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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Fine Arts

Works of art paint walls of museum


From origami to photography to paintings to sculptures, the Blaffer Art Museum was filled with works of art by graduate students on Friday.

The School of Art held its 36th Master of Fine Arts Thesis exhibition, featuring the works of 18 candidates.

Third-year sculpture graduate Betsy Huete said the exhibition had a great turnout.

“This is really fantastic. Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect,” Huete said. “People seemed engaged with everybody’s work. I’m personally really excited about it. I want to thank everybody that came out. We really appreciate it, and this has been a lot of fun. I really enjoyed my graduate experience here.”

Huete materialistically translates poems that she wrote and works intuitively by grabbing materials and rearranging them. Her sculpture “Harbor” uses dirt, a taxidermy rooster, wood, needles and a television.

“I don’t think my work is about anything specifically. It’s not, ‘this means happy, this means sad,'” Huete said. “Instead of sculpture, it’s more like writing. I’m considering the pacing of it. I think of it like sentence structure and materials and what they’re doing and, like, what kind of lines they’re creating.”

Graphic design alumni Sereen Zaini and ShaoShao Chen visited the exhibition.

“The artwork was very diverse,” Zaini said. “Everything looks very clean and modern. I like the photography work from Arnea William’s installation, because she has some typography elements too. I thought the decoration between photography and typography was really interesting.”

Zaini and Chen are friends with third-year graphic design graduate Tom So, who had his work on display at the museum.

“It’s really awesome to see the final product. I’ve seen it in progress but never as a final thing. It’s fulfilling,” Chen said. “Anything from the graphic design program, like the origami letters — I saw it in progress, and it’s so amazing to see it completed. I almost wanted to take one.”

So was trying to create something that encapsulated his collection process as a designer.

“I collect a lot of different things,” So said. “I collect records and movies and things like that. I was trying to create something that captures that process. It was a lot of silk screening at night.”

It took him two-and-a-half weeks to complete his piece, “Oblivia,” a 45-layer silk screen on the wall.

“With design, the possibilities of creating something is really up to person. You can really sort of push it,” So said. “Me, I wanted to create this imaginary world, this imaginary place.”

Candidate Arnea Williams said her work was an eclectic combination of self-portrait and her experience as a triple minority: female, black and lesbian.

“I just experience a lot of things that I think by studying history made me understand it better,” Williams said. “It made me kind of find myself in the world.”

Her installation featured a photograph of a woman being lynched, which she said was the source that inspired the entire project. She also weaved in personal items, such as the house her mother grew up in.

“I think the ugly things and the scars and the bad things that we go through, those are the things that really shape us,” Williams said. “I think that, say, for instance, the lynching image that I have, it’s not necessarily to throw things in people’s face, but I feel like oftentimes, we often tried to forget things, and I don’t feel like they should be forgotten, even the bad things.”

Chen said many of the works look like something special.

“A lot of the artists and designers, they do take (a) mundane thing and weave this really fascinating narrative out of it,” Chen said. “It’s kind of like the way you would never see things that way. It’s putting something you always look at, making you think about it, so that is something that needs more exploring, and it’s really cool that they’re doing that.”

The exhibition runs until April 20 and will feature “Gallery Talks” on April 9, 16 and 17, at which the candidates will discuss their work.

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