Geneseo seniors impact college through art

Patrick Hurley

Communication major senior Patrick Hurley is a member of the Geneseo Chamber Singers, the a cappella group Southside Boys and the men’s choir. He has been singing since his youth and continues to do so today(Images Designed by Elizabeth Jacobs/Design & layout Editor).

It’s a rewarding experience to be involved with music, according to communication major senior Patrick Hurley. Hurley is a singer, which has been a major part of his life for many years.

Hurley works with several musical groups on-campus. He is a member of the Geneseo Chamber Singers, president of the all-male a cappella group Southside Boys and Operations Director of the men’s choir. 

Hurley began singing at a young age, and he credits his mother with inspiring his love of music.

“My mother loves to sing,” he said. “She walked around the house singing when I was a kid. We would do chores together and sing show tunes.”

Hurley’s mother eagerly encouraged his exploration of music.

“The story that my mother will tell you is that one day I was singing some song in the car, and I was maybe six, and she immediately knew what it was,” Hurley said. “So she was like ‘wow okay you should start singing.’ So I joined the choir in fifth grade and haven’t stopped since.”

Although Hurley said his mother exposed him to many different styles of music, he has always been drawn to slower songs. Singing with the Southside Boys is one of Hurley’s favorite ways to perform, and he loved having a ballad as his senior song—Hyannis Sound’s “Always on Mind”—in the Feb. 23 a cappella concert.

“I’m a sucker for the slow, ‘ballad-y,’ R&B type songs. I guess like the stereotypical Michael Bublé type of sound,” Hurley said. “One thing that doesn’t get a lot of attention at Geneseo specifically—or in a cappella in general—are the slower blend-based songs. Our group has the talent to do them, and that’s my favorite type of song so I was like, ‘we need to do at least one.’”

One of his favorite parts of a cappella is performing in a group.

“The focus is oftentimes on the soloist and that defines what song you’re singing, but the more fun part is singing with the group and being part of the large entity that makes the a cappella sound what it is,” Hurley said.

Although Hurley is unsure where his life will take him after graduation, he knows music will still be a large part of his future, even if he is unable to outwardly showcase his talent.

“It really depends on where my life takes me,” he said. “There’s a bunch of adult and semi-professional a cappella groups that I would love to sing with. If the opportunity presents itself, absolutely.”

Elizabeth Pellegrino

English creative writing major and geological science minor senior Elizabeth Pellegrino blends the two disciplines she studies in her written work. She plans on writing a book and pursuing science writing for her career(Images Designed by Elizabeth Jacobs/Design & layout Editor).

It’s rare to hear the words “creative” and “science” together in the same sentence, but English creative writing major and geological science minor senior Elizabeth Pellegrino is no stranger to combining both disciplines. 

“I tend to do poetry and creative nonfiction because those are the easiest for me,” Pellegrino said. “I like them as a way of processing my thoughts, but also as creative outlets.”

Pellegrino realized in her second semester of freshman year that she needed both English and science in her life. 

“I ended up picking up the minor almost out of boredom,” she said. 

In her writing, Pellegrino is fond of turning back to her geological sciences studies for topics and using it in figurative language. 

“I can use that sort of terminology and knowledge base as the foundation for the stuff I write about,” she said. 

“I often write about geology, and sometimes it’s in a way where I use geologic language to talk about me or my body, or sometimes I’m just doing science writing.”

“I have poems that are about climate change, but through the perspective of ancient climate changes, like the ones that happened before humans, and how those relate to the human ones,” Pellegrino said.

Other than writing, Pellegrino dabbles in drawing and photography. 

“I love writing, but it’s not always tactile, and drawing is,” she explained.

Pellegrino was involved in Campus Canvas earlier in April with a showcase featuring photography, poetry and pieces of nature, like chunks of limestone. This piece provoked questions from viewers about where the grey area lies between what qualifies as nature and what qualifies as man-made.

As far as the future is concerned, Pellegrino hopes to write for the informational and environmentally-explanatory YouTube channel called SciShow. 

“I’m actually moving to Missoula, Montana and doing a master’s in environmental writing, so I’ll be in the right location,” Pellegrino said.

Additionally, Pellegrino plans to begin writing a book during the next two years at gradschool. 

“I’m hoping to look at Onondaga Lake, which has a lot of chemical pollution in it, and the Hanford site in Washington which has a lot of nuclear pollution; [the book will compare] those timelines and compare clean-up,” Pellegrino said.

This bright student has a fascinating life laid out before her, probably involving the salvation of our planet. Keep an eye out for her book publication and whatever Pellegrino may produce in the future.

Sarah Buckser

Anthropology major senior Sarah Buckser is a well-versed artist, dabbling in both painting and drawing with a focus on cartoons.Her main goal is representing hardships both personal and political through art (Images Designed by Elizabeth Jacobs/Design & layout Editor).

Art can communicate messages to people regardless of social barriers, so those gifted with artistic ability are especially beneficial to today’s society.

Anthropology major senior Sarah Buckser is one of those gifted individuals. She was featured for her collection “Level Up” during this year’s “GREAT Battle of the Artists.” 

“Level Up” is certainly far from Buckser’s first foray into art. 

“I was drawing before I could talk,” she said. “There’s never been a point where I have not been doing art.” 

Buckser originally attended SUNY Purchase to major in painting. She transferred to Geneseo in her junior year to pursue disciplines outside of art. 

Since coming to Geneseo, Buckser has made a point to leave a lasting impression through her art. This began early on when she served as the assistant design and layout editor for The Lamron. She designed political cartoons, often with an emphasis on the actions of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and President Donald Trump.  

Buckser hopes her cartoons provide a new perspective for observers concerning actions of those involved in our country’s leadership. 

“I try to be non-partisan and would lampoon the [Democratic National Committee] as well as the president whenever the opportunity arises,” she said. 

“Level Up” centers heavily around many of the familial and personal hardships she’s faced over the course of her college career. 

“Much of the symbolism in the piece has specific meanings based on different challenges I’ve faced,” she said. “Each panel took about 10 hours to create since the subject was very serious for me.”

Buckser hopes that the personal history surrounding her project can help other students relate to it. 

“I expect a lot of different reactions from my art, whether people like it or don’t understand it,” she said. “Despite varying reactions, I feel that everyone can relate to being beaten up in life.” 

Her project impacted everyone who has seen it, given its public display. 

As Buckser prepares to graduate in May and reflects on her time at Geneseo, she hopes that other students can make the best of life at college. 

“College is low-stakes. No one remembers that one time you messed up,” Buckser said. “Don’t let the past stop yourself from pursing what you want later in life.” 

Whatever life has in store for Buckser after graduation, her influence on this campus and her talent are undeniable.

Anna Tailleur

Communication major senior Anna Tailleur is dedicated to representing social commentary in her painting. She is focused on changing the harmful and pervasive social  standards that degrade the human body (Images Designed by Elizabeth Jacobs/Design & layout Editor).

When art moves us to feel something and inspires us to work together, it is most impactful. Communication major senior Anna Tailleur is certainly on her way to changing social norms through the art she creates. 

Tailleur grew up in Coxsackie, New York, and has always viewed herself as an artistic person. When she was in high school, she took the offered art classes and has since spent her whole life growing as a painter. Another element of Tailleur’s life that has been ongoing is her journey toward self-love. 

Tailleur created a body painting project, “Grow Through What You Go Through,” which is an in depth look at vulnerability, body image and self-love.

“The inspiration behind this project came from my own struggle with self-love and body positivity,” Tailleur said. “It’s always a concept that was in my brain, but I’ve never really understood how to take care of my body and talk to it in a kind way. It’s still kind of an ongoing process.” 

In the spring of 2017, Tailleur started her body painting project as a way to examine her relationship with her body and her friends’ relationships with theirs. 

“It started one afternoon with a good friend of mine,” Tailleur said. “We painted each other’s bodies and talked about what made us feel most vulnerable, which parts of our bodies made us feel most insecure … and that sort of led to an impromptu photo shoot.” 

Tailleur’s art is intimate and deftly painted, adding an ethereal quality to her subjects. She paints things like flowers, space and the setting sun over a lake on living canvases. 

Tailleur was introduced during the spring 2018 semester to international relations major and photographer sophomore Janelle Clements. Tailleur was inspired by the way Clements was paving her own way on-campus as an artist, despite the lack of space for artists in Geneseo. Clements loved the soft, feminine aesthetic of Tailleur’s paintings, and was excited to join the project. Clements is now the project’s official photographer. 

“This project has reaffirmed a lot of things for me,” Clements said. “I am always inspired by the power of women, particularly black women, and the warmth of self-love and the naturalness of the body.”

Despite Tailleur’s upcoming graduation, “Grow Through What You Go Through” will live on. Tailleur’s sorority sister, biology major sophomore Kelly Stahovic, will take over body painting next year. The art is available for viewing on Tailleur’s instagram—@annatailleur—and the official Instagram page—@growthroughwhatyougothrough2.0.