Spring 2021 Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibitions
April 6-9, 2021
Words are not going to do this any justice, for this experience has brought so much indescribable meaning to not just me, but everyone who helped make it happen, and for everyone who came. This exhibition was meaningful because it embodies the role of the artist. Going headfirst into the unknown and bringing that metaphysical insight into the known world for everyone to see, feel, and wrestle with. I am taking it back to the basics, the cliches, pulling them apart, and reconstructing them. Putting myself in uncomfortable situations where I have little to no control. An endless stream of meaning is available to any of us at any given moment, and we can find that through discovery, putting ourselves into unknown territory, and following our interest.
This Exhibition shows the personal and collective journey of human beings, by studying human behavior and the archetypes of the collective unconscious, and by embodying these ways of being. To consciously throw my ideas onto the wall is to contradict this way of being. There is magic in where we do not want to or know to look. This exhibition aims to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable, by bringing awareness to subconscious truths. As to make this a paragraph and not 30, the rest will be broken down and discussed in my talk on the 21st! Hope you all can make it!
April 6-9, 2021
I have an obsession with bathrooms. They are an escape and they are a necessity. The bathroom is where you go to take care of yourself, the room where my family keeps the first aid kit. The bathroom is where I had my first kiss, and where I go to hide when things in life get rough. Tiles in the bathroom are uniform, their shape and grid system generate the format for many of my prints. Using printmaking as my medium, I can pull apart an idea using multi-matrices, which remind me of the three layers of the body. I can make an image in different ways which alleviates the anxiety that comes with commitment.
My work explores the idea of disregard of self, of reality, and of the rules for printmaking. I was raised Irish-Catholic and attended Catholic school for 14 years of my life, four of which I attended a single-gender high school. With the distance of time, I reevaluate the impact these institutions had on how I understood myself and others. I explore the kinds of psychological harm that can come from shame, avoidance and rejection. I relate the impacts those responses have to bruises on a body. The damage is done under the surface completely internal, left to fix itself. The fascinating thing about bruises is that they change in color as they heal, slowly disappearing as the body absorbs the mess. I think of the power of disappearing and the desire to disappear.
With this fascination, I made ink using thermochromatic pigment for printmaking.
For a very large portion of my life the idea of intimacy surrounding touch existed with a very narrow perception. Inability to allow myself to get what I want and to be touched inspires the subject matter of my work. The goal for using thermochromatic pigment not only is to capture the visual experience of disappearing and the idea of bruising, but to create a relationship with the viewer. The experience and information that are contained inside the prints can only be revealed through body heat.
April 13-16, 2021
The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it” (Matthew 13: 45-46). This allegory is about searching for a greater good than the world can offer us. My recent work expands on this idea of a transcendent truth worth giving everything for. The paintings explore the role that self-gift played in the Christian saints’ lives as they searched for authentic freedom. I focus on color experimentation, loose brushwork, and abstracted figuration to invite viewers into an accessible experience. Several paintings reference film stills from The Passion of the Christ. The narrative works inspire reflection about what I would personally sacrifice to pursue truth, beauty, and goodness.
Alongside my paintings, I have been metalworking with sterling silver to create a series of pearl rings. The ring series took a long time to complete because the first casts were full of dents and imperfections. It reminds me of human nature and how long it takes to be formed into the people we were made to be. It is a trying process. I find it gratifying to know that the rings went through dozens of unfinished stages before I even considered placing the pearl. The subjects of my paintings went through the same process of deep healing and restoration before they became the people who now are inspirations to both my faith and artistic vision. It was worth every sacrifice to nourish the pearl of great price. The variety of pearl styles and ring designs symbolizes how a relationship with God manifests itself differently for each believer. “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). We are all created in the same image of love and destined to find the pearl of great price. I strive to reflect themes of healing and self-gift through emotional color palettes, layered paint surfaces, and inherent symbolism in the paintings and ring series.
April 19-23, 2021
God Only Knows” is an ongoing series of images in response to my family no longer physically being together because of my older brother’s recent incarceration. I began this project after almost a year of trying to process how much our family bond has changed now that we share a different dynamic. Our immediate family, including my father, mother, younger sister, younger brother, older brother, and I, has always been very close as our parents raised us to always have each other’s backs. The use of archival images has been pivotal to this project as I can no longer create new images with the six of us present. In this series, I use correspondence from my brother, family snapshots, as well as my own photographs in attempt to understand and hold onto the bond our family once had.
The place that has always been most important to our family is the dinner table where my Mother always made sure we came together every night to share how our day had gone. Now my parents are left by themselves at the dinner table to hold onto those memories while my younger siblings and I are away at college and our older brother imprisoned. Handwritten letters and expensive phone calls has become our new connection to one another. The thought of never having my family at the dinner table again crosses my mind often as I try to find peace in the situation.
Through this process, I have discovered so many things about the criminal justice system that not many people have to think about if they do not know anyone imprisoned. Incarceration not only affects the person in jail, but also the family and friends. It begins to take a toll on our everyday lives--are my parents going to be okay always having to worry about him? Does my bank account have the funds to answer his next call? Will he be okay?
This series will be a long journey of trying to cope with our new family dynamic. I hope to keep my family ties close as well as get a better understanding of the injustices and complexities people in jail face. My brother and the other people in there have committed crimes, but they too are still human. Through my photographs I hope to not only humanize the incarcerated, but also maintain a connection with my brother as well as my family. God only knows why things happen the way they do, and I will not allow this to separate our family.
PIXELATED Virtual BFA Exhibition
May 4-7, 2021
We are proud to present our first annual BFA exhibition. Students will be sharing their self-initiated research project during the virtual opening on May 3rd at 5pm. Please attend the opening reception, see the virtual show, and help us celebrate our students.
- Allison Hunt
- Chloe White
- Elissa Doherty
- Gannon Novak
- Hyojung Lee
- Jessi Kieser
- Karson Freeze
- Kendra Goeken
- Logam Wolpert
- Mike Davis
- Olivia Meitz
- Rhiannon Kelly
- Shannon Dunn
Primary Thesis Advisor: Associate Professor Archana Shekara
Advisors: Assistant Professors Ladan Bahmani and Annie Sungkajun