"It's for graduating students in the BFA Visual Art, BFA Art Education and BFA Illustration majors," said Visual Arts Center Director Kirsten Furlong, referring to the sprawling exhibition that spans two buildings on campus. "It's their capstone activity."
This semester, 20 students offered up 49 pieces of work covering topics from the personal to the political. On one hand there's Kassie Robbins' collection of crowns made from brass, leather, knotted twine, ceramic baler insulator and steel sickle blades, which comments on her family's farming history in Baker City, Oregon. On the other is Mike Vincent's collection of pottery pieces displayed on a brick facade, the top edge of which mirrors the U.S.-Mexico border. Vincent said in a statement that his work pits the symbolic against the utilitarian in order to "foster discussion about identity, political power, disenfranchisement and how to survive in a culture that excludes people it finds unusable."
Other pieces make for fun viewing. Corinne Osmanski's A Chromatic Storm combines colorful ceramic teardrops with wood framework and paper mache to form a rainbow-hued stormcloud releasing a maelstrom of hanging droplets. Around the corner from her display crouches Jeremy Shoemaker's installation Pygmalion's Secret, featuring an armchair and side table sitting on an astroturf floor and facing TV screens playing obscure videos. The screens are buried in a riot of foliage.
"The class [that helps students plan the exhibition] covers some professional practices, so not only are they learning if they want to exhibit their work, they have a basic idea of how to plan an exhibition and all the different components that go into that," said Furlong.
The exhibition runs through Tuesday, April 24, in room 170 of the Liberal Arts Building and room 110 of the Hemingway Center. Save the date for a visit before the students pack up and move out.