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The members of the graduating class of 2018, who will all receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, include illustration majors Scott Bartlett, Mary Johanna Helchowski, Sharon L. Houle, Sarah Kentoffio, Alec Raymond Luciano, Austin Morrison, Aubrianna Sarah Robinson, Rani Rose Rusnock, and Martha Ann Williams; sculpture major Jennifer Maria Moore; drawing majors Ashley Rose Gibbs, Shawn Paul Michael, Jasmine Marie Oyola, and Antoinette Oyola; and painting majors Lori Ann Anderson, Shaina Corrine Bernard, Hannah Rosa Bogart Petrikovsky, Jazzlynn Lee Gilot, Heidi Rose Klieber, Qingyu Lu, Matthew James Russo, Chelsea Marie Visel, and McKenzie Amelia West.
Kristina Newman-Scott, Director of Culture and State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of Connecticut, will deliver the commencement address. She will be awarded an honorary degree for her contributions to the fields of arts and culture in the state of Connecticut and nationally.
"We are honored to have such a distinguished guest as Ms. Newman-Scott. She has made remarkable contributions to the state and the art world more broadly as a powerful advocate with an authentic voice that is experienced, passionate, and creative. The students and the entire campus community are so pleased that she will be joining us on this special day. These graduates are remarkable. They represent diverse interests and exceptionally creative minds. We know they will make significant contributions to the arts, the creative economy, and society, as a whole." Todd Jokl, Dean Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts
Newman-Scott is the first immigrant and first woman of color to serve as the Director of Culture and State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of Connecticut, where she oversees the state’s economic and community development grant-making, programs and services related to art, culture and historic preservation. Ms. Newman-Scott’s awards and recognitions include a 2018 Connecticut Women’s Education & Legal Fund, Woman of Inspiration; a 2017 Writers Block, ACE Awardee; Hartford Business Journal Forty Under 40; a National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow; a Hive Global Leadership selectee; and a Next City, Urban Vanguard. Ms. Newman-Scott serves on the boards of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, The Connecticut Forum, and the New England Foundation for the Arts as well the Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council.
Ms. Newman-Scott has been a TEDx speaker, visiting curator, guest lecturer, or featured presenter at colleges, universities, organizations and events throughout Connecticut, across the country and internationally. Ms. Newman-Scott was a visual artist, creative strategies consultant, and a television and radio producer in Jamaica, where she was born and raised. She became a U.S. citizen in 2013.
Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts will also honor Suzanne Gaskell with their Distinguished Service Award in Art Education. Ms. Gaskell is a teacher at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, CT.
Alumna Emily Bedard will deliver the Alumni Association Address. Ms. Bedard received her B.F.A. in Sculpture from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in 2009. In the nine years since her graduation, Ms. Bedard has created private and public commissions including the Statue of Liberty for the 1876 Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Bridgeport, CT, as well as numerous others. She currently resides in New York City where she works with classical architects to design classical and figurative sculptures in residential, institutional, and civic spaces. Ms. Bedard has received notable awards including the 2014 & 2016 Dexter Jones Award for Excellence in Bas-relief, from the National Sculpture Society, the 2015 Stanford White Award for Craftsmanship, from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, and the 2017 Award for Emerging Excellence in the Classical Tradition, from the ICAA, INTBAU, and the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community.