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McHugh Wins People's Choice Art Award at KSC Student Exhibition

The multi-faceted installation Follow No Path by Keene State College senior art major Erin McHugh. Photo by Peter Roos.
The multi-faceted installation Follow No Path by Keene State College senior art major Erin McHugh. Photo by Peter Roos.

KEENE, N.H., 5/3/11 - Keene State College senior art major Erin McHugh from Plymouth, Mass., was voted the winner of the People’s Choice Award for Follow No Path, a multi-faceted installation, displayed in “Emerging Art” at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery.

During the first weeks of the annual KSC art students’ exhibition, visitors were invited to vote for their favorite work of art. McHugh won the majority of the 365 votes cast. She will receive a $100 cash award from the Friends of the Thorne along with a People’s Choice Commendation.

“I’m very pleasantly surprised that I received this award. This is the first time I’ve shown my work” said McHugh, who will graduate Saturday with a bachelor of fine arts degree.

Her work Follow No Path was inspired by her travel to Australia during the spring semester of 2010. The installation includes a sculpture of a globe surrounded by streamers of prints of maps and ropes suspended from the ceiling. Nearby is a large relief of a map in white with clear filament pinpointing locations.

“The obsessive amounts of mapping represent my need to see all that there is in this world,” McHugh explains in her artist statement. “I think that it will be my mission to find my heaven on Earth in this journey. The ropes represent the push and pull I have to stay loyal to my family and loyal to myself. The nails connected by the fishing wire signify the relationships I have made pulling me towards my hope for exploration and finding the self. The complexity of the prints mixed with maps, ropes, knots, and nails create an illusion of the conflict that goes on in my mind on a day-to-day basis.”

“Emerging Art” will be on display through Saturday, May 7, when the gallery will close early at 5 p.m. Normal gallery hours are Sunday to Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.

The gallery will be closed for several weeks and will reopen Friday, June 3 with “Figuratively Speaking,” which will run through July 24. Stephen J. Lucey, Assistant Professor of Art at Keene State College, curated this exhibit of portraits from the Thorne’s Permanent Collection including paintings, prints, and photographs by Corneille, Francisco Goya, Alexander James, Rockwell Kent, Robert Mapplethorpe, Fritz Scholder, and others.

During June and July, the gallery is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., Friday from 3 to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Both exhibits are free and open to the public. Located on Wyman Way on the Keene State campus, the Thorne Gallery is accessible to people with disabilities. To request accommodations for a disability, please call the Thorne Gallery at least two weeks before your visit. For more information, call 603-358-2720 or visit

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