MAR 28–APR 16, 2017


An annual exhibition featuring the work of graduating Studio Art majors, the senior thesis exhibition provides a unique opportunity to these young artists—their first exhibition in a professional art museum. This year’s presenting artists are Tara Batiste, Aliza Cord, Laura Elizarraras, Charity B. Ellis, Katie Ganz, Amy Leader, Connie Lee, Macie Lopez, Nora Roth, Anne Samberg, Lena Toney, Alyia-Renee Yates.

Experimenting with a range of forms and media from painting and photography to video-installation and ceramics, the artists in Open Dissonance navigate their final moments as undergrads with both anticipation and uncertainty. For these 12 artists, the exhibition is a strong demonstration of their artistic potential and the creative possibilities their work evokes.

Alyia Yates, Black Patrons, 2016.
Alyia Yates, Patron Saints of Hair, 2016, Archival Pigment Print

Alyia Yates

Patron Saints of Hair, 2016
Archival Pigment Print

The Artists

Tara Batiste explores traditional crafts, such as netting, beading, and pottery as a meditative experience to gain insight into one’s history and culture. Working with clay, twine, and beads, Batiste asks how contemporizing such crafts can create a visual dialogue between one’s self and the past

Aliza Cord is obsessively curious about the eternal and transitory components of our psyches. Her figurative paintings employ gaze and unexpected color structures to dig into the moments between instinctive reactions and performed responses. Her ceramic sculptures explore the perpetual and the unobserved through repetition of forms and unhurried building processes.

Laura Elizarraras explores constructs of race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality to question power structures and highlight oppression. Using photography, video and sound installations, Elizarraras manifests "Artivism"—art + activism—through the lenses of marginalized people, for marginalized people.

Charity B. Ellis layers sound, image, text, objects, actions and scale to question the power of the gaze and to engage viewers viscerally in conceptual work. In her 360º three-channel video installation gesture meets geometry as Ellis playfully updates the Zoetrope.

Katie Ganz investigates atypical sex, attraction, sensuality, and eroticism. Working with paint and large-scale forms her unorthodox work is intended to make the viewer a voyeur, confronted with their own personal, fleshy reveries.

Amy Leader works intuitively to paint psychedelic landscapes and biomorphic visions. Inspired by the human figure, music, and nature, Leader mixes drawing, doodling and dancing to produce moments of serendipity that yield to disruption and change.

Charity Ellis, Study Number 2, 2016.
Charity Ellis, Study Number 2, 2016.

Charity Ellis

Study Number 2, 2016

Connie Lee uses sculpture and photography to direct moments of physical intimacy and adaptation. With familiar tactile forms, Lee constructs unassuming interfaces for human interactions that teeter between habit and hesitation, play and vulnerability, motion and rest.

Macie Lopez experiments with photographic processes including cyanotypes and light sensitive paper. Through each process, she explores the history of photography as a medium and documents the relationship between light and chemicals.

Nora Roth’s stop motion animations and photographic tableaus use observational humor to investigate the pitfalls of American public life. Her work features unlikely protagonists, whose adopted personas often fail to create convincing identities. Earnest but egregious social missteps provide a basis for understanding a culture that doesn’t take itself seriously—often to a fault.

Anne Samberg works in various mediums to create authentic portraits of herself. Her art reflects her personal growth and struggles in life. The art explores the ideas of family, coming of age, gender, and reflects the greater Bay Area community.

Lena Toney explores the complex relationship between humanity and the environment. Utilizing painting, botanical illustration, drawing, and public art mosaics, her work reflects on how human activities impact nature.

Alyia-Renee Yateshighlights the idea of Blackness–its exploitation and invisibility–within fantasy, religion, and pop culture. Using photography and video installation Yates plays with re-appropriation or “Black-washing” in order to pose the question, “what if this was someone like me?”

* The senior exhibition includes artworks with explicit sexual content.