MAR 29, 2016–APR 17, 2016
SOMETHING LIKE THIS: 2016 SENIOR THESIS EXHIBITION
An annual exhibition featuring the work of graduating Studio Art Majors, the Senior Thesis Exhibition provides a unique opportunity to these young artists––for many of them, their first exhibition in a professional art museum.
Working in a wide range of mediums, the artists work in traditional as well as conceptual frameworks to create engaging art that challenges the viewer. Meghan Adkins, Maya Ben-Shalom, Judith Black, Maisie Fullerton, Marlene Iyemura, Selena Matranga, Julia McCotter, Alicia McDaniel, and Julia Riley.
Meghan Adkins documents the experience of self-restraint and aging as a vital, middle-aged woman. Working with paint, wood, plaster, and string, she explores themes of isolation, disillusion, and the possible freedoms to be found in being true to one's self.
Maya Ben-Shalom creates intimate paintings and drawings that reflect on the joy found in the space where reality meets fantasy. In that space, is the beauty of storytelling––a place where viewers leave the mundane and the real behind.
Judith Black investigates issues that divide people––fatness, queerness, mental health, and socioeconomic status. Using photography, printmaking, and sculpture, Black’s work inspires dialog and connection between people different from one another.
Maisie Fullerton’s work stems from a central investigation into control and archetypal sexual power dynamics. Using video and installation, she creates a raw and sticky platform to consider the grotesque, hypersexualization, the misogynist legacy, shame, and the alienating aspects of the female sexual experience.
Dedicated to unearthing historical trauma, Marlene Iyemura references the inequities of WWII’s Japanese internment in relation to their lived experience as an Asian American person. Recontextualizing family photographs with cultural crafts, Iyemura confronts viewers with the pervasive legacy of systemic racism by accentuating its impact on their childhood experience.
Selena Matranga makes structures that invite the viewer to question their expectations of support systems. Constantly comparing architecture to insecurity, Matranga intertwines her own physical and psychological boundaries in the search for comfort. Using the motif of humor, she suggests that an alternative to physical comfort is ephemeral comfort.
Julia McCotter’s work explores escapism and intimate solitude as a means of dealing with mental illness and bodily trauma. Through photography and sculptural installation, her work draws parallels between natural landscapes and the landscape of the body.
Alicia McDaniel is fascinated by how popular culture and mass media commodify queer people. She juxtaposes the hetero-normative comic book aesthetic with raw, representational, graphite portraits of queer individuals to critique the media's false representation of gay culture and demonstrates what is lost when personal identity is condensed for mass consumption.
Julia Riley couples existing and imagined markings in wood using stain, oil and acrylic paints, ink, and gold leaf. Organic wood grain is layered with dense pattern weaving incident and intention. Riley’s obsessive mark making and an earnest respect for both labor and materials reveal untapped subtlety in natural compositions.