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Scholarship Spotlight: Bethany Bonfiglio

From a very young age, Bethany Bonfiglio has always loved creating things. In middle school, Bethany spent a lot of her time drawing with regular graphite pencils on her homework. As time progressed, she developed an interest forinterest in painting and was enthralled by the stories art could tell. She enrolled in The High School of Art and Design where she learned a little more about painting and has been painting since. To this day, Bethany prefers to paint in oils but also uses watercolor and those same regular graphite pencils.

When it was time to apply for college, Bethany chose The School of Visual Arts. After studying illustration throughout her time at The High School of Art and Design, she decided she wanted to continue this path for her time in college. “I was so drawn to that major because I wanted to learn how to tell my own stories visually.  Storytelling is a significant part of Illustration.” Although Bethany does not directly paint in an illustrative style, she says that she is still suggesting a personal narrative through each of her portraits.
Bethany was able to maintain a 4.0 GPA average throughout her time in college and was awarded for her artistic skills on numerous occasions. The Match Factory is a magazine at The School of Visual Arts which featured Bethany. She had a professor who was the publisher of The Match Factory and he had reached out to her for a feature after being blown away by her work. The next month, her paintings were featured as she was selected as the featured artist of the month.
During their junior year at The School of Visual Arts, students are required to complete a thesis. Each year, the thesis focuses on a different theme accompanied by a long list of texts (books, plays, etc.) to choose from. During Bethany’s junior year, the thesis theme was, “All in the Family.” After taking some time to look through the available tests, she found Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, an Italian Opera set in 13th century Florence, Italy. “I chose to make paintings based on that opera because I resonated with it the most (it felt right to explore it and connect with my Italian heritage).” Her thesis required hours of extensive research, but she ended up creating eight large portraits. A small number of students end up being a part of an exhibition on different thesis topics and hers was chosen!
With the goals of becoming a painting professor, Bethany will be continuing her education at New York Academy of Art where she will be working towards her master’s degree in fine arts. Bethany is looking forward to this intensive program which focuses on classical and representational painting. This is often shown through her portraits of people and their representational style and Bethany is looking forward to homing in on her skills throughout her time in the program.
Check out Bethany’s thesis and other works of art here: