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"Tough Love" at Seton Gallery

Release Date:
9/26/2012 1:00 PM

updated 10/5/2012

Former Yale Roommates Exhibit Their Paintings Together for First Time at UNH’s Seton Art Gallery

Balco-Craig, Green Waves 500px 
Cat Balco, Green Waves, 2012

WEST HAVEN, CONN. – When a friendship is formed based on a mutual commitment to painting, a door for collaborative communication opens.

“Tough Love” is an exhibit at the Seton Art Gallery at the University of New Haven.  It shows the work of two painters, former roommates, who have not been exhibited together before.

The works explore how color juxtapositions and brush strokes assert a physical presence. Cat Balco’s work explores undulating patterns that feel welcoming and airy, while Megan Craig’s paintings accumulate directional strokes that allude to denser forms.

Balco-Craig, Wheee, Seton Gallery, 500px
Megan Craig, Wheee! (How to Swing), 2012

Opening night for the exhibit is Oct.19 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Seton Art Gallery, located in Dodd’s Hall, and is free and open to the public. The exhibit will run through Nov. 2.

“This show is about painting as a reflection of friendship,” says Craig. “It is not always clear where one painting ends and another begins, as with friends who finish each other’s thoughts.” 

Feelings of weight and weightlessness create a pleasant tension in the exhibit, she said.

Balco and Craig appear to follow the German-born artist and educator, Joseph Albers, who taught at Yale in the 1950s and believed that abstraction is more real than nature.

As two undergraduates at Yale in the 90s, both artists worked side by side in the studio and also shared an apartment. Each began as a New York cityscape painter who later turned to abstraction.

Balco is interested in the immediacy of quick painting sessions with big brushes, while Craig responds to compressed spaces and movement. Both artists reference doodles and sketches when approaching the canvas, a dialogue that lends itself to bold, fluid brushwork.

Balco received her M.F.A. in painting from the Yale School of Art in 2007, where she was the recipient of the Helen Winternitz Award in painting and the Gloucester Landscape Painting Prize. Her work is included in the White Columns registry and she is an associate fellow at Morse College at Yale University. She is an assistant professor of painting and drawing at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford.

Balco-Craig, portrait, Seton Gallery, 500px 
Megan Craig

Craig received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the New School for Social Research in 2007 and her B.A. from Yale in 1997.  Craig has exhibited nationally and internationally with recent solo shows in New York, Connecticut, Florida and Germany. She is an assistant professor of philosophy and art at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, NY.

For more information, contact Seton Art Gallery director Laura Marsh at

The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. UNH enrolls approximately 6,400, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference