• Mise-en-scène : MFA Thesis - Painting and Drawing

      Coté, Amy (2014-02-27)
      My work is an amalgam of personal experience, imagined narratives and a subconscious response to the infinite, available currents of information and imagery present in our world today. It celebrates color, humor and the absurd.
    • The Tribe: Talismans, Amulets, and Objects of Remembrance: MFA Thesis - Metal

      Holman, Steven Gordon (2014-05)
      Motif-laden and anecdotal, my current works are a series of artifacts from The Tribe. The Tribe was born out of the West Desert and contemporary hunting culture, its shaman the rabbit and its oracle the magpie. Tapping into myths, Norse, Native American, and personal, my works are a reflection of childhood experiences and the rambling landscapes of western Utah. In the creation of these artifacts I grapple with notions of hunting, gathering, and storytelling, attempting to reconcile the misconceptions about what it is to be a hunter today. I attempt to form new material allegiances, each component a place marker coming together to complete the narrative. By combining natural, archaic materials with technologies of contemporary rural culture I present to a demographic that is often overlooked. I make adornment for The Tribe, about and for the contemporary hunter-gatherer.
    • Souvenir: Capturing the Essence and Experience of Place: MFA Thesis - Metal

      O'Neill, Michael Owen (2014-05)
      I am an artist, jeweler, and mapmaker of sorts. I craft three-dimensional, representations of particular locations using signs and symbols of my own design. I develop these abstract symbols from the information I gather at each location I investigate. I am drawn to sites that are often alluring in their majesty, yet I become marveled by what goes unnoticed, the residue of a peculiar interaction between humanity and the natural world. I encapsulate these moments into jewelry that functions as a souvenir or aide– mémoire, allowing the wearer to physically experience my interpretation of the sublime, creating a transportable, relational understanding of it.
    • Captain's proLOGue : MFA Thesis - Painting and Drawing

      Weaver, Jana K (2014-05)
      By developing a greater awareness of the subtle changes outside and inside of myself, can I come to better understand my interdependence with all humans, flora and fauna? Developing a practice that incorporates these subjects, I hope to establish a greater reverence for how my existence has come and continues to be, as well as a deeper understanding on how my own personal agency functions. In this, I expect to become a more responsible caretaker of myself and all that surrounds me. Ultimately, my goal is to provoke greater curiosity and reverence surrounding the workings of our inner and outer world so that we, and consequently our world, will continue to flourish.
    • Forgiven: MFA Thesis - Painting

      Bennett, Michelle (2014-05)
      My work reflects an effort to channel memories and experiences onto the canvas. I paint about pain and internalized struggle where language is often inadequate to describe these effects. I am interested in creating psychological spaces with figures whose unease is uttered through their exposure and isolation. Innocence warped by experience. The process becomes a personal and painterly emotional rollercoaster reflecting life’s weight and struggles.
    • Noesis, the inner nature of body expression : MFA Thesis - Ceramics

      Fortin, Christopher (2014-05)
      As we progress through time, language is generated and adapted through the ever-changing structures of society and technology. Like all languages, non-verbal communication has adapted and changed through time and culture. A single gesture can mean a dozen different things, yet many of these traits have stayed constant over human existence; it is this universal visual presentation that is our language of emotion.
    • Climate of sight : MFA Thesis - Metal

      Zitzow, Kim (2014-05)
      Climate of sight is an archive that performs the question "what does rust want?" Transformed from a prompt generated by a proclivity toward the material itself, the aesthetic investigation began permeating other materials, processes and ways of thinking, knowing and feeling. A disused limestone quarry, terrain both unfamiliar and alive situates the inquiry and subtly pervades the gallery. Over time materials have been urged to crystallize amongst themselves, compile to articulate acts of attention, to become tools for seeing and containers for holding while digressions unexpectedly revel.
    • Self / Conscious : MFA Thesis - Painting and Drawing

      Guile, Lindsey (2014-05)
      My art work explores the intimate contact of physical interaction, especially with one's self. Beyond the sexual nature of touch, the focus is on discovery, acknowledgment, embodiment and eventually ownership. This series reflects my own social activism within the Body Positivity movement. Working collaboratively within my studio practice, individuals who volunteer discuss body politics and create riffs on self portraiture in order to re-contextualize their own bodily experiences.
    • RECUERDOS: MFA Thesis - Metal

      Wilson, Katherine (2014-05)
      My work revolves around the concept of memory, with a concentration in familial and collective memory. The objects I create have been affected by memory. The understanding of material choices, forms and construction have all been blurred and exaggerated to create objects with both familiar, grounded and distant, ethereal elements. In a similar manner as a photograph is a stagnant indication of memory, which is constantly re-written, the objects I have created are interpretations and reflections of these ever evolving collective memories. The use of technology is seen throughout my work as a constant thread in the creation of these memory objects.
    • Asiaticoside : MFA Thesis - Painting and Drawing

      An, Junmo (2014-05)
      I am wandering around the things that intrigue me, the beginning of maturation, the remains of life—such as ashes and bones, the objects that link our lives with our deaths. I walk on, like a column of ants. I feel something draws me, but I do not know what and where it is. I just follow the crumbs of ideas; life, death, and love.
    • AlterPieces: MFA Thesis - Metal

      Williams, Amy (2014-05)
      Focusing on the intertwining themes of fantasy, identity, and value, this thesis uses jewelry to explore the role of the alter ego. Participants were invited to share stories and descriptions of alternate identities arising from sources such as role-playing games, online forums, and historical reenactments; these narratives were used to make a series of thirteen portrait miniatures in the medium of painted vitreous enamel. The work was created as experimental pseudo-anthropology—artifacts for both person and persona—with the ultimate questions of validity and reality left to the viewer.
    • In//Access//Able: MFA Thesis - Metal

      Huckins, John (2014-05)
      I manipulate rods of steel and bronze in a way that is in conflict with the materials’ own properties. Through my work, through effort, I show the relation between a body in action and the material’s ability to be manipulated, distorting its processed, stock identity. I transform a bar of milled steel’s linear orientation through careful forming, cutting, and welding, to re-assemble a bar that is no longer straight. For example, a window grate where all of the vertical, straight bars have been tied and twisted, creating an opening in a structure meant to deny access. I choose to make these window grates for their ability to evoke dialogue about access to spaces. Institutions geared towards knowledge, faith, and government are erected to house privileged individuals. These institutional structures affect our lives and shape our knowledge. These institutions are the most inclusive clubhouses in western culture, and segregate based on cultural hierarchy and class systems. A window grate acts as both a barrier and a reminder of one’s place in the world. In domestic architecture, a window grate can also imply the same distinction of class. However, this implication of the domestic setting reaches a wider economic spectrum. A window grate can protect any person or family from home invasion; however it does not provide protection from all outside aggression. Through the abstraction and subversion of the window grille or window grate format, I ask the viewer to reconsider practical and ornamental function. Venetian blinds so strong they would stop a bullet because they are made from steel; a set of steel bars over a window frame that are exaggerated, swooped, and tied into an absurd bow. These call into question ideas of access and denial: who is allowed inside, who must be kept out, and why. Whether you are in, or out, I am giving you a window to access issues surrounding social and cultural institutions, and who is able to have a voice in them.
    • Points of departure: MFA Thesis - Painting & Drawing

      Nazari, Zahra (2014-05)
      I utilize both Architectonic structures and spacial relationships as metaphors for emotions I experienced coming from Iran to America and transitioning between two very different cultures. My working process combines both formal and intuitive approaches. Inspiration comes from linking deconstructive architecture ideas with Middle Eastern kite traditions.
    • Fragmentary oceans : MFA Thesis - Ceramics

      Horvat, Sabina (2014-05)
      I am interested in how the inscription of our observations and gestures within the landscape defines our connection with the environment. My inspiration comes from nature as it represents a reflection of our interventions. Because of its fluidity, water does not record our interventions the way land does; I am interested in exploring its various surfaces, tensions and fluidity through a material such as plastic clay and more liquid material such as casting slip in investigating ways of capturing this connection.
    • Stamp of nature : MFA Thesis - Ceramics

      Mourton, Sara (2014-05-28)
      The intent of this body of work began as a way to explore processes of making and to incorporate them with equal reverence and sensitivity to material into the making of functionally situated ceramic objects that play on tensions between consumption, individuality, leisure, and luxury on the one hand and community, production, and labor on the other. This work is intended to celebrate and explore these oft-contrasted methods of production in conjunction with each other and to synthesize them under a highlighted sense of intimacy and responsiveness in the treatment of material. Appropriated forms that reference the institutional and the organic blend. In making these pieces, I explored my attitudes towards different methods of production as they related to my position as a maker in the field of ceramics. By focusing on a responsive and intuitive relationship with the materials and tools involved in the process, this work questions myths of intention, function, and the nature of making. The communal elements and indicators of pottery are used to enact small vignettes of confrontation, reconciliation, and connectivity, symbolizing the individual’s fluid relationship with community.
    • Obscura: MFA Thesis - Sculpture

      Mattison, Sarah Reese (2014-12)
      From the architectural element to Microsoft, windows are analogous to notions of the portal, the frame, and the screens of film, television, the computer and mobile phone. They represent a passage to other worlds, new ways of thinking and ideas, a frame for voyeurism, spiritual insights, as an escape from the banality of daily life, as well as a medium for inner reflection. The window’s function is paradoxical: providing a physical separation from inside and outside while still enabling cross examination, existing as both an internal and external form simultaneously. They are usually transparent but also have a reflective surface. They close out and close in. Windows frame both virtual and physical realities thus challenging notions of time and space. These dualities are at the heart of my thesis question. Through my thesis, I ask, “where does the external end and the internal begin?” Where do you end and I begin?” The entry point for my thesis project, Obscura, was an exploration of the physical and metaphorical expressions of window. Physically, I took the elements of a window and undressed them one by one: the frame, glass, coatings, screen, etc. Through this process, I was also attempting to dismantle the metaphorical concepts of beyond / outer / other / exterior / separateness by highlighting the tangled hierarchy of an absolute binary: without an inside, there is no outside, no exterior without an interior, and vice versa. The concepts exist simultaneously and are entrenched to the point where one does not exist without the other – a chicken and egg dilemma. Which comes first, inside or outside? Mother or child? Time or space? You or me? How are these signifiers nested together in an interwoven whole?
    • Here | not here: MFA Thesis - Printmaking

      Bisanzio, Taylor (2015)
      A manifestation of two years work, Here / Not Here is an installation that exposes the darkest moments of mental illness – allowing the audience to become familiar with their own demons. Although quite personal, with journal entries and self-portraiture, the installation acts as a dialogue to the viewer from the artist. How do you capture such universal themes as sadness and loss? Furthermore, how does one react when seeing such objects? Thus, my work acts as a discourse with the viewer in which they can lose themselves and become one with the illness. Consequently, the dark installation becomes a discourse on psychoanalysis and semiotics – becoming a language of pain in which the viewer is provided with a set of tools to uncover the visual dialect (Alphen, 16). The tools of this language are delivered in the use of repetition, transparency, and distortion.
    • The lapse: MFA Thesis - Metals

      Urciuoli, Francesca (2015-05)
      My body of work is concerned with the idea of the psychological defense mechanisms by which our memories, and the objects which evoke those memories, are the foundation of our self-protection. This concept is translated by the dis-functionality suggested by certain features—for example, the holes and rust in the material used— the lapse that interrupts the uniformity. More specifically, each piece talks about the failure of our memories. Everyone has memories related to specific moments of life that they might wish to forget. However, they simultaneously provide shelter, so we must accept and deal with them. One way is to wear them. My goal is to embrace that moment of failure, and the consequent instinct of the mind defending itself against it; to reform this ‘compensation’ into a quality of beauty in the object. When ‘the armor of the object’ (whatever that may be) fails, it reveals the vulnerable and fragile human skin beneath. Then, memories become our armor. My project aims to highlight the agency of each object through an emphasis of their materials and the metaphoric adaptation of adornments. In doing so, the vulnerability inherent in the elemental composition of my objects becomes apparent. Silicone and iron filings are proposed as the skin and skeleton of an undefinable body. Made from an unconventional fabric that works and acts as a second skin, the material metaphorically becomes a shapeable witness of time. It stands against and endures the unpredictable circumstances of daily life. Its cracks and holes give life to the material by suggesting the object has lived a life, and endured the hard passage of time—toward decay or repair. How do we consider a hole, a stretch mark, a gap or a cut? They are relics of action, something that has occurred, a document, a trace. The holes are like proof that the garment has endured time, and act as evidence of something that has been overused. These holes are the witnesses of our experiences, standing for a lapse in functionality and our perception of beauty.
    • Calabash series: MFA Thesis - Metal

      Qu, Mengnan (2015-05)
      In recent decades, the structure of the Chinese family has been transformed by the government’s One Child Policy. Urbanization and industrialization have further complicated the social shifts that have resulted in rapid and unbalanced transformation. I use the traditional Chinese form of the calabash as a canvas to explore and record stories that illustrate these social shifts. These stories demonstrate the impact of this policy and its transformation of China. These calabash objects suggest that everyday life can be surreal, ridiculous, and absurd. This paper supports my Calabash work series, providing important cultural context, material and technical information, academic statistics, and media reports of the stories told.
    • Lumen - entering: MFA Thesis - Sculpture

      Pazmandi, Katalin (2015-05)
      The primary question that inspires me is how to create a sacred space in an outdoor environment where people would feel more connected to their own spiritual essence. To be connected means that you live true to yourself and also take part in the collective evolution of consciousness. I am interested in the nature of dying and reincarnation. I also incorporate nomadic and shamanistic elements of various ancient traditions into my work.