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Art [clear filter]
Tuesday, April 24
 

9:20am PDT

Earth as Canvas: Immortalizing Family Narratives in Clay
Losing oneself in a story is a cathartic experience: listening, reading, watching, and telling are all forms of release and connection. However, the viewer conventionally experiences narratives once-removed, as images on a screen, as words or drawings on flat pieces of paper. The viewer and the story do not exist on the same plane. A notable exception to this two-dimensional tendency is the rich history of using clay as a canvas upon which to paint stories and myths. When integrated with a three-dimensional form, a story can exist in the same physical environment as the viewer, and the distances between viewer, storyteller, and story become less divisive. By challenging the tradition of preserving stories in two dimensions, the experience of narrative can become more intimate, more immersive, more interactive. Clay’s seemingly paradoxical qualities of permanence and transmutability can more tactilely and permanently capture the evolution of a family’s memories, stories, and language in interactive, three-dimensional ceramic objects. While wet, clay is malleable and changes over time as it is shaped, just as memories and stories change each time they are recalled or retold; after firing, ceramics become intimate, daily-use objects that can withstand the test of time, so that family stories can live on within the objects generations after the original storyteller has passed. The drawing style developed for this body of work is a contemporary remix of historical styles of drawing on ceramics, influenced by modern animation and illustration aesthetics; this style serves to provide space in the contemporary world for two precious traditions that modern values have labeled outmoded: ceramics and the stories of older generations. In Earth as Canvas: Immortalizing Family Narratives in Clay, family stories are preserved in and on ceramic vessels. Most of the pieces are functional, or suggest functionality, to encourage daily use and intimacy between the piece and the user. Ideally, each time an object that embodies a story is used, the user will recall both the story and their memory or imagined persona of the storyteller, fostering intergenerational connections and an art-as-object, object-as-art appreciation.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am PDT
237 Owen Hall

9:40am PDT

They/Them: A Sculptural Exploration of Gender Fluidity
Human identity is complex, multifaceted, and intangible. Human beings have both internalized and externalized parts of themselves that are a challenge to wholly represent in visual art. The Social Identity Theory, developed in 1979, suggests that each person has not one “personal self,” but rather multiple levels of the self that surface or disappear based on social context. These levels are influenced by both nature and nurture, and can only be discovered and determined by the individual to whom they belong. Gender, being one level of the self, is more complex and fluid than most people realize. This paper and its corresponding body of work explore internal and external struggles the artist has experienced surrounding gender identity, while opening the conversation about gender nonconformity, and providing solidarity and relatable content to those experiencing similar identity struggles. This body of work is influenced by Jenny Holzer’s feminist text-based sculptures, Yayoi Kusama’s mental illness and fear-reflecting works, and Vaginal Davis’ mixed media pieces on gender identity.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 9:40am - 10:00am PDT
237 Owen Hall

10:15am PDT

Historically Apathetic: Using Art Making As A Means Of Coping With Reality
The Symbolism Movement of Art and Literature began in the 19th century and aimed to express personal emotions or ideas rather than reproducing images of the natural world. Artists often created fictional fantasy worlds to facilitate the language necessary to communicate those ideas. Different among these artists was Edvard Munch, who is often referred to as a Symbolic Naturalist painter, drawing on his fears and anxieties of modern existence relating more so to the average passerby. Outside of the fine arts world are clinical therapy practices that seek to address these anxieties in order to ease them. Two such clinical therapies break away from traditional conversational therapy: art therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). While art therapy involves the patient’s hands-on participation in expressing their traumas and worries via visual conversation, EMDR simulates the processing powers of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, pulling the patient into a more dreamlike state of mind in order to better process traumas and fears. By incorporating the ideas of the Symbolism Movement and the partnership of addressing negative experiences with the positive experience of creating, can this body of work, in the process of creating authentic autobiographical works, bring the artist resolve and validate viewers’ shared experiences of anxiety and trauma?


Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:15am - 10:35am PDT
237 Owen Hall

10:35am PDT

Everyone Meets Their End Eventually
It is estimated that around 68% of the United States population fear death. Through the process of Terror Management Theory, a way of combating feelings of dread and existentialism caused by one’s own mortality, the conversation of death is pushed back until more urgent circumstances arise. The artist embarked on this project in order to process their own fears and experiences with death. Is there a way to control Death Anxiety through the act of art making? Since one person’s passing is inevitable, this body of work is intended to reiterate the conversation of mortality. Each drawing centers on an individual known intimately by the artist. The sitter is asked questions including on whether they fear death, how they personally process their own mortality, if they believe if there is anything beyond the living world and if they would like to share any personal experiences with death. These answers are recorded and are presented alongside each the large corresponding drawing Artists exploring similar themes such as Kathe Kollwitz, Sophie Jodoin, Edgar Jerins, and Andy Warhol are researched and drawn from inspiration. With the use of once-living substances such as charcoal and graphite, the exhibition serves as an exploration of the diverse points of view on the inevitability of death. The interaction of the drawn individual and viewer creates an empathetic experience and promotes a reflection of the end of one’s life. With the expansive interpretations of dying coming from those who were interviewed, can the body of work begin to normalize death?


Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:35am - 10:55am PDT
237 Owen Hall

10:55am PDT

Art And The Ego: Exploring Spiritual Success And Failure In The Creative Process
I wish to understand why some people are able to clearly communicate their creative expression and connect with others while others struggle to feel worthy of creating at all. I intend to combine my studies in metaphysics and psychology to identify questions that I can ask others in order to gain insight into a collective creative experience. I have incorporated my studies on how different cultures deal with healing and balancing emotional blockages, in connection with the metaphysical properties that different cultures have attributed to different materials in the natural world. I have put my studies in context with my sculptural work, which focuses on developing the intention behind each individual piece, and how that intention can be psychologically transformative. In addition to my studies and sculptural work, I have conducted interviews with students and others not necessarily in the creative field. I chose to do so going by the notion that all human beings have the capacity for creativity, and have to deal with emotional blockages and challenges that effect their ability to express themselves clearly and whole-heartedly. Mindset, a book written by Stanford University Psychologist Carol S. Dweck, illustrates the difference between a fixed mindset which believes intelligence is static, and the growth mindset which believes intelligence can be developed over time. These two spheres of thought are intertwined one’s own beliefs about their capacity to succeed, and have been taken into consideration when asking questions about how individuals perceive themselves, as well as their ability to grow through and past blockages.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 10:55am - 11:15am PDT
237 Owen Hall

11:15am PDT

Interactivity Of Being
This research speaks to one’s interactivity with place as it relates to installation art. We are not static beings. Perceptions, actions, and approach have the power to mold our surroundings, just as experiences and places leave unique impressions on us. Here, place is defined in a broader sense: a physical space, an occasion in the external world, a setting, an arena. In two of her most recent installations, the artist finds herself drawn to the places of tension between things, specifically in the moment of dawn, a parentheses between night and day. Dawn awakens us to this place of tension, a threshold between the unconscious experience of dreams and the more aware self presented to the world. By invoking light and color in conversation with form and natural materials, the artist comments upon their character through immersive experiences, posing questions of perception intentionally left unanswered. The audience is presented with shifting variables of light, shadow, color, and transparency, so that an air of mystery inevitably arises. It is an experience that asks the viewer to fully engage their senses, thereby giving the audience as much agency as the artist and her work.

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Tuesday April 24, 2018 11:15am - 11:35am PDT
237 Owen Hall

11:35am PDT

Fight The Future: Building Walls Of Resistance
Opening on the 15th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, Ash Lounsbury’s installation Fight the Future looks at the development of civilian surveillance in a post-9/11 world. Using interdisciplinary methods of sculpture and new media, Fight the Future offers a projection for a coming era of absolute surveillance via personal and home-integrated technology. Discarded goods constructing immersive environments comment on the liquid modernity of cybernetic technologies, the deluge of data produced or mined by those technologies, and the user’s own complicity in undermining traditions of privacy. With the use of projected text taking leaf from Jenny Holzer, the installation reminds viewers of the risks to privacy they are already taking. How can activism rise in a policed state? How can freedom of speech exist in a controlled virtual space? How can a people go against a government that potentially has access to such banal information as how many steps they took that day? These questions inform Lounsbury’s process of creating dystopian, anxiety-filled environments.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 11:35am - 11:55am PDT
237 Owen Hall