The newest graduate students at the University of Connecticut’s MFA Studio Art program just began their first semester. The five members of the Class of 2023 work in a broad range of artmaking, including sculpture, performance, printmaking, painting, and beyond.

Thomas Martinez Pilnik uses his understanding of neuropsychological processes to produce a physical manifestation of a decision and turn it into an iconic intervention. His intent is to force self-reflection within the synaptic gap between sculpture as performance and audience reception.

Catherine Nelson is a visual and performing artist originally from Louisiana. She earned a BA from Duke University and has worked as an artist, educator, and fabricator across the US and abroad. She co-produces the New-Orleans based residency Southern Heat Exchange.  

Kelsey Tynik is a sculptor and installation artist whose work investigates glee and sentimentality realized through material, technique, and play. Her work allows the viewer’s inner adolescent to thrive, providing fantasy without shame or guilt, and enabling us to engage with the present.

Nathanael Read blends classic and contemporary techniques of printmaking to explore how the synthesis of cultural history and individual experiences shape meaning. Using cultural devices, he builds a personal narrative to find purpose and significance in life events.

Megan Tresca is from Rhode Island and received a BFA in Painting and a MAT in Art and Design Education from RISD. Her work ranges from mystical lightness to the dreary and dark. She uses the unknown as a catalyst.

UConn’s fully funded MFA Studio Art program supports a variety of artmaking across studio media. The campus’s generous facilities and international faculty are located in rural Southern New England, where students can enjoy easy day trips to New York, Boston, Providence, Hartford, and New Haven. The three-year graduate program culminates with an exhibition in a New York City gallery and a thesis exhibition in UConn’s William Benton Museum of Art. 

To learn more about the University of Connecticut’s graduate studio art program, visit