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2013 BFA Thesis Exhibition

May 30–June 16, 2013

BFA candidates in art:
Kelcey Costanzo, Stephanie Lockerbie Gillette, Josh P.A. Gross, Kimberly Kelly, Margaret Peterson, Claire Pupo, Kirsten Rogers, Noelle Winiecki

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis 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 faculty members, critiques the student's progress at each stage. The studio work progresses fall and winter terms and is completed in the spring. At that time the work is subject to final review, is photographed, prepared for installation, and installed in The Art Gym. 

2013 BFA Thesis Candidates

Kelcey Costanzo's thesis work taps into memories of her family's traditions around food. In each small watercolor on paper, she illustrates a family heirloom object—a cake icer or cake cutter, for example—set against a textile representative of her Italian, Hungarian, Scottish or English heritage. The artist is interested in the traditions and rituals around food that different immigrant groups bring with them to this country.

Stephanie Lockerbie Gillette is also interested in family and makes portraits that reflect each person's interests and history. In Summer Knight, the artist's daughter, who is a civilian physicist attached to the military and currently stationed in Germany, is shown holding an M4 rifle in front of the Stiefkirche in Stuttgart. In Looking Ahead, her husband, who is nearing retirement, stands in front of Crater Lake holding a camera.

Josh P.A. Gross uses skulls as a vehicle for language. In each linoleum monoprint, an image of a human skull is created using bold graphics of words. Gross is interested in the impact of posters, skateboard art and other popular art forms. He also explores the semiotics of images and words and their combined suggested meanings. One skull is formed with the words, "THIS IMAGE IS NOT MEANT TO UPSET THE FACT IS IT CONNECTS US ALL." In another, the words "SIGN" and "SIGNIFIER" form temporal lobe parenthesis around the phrase: "THIS IS JUST A SYMBOL SUPPLY YOUR OWN MEANING."

Kimberly Kelly will present block prints and the carved wood used to make prints. In works like Irony Board, she carved the phrase "I think you missed a spot" into an ironing board. Kelly writes, "The subject matter of my work has focused on a wordplay between the functionality of the object I have carved as my block, and an ulterior meaning that comes in both an ironic and humorous way."

Margaret (Meg) Peterson's thesis is based on the 15 tenets of I Corinthians: Chapter 13, which describe what "love is"—patient, kind, does not boast. The artist chose to focus on the opposites of the tenets, because as she recently remarked, "we fall short and live in an imperfect world." For her color photographs, Peterson asked teenage neighbors to strike poses to illustrate attitudes like impatience and boastfulness. Her staging, artificial lighting and posed models reflect her interest in Renaissance and Baroque painting and also in the work of contemporary photographers like Eileen Cowin.

Claire Pupo's acrylic on canvas paintings have titles like Wake Me When It's Over, Clothesline and Why Not Have Both. The artist is interested in gender roles and sees these artworks as odes to the women in her life. Most of the paintings suggest meaning through association by floating small images of identifiable objects—clothespin, kite, dress, bow tie—in carefully constructed abstract fields.

Kirsten Rogers is constructing an installation comprised of a door with a peephole through which one sees a room furnished with a mirror, sofa and televisions. Rogers is creating video montages from archival television footage, which will screen on the televisions. The artist expresses an interest in the kind of voyeurism found in the pop culture of reality TV and the high culture of twentieth-century French artist Marcel Duchamp, whose famous peephole installation Étant donnés (1966) has been on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1968.

Noelle Winiecki combines several media and techniques to make the sculptures she has created for the thesis exhibition. In Fragile Things she uses clay to build a sculpture covered in small pod-like receptacles then fills them with tiny monotypes printed on fabric and stitched together. Other works—Mitosis and Wasp Nest, for example—take their inspiration and titles from cellular processes and animal-made structures. Winiecki also views the fabric monotypes as an outcome of her interest in fashion, and sees their use in her art as a way of adorning or dressing the sculptures.

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