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Friday, September 29, 2023

Academics & Research

ICYMI: Graduates showcase thesis works at 38th Master of Fine Arts Exhibition

A handful of graduates from the School of Art showcased their thesis works for the first time Friday night at Blaffer Art Museum at the 38th Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition.

The annual exhibition features MFA graduates with concentrations in sculpture, photography, painting, digital media, graphic design, interdisciplinary practice and emerging forms.

“The students work with a committee that has four or five faculty members,” said Jessica Locheed, graduate adviser and instructional assistant professor for the School of Art. “Together they work on the ideas for their thesis and craft their show.”

Blaffer Art Museum partnered with the School of Art to give MFA graduates a space to display their theses and share their work with the UH and city-wide art community.

“It gives graduates the opportunity to work with real museum professionals,” Locheed said. “It helps teach them how to hang art and facilitate a show.”

As a non-collection museum, Blaffer has a reputation for housing contemporary art as well as traveling shows, but for two weeks out of every year new MFA graduates get the opportunity to use the space for their own personal work.

A different committee for each student allows the each work to offer its own unique experience to visitors while featuring the passion and dedication of the artist.

“My piece started as a photograph,” said Mark Chen, an MFA graduate with a concentration in photography and digital media. “As I continued to work on it though I realized I needed to add writing, sounds and video to carry out my narrative and experience it on your own.”

Chen’s work provides a unique look at the future with a thought-provoking view on environmental discussion.

“I wanted to make people think while they laugh instead of thinking while they cry,” Chen said.

The space available within the museum allows students to explore their creativity without boundaries. Some art is 3-D, some is hung from the walls and ceiling and other pieces encompass an entire room.

The exhibition is an example of the diverse vision UH students have upon completing their MFA through the School of Art.

“It was such a relief to complete something that is your own story that cannot be read by anyone else but allows everyone to find their own story within,” said Cristina Bizman, an MFA graduate with a concentration in graphic design.

The graduates with work on display include Heather Bause, Cristina Bizman, Jeffrey Bradley, Meredith Cawley, Mark Chen, Jim de Vega, Auliya Flory, Zaeed Kala, Jenna Kripal, Jennifer McClish, Pahl Samson and Michael Toskovich. The exhibition is free and open to the public and will run through April 23.

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