Best of SUNY Student Artists Honored at New York State Museum

June 13, 2016

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced the winners of this year’s Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibition, which showcases work by student artists across the SUNY system. Students will be recognized during a reception this evening at the New State Museum in Albany, where the exhibit is on display through October 23, 2016.

Tonight’s reception is OPEN PRESS and begins at 5:00 p.m.

"The Best of SUNY exhibit highlights the impressive artistic talents of students from throughout our university system and serves as an inspiration not only to SUNY’s administration, faculty, and staff but to all those who visit the New York State Museum," said Chancellor Zimpher. "Again this year, I am in awe of the student works selected for this summer’s exhibit. Congratulations to the award winners and to all of the students with work on display."

"The Board of Regents recognizes the importance of art education," said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. "That’s why we’re proud to showcase the work of talented SUNY student artists from across the state at the New York State Museum. Now thousands of Museum visitors will have the opportunity to view these impressive artworks over the next several months."

Artwork featured at the Best of SUNY exhibit are chosen by art departments across SUNY’s 64 campuses. The traditional areas of drawing, ceramics, painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking are included, as well as mixed media, photography sculpture and digitally produced works.

The show was juried by Dr. Caroline Downing from SUNY Potsdam. Dr. Downing, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, and is the Chair of the SUNY Potsdam Art Department. She has also received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Three Best of Show student artists will receive $1,000 scholarships. They are:

  • Kevin Cieplensky, New Paltz – "Untitled"
  • Alexa Eugene, Purchase College – Husbandry
  • Robert Wolf, SUNY Plattsburgh – Sink

Honorable Mention awards of $500 were also given to four students. They are:

  • Ashley Bennett, SUNY Oswego – Leo
  • Ryan Geer, Mohawk Valley Community College – Ascension
  • Dana Town Kang, SUNY College of Ceramics, Alfred University
  • Samantha Rathbun, SUNY New Paltz – Pendulum

A complete list of the artists featured in the SUNY exhibition and a collection of photos are available online.

The SUNY student art shows were initiated in 2002 so that the work of SUNY’s most talented student artists would be seen by a wider audience. SUNY student art is also on display year-round at State University Plaza in Albany, SUNY Global Center in New York City, and Governor Cuomo’s Washington, DC office.

About the New York State Museum
The State Museum is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is free. Further information about programs and events can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the Museum website at

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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