Erin Chassé stands with a bouquet of flowers in front of her piece 'Pinch Me.'

Student work selected for NBCCD permanent collection

A piece focusing on a student’s experience during the COVID-19 pandemic has been selected as the most recent addition to the NBCCD permanent collection.

The piece was created by New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD) Photography/Videography 2022 graduate and interdisciplinary artist Erin Chassé.

“As an artist, I always hope that people can connect to a part of something I create,” said Chassé. “To have the jury members agree on ‘Pinch Me’ as a winner, means to me that my work is moving in the right direction.”

The Acquisition Award

Every year, an NBCCD student’s piece is selected to join the college’s permanent collection. The student is awarded the Acquisition Award, wins $1000, and the artwork is purchased by the college and put on display on location. A jury of faculty including Design Studio Head Gregory Charlton, Fashion Design Studio Head Tracy Austin, and Foundation Visual Arts Studio Head Jillian Acreman selected Chassé’s work.

“Erin’s technical mastery of her craft brings her image to life and her choice of composition and harmonious imagery showcase elevated design choices,” said Austin.

Chassé, an international student from Maine, said it’s a huge honour to have the piece purchased for the permanent collection. She originally made it for her senior project and planned to submit it for her graduation piece. She also submitted it to the BMO 1st Art competition.

The details

Erin Chassé's piece, 'Pinch Me,' features a self-portrait of Erin on the floor pinching her cheek, while one snake climbs up her forearm and one is nearby on the floor looking at her.

Erin Chassé’s piece, ‘Pinch Me,’ features a black and white self-portrait of Chassé on the floor pinching her cheek, while one snake climbs up her forearm and one is nearby on the floor looking at her. The piece is done with charcoal, graphite, and coloured pencil on a mat board.


During her time in NBCCD’s Photography/Videography program, she explored self portraiture and narrative and wanted to complete a piece using her own photos as self reference.

“I reflected on my experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and felt I needed to get it out of my system.”

In the artist statement, Chassé said the piece explores the “extreme levels of separation and isolation I’ve experienced during this time, and the aftermath.”

“As I begin to navigate a path to healing and reconnection, I feel as though I’m adding color back into my life.”

Chassé said she added the serpents to symbolize the transition as she and the rest of the world heals from the experience.

The piece was made with charcoal, graphite, and coloured pencil on a mat board.

‘Transformative’ years at NBCCD

She said ‘Pinch Me’ is an accumulation of the knowledge and skills she’s learned from her “transformative” years at NBCCD.

“The Foundation Visual Arts (FVA) and photography/videography programs have equipped me with a new understanding of composition, posing, narrative, and use of colour, while allowing exploration and experimentation. Photography is now a fundamental part of my creative process and will be for the rest of my artistic career.”

College Director Dr. Carrie Nolan said NBCCD’s permanent collection preserves selected student work for future learners and visitors to appreciate the detailed application of handcrafted ideas.

“We are delighted to acquire Erin’s piece to commemorate her exceptional creativity and multi-disciplinary interests,” said Nolan. “I’m certain we will see Erin do great things in the future and demonstrate that an NBCCD education is just the start of a flourishing, creative career.”


NBCCD student poses for photo holding flowers after winning an award from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Graduating international student, Erin Chassé, wins the 2022 New Brunswick College of Craft & Design Acquisition Award.