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Marylhurst University 2011 Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition

For Release: May 19, 2011

Marylhurst University will open two shows with preview receptions in The Art Gym on Wednesday, May 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. The gallery is presenting the 2011 Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition with works by thesis candidates Kyeve Hurtado and Stephanie Ulrich; and in Gallery 2: Margaret Shirley — A thank you for thirty years of teaching. The BFA thesis exhibition includes sculpture by Hurtado and drawings by Ulrich. The exhibition continues through June 19. The thesis candidates will give a Gallery Talk Thursday, June 2 at noon.

The Art Gym is located on the third floor of the B.P. John Administration Building on the Marylhurst University campus, 10 minutes south of Portland, Oregon on Highway 43. The Art Gym is open from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free.

The Marylhurst University BFA Program

The goal of the Marylhurst University art thesis program is to assist senior-level art students in the development of a coherent body of professional-level work. The thesis project has two components, studio work and a thesis report. Each student develops a written proposal in the fall that evolves over winter and spring terms into a paper discussing the progress of studio work from conception to completion. A thesis committee, made up of three art department faculty members, critiques each student's progress at every stage. Upon completion spring term, each student's work is subject to a final review, after which it is photographed, prepared for exhibition and installed in The Art Gym.

2011 Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Candidates

Kyeve Hurtado created three large-scale sculptural works for her thesis. All are made of a mix of materials that includes fabric. The first work she completed is flora, a set of 16 wooden columnar forms, each topped with its own pink bloom or wrap. Installed in a grid, the forest-like configuration encourages visitors to walk among and through the upright forms. Hurtado is also showing Wish you were here, a house form inspired by a child's drawing. The house is made of canvas and will be suspended upside down in the gallery. Finally, for Rainbow Room the artist has sewn together many sections of colorful material to make a 65-foot-long stretch of fabric then combined it with other objects to form a hide-away in a tiny room in a corner of The Art Gym. All three works draw on childhood experiences—the experience of being small in a large world; the impulse to create child-size sanctuaries; and the acts of drawing and interpreting that begin when we are young and continue into adulthood.

Stephanie Ulrich created self-portraits for her thesis that are large and colorful feminist explorations of identity. Ulrich works extensively from photographs she takes of herself and translates the photographs into drawings in order to create a deeper and richer "sequential album or narrative" of her life.

Ulrich writes, "In the past, fewer women than men have held tenable careers in visual art communities and only a few of these women have explored themselves through the subject of self-portrait work." Ulrich cites women such as English photographer Mary Beale (1633–1699), Austrian painter Angelica Kauffmann (1741–1807), English photographer Jo Spence (1934–1992) and American photographer Nan Goldin (b. 1953) as artists whose work has influenced and inspired her work.

About Margaret Shirley

The Margaret Shirley exhibition in The Art Gym's Gallery 2 will include a selection of abstract paintings and drawings made during the three decades that Margaret Shirley has taught at Marylhurst University.

Paul Sutinen, co-chair and director of the art programs, writes, "In the 30 years that Margaret Shirley has taught at Marylhurst, she has helped hundreds of students tackle the intricacies of drawing and painting, and introduced them to theories of art from Plato to Postmodernism. She served as an academic advisor and facilitated discussion with the Art Alumni Committee for many years. Margaret has been a key to the success of the art program. All of us who have had the good fortune to be one of her colleagues thank her for her always enthusiastic engagement in service of building our art community."

Shirley graduated from Reed College with a BA in Art. She later completed a BFA in Painting at Yale, where she studied with Josef Albers. She went on to earn an MFA at Portland State University, where Mel Katz proved important to the development of her approach to abstraction.

Shirley was an early member of Blackfish Gallery and showed at the cooperative in the 1980s. For many years, the Laura Russo Gallery in Portland has represented her work, presenting paintings and drawings in numerous solo and group shows. Shirley's work was selected for three Oregon Biennials at the Portland Art Museum. Her work was also included in exhibitions at the Portland Center for the Visual Arts, The Art Gym, the San Diego Art Institute and the Cheney Cowles Memorial Museum in Spokane. Shirley was honored with an Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist fellowship Award in 1982 and the Marylhurst University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004.

About The Art Gym

The Art Gym is a program of the Marylhurst University Department of Art & Interior Design. The Art Gym programs are supported in part by the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Art Gym is on the third floor of the B.P. John Administration Building at Marylhurst University, which is located one mile south of Lake Oswego on Highway 43. The Art Gym's regular hours are Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For additional details, call 503.699.6243.

Founded in the fall of 1980, The Art Gym at Marylhurst University has a 28-year history of presenting work by hundreds of artists based in the Northwest. The Art Gym has published more than 50 exhibition catalogues and sponsored more than 100 conversations about art in the region. In 2004-2005, The Art Gym was a recipient of the Governor's Arts Award.

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