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2012 BFA Thesis Exhibition

May 31 - June 17, 2012

BFA candidates in art:
Kelly Casad, Michael Dambach, Harper Jade, Kimberly Kelly, Joanne Radmilovich Kollman, April Levy and Sarah Pruett

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.

2012 BFA Thesis Candidates

Sarah Pruett has created a series of paintings for her thesis that examine Biblical stories like the Good Shepherd, Lot's Wife and Daniel in the Lion's Den. In paintings like Shepherd, Pillar of Peggy and Pete in the Shih-Tzu Den, Pruett seeks to escape the black and white interpretations taught to her as a child. Pruett substitutes memorable people from her teenage and young adult years for the Biblical figures and places them in kitschy domestic scenes full of humorous detail. She writes that she is seeking to challenge "the meaning assigned to the imagery of these familiar Bible stories" and replace it with more nuanced interpretations.

Kimberly Kelly juxtaposes planes of color and intersecting spaces and is inspired by the work of American painters Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) and Edward Hopper (1882–1967). Photographs she took on a trip to Rome in 2010 provided source material for many of her paintings on birch panels. For the artist, these abstract works also reference family and memory.

Kelly Casad's paintings of working class people take particular inspiration from the work of documentary photographers Lewis Hine (American, 1874– 1940) and August Sander (German, 1876–1964). She bases her paintings on particular photographs and because many of the subjects have passed away, finds that painting "these wonderful faces serve as a memento mori; a reminder of the brevity of life."

Harper Jade paints with acrylic on wood panels to create her large-scale 15- to 20-foot-wide paintings. Titled Interstices, each work in the series is made up of four to five panels separated by small interstices or gaps. Although predominantly abstract, references to landscape, light and space are present in the works.

Michael Dambach has made a series of biomorphic abstract sculptures of the abdomen, partially in response to Friedrich Nietzsche's statement, "The abdomen is the reason why man does not easily take himself for a god." (Beyond Good and Evil, 1886). Working with paper mache and paint, Dambach offers a grotesque but humorous commentary on what he calls "the unreasonable or foolish side of being human."

Joanne Radmilovich Kollman uses photography to document her subjects, who are young and old, friends, strangers and acquaintances. She then uses those photographs as starting points for her oil on canvas paintings. She attempts to capture a sense of reverie and what she calls "in-between moments" that are spontaneous and fresh and convey the "dignity and wisdom of ordinary people."

April Levy's topographical sculptural landscapes are populated with miniature figurines scaling cliffs of upholstery and egg crate foam, rocks wrapped in hot pink elastic bandages, and proliferating googly eyes. The artist sees her sculptures as physical manifestations of psychological space—spaces and places that are childlike, sometimes terrifying, and in Levy's hands darkly humorous. Levy writes that she is influenced by the work of filmmakers David Lynch and Tim Burton, writers Roald Dahl, the Brothers Grimm, and Samuel Becket and comedians Andy Kaufman, Amy Sedaris and Peter Sellars, all of whom occupy "the space between comedy and tragedy."


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