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2009 BFA Thesis Exhibition

May 28 - June 21, 2009

2009 BFA candidates:
Sanna-Lisa Gesang-Gottowt, Sean Hollenhors, Rochelle Kulei, Miriam Meacham, Grace Merritt, Camille Mongeon and Helen White. The exhibition includes sculpture, drawing, painting and mixed media works.

The Marylhurst University BFA Program

The goal of the Marylhurst University Art Thesis program is to assist the senior-level student in the development of a coherent body of professional level work. The thesis project has two components: studio work and a thesis report. The written proposal is developed in the fall and evolves over the winter and spring terms into a paper that discusses studio work progress from conception to completion.

A thesis committee, made up of three Art Department faculty members, critiques the student's progress at each stage. The studio work progresses through fall and winter terms and is completed in the spring. At that time the work is subject to final review, photographed, prepared for installation and installed in The Art Gym.

2009 Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Candidates

Sanna-Lisa Gesang-Gottowt is exhibiting works that combine painting, sculpture and photography to convey personal and political observations about the world. Gesang-Gottowt's artworks include images of stairs, signs, fences, roots and cracks. The artist writes about this imagery, "I have now realized that the worst experiences have taught me the most, or to use my symbolism, the worst cracks have built the strongest roots." Gesang-Gottowt's works are constructed of wood, paint, foam core, paper mache, nails, wire mesh and other materials. They hang and lean against walls, or are propped in corners.

Sean Hollenhors adapted a Japanese fairy tale for his comic book The Goblin-Spider. Hollenhors will present the nineteen original pencil and India ink drawings and printed copies of the comic book. The artist writes that he is "trying to exploit the inherent claustrophobia of the comic book medium as well as the close and occasionally uncomfortable relationship between horror and humor." He cites the influence of 1950s horror comics, modern horror films like Dead Alive and Evil Dead 2; and current horror comics like The Goon by Eric Powell and Mike Mignola's Hellboy.

Rochelle Kulei is an urban Shoshone Indian who lives in Vancouver, Washington. In her large five by six foot paintings, Kulei seeks to combine figurative and abstract elements to convey her ancestors' stories. In her artist statement she stresses the importance of "living in the past, present and future, which the Shoshone people call the Four Directions." In her figurative paintings, Kulei combines western consumer materials like plastic, wire, and photo paper with traditional materials like buckskin, pine needles, sweet grass and cut beads.

Miriam Meacham paints and draws animals she has encountered in nature. For the thesis exhibition she is presenting acrylic paintings on canvas, including images of a bear and a coyote, and pen and ink drawings of crows. Meacham's paintings use a combination of neutral and bright colors and loose and blended brushwork to show animals in motion. The crow drawings are highly detailed and intricate and isolate each drawn bird against a white ground.

Grace Merritt's installation Swarm is comprised of 15 wire sculptures, whose abstract forms suggests snakes, caterpillars or worms. Each sculpture is made with one open and one closed end and range in length from three to ten feet. Merritt is interested in the configuration of the group—the swarm—its implications for human behavior and the reactions people have to clusters of serpentine forms.

Camille Mongeon has made a series of stream of consciousness ink black ink drawings on Arches paper. Mongeon is interested in the Surrealists' practice of using Freudian exercises like automatism to explore the subconscious and dream imagery. The resulting drawings are a complex mass of figurative imagery including monsters, legs, hands, breasts, personal symbols and "doodle-esque" abstractions. The artist sees each drawing as evidence of her state of mind at a particular moment.

Helen White combines acrylic, collage in a series of small ten-inch-square paintings and several assemblages. Drawn to the "patina of the old," the artist has collected a variety of materials for her work, including her own drawings, handwritten journals, old lace, vintage medical book images and sewing patterns. She is interested in what lasts in spite of use and works the surfaces of her artwords by rubbing, scratching, sanding and scrubbing "to discover what is strong enough to remain."

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