This fall marks the 35th year of Marylhurst University's The Art Gym as a venue exhibiting some of the most significant and timely art of the region, reports the Lake Oswego Review.
May 26 - June 19, 2011
BFA candidates in art:
Kyeve Hurtado and Stephanie Ulrich
Margaret Shirley, A thank you for 30 years of teaching
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, photographed, prepared for installation, and installed in The Art Gym.
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 and then combined it with other objects to form a hideaway 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's self-portraits for her thesis are large and colorful feminist explorations of identity. Ulrich works extensively from photographs she takes of herself and then translates 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) and photographers Jo Spence (English, 1934–1992) and Nan Goldin (American, b. 1953) as artists whose work has influenced and inspired her work.
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 has also served as an academic adviser and been the liaison to the Art Alumni Committee for many years. Margaret Shirley 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.
— Paul Sutinen, Co-Chair, Director of Art Programs
Margaret Shirley graduated from Reed College with a B.A. in art. She later completed a B.F.A. in painting at Yale, where she studied with Josef Albers. She went on to earn her M.F.A. 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. The Laura Russo Gallery in Portland has represented her work for many years and presented the artist's paintings and drawings in numerous solo and group shows. Margaret Shirley's work was selected for three Oregon Biennials at the Portland Art Museum, and 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. Margaret Shirley was honored with an Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship Award in 1982 and the Marylhurst University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004. It has been a privilege for those of us at Marylhurst University to claim such an accomplished artist and teacher as a colleague.
— Terri M. Hopkins