Recent SUNY Canton Graduate Displays Paintings in Southworth Library Learning Commons


A graduate of SUNY Canton’s Graphic and Multimedia Design program is returning to college to display his artwork.

Thomas G. Contino is a performing musician, artist and writer who hails from Henderson and is currently enrolled in a Graphic Design master’s degree program at SUNY Oswego. His show “Various Paths” is scheduled to open at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15., in the Southworth Library Learning Commons Classroom. The opening and reception are free and open to the public.

Tom Contino

Contino draws inspiration from both rural and urban environments in his colorful paintings. His work juxtaposes numerous elements on a single canvas, begging viewers’ initial engagement and subsequent re-evaluation of the pieces.

“Growing up in a rural setting, I drew inspiration from landscapes and remnants of old structures, sparking my fascination with the layers of time and meaning in physical spaces,” Contino said in his artist’s statement for the show. “Exploring larger cities stirred up my interest in the juxtaposition and layering of architectural styles, connecting them to the layers of the human mind and the intricate overlapping webs of our social structures.”

During his time in the college’s Graphic and Multimedia Design program, Contino painted a mural in Nevaldine Hall in his unique style, containing numerous visual references to the technology-focused academic programs offered in the building. Like his work currently on display, the mural begs viewers to revisit or review the work multiple times to discover all the unique elements. Subtle, selectively colored scenes of powerlines and wind turbines create a backdrop for more recognizable science-focused elements, including a periodic table and a DNA strand.

“Tom uniquely processes visual information,” said Graphic and Multimedia Design Professor Matthew J. Burnett, who sought out Contino to participate in the Learning Commons’ rotating display. “He is an immensely talented painter and designer who can meet the needs of client needs and branding in an elegant and sophisticated manner. He is a great model for our aspiring graduates.”

Burnett previously displayed his work in the exact location, which has become the college’s gallery in addition to being a technology-integrated learning space.

Contino received the Pillars of Character and Spirit of Success Awards from Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish in 2022, which was the year he graduated. He also played drums with the band “On the Fly” as an opening act for the college’s spring 2023 concert featuring Flo Rida.

About SUNY Canton

Discover SUNY Canton, where innovation meets opportunity. The college’s career-focused educational programs emphasize hands-on and applied learning opportunities in digital design, engineering technology, health, information technology, management, public service, and veterinary technology. Faculty members bring real-world experience and exceptional academic expertise to the classroom. As a leader in online education, SUNY Canton offers unmatched flexibility with hundreds of courses and 23 comprehensive degree programs offered completely online. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete at the NCAA Division III level and will be transitioning to the SUNYAC in Fall 2024. In addition to its 15 traditional teams, SUNY Canton offers coed varsity esports and cheerleading.