Artwork by six students seeking Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degrees is on display at the UNI Gallery of Art now until Dec. 19. An opening reception was held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5.
Allie Christisen from Bettendorf, Iowa presented a body of work titled “Not Gross: An Exhibition of Self-Portraits” (2).
“My work is focused on the experiences that I have with my body in relation to societal expectations of femininity,” Christisen wrote in her artist statement.
Christisen’s pieces portrayed physical features of which she has been ashamed in the past, including body and facial hair and acne.
“Through traditional printmaking techniques,” she wrote, “I am able to display these stigmatized features of my body in a delicate and intimate manner.”
In a photo exhibition titled “Something More” (1), West Des Moines native Andrew Dickerson focused on “subtle poetic moments captured within ordinary spaces,” as written in his artist statement.
Many of Dickerson’s photos depict homes whose occupants have recently died, one of which was that of his own grandfather’s. Taking these photos helped Dickerson process the loss and ease the transition.
“Through photography,” he wrote, “I elevate the seemingly mundane, creating visual harmonies between different elements of everyday life.”
Abigail Hedley of Dubuque, Iowa presented a collection of sculptures titled “Dwelling” (4). Pieces were created from a variety of materials found within the home, including foam cushion, felted wool and latex.
“As I worked with these objects and ideas, the repetitive processing of this tactile material led to an intimate and personal experience with these common objects,” Hedley wrote. “Through this intimate connection of understanding and control of this material, I became comfortable with reminiscing on the aspects of my life that have been unpleasant, altering my view of home […] The final form is a reflection of these wandering thoughts that have intruded and embedded themselves into the work.”
In her painting exhibition “Impressions” (5), Rachel Kopriva from Traer, Iowa explored the way people leave impressions on others’ lives, similar to how transparent or reflective objects are affected by their environment.
“We [human beings] start out as a blank slate then, we are immersed in a variety of experiences and with a variety of people,” Kopriva wrote. “The diversity of people who our lives intersect with can create a kaleidoscope of views and a wonderfully complex perspective. In the same way, these paintings are complex and mysterious, inspired by forms composed of light and color in space.”
Another painting exhibition — this one by Merrillville, Ind. native Whitney McGill — titled “Our Hair is Our Crown” (3), expressed the artist’s pride in her African American culture, specifically its contrasting standards of beauty and challenges that come with it.
“By showing the beauty in the thickness of our hairstyles and melanin of our skin, I embrace and celebrate these crucial components to our identity,” McGill wrote. “I use colorful, organic shapes to represent the refusal to conform to western culture. In my work, I empower women of color to wear their hair as if it were their crown, with pride and grace.”
Finally, Joel Wisner of Mason City, Iowa presented a drawing, printmaking and performative exhibition titled “Feeds” (6). The exhibition incorporates several elements of the artist’s regular order at McDonald’s, including drawings on receipt rolls and cultured fries stored in clear plastic bags.
“I am a fry by fry kinda guy, valuing repetition and detailed focus on the individual characteristics of likewise things. One of many but still one nonetheless!” Wisner wrote. “‘Feeds’ double dips yet respects each dip individually.”
The UNI Gallery of Art is free and open to the public on Mondays through Thursdays from 10 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment.