 followers on Instagram, 242,500 followers on TikTok, 110,000 subscribers on YouTube, the handle @rmdesigns15 is one that is growing increasingly popular in the world of art on social media. But behind @rmdesigns15 is Ryan Murray, a son, brother, father, and husband. The combination of these various relationships has led to what has made the creator and artist @rmdesigns15.

Growing up with a single mother, and brothers at home, Murray shares “We also did not have much money so there wasn’t a lot to do so I drew and made art a lot,” as being how he first was introduced to art at a young age. In school, Murray took every art class available to him. His school even had six new art courses made for him when he ran out of art classes in the curriculum to take by his senior year of high school.

Murray went on to study graphic design in college, as he was told by many that simply making art would get him nowhere and in order to make money, he needed a “real” job. On this note, Murray shares “I did graduate but still to this day I have never used my degree for a job,” staying true to advice he would give aspiring artists. “Please don’t make the mistake I made and let others tell you your worth and what you can and can’t do with your artwork,” says Murray.

The concept of seeking perfection is something many artists deal with all of their work, and also on the note of advice to aspiring artists, Murray has some thoughts. “YOU will always be your TOUGHEST critic, which is completely fine, but remember to also celebrate your work and keep making art!”

After college, Murray admits that he did not create much art again until having four sons of his own. Once Murray and his wife Megan had children, Murray shared that his family sparked a newfound inspiration for creating artwork again.

As Murray’s sons grew up in the age of social media, they, like many children, wanted to experiment with the popular platforms. Murray shared that every year for his sons’ birthdays, he would make the boys a drawing as a gift, and once the boys knew of the platform YouTube, “they wanted their drawings to be on YouTube so I recorded my first timelapse drawing and made a YouTube channel,” says Murray.

Murray shared that his posting on YouTube and creating art was inconsistent at first. As a father of four, with a full-time job as an Office Manager at a medical facility, downtime was limited up until the COVID-19 pandemic.


During that time, Murray began to post more content, and watch his sons’ favorite YouTuber, ZHC, who would ultimately provide Murray with a life changing opportunity. “One day I get home from work and my kids are yelling, ‘DAD, ZHC is having auditions to be on an art show where 10 people will compete to win $100k!’ After a few days of them begging, I made an audition video, a horrible audition video, and sent it in,” says Murray on how he found out about the Instant Influencer series.

To Murray’s surprise, his initial submission video landed him a second video, and eventually a spot in the competition, where he placed third out of the ten artists competing. While discussing the experience, Murray says “I think it definitely shows that ANYTHING is possible.” Since this experience, Murray has become friends with his sons’ favorite YouTuber, and often gets to fly to Los Angeles to collaborate on content, which is something that is nothing short of special to Murray.

Since being on Instant Influencer, Murray’s life and content has changed drastically, with many experiences to come. Murray shared that the experience brought him a newfound friendship with two of his fellow cast members from the series, Nick and David. The group has since collaborated on what Murray shared to be “the most rewarding project” he has worked on as an artist.

The top three winners of Instant Influencer collaborated on a mural on the country’s largest homeless shelter in Los Angeles called the Trebek Center by The Hope of the Valley. Murray said the vision of the piece was for it to serve as something positive for the people staying in the shelter to see everyday.

Going the extra mile on this effort, Murray also created a drawing of Alex Trebek, whom the shelter is dedicated to for his generous


donations to the shelter’s building. Not only was this drawing placed on a medal on the front of the building but Murray ensured the original copy was given to Trebek’s wife and daughters. “The three of us flew out to LA and did all of this out of our own pocket and didn’t make any money and it was an amazing feeling to feel like we were a part of something so big,” says Murray on the experience.

It is safe to say that Instant Influencer was a lifechanging experience for Murray, who has since been consistently posting content related to his craft. However, it is far from easy Murray shares. “Most nights I stay up until midnight, 1 or 2 am working on my art and content. I then get up at 5:30 and start everything all over again with the goal of making my art and content my full-time career in the near future,” says Murray on his ability to navigate working a full-time job and producing content.

While it may be challenging at times, Murray seemingly would not change it for the world. “My favorite part of the job is the actual act of creating the artwork and I always love making art and content with my kids,” Murray says.

Rayana Petrone
Photos Courtesy of Ryan Murray 15
Layout Designer Sabrina LeBlanc

Jaina Cipriano


Creative Possibilities 16


Cipriano is an inspiring 30-year-old set designer, photographer, writer, and director based in Boston. You can find her short films and photography on her website: www.jainaciprianophotography.com.

One of her most notable projects is her 2020 short horror film, You Don’t Have to Take Orders from the Moon. The film is about a tortured woman who must decide how deep into her own darkness she is willing to tread as a looming force promises her everything she has ever wanted. It was shown at numerous film festivals and won several awards, like Best Concept and Best Black and White Short.

My personal favorite project by Cipriano is her self-portrait project, Empty Spaces, which is her reaction to the pandemic and big life changes. Spending many months alone, she had time to reflect on her emotions and all of her alter egos. As many remember, the lockdown was lonely, and Cipriano used her photography as a therapeutic outlet. A common theme of her photography is the beautiful use of color. I loved how she used it in this project to create all her contrasting characters.

Where did you go to school?

I studied at the (now defunct) New England School of Photography (NESOP) in Boston.

When did you start your photography/filmmaking career?

It was one of those winters with three feet of snow on the ground. In the middle of the night, at seventeen years, I was sneaking over to a friend’s house with my camera slung around my shoulder and I realized that this was something I could devote myself to. I never looked back.

Is there someone who inspired you?

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my good friend Madeline Bugeau-Heartt. In 2019 I was struggling to finish the script for my first short film (You Don’t Have to Take Orders from the Moon) and she invited me to a live Halloween theater party she was curating called At Home. Madeline performed a beautiful and terrifying immersive theater piece in her bedroom for a small crowd and something in me came alive. I offered her the lead in my film that night. I think sometimes people come into our lives at the right moments and if we are open to it, they can push us closer to our dreams. To this day every time we get together I leave feeling breathless and inspired–like the creative world is truly limitless.

Layout Designer Grace Highum 19
Photography by Jaina Cipriano

Is video or photography your preferred art medium?

Photography has become something personal to me, something I enjoy doing on my own. Filmmaking is collaborative and expansive–the possibilities feel endless. I am interested in exploring the world of film right now; it has so much to teach me.

What is the name of your favorite project? Why is it your favorite?

I don’t believe it has a name yet–but I hope you will see it this summer: My first one-on-one public immersive experience.

What project are you currently working on?

I am creating a limited series with Lowell TeleMedia Center called Imposter Syndrome. It will be like an adult version of Sesame Street for artists wrestling with their personal internal demons.

What is the best part of your job?

The possibility. When you start a new project, it feels like anything is possible. In a way, that’s true. I love feeling as if I am creating a reality with my own hands. It’s powerful and healing.

What is the worst part of your job?

It’s not the worst part, but maybe the hardest: Communication; both with my team and with the client. Working in a visual medium comes with unique challenges and it can be difficult to translate visuals into words. It just means being more thorough, double checking and asking for confirmation.

What words of advice do you have for other aspiring photographers/filmmakers?

There is a lot you can do with trash. When I started designing spaces for my photographs, at least half of the stuff I built them out of was found on the side of the road. Be scrappy–it teaches you more than unlimited resources ever will.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Follow your creative impulses without asking them where they want to go. School and work always tell us to worry about the end goal. Sometimes it’s important to let go and just follow your thoughts and feelings and patterns–they have something to show you.

“I think sometimes people come into our lives at the right moments and if we are open to it, it can push us closer to our dreams.”
Photo Courtesy Anthony Stacanto
Photo Courtesy Morgan Craig Fraser

Who is Joshua Sweet...?

Joshua Sweet is a senior Communications major at Lasell University who also works as a musician. He performs at events both on and off campus and works with a full band to write and record original songs and create music videos. Keep reading to learn about this background as a musician and where he’s headed in the future!

How did you get started as a musician?

Ever since I was little music has always been in my family. I started out being forced to take piano lessons as a kid before I completely rid music from my life and decided I hated it. In elementary school, I played trumpet and hated that too.

It wasn’t until about 7th grade that I decided I wanted to take music more seriously. My whole life, even though I hated the idea of playing instruments when I was forced to learn, I always had a vision of myself onstage, performing for as many people as possible.

For lack of a better term, I always wanted to be a “rock star.” That was honestly my dream, I just didn’t know how to achieve it because I thought every instrument was boring.

Once I was in 7th grade and found a stronger image of what I wanted, I started writing my own songs. They were really bad at first, but that’s when I really established that this was what I wanted to do.

my family influence my music, but even now, my producer and guitarist is my older brother. He brings all my songs to life. Sometimes we come to each other with songs and we create everything I’m doing now that will be at my upcoming shows.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It changes a lot, but right now I have a pretty open schedule as far as school goes since it’s my last year. I wake up, go to class, and do what I need to do there. Homework is a lot easier for me this semester, so a lot of times I go home to work with my brother/producer/guitarist on my upcoming songs.

Courtesy Ryan Barr

Is there a main source of inspiration for your songs?

All my songs are about different things, but a lot of them circulate around mental health. I purposely avoid writing about the “typical hypothetical love interest.” I did it once a couple of releases ago and hated it; I’ll never do it again. That being said, I do write about my love interests but they’re all real and the songs usually have a twist at the end where it never turns out well. I don’t try to generalize what happens to fit a pop narrative, I like to make it as specific to my experience as possible.

My songs could be about anything from mental health to personal experiences from relationships, to how I view myself and how I view the world. All of that is put into a punk rock/post-hair metal package.

What is your creative process?

The creative process in general is just whatever inspires me in the moment. I don’t have a specific ritual or anything, so it’s completely random.

I might have the sound of a guitar riff in my head and try to play it, or my friends will say something that’s a good phrase and I’ll make a melody to it in my head.

Do you have any advice for other young artists trying to get their music seen or heard?

Never be scared of anyone, because everyone in this world is going to try to scare you out of pursuing what you love.

The best quote is one from Ghandi, “at first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

That is the realist thing because in music, they’re going to ignore you, they’re going to laugh at you, they’re certainly going to fight you, and if you keep pushing through all of it, 100% you will win.

If you’re really not scared of anyone, you can do anything. Being willing to do anything is what will get you furthest in your career. Someone asked me how I get the motivation to get up on stage, and I said when you’re on your deathbed, none of these people are going to be around you.

When you regret not achieving your dreams, they won’t be there, they’ll probably be out achieving their own dreams. While you’re alive, you need to be there for yourself because when you die, none of them will be there, and you need to achieve what you’re meant to do in your time.

Do you have any upcoming events or new songs in the works?

I have an upcoming event on April 22nd on campus at Lasell, I’ll be performing at a festival for Earth Day. After that, I’ll be performing at another festival at Framingham State University on May 5th. I just released a song called “I’m Depressed” and I’m working on more music so stay tuned.

Photo Courtesy Joshua Sweet

Do you have any plans for after graduation?

I’m going to try to get a good job that pays well so I can fund my career in music. I think the approach many musicians take is to drop everything and focus on work in their careers, but money is the ultimate way to get into the industry.

People think it’s easy to get lucky, but you actually pay a lot of money to make videos and music. I want to get a job in communications that will pay me well enough to completely fund my career in music.

Have you faced any challenges since starting in the industry?

I’ve learned that people are going to hate you. As I mentioned before with the Ghandi quote, I’m currently in the laugh and fight stage. Those really as a whole cover the challenges because if you didn’t do any of that, you would have no challenges. You would never know where to take your career next if everyone believed in you and no one challenged you. There’s a lot of losing in this industry, and athough that’s always going to be a challenge, you do need to lose to know how to win. Once you lose and have people fighting you or laughing at you, you can take your losses and light a fire inside yourself that says you’re going to do everything you’ve set out to do and nothing can stop you. Although there are these challenges, they are going to help you succeed.

Has your music changed since starting in the industry?

When I was a kid I started as a rock musician, then I transitioned into pop music. For the past 9 years, I was in pop music, and then as of the last 2 years, I completely did a 180 back to my roots in rock music. Now I have a full band that plays with me and I’m back to my punk/hair metal roots in the sense of how I grew up and loved rock music as a kid, and being true to my childhood dream.

No matter what, the more you progress in the industry you get a lot wiser. You start in the industry very brighteyed and bushy-tailed, and you think everyone loves you. People will be nice at first, but you get a lot wiser and a lot better equipped for what’s ahead.

To learn more about Joshua Sweet and his music, visit @joshuasweetmusic on Instagram!

Alexis Grant

Huy Le
Layout Designer
Photo Courtesy of Rose Miller

If you go to a T!LT show, no two nights will be the same. While you can always expect a vivacious crowd and high energy, each set brings a new experience. Adapting their songs every night to keep their shows fresh and exciting is what makes T!LT stand out. They prove the adaptability of their performance with each new show, playing songs you just can’t help but move to. According to T!LT one of the most rewarding parts of the job is looking around on stage and seeing your friends jamming out with you. Crowd reaction is also a big motivator for the band, and they always strive to get fans to jam out with them. After spending hours and hours writing, playing, and practicing, it all comes down to thirty minutes. In that time, they must prove themselves to the audience and strive to replicate everything they’ve seen and done before. With just a short set, they must show listeners how much they care. As a fan, “You should care because we care.”

T!LT is a Boston based band combining the sounds of alternative rock and grunge. Founded in 2020, the band is composed of four members. Mike Scialla and Luca Constantini play guitar and contribute vocals while Hayden Carter plays bass, and Luke Kraszewski is on drums. On their website they list 150 musical influences, including Bad Brains, The Beatles, Ben Folds, and Cage the Elephant. What draws them most to certain artists is the rawness and ethos of the music. They appreciate musicians who break the mold of music theory, creating raw and experimental music with deliberate melodies. These artists influence T!LT’s art as seen in their music and performance.

T!LT started by experimenting with alternative pop music, taking inspiration from their favorite artists. Over time and with the ability to play live shows, they have adapted to a different sound. T!LT’s music can be described as alternative rock with grunge and punk influences. Despite this, the


band creates what they feel inspired to regardless of genre, letting songs form individually even if they stand out from the rest of their discography. Switching up the feel of their lyrics and melodies can even help overcome writer’s block. Taking a new approach rather than trying to push through stagnant ideas keeps them moving forward. They believe what’s most important is the way each song makes the listener feel. They emphasize using strategic melodies, so each song brings with it high energy, making you want to move and dance.

Along with music, T!LT also creates merchandise to promote their brand. Everything from recording to merchandizing they strive to do independently, making sure they are the primary creative voice in everything they put their name behind. The goal is to design and sell products for the lowest price possible so they’re accessible to fans. A recurring motif in their art is a dandelion, representing the underappreciated beauty of a flower that is also a weed. If given enough time, the dandelion will transform into a flower meant to spread life, but some pull it from the ground before its full potential is reached. They hope that their merch can stand alone in representing what they stand for, saying, “One thing we’ve made should entice you enough to ask more questions.”

T!LT takes pride in being completely involved in the music making process from start to finish. They do everything from producing to mixing themselves. Although mic placement and mixing takes a lot of trial and error, over time they’ve learned how to manage the process by using more equipment. Although it can be overwhelming, it helps polish the sound of vocals and instruments in their recordings. In the past they’ve worked from a home studio but have recently upgraded to a small studio to cut demos of their new releases. Recently they’ve been focusing on live recordings, as it’s the best avenue to communicate the intensity of live performances to their audience. The next step for T!LT is to record in a bigger studio which will bring their recordings to a new level. Also, now that they have a solid understanding of the recording process, they plan to incorporate other professionals. This will elevate their production, mixing, and mastering, meanwhile still being completely involved.

T!LT also uses themes of life and death in their art. These defining stages influence our emotions greatly and can be seen in the use of the dandelion imagery. As it moves through the stages of life, you can witness the flowers’ transformation and death with your own eyes. Additionally, facial expressions and the projection of emotions through one’s gaze are vital to their writing. The eyes tell a story all on their own and, “you can’t fake what you see behind someone’s eyes.”


In their time playing shows there’s been plenty of memorable moments. One that stands out for Constantini is hearing the crowd sing the lyrics of their song “Freezer Burn” for the first time, or when Kraszewski dropped his drumstick and played the rest of the song with a paintbrush someone threw on the stage. Scialla describes his first crowd surf as feeling religious, and there’s even been some accidents, like when Carter chipped someone’s tooth in the pit. A band favorite lyric is “video killed the radio star and now I’m about to run you over in my lifted car from your toes to your nose,” from Killer Road Trip. On the other hand, “Freezer Burn” is also a fan favorite song but for live shows “Drugs After Dark” is always the winner.

It’s easy to tell the members of T!LT have a deep passion for writing and art. With influences from rock n roll and punk, to family members, there’s always been a clear path towards music for them. Expression through music may have been what sparked their passion, but pushing boundaries and connecting with their audience is what keeps them going. Since creating the band, they have been able to meet new people, create memories, and have unique, exciting experiences along the way. Some advice they’d give aspiring musicians is to always keep going, making sure to learn and consume art along the way. “The more you make the better you get, like running a rusty faucet.”


T!LT is currently working on recording a new EP titled “Luminol” that deals with the feelings that remain when a relationship dissipates. It explores the aftermath of any type of relationship, delving into emotions that linger after it’s death. The EP will be rawer and more vulnerable than their previous releases, and the songs have been written for playing live. This further proves the hard work, time, and commitment each member contributes to the band. This

dedication not only represents their love and compassion for their new EP, but also for every single lyric that goes into their music. Their passion for art makes their music, as well as their live performances, unforgettable. With that, you can find them on all streaming services and YouTube as T!LT, and on all social media @actuallytilt. If you’re looking to see a show, they play every Friday and Saturday night somewhere in the Tri-state area.

Amelia Farrin
Graphics Courtesy of T!LT, Photography by Ethan Fancher 29
Layout Designer Camille Wright

errin Connolly is no stranger to the ups and downs of a career built on the Internet. The YouTube based musician has gained over thirteen thousand subscribers in the seven years that she’s been on the platform. Connolly posts a combination of original songs and covers, citing some of her inspiration as Weird Al Yankovic, Green Day, Jonathon Coulton, and Butterfly Boucher, saying “I’d like to think I’ve met them somewhere in the middle.” Connolly has carved out a corner of the Internet for herself and her fans who dutifully like and comment on her videos.

She credits her upbringing as the reason she started making music. “My mom and dad were in a band when I was young, so we had instruments of all kinds littering the house that my older sister and I would always play around with,” Connolly says. She began posting music online and performing at the age of 14, something she attributes to participating in the school choir and solo performance opportunities.

Connolly’s writing process isn’t set in stone; it depends more on the day and whatever ideas come to mind.

“I wouldn’t say I have any kind of tried and true setup or plan when it comes to writing, but it usually starts out with some melody I find myself humming enough times to notice that I like it and I build some halfgibberish lyrics around it, slap it in a voice memo, and let it stew until I think of more to flesh it out.” Once the lyrics and a basic accompaniment are down, she reviews it all and begins to figure out the instrumental.

“I’m not really a music theory guy, so it’s all sound and feel and whether or not the music and lyrics are meeting each other halfway,” she says.

As for the lyrical content of her songs, Connolly says, “I think the concepts of longing and feeling like I’m a passive observer to my own life show up pretty often in my work. I feel like I could explain every song I’ve written like that to some degree. I’m an anxious writer I guess– the entirety of my latest EP Don’t Be Afraid is about fear in different shades. Coping with it, expecting it, asking for it to go away, coming to terms with it.”

In addition to her music career, Connolly works a full-time job, causing her day-to-day life to change constantly. She says, “There are days where I’m cramming, finishing up recording and mixing a cover all morning, then getting handsome and recording the video for it in the afternoon, then spending an hour or two curled up on the couch editing it in the evening. But there are also days where I’m just doing some admin on my site, sending emails, and maybe I’ll learn a guitar solo if I have time.”

Connolly credits other online-based artists with helping her to find her own style and voice. “My community is composed of very cool, smart, creative, and thoughtful folks. I’m really proud to have found this little patch of the web and thankful as could be. And on top of that, the OG YouTube musicians have shaped me so much– Julia Nunes, Pomplamoose, I mean even Bo Burnham back in the day. These are just a handful of folks that were doing it before it was cool and have given me so much to learn over the years,” she says.

Along with the positives of having an online community, Connolly admits that there are downsides, as well. “I feel pretty disconnected to the local scene. I don’t really get out and play much, though I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a bad thing all the time,” She says. “Stumbling into my small successes online has been very lucky, but it results in a fanbase that’s spread over the world, and it would certainly be nice if I could pull a decent crowd at home.“


As for aspiring musicians, Connolly advises, “Turn off your phone and stop thinking about how effortlessly other people seem to make their art. The best thing you can do for yourself is practice. Practice making music the way you like to make it and letting people hear it. Practice being uncomfortable because that’s the way you’re going to grow. I was making the worst, most poorly produced music with a laptop mic and a potato of a webcam for almost a decade before I made anything that stuck in a big way, so I’d also advise that you try to hold space for disappointment, but hold the joy you have for the music you make closer.”

Throughout it all, Connolly remains gracious and grateful for where her music has gotten her today. She reflects on the past, saying, “I remember being a greasy 12-year-old singing along to music from Sonic the Hedgehog games having no clue I’d now be completely producing my own records at home and connecting to the kindest folks because of it. Young Kerrin would think the world of me, and that’s all I care about.”

Hanna Babek
Designer Landon Reyes
& Illustrations by
Kerrin Connolly,
Jenna Joyce Images from Kiss the Go-Goat or Ordinary

Sinceit opened 45 years ago, the New Art Center in Newton has served the neighborhood and surrounding areas, offering a variety of classes to all in the community, focusing on visual arts. Watercolor painting, mixed media, collage, printmaking, and stained glass classes are just a few examples of what they teach.

“We really want to be seen as a resource,” said Executive Director Emily O’Neil.

The center runs their classes on a term basis, organizing eight to ten sessions per term. They also offer workshops that can be anywhere from one to four sessions, providing people a taste of what they do— even incorporating more specialty skills like jewelry-making.

Other offerings include numerous ceramics lessons, and evening painting and wheel throwing sessions.

They also provide resources for working parents and anybody else whose children are enrolled in school, and vacation programs for both private and public school students during the months of February, March, and April. Additionally, there is a several week-long summer curriculum. O’Neil said much of their evolution came as a result of COVID.

“It gave everybody the opportunity to reflect about organizational values,” said O’Neil. “And we really thought about how we could serve a much more diverse population. Newton has a pretty diverse community and we felt like we could do a better job engaging more broadly with the people who live in our community.”

As a result, the center considered who lived in the area and what they could commemorate. Hence, they started

what they dubbed “community cultural celebrations,” holding a Day of the Dead celebration with live music performances, art-making activities, and collaborations with neighborhood organizations to bring in authentic Mexican history. To accomplish that, they collaborated with interns from the nearby schools.

That led them to the conclusion, “well, what else can we do?” So they celebrated the Lunar New Year. Following that, they observed Holi, an Indian and Hindu spring festival. And last year, they made sure to emphasize Juneteenth as well. The center viewed each event as a monumental success, and are now in their second year of celebrations.


For their most recent Holi celebration, they collaborated with two traditional Indian dance schools, and had a day of performances. Groups performed some traditional dance, and engaged in some storytelling, a class was held, and the final performance was actually an interactive workshop led by Bollywood dancer and Bollywood aerobics performer Swasti Bhargava. Then they went outdoors to participate in the color play, which involves flinging brightly coloured powder at one another while wishing one another a Happy Holi.

According to the center these events typically draw 200 to 300 attendees, and due to the fact that they have provided this experience, they have noticed a rise in registrations. In order to keep track of attendees, they use Eventbrite which allows them to identify where the growth has occurred over the past year. The maximum number of persons they can safely accommodate in their current building is roughly 250. As a result, they have had to set a registration cap, and with Holi, they have reached this facility’s maximum capacity.

“It is very helpful for us as an organization to keep track of things like that to demonstrate to funders that there is interest in what we’re doing and a need for funding for what we’re doing,” said O’Neil.

As an institution, they want to expand into a bigger space.

“It’s virtually impossible for us to expand any further than we have within our building,” said Marketing and Development Manager Rebecca Connors.

Thankfully for the center, a relationship formed with Lasell is allowing them to add additional programming opportunities with programs they wouldn’t be able to offer in their current building. They’ll be offering fashion design this summer for

teens, as well as a digital arts camp, and also some digital arts classes for adults.

Says it will be beneficial to have staff already familiar with the institution and the procedures because this is the first time they’re doing something like this. Having said that, they have a faculty handbook that they give to every new faculty member to ensure their teaching methods are consistent throughout all of the programming they offer to all students over the summer.

The center says Nikki Dawes, an associate professor of psychology at Lasell, and board member at the center, has been helpful in terms of structuring some of the expressive arts therapy programs, including the Cultural Access Project, which serves as an umbrella for a variety of programs that they operate, one of which being expressive arts therapy for teenagers. As a result of the pandemic, new art noticed a significant demand in the community for mental health options.


“We know that art is a great way for people to express themselves when they can’t potentially do it in other ways,” said Connors.

The center also has a youth leadership program, where they have Lasell interns as well as high school interns learn how to work in arts administration, as well as support their own visual arts. These students have a final project to complete their internship, and one of them is creating window murals on the Chestnut Hill Mall.

“So we’ve tried to create opportunities, going back to the idea that the New Art Center should be a resource for everybody within our community… So that’s been really rewarding,” said O’Neil.

The center proactively considers how they can provide these events, as some costs can vary from $6,000 to $8,000 for a day. Grant writing has been mostly responsible for supporting these activities, while it has also been possible in part through private donations.

“We have some donors who are really interested in supporting our inclusive programming practices. So for instance, they have one donor who annually underwrites the cost of two semesters of ceramics programming for a local school that doesn’t have their own ceramics facility; their students have pretty significant language based learning disabilities. So they have found that working with clay is a very therapeutic method or modality for them in terms of arts education,” said O’Neil.

“So there are lots of examples of ways that we partner with people or organizations to create opportunities that allow us to dig deeper into the community as a resource.”

The center makes a lot of effort to raise money to support the scholarship program because they believe that the cost of tuition shouldn’t be a barrier to anyone enrolling in classes. Moreover, scholarships are given to people of all ages.

They signed up for the Card to Culture Program two years ago through the Commonwealth.


So in essence, it makes their programming available to anyone receiving transitional aid. If anybody presents a card that shows that they’re receiving any support from the state, they immediately qualify them for full or partial financial aid.

Since its inception, the center has had a rather active exhibition program; in fact, it was one of the ways they were established. Unfortunately, they had to relocate the exhibitions program to what they’re calling the New Art Corridor— a satellite location, which is off-site. It is a corridor that is open to the general public and is secured with hardware. Anyone can therefore view anything they have on display at any time.

This became particularly poignant during COVID because there were no gatherings for displays. The relocation of the exhibits has also enabled the center to host profitable classes in their main location.

As it turned out, online access was a huge assistance for people during the pandemic.

Certain classes, like painting or other 2D classes, worked incredibly well; others, like ceramics, were more challenging to conduct online due to the complexity.

Coming out of COVID, the center noticed that while pupils

were tired of online learning fairly quickly, a group of adults liked its simplicity and convenience and felt at ease establishing a community through online programming. Additionally, there were certain instructors who did not feel comfortable returning to the classroom in person but felt comfortable with the online courses.

The center says it is likely that 25% of their adult courses are still online, and they anticipate that trend to continue.

Looking to the future, the center believes expanding into a new facility will allow them to provide an increased volume and variety of programs, ultimately serving their vision of being an accessible outlet for art. “We believe that learning about art creates opportunities for people to have conversations, learn how to problem solve, there is a whole array of educational growth that comes out of art making and arts appreciation,” said O’Neil. “New Art Center is and should be seen as a resource for the community.”

All imagery courtesy New Art Center 37
Kaie Quigley
Layout Designer Abby Damke

time, and keeping a sketchbook, or even a digital sketchbook, helps. For instance, editing photographs, and combining them, still makes me think and get inspiration for my next project.

How do you stay motivated and inspired when facing creative blocks?

As I mentioned in previous questions, keeping a sketchbook really helps to stay creative and keep ideas flowing. I’m actually working on a collaboration right now with another artist which involves a sketchbook. We mail it to each other, create some of our own sketches, and sometimes draw on top of each other’s drawings. It’s great to see how he changes my work, and it inspires me to include it in my own pieces. Also, experimenting with different mediums helps to stay motivated and inspired. Picking up a medium that you are not as comfortable with makes you more experimentative and allows you to look at your work differently. Also, I try to set due dates to apply for a group exhibition or participate in a print exchange with fellow artists. Having a due date always helps reach a goal of ten pieces in a short timeframe, or a set number of pieces over several months.

How do you balance your artistic vision with the expectations of your audience or clients?

I try not to think about what they are expecting and just try to create what is true to my idea. That’s why making commission portraits is hard because people see themselves differently than you do, so when you do a portrait, not only do you have to capture the likeness of the person, but also their personality.

How do you approach the business side of your art, such as marketing and selling your work?

To be honest, I’m very bad at it. I always feel weird talking about money, and I still feel shy when people praise my work. I always try not to make a big deal about the situation. However, I do promote my work through social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. I show my process and make videos of how I’m carving a block. I also have a website and I try to apply to exhibitions, which allows my work to be seen by new people.

Can you tell us about a particularly meaningful piece you’ve created and the story behind it?

I think a few pieces come to my mind. In the most recent piece I did last year for ART/Word, which is an art collaborative curated by Professor Stephen Fischer, the topic was “Beliefs.” So, I ended up making a wood relief called “Impossible” inspired by an Anton Chekhov Quote: “You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.” This piece was made right when the war between Russia and Ukraine started-- I always felt like I needed to make a piece about it. The quote just talked to me. I hope soon there will be peace, as I believe and hope for better things to happen to the people involved in the war.

How do you see your art evolving in the future?

Only recently I started introducing words into my work and as I mentioned earlier, I have been interested in making woodcut plates into actual work and not only as a print. The woodcut plate becomes the artwork itself as it materializes into a form or sculptural wood object. I also have been experimenting with discarded wood logs. I wonder if my work will start to become even more three-dimensional, but I always go back to painting, drawing, and printmaking, which are primarily twodimensional media. So, I guess you never know.

How do you think art can impact society and culture?

I think any form of art influences society and culture either in a positive or negative way. For instance, Wagner’s music inspired Hitler. That’s why we must be sincere and really show our heart through art, but at the same time fight for the ideas we believe in. Picasso never thought of himself as a political artist, but he created Guernica because he was emotionally moved, and he wanted the whole world to know what atrocities Franko was committing. I don’t think an artist should force political views on society, but sometimes people interpret things in their own way. Therefore, it is important to think about different views and perspectives that a piece could represent.

It was great getting to interview Alla Lazebnik for this article. Thank you so much for this. You can find more of Alla’s amazing artwork here at http://www. allalazebnik.com/

Jamie Kinteris
Layout Designer
Photography by Stephen Fischer

Beginning in 1993, nearly 30 years ago, Scott Wilson founded the Museum of Bad Art. MOBA is a community built on dedicated nonprofits to celebrate all forms of “bad art” in exhibitions. Its permanent collection includes over 800 pieces of “art too bad to be ignored.” MOBA’s website says the works range from “talented artists that have gone awry to works of exuberant, although crude, execution by artists barely in control of the brush. What they all have in common is a special quality that sets them apart in one way or another from the merely incompetent.” That said, they received a lot of support because of their unique approach to integrating art into the community.

One famous display is Lucy in the Field with Flowers featuring model Anna Lally Keane. Community, “The motion, the chair, the sway of her breast, the subtle hues of the sky, the expression on her face; every detail cries out ‘masterpiece.’” MOBA’s Interim Executive Director Louise Reilly Sacco agreed, “When you look at Lucy, you don’t know if she is standing or sitting. You don’t know which way the wind is coming from. No particular reason for the sky to be yellow, and it’s just a lot of asking yourself as the viewer, why?”

Lucy in the Field with Flowers helped establish the creation of The Museum of Bad Art.The story begins in the 1970s, when Anna’s grandchildren asked an artist to create a

Oil on Canvas
24” x 30”

Acrylic on canvas

20” x 20”

painting for them. The grandchildren gave a list of images, including sitting and standing angels, of their deceased grandmother Anna-- but the granddaughters did not like the final oil canvas. It is difficult for the viewer to tell what is actually happening in the final image because of the way she is positioned among the white and yellow flowers. One granddaughter added, “Everything else is so horribly wrong, but the face is hauntingly hers. She appears to have a single breast. Her arms and legs are missing, and I have no idea where the flowers and the sunny sky came from.” A critic added, “What is Norman Mailer’s head doing on a good-hearted grandmother, and are those crows or F-16s skimming the hills?”

Antique dealer Scott Wilson first discovered this piece protruding between two trash cans on a Roslindale-area curb in Boston among some garbage waiting to be collected. Jerry Reilly was initially only interested in the frame when Wilson first showed the picture to him. However, he could not help but begin to develop an interest in the painting, too. He put Lucy on display in his home and urged friends to look for other shoddy pieces of art and tell Wilson what they found.

When Reilly and Wilson shared another “equally lovely” piece that Wilson had acquired, Wilson and his friends decided to start a collection. Reilly and his wife Marie Jackson held a reception in the basement of Reilly’s private home in Boston

MANA LISA A. Schmidt Oil on canvas 12” x 16” Sad Monkeys and Woman Anonymous The Actor (The Thespian) William E. Judge Oil on canvas 24” diameter


they jokingly dubbed “The Opening of the Museum of Bad Art” in 1994. Many visitors wanted to see the exhibit, and so Reilly needed to find a bigger space that would be open to hosting their message. The Dedham Community Theater let MOBA use their basement to exhibit artwork. Shortly after the MOBA joined Somerville theater for 12 years until 2019. Executive Director Louise Reilly Sacco, sister of cofounder Jerry Reilly, stated, “All we could say was thank you to the Somerville theater for giving us their space for free nearly of 12 years.”

Suddenly, in 2020, the pandemic began. Many changes were made around the world; especially in the world of art. How would artists and viewers interact with each other now?

According to Louise, “We couldn’t talk to people to find a space, so for almost three years; we were without a gallery.” That said, the museum needed to adjust to the online world in order to keep their message alive. Since then, they

K. Koch Oil on canvas 24” x 18” RONAN THE PUG Erin Rothgeb Acrylic on canvas board 18” x 24”

“produced over 150 Zoom programs around the U.S and Canada during the pandemic years to keep visibility.”

Canada is not the only country MOBA has had the honor of working with. They have also shared their message with Taiwan in 2008, Tokyo in 2011, and Quebec City in 2021 and 2022. “We’ve had these big exhibitions in other parts of the world, and smaller ones in the U.S., keeping our visibility and energy up,” added Louise. As time progresses, this museum will continue to flourish in ways of bringing bad art to different cultures.

To be considered bad art, guidelines for criteria of submission must be, “Sincere & original of the artists trying to communicate something,” stated Louise. “Not just deliberately throwing paint on a Canvas, but looking

for pieces that have gone wrong; but have been made interesting because it comes from the heart and soul,” she also remarked.

“We hope to continue what we are doing, with over 800 pieces, and numbers continuing to grow,” the company said in a statement. Our primary objective is to host a guest exhibit in a conventional museum theater that is open to trying new things. “While every city in the world has at least one museum devoted to the best of art, MOBA is the only museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the worst,” co-founder Jerry Reilly said in 1995. Because of this, over the years since the first chapter of MOBA’s story was released, there has been much success with the museum’s message to get people to think, argue, laugh, wonder, and cry over artwork.

DISSENT FROM THE PEDESTAL Robert MacLeod Oil on canvas 30” x 36” Taya Brown
Layout Designer
Ness Ghatak Photos Courtesy of The Museum of Bad Art

Left Music for a Mouse Muse

Stuart Dunkel

Thecommon enemy of a house is the mouse. Most would scream at the sight, but Stuart Dunkel sees them through a sillier lens. Dunkel uses art to channel a playful persona he has created in his mind, Chuckie. Chuckie can be seen hunting for food far bigger than him, playing with small objects, and using a citrus fruit as an x-ray. After observing his portfolio, one would assume that Mr. Dunkel had been pursuing art and silliness his whole career. However, Stuart Dunkel was originally a professional oboist for 30 years, playing the instrument for famous orchestras worldwide, including orchestras in Boston and Hong Kong.

The avid mouse painter was the black sheep of his family. In a household where both parents are both psychologists, one brother studied psychology, the other, music. Dunkel received his Bachelor’s from Boston University, then attended Mannes College of Music for his Master’s, and later received his Doctorate from Julliard. He did it all without his family’s financial support, relying on scholarships and money he earned on his own. Ironically, he became the only one in the family to write a book on mental health. It is titled The Audition Process: Anxiety Management and Coping Strategies.

Living the life of a professional instrumentalist meant a life of daily stress, judgment, and anxiety. Dunkel is an introverted man, and didn’t enjoy performing on stage often, despite loving his instrument. “As a musician, a performing artist, you know, you’re under pressure to be perfect, right? 8:00 every night, 8-10, you have to be perfect at your concerts, you know? As a fine artist, though, I can make my mistakes in private, which is very, very liberating.” Although he works alone in a room now, he often felt more lonely in the orchestra.

Stuart has described his time on the stage as “a lot of highs and lows,” struggling to find perfection rather than singularity, and receiving glares of jealousy when finding success. It was his coworkers’ envy that made them go behind his back to try to get him fired from one of the orchestras he was working in.

Being a professional musician was horrible for me. There was just no camaraderie, a lot of jealousy.” He described the instrumentalist who sat next to him at all their performances to be a mean man who would try to distract Dunkel during his solos. If he had succeeded in throwing off Stuart, then Dunkel would have been at risk of losing his job. “Stuff like that. Wow. It made me want to, you know, leave, you know. Toward the end when I retired, I was burnt out from all this.”


It is clear when meeting him and talking about his career that Stuart is happier working in his post-retirement job, though painting was originally supposed to be Dunkel’s post-retirement hobby. Dunkel started by studying the French academic system of painting. It is a disciplined learning system that takes five years to complete. The first year is strictly charcoal drawings, and then the second year introduces shading and painting in gray. The third year consists of only painting in gray and one color of choice. Years four and five are dedicated to color and still lives, and then afterwards just focusing on the artist’s muse.

Dunkel’s original muse of choice was large cupcakes and fruit tarts, but soon introduced Chuckie into his scenes, which became an unlikely crowd favorite. “They’re painted very seriously in the academic tradition… it’s very contemporary and I try to make them funny, you know, put some humor in them.”


When Dunkel displayed his work in a gallery for the first time, he only brought one of his Chuckie paintings along with his many other still lifes. However, everyone’s eyes were on Chuckie. Soon there became a demand for his little muse.

“When I realized it was taking off, I really got into it; and like music, you practice every day, you know, like 8 hours a day. So, I paint six to eight hours a day, you know, every day.” There is a high demand for Stuart Dunkel originals, and his art is currently being displayed and sold in six different galleries in the country.

During the first six years of painting Chuckie, Dunkel would reference his pet mice. In reality, there have probably been around six different Chuckies. “Originally, I got three white mice. Oh, they live about two years. I’ve had three sets of white mice and what I would do is usually there’s one that’s really affectionate that when I put my hand in, you know, who crawls up and I give them a treat and everything.” To see how his persona would interact with different things, Dunkel used to place toys or props in the mice cage to watch their movements. How they approach an unfamiliar object, sniffing it first, climbing around it, and trying to take it for themselves.

It is safe to say that Stuart is very familiar with how to paint a mouse, and so he no longer keeps mice. However he does have a lovely golden retriever with his wife. His dog is also a certified therapy dog who often works at Watertown High School. While working on his art, Stuart often binges shows

on Netflix, or watches a movie. Dunkel’s work studio seems chaotic at first glance, but there is a clear process to his madness. The room is full of little canvases, previous works, reference prop toys depicting various foods and objects, and pizza boxes protecting any wet work in progress from any dust or tampering.

Stuart’s message to the world is to find something you are good at and keep building on it. As an oboe instructor and an art teacher, he often asks his students what their strong suits are. He does not ever agree or disagree with what they say because he knows that it is what they believe. All he did was work to support and strengthen what they were confident in, that way the student would know that they were good at that one aspect, regardless of what anyone else thought, because they knew. He also encourages people to chase their passions and find a way to monetize them. Dunkel’s art now sells for up to about $3,000 for canvas originals, but his website also has cheaper merchandise including mugs and posters for anyone to purchase.

Oil paintings by Stuart Dunkel Layout Designer Jake Daly
Lisa Ortiz



What got you into the arts and the type of art that you do?

I grew up watching my grandma knit. My parents met while studying art at SUNY Purchase. In high school, my art teacher Sasha Sicurella was incredible. So it was growing up in a house where art was encouraged, plus good role models. There is also some influence from my graphic design background and my interest in calligraphy and sign painting.

Tell us about your art education.

Well, maybe I did it wrong. Even though drawing is what really matters to me, I somehow let myself be talked into studying graphic design. I did it so I could get a job after school.

What materials and mediums do you use to make your art?

I use ink or Golden high flow acrylic paint, in a Parallel Pen, or a Split Automatic Pen, or a Flat Wash brush, or a Rapidograph. I mostly draw on paper. I use Yupo heavy, or 140 lb Arches hot press watercolor paper. I am experimenting with Rising Museum Board. I also use Claybord panels, and linen primed with transparent gesso.

What is your creative process? Is your focus on the end result or the process?

I am much more interested in the process than the end results. I typically make slight adjustments to the process based on the previous end result— and then make another drawing. So it’s an iterative approach. Drawings take anywhere between one day and four weeks to complete. However, I’m currently working on a wall drawing installation and that has been in progress since last November…

What, if any, is the significance of the colors and shapes used?

There’s really no significance or meaning behind the colors and shapes in the drawings. But the finished drawings often remind me of things. Such as canyons, wood, waves, weather patterns, animals, etc… but I don’t have a particular interpretation in mind for the viewer. The recent past tends to prime what I see in each drawing.

Waffles 4 acrylic on canvas 30 x 60 x 1.5 in

Squares 55 acrylic on yupo heavy 26 x 20 in

Squares 54 acrylic
yupo heavy 26 x 20 in 53

Your art creates a sense of movement and texture. Do you intentionally make optical illusions? Are you familiar with perception psychology?

I do not intentionally make optical illusions. But I do like optical illusions very much, and when I notice a particular process tends to result in drawings that have something similar to an optical illusion, I tend to pursue that, and iterate on it. But it’s not like I have an understanding of how to make an optical illusion. I’m not drawing according to a sketch made in advance. Instead, it’s more like following a set of recursive rules or behaviors that create a chain reaction which generates the drawing. I’m not familiar with perception psychology.

What thoughts go through your head when painting?

In just about all of my work I use a very high stakes process where it’s pretty easy to make a catastrophic error. I’m not entirely sure why I do this. It makes the drawing process very exciting and it all feels very high stakes. In a way, it’s similar to doing things like riding a skateboard, or bike, or motorcycle, or repelling off a cliff, or skydiving. Things that demand or force total attention and focus. Doing something like this leaves very little room to think about anything else other than where the brush is and where the line I am painting needs to end up. Xylor Jane says it best: “…and the rest of the world is really shut out…the volume’s really turned up. There’s no room for my own thoughts; there’s dissolving of self, where the painting has more presence than I do.”

Fibers 31 acrylic on claybord panel 14 x 11 x 1.5 in

How has your style and intentions with art changed over time?

My work has stayed pretty consistent since 2014. My main interests are still repetition and complexity. It’s very comforting to keep remaking the same drawing, but I know I need to gradually nudge myself into deeper water.

Who buys your art and how do you determine pricing?

Do you make your own videos, what are your feelings about social media, has it provided a positive place to reach new audiences?

Yes, I do make my own videos. Of course there are many dark aspects to social media. However, I like that it has the ability to put individual artists in control of getting their work seen. Artists used to rely much more on galleries to do this for them.

Being able to support myself by making drawings. Photography by Soapbox

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Architects, graphic designers, and interior designers tend to gravitate towards my work. It’s an imperfect system, but I price work according to scale. However, sometimes small drawings will take way more time to complete than a larger drawing from a different series.

Ray Karaczun
Arts Layout Designer Peilan Liang

villagers GAllerY villagers GAllerY

Lasell would not be Lasell without our intergenerational practices. Connected to the college campus is a senior living community called Lasell Village. Here reside the “villagers,” many of whom are skilled artists. Some occupy their retirement completing passion projects in their spare time. Others take advantage of the shared classes offered to both villagers and students, one of the most popular choices being ceramics. TARNISHED is proud to complement our traditional student gallery and continue Lasell’s intergenerational custom with our first villager gallery. Thank you to everyone who submitted their art.

Dora Hsiung, Red Ruby, fiber painting Robert Hsiung, The Road to Santa Fe, watercolor
Ray Karaczun


Becker, “Untitled quilt painting” cotton & miscellaneous found objects Suzanne Hodes “Wind & Waves” oil on canvas Lenora Wolfeld “Gulliver’s Kitchen” monoprint
Michael St Clair “Mugs” ceramics Julie Gorn, “Are You My Mother?” oil on canvas Peter Stringham “A Series of 3” ceramics Michael Levy “Bird” linocut print
Peilan Liang 59
Photography by Ciarra Chasse



“How Lonely”


Abigail Damke

“Stamp of Approval”

Amelia Capron

Hendrix” Paige Mesropian Ally Perkins

“Behind the Hidden Figure”

Yem Shiferahu

“Sleight of Hand”

Dylan Wilson


Ray Karaczun

“A Country View”

Emma Blenkhorn



“Master Copy Cubist Collage”

“Whimsy Mushrooms”


Cealan Watson


Caitlyn Geary

Based on “Reverie” by John William Goddard Perrin Grubb Anthony Stancato

“Floating Water Lilies”

Michael Petrie

“Talking to the Moon”

Lauren Crupi


Gabriela Acebo


Sam Gilvar




Miao Miao Chen

“The Search”

Chloe Kinteris

“A Tell Tale Heart”

Emma Sparling


Katelyn Esposito


“The Great Yakety Yak”

Gianna Chiarenza

“Fall Scene”

Kelsie Couto

“The Iridescent Mare”

Jamie Kinteris

“Lover (Haylee’s Version)”

Haylee Skoog



“The Daruma Doll”

Tran Quoc Huy Le

“Spring Showers”

Macy Miller Cleary

“When Life gives you Lemons”

Lauren Crupi

“The Royal Boiler”

Andrew Cellucci


“Loch Ness”

Sydney Brundage

“Splatter Vase #1”

Ciarra Chasse

“Sub Mari”

Karissa Gaughan

“Out of Focus”

Camille Wright

Layout Designer by Chloe Kinteris


When I told you I model, you didn’t take the hint to compliment my appearance. So, on our second date, I wore a racier dress, and lined my eyes with wings bound to reach new heights. I treated your eyes like camera lenses. I contorted my head to my best angle and showcased my perfect teeth. Again, you steered the conversation away. I needed to head home alone to perform my nightly beauty routine. I kissed your cheek, leaving you with the gift of my red lipstick ring. You waited for my back to turn to wipe off the smudge.

Ray Karaczun

Layout Designer Abby Damke Illustrated by Abby Damke

The Willows Whisper

I’ll never forget when it started.

I remember the grim night. The wind was howling a haunting song– the willow’s leaves swirling in the air like the very breeze that blew them.

Walking through the deserted park, I thought I was alone. I believed the stars were my only partner; I was wrong.

It wasn’t sudden, or gradual, or graceful. It was miserable. The night had been silent then, suddenly it wasn’t.

There were no broken branches, or birds that sang. No, there were only the whispers.

The willows had begun to whisper and their tales were not ones of beauty.

Layout Designer Ally Perkins
Illustrated by Ally Perkins

Morning came and the word arrived that the Germans had completely retreated. Two men came from the rear and went down to the fields to get a parchute that the flares were on. And I said to myself, ‘Jeez, I should get one of those for my brother.’ Following behind them, one of the men stepped on a German personnel mine. The two men were killed.”

My grandfather was gravely injured, but survived WWII. At 96 years old he still has shrapnel in his leg, but can walk. My grandfather created strong bonds with the men he fought with. Even though they have passed, he can still hear their voice.

Jamie Kinteris Layout Designer Jamie Kinteris
Illustrated by Jamie Kinteris

Science shot through them like bubbles out a soda bottle: carbonated madness. Putrid smells of the cosmos filled the laboratory, bones cracked into photons, flesh melted with the air as the color out of space faded to a monochrome of silence. The re-animation was less painful, but it was the effect on their mind that horrified. When testing on vermin, one could not measure the impact teleportation had on the soul. All the parts of them appeared on the reassembly, except for the aspect that made them themself. The chaff of the mortal fell in a heap. They were truly gone, teleported.

Sean Spina Layout Designer Tran Quoc Huy
Illustrated by Tran Quoc Huy Le


There was a moment that afternoon where the curtain lowered. I was in the bathroom, shaking fluoxetine out of a bottle I kept behind the mirror. Before I could take them, I felt a tug in my gut. I’d felt this before, as if my conscience was frowning at me for taking medication I didn’t need. Typically, I brushed this thought away with compulsory rationalizations. My bad situation has transcended the interim, and I felt I could benefit from feeling lighter, hungrier, and more complacent. Besides, situational depression was certainly real. Today, however, I recognized how I was disrespecting myself.

Layout Designer Ally Perkins
Illustrated by Angela M. Defelice

The Rabbit Keeper

My father brought home a rabbit every week for my brother. I never got to help choose a name. Whenever the rabbit disappeared after a few days, dad would always bring home a new one. I wanted to ask why I couldn’t have a rabbit. Instead, I snuck into the shed once–just to a see if he was hiding the rabbits from me in there. By the time anyone read this, I’ll be gone. I am going to move far away to a place where I can keep my own rabbit with his own name. And I won’t own a shed.

Beverly Banks Layout Designer Aaliyah Wyman
Illustrated by Regan Atchue


Do you wonder what it’s like to have your world turned upside down? My sister was diagnosed with leukemia this past January and she had to be hospitalized. I ended up not seeing her until February. That whole time I was at school, and went through a rush of emotions. I questioned why my five-year-old sister was going through something that no one should ever have to go through. After months of treatment, she went into remission and went back to school this past August. I am very grateful to everyone who has helped my sister along the way!

Layout Designer Aaliyah Wyman
Aaliyah Wyman
Illustrated by Aaliyah Wyman

I’m socially anxious.

I’ve worn a sweatshirt even when hot Paralyzed by fear of how I looked in a t-shirt. I want to cover up Fade into the background.

In public I’m ashamed Because of the scars on my face. I walk with my head down Hoping others won’t see me.

Someone once asked my brother if I burned my face They saw the scars and wounds. I knew everyone could. I hated that.

But you can’t put makeup on open wounds And concealer only hides so much.

I try to blend in, Be unnoticeable. Wearing darker colors helps with that.

Designer Camille Wright
Illustrated by Katie Johnson

Imagine, if you will, you are a ghost. What you were in life you don’t know. Maybe you were a farmer, perhaps a tailor, Or mayhaps you were someone important like a president or an underground indie musician. It doesn’t matter now.

You’re wondering if it ever had.

All you can recall now is that you died as you were born. Screaming about… Something. Was it Pain?

Despair? Relief, even?

You don’t know. It doesn’t matter now.

You do not weep, Or sigh, Or plead to His Lord Almighty for salvation Because none of it makes any sense to you.

You have no face. Have no body. Have no limbs. Have no senses.

You’re an incorporeal mass of nothing

Drifting aimlessly. What else can you do?

Heaven is sensibility.

Hell is a state of mind.

Your mind is the only thing that hasn’t left you Because one is never truly unconscious. Even as the body shuts down and drifts off to sleep, You dream.

And what is dreaming but the brain traveling places it can only go as the body recharges?

So answer this, you angsty nonbeing, Are you dreaming?

Are you traveling to all the places you could never go in life? All the places available to you only as your body decays in some box buried in the dirt?

“... No.” You say.

“I can’t,” You say.

“Not yet.” You say, “Because she’s still here, She with the eyes that still cry for me. She with the mouth that still smiles despite her tears.

I don’t know who she is, But she still mourns for me. She knew my name, She knew my face, And until she’s dead and buried I’m not leaving this place.”

Heaven is sensibility. Hell is a state of mind.

A person only dies the moment Their name is said for the last time.

Illustrated by Geo Sylvester 87
Layout Designer Jamie Kinteris


Based on the book Circe by Madeline Miller

On the edge the island I’m watching the waves And I used to before, but for now, I don’t wait for company. The gulls accompany me

For all I have nurtured, I’ve grown on my own A soft-shelled girl taken, turned into stone I never learned the ways, so I harbor the pain

Don’t come here, Don’t come any closer. This place responds to my will Won’t leave here, won’t go any further

This cage

The walls that I built

And the change in the air, it proves that I’m here Alive and surviving.

The comfort is I’ll die here, And they’ll never find me

Such peace to know they won’t shed a tear Not for me, not here.

Layout Designer Anna Giorgio
Illustrated by Amelia Capron

Whose fault was it that I bled When these fingers picked the scab

This body poorly mended When I dug up the venom

That a wasp had injected When it stung me unprovoked?

Whose fault was it that I stung?

Engulfed in predator’s shade

Stem’s autopilot begun.

Ancestors and selection

Crafted a poisonous tongue. And you ask what you did wrong?

Not my fault I itch and scratch

Bringing forth blood consequence.

Not my fault that I attack Interpretations of threats. Is this why we’re prone to crackNature’s gifts Pandora’s box?

Pandora’s Scab Ray Karaczun

Designer Anna Giorgio
Illustrated by Caelan Watson

TEAM butterfly


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