Christine Wong '24

For more than a century, Barnard has fostered a rich legacy of artistic expression in the arts, humanities, and sciences. One of the most successful ways it prepares students for their academic and professional pursuits is through the senior thesis, an opportunity for soon-to-be graduates to perform in-depth research and showcase their ideas under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Learn how students in the Department of Dance and the Art History Department’s visual arts program presented their end-of-year projects.


East Asian studies and dance double-major Tobi Lee ’24 took to the stage on March 26 and presented her self-choreographed dance inspired by her final project for "Music for Dance," taught by dance music director, Robert Boston.

“I wanted the audience to "see" the music, where sound and body map onto one another,” said Lee. “The piece was less narrative and thematically centered around the use of sound and breath to guide the quality of movement."

The work of the Class of 2024 culminated in 18 thesis projects that blended humor, virtuosity, and spectacle. Colleen Thomas-Young, professor of professional practice in dance, advised each student through the premiere performances of their work, which were presented on March 25 and 26.

“The entire department was deeply inspired and immensely proud of the class. Each student delved into their own personal journey, exploring vulnerability and tackling challenges unique to their artistic evolution,” said Thomas-Young. “The evening, which was accompanied by captivating live music, demonstrated the talent and dedication of these seniors to their craft. Their meticulous attention to detail, unwavering commitment, and passion for dance was evident in each performance.”


Tobi Lee '24

Carolyn Bakich GS ’24

Filip Przybycien CC ’24

Barnard’s showcase included performances of students from Columbia College and Columbia’s School of General Studies. Filip Przybycien CC ’24 — a musical theatre-trained dancer — collaborated with guest choreographers ​James Kinney and Alex Nordin from Broadway. “My senior thesis epitomizes my quest for artistic self-discovery, driven by the imperative of finding my unique voice in dance and performance. It is an exploration of individualism and resilience, sparked by the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 era, ultimately shaping a new, more robust artistic persona.”

Dance major Carolyn Bakich GS ’24 said, “I’m incredibly indebted to the support of Barnard’s Dance Department during the senior thesis process. Just like my piece, the departmental faculty was there to assist in recalibrating beside me, whether that looked like sparking ideas if I was stumped, commentary on what I had created, or reaching out to costumers. We had the Dance Department behind us throughout preparations and then in front of us — watching from the audience in our final bows.”

Visual Arts

The exhibition, “Alters/Altars,” ran from April 18 through 25 and featured 10 seniors from the visual arts program. The show, which was themed around “different approaches to reinventing, rehearsing, or reimagining oneself” was curated by arts editor and adjunct associate professor of photography Mira Dayal, with professors Joan Snitzer, John Miller, and Irena Haiduk acting as advisors.

senior thesis 2024 art-9
Barnard's visual arts exhibition "Alters/Altars" ran from April 18-25
senior thesis 2024 art-6
Christine Wong '24

For art history major Christine Wong ’24, the senior thesis was an opportunity to tap into her imagination. Her piece, which was presented as an emaki — a Japanese scroll painting — was inspired by the essay “The Hōjōki,” which can be loosely translated into “Account of the 10-Foot Square Hut.” It was written in the 13th century by Japanese author Kamo no Chōmei, who explored the idea of impermanence through various accounts of disaster and hardship.

“Instead of using historical references for the illustrations [of my scroll painting], I based the illustrations that I have created from what I remembered the most from the text and how it translated in my imagination,” said Wong. “While not historically accurate in its style or in its calligraphy, I hoped that my piece was able to portray the fleeting feeling I experienced when I read the essay for the first time in class.”

senior thesis 2024 art-8
Jubilee Park '24

“It was through the guidance of the visual arts advisors that I was able to make great strides in my artistic process that I previously thought were unachievable. Without them, I would not have been able to experiment with previously unfamiliar mediums and concepts for a fulfilling final project,” said art history major Jubilee Park ’24, whose project was made up of a three separate works: a book (Rise, Tantalus!), a double-sided instrument wood sculpture (“BEST LOOK”), and a composition of Himalayan salt blocks and sheer-latex tights (“TKO”).

“BEST LOOK,” a woodworking piece, made an abstracted reference to the structure and musculature of the body’s spine and back with one side being strung with metal and nylon and the other side with red thread. The suspended salt blocks of “TKO” were held up by the strength of one pair of sheer-latex stockings, with residual salt piled on the floor. Park handmade Rise, Tantalus!, which is a vellum and thread-bound piece of an original illustrated story — drawn and printed in red ink.

vis arts

Isabel Stern '24

Bella Morand '24

Eugenia McQuarrie '24

Jubilee Park '24

Orlie White '24

Christine Wong '24