August 20, 2018 | ° F

MFA Thesis Exhibition III: If They Arrive at Sunrise


Sunrise has finally arrived at the graduate program thesis exhibition. The art series has finally come to a close, with a fantastic ending you have to see to believe.

MFA Thesis Exhibition III: "If They Arrive at Sunrise" is all about color and our naturalistic world. Artists included in the show are Aaron Turner, Andrew Schwartz, Ashley Epps, Basia Goszczynska, Jason Baerg and Robert Dallas.

A common theme that has been seen throughout the series is how our world is shaped by certain desirable and undesirable content. We saw how industrial life impacted our naturalistic world, and in this show we see how pollution and other elements impact it.

This art show, while roundly more simple than the previous two, boldly represents its pieces that are seen. As you step into the main room, you are greeted by sparse, yet bold and colorful pieces that immediately catch your eye. The space that we are first met with implies lightness to the show, one that had been slightly void in the previous exhibitions.

Each room, except for one that I will discuss further on, contains bright colors or a hue that seems to define the entire space, in which the pieces are being presented. This colorful theme and aspect of the show really keeps your attention peaked as you walk into each room. All rooms hold a similar theme of nature and natural elements of our world, combined with non-natural substances that impact us on a daily basis.

One room that truly caught my eye was a piece entitled “Swell” by Basia Goszczynska. The piece contained beach foam, beach cable, beach straws and various trash-like pieces that can unfortunately be found in our ocean. The piece takes up the whole room, and is full of beautiful colors and floral like pieces. It reminds me of a wave, however, with a closer look you realize what the piece is made up of — trash.

This gives a disconcerting look at something that looks beautiful on the outside, but with a more in depth look, you realize it is way more harmful than it appears at first glance. The piece, in my own interpretation, could rather imply that beauty will prevail over the most unnerving factors in our naturalistic world. It could also imply that this ugly, pollution-filled side of our world has become so indebted in our DNA and our senses. We merely choose to ignore it or have become so accustom to it that we no longer find these sights distressing.

Another room that grasped my attention was one that was vastly more abstract than the other pieces presented at the show. The room, covered in gray carpet, has neon lights and sports memorabilia set up in warped positions. They have basketballs scooped out with sliver lining placed inside, and footballs deflated and painted red, stacked in pillar like structures.

Uneasiness is slightly invoked in this room, while wondering how sport lifestyles have become so ingrained in our culture. To see the items distorted in this room made me feel odd, yet shined a light on why exactly I was feeling those feelings. The room had a very strong emotional impact, and served to fully exemplify the meaning of the show. These themes in our life have become so constant, that any little change to our otherwise rose-colored glasses view on it can make us feel uneasy about it all.

This was shown again during another piece in the show, in which American flag pictures were set up next to each other, all showing a hidden message behind it. If you look close enough, you see lipstick pictures inside of it. This possibly reflects the high beauty standard and vain society we live in today. This piece was very large and colorful, making the message more clear.

In contrast to all these bright and colorful rooms, one room stood out from the rest. In this room, all of the paintings in the pictures were in black or black and white. It had a variety of pieces presented, all in this color scheme, and showed a much more powerful message. In the end, bleakness and a darker view is still there. This room truly represents the bleakness and less colorful side of the world we live in today.

Laura Dengrove

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