Graduating students exhibit artwork
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This Monday, four Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) students will have their first experience of installing their artwork in professional spaces.
The BFA group exhibition, presented by the UNI Gallery of Art opens April 24, at 7 p.m. The exhibition will be on view until Saturday, May 6. The opening reception will take place in the south lobby of the Kamerick Art Building.
The exhibition happens at the end of every semester and features artwork by the BFA students who are graduating at that time. There will be four students in this semester’s show, each working in their own medium.
BFA students continue to work on the artwork that they will be presenting in the show, often until the last minute. They hand it over to Darrell Taylor, the director of the UNI Gallery of Art, for installation a few days before the gallery’s opening.
“My role for the BFA exhibition is to facilitate the exhibitions by our BFA students,” Taylor said. “Their role is to create the art and work with their professors on the best selection of the newest work that they’re making.”
He said the gallery is a place where BFA students have the opportunity to install their first shows in a professional space.
Natalie Heddens will be graduating this semester with a BFA in painting, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Art Education.
“I would say that my work is primarily centered around the idea of transformation between girlhood and womanhood and that sort of in-between stage that no one really knows how to navigate very well,” Heddens said. “A lot of it has to do with my internal psyche and experiences I’ve had — experiences from my childhood and stuff like that.”
Heddens said she is still in the process of creating some of the artwork that will be in the show.
Dallas Guffey will graduate with a BFA in sculpture. His portion of the show is titled “False Fractures and Synthetic Situations.” His work employs printmaking and woodworking techniques, while mixing architecture with playful narratives.
Madalyn Loring will be receiving her BFA in ceramics, as well as a B.A. in art education. Her body of work is titled “Released.” It explores the abstract relationships of many types of ceramic forms.
“My ceramic sculptures explore abstract relationships through organic, textural and non-representative ceramic forms derived from nature,” Loring said. “I developed my own red earthenware clay body and glazes to create my sculptures. I am very thankful for the time spent at the Department of Art and for the instruction of Professor JoAnn Schnabel, who taught me how to develop my own voice in clay.”
Timothy Jorgensen is a sculptor originally from Cedar Falls, and the work he will be showing is titled “Contention.” It focuses on nature and the phenomena of the natural world.
“The human manipulation of nature can be seen anywhere you go, such as agricultural practices, urban landscapes, river dams and deforestation,” Jorgensen explained. “The work I create explores these attempts to control nature. I develop pseudo-medical devices to repair organic forms and use materials to simulate natural events evoking a sense of intervention. Much like how we repair broken limbs, my work aims to bridge the relationship between humanity and the natural world.”
Taylor assured that students and community members in attendance can expect a professional exhibition. He believes that the purpose of the UNI Gallery of Art is to serve as that kind of space for gallery-goers to come and experience professionally installed exhibitions.
“I think it’s important for students to attend to see what the current practice is out in the art world and to see what senior students are thinking,” Taylor said.
“It’s just a really good way to support the university and support students,” Heddens said. “I feel like when students are in our position and are graduating and going into the world — having people come and see the work, especially on the opening night, makes us feel like we’re doing something right and that we’re on the right path. But I think arts are important for everyone to experience.”
The UNI Permanent Art Collection exhibition, “Creative Resilience,” will continue to be on view during the BFA exhibition. “Creative Resilience” is co-curated by both Taylor and art history professor Elizabeth Sutton. The show was curated around the themes of survival, hope and resilience.
All of the events at the UNI Gallery of Art are free and open to the public.