2020 | QARTHIAN MASTER OF FINE ARTS THESIS STATEMENT
You Can’t Hot Glue Your Cat Back Together
“In 2015, we moved to Sonoma County. I was content to play in the dry creek bed for a time, but eventually, I longed to wander in the bay forest. I got lost. It was assumed that I had been trampled by wild pigs. And I was left behind.
I’ve been walking North ever since. I’m trying to get back to my home. I’m a very old tuxedo cat, now. And even if I reach my home, I know I can never return to the past I long for.”
2020 | HARRY MESTYANEK MASTER OF FINE ARTS THESIS STATEMENT
I begin by creating space and making time for the participant; to slow down, to pause, to touch, to hold. I establish equity, a sense of balance, a sense of harmony. We have something in common, something shared, a point of exchange. The participant can engage my work in a tangible way; they may choose to take part visually, physically, or both. The viewer then becomes a translator and can inhabit the work.
Minimalism and repetition enable my work to be visually accessible. Blending the time-honored practice of ceramics with contemporary digital technology is the cornerstone of my practice. » More …
2020 | MOHSEN BCHIR MASTER OF FINE ARTS THESIS STATEMENT
Microbiota: Evidence Of Symbiosis
In this work, I re-examine the long-existing relationship between humans and nature by focusing on our symbiotic connections through touches and their traces.
I use petri dishes as a tool to reveal the myriad micro and macro interactions, that we are continuously having with our surroundings. Therefore, I consider them an extension of what defines the contemporary human portrait.
“What is it to be human?”
In the juxtaposition of arts and sciences, this work highlights interdisciplinary and collaboration as key factors to blur the rigid boundaries separating scientific methodology and art aesthetics. » More …
2020 | KELSEY BAKER MASTER OF FINE ARTS THESIS STATEMENT
Call of the Void
L’appel du vide is a French idiom that literally translates to “the call of the Void,” but more poetically describes intrusive thoughts related to one’s immediate surroundings—the presence of circumstances with mortal potential.
This body of work presents multiple thresholds that offer imaginary access to Void-like spaces, and bodily experiences of these spaces that are felt rather than lived. The paintings are not portals, as such, but invite the viewer to experience a thinning of the veil; brush up against the edge of the unknown, containing everything and nothing. The projection and entryway offer suggestions for what these undefined, liminal spaces may hold.
2020 | AZZAH SULTAN MASTER OF FINE ARTS THESIS STATEMENT
Growing up in Malaysia, our culture and customs are significant areas of familial focus. It is important to not lose touch of who we are; the rite of passage to transfer knowledge is traditionally passed from one generation to the next. “Anak Dara” is a Malay term that translates to ‘a young and unmarried child.’ It is a term of endearment my mother often uses.
In this body of work, “Anak Dara” is an ode to the diaspora of leaving home and the journey to recover what was lost through materiality, performance, and the power of my mother’s voice. » More …
2020 | CHADCHOM CHESKHUN MASTER OF FINE ARTS THESIS STATEMENT
The Ephemeral Nature of Memory follows a concept in three stages: Stage I: Pure Memory, Stage II: Remained, and Stage III: There is No There. Each stage includes a body of work, which represents a stage of memory. The intention is for the viewer to look beyond the subject of the images, to the process, which reveals something altogether new in form and perception.
Polaroid photographs are central to each stage. Polaroid film evokes feelings of privacy, preciousness, nostalgia, and realization the image is unique and non-reproducible. Thus, evoking private memories and feelings. » More …
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ABOUT | Follow the Sun: The Holland and Orton Collections is drawn from the Collection Study Center at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU. Formed in 1973, the museum’s permanent collection began from such founding collections of 19th and 20th century American art. The Holland and Orton Collections contain a fascinating array of artistic themes and approaches from the romanticism of the Hudson River School to the social concerns of American Realism and American Scene Painting. The largest areas of focus, however, are works of American Impressionism illustrating a dynamic evolution of influence from Europe to America to the Pacific Northwest. Throughout it all, the landscape endured as a favorite subject representing ideal beauty as well as westward ambition and migration. Relatedly, depictions of indigenous lands must be considered in light of land seizure and settler colonization. » More …
ABOUT | Imagine fireflies pulsating in the dark on a humid summer night—serene, undulating points of light over fields and creeks of a verdant countryside. In contrast to this soothing peace, the firefly’s emanating green light reminds one of glowing uranium, producing a mixture of beauty and fear.
Tokyo-born, Seattle-based artist, Etsuko Ichikawa will channel these seemingly contradictory visions into a new immersive installation commissioned by the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU. The exhibitionEtsuko Ichikawa: Broken Poems of Firefliesbegins within a video gallery featuring a trilogy of films created over the past five years. Equal parts performance documentation and cinematic experience, the videos reveal the dramatic potential of simple gestures made in extraordinary settings. Moving into a second gallery, visitors will encounter a room-sized installation with pulsating glass orbs. These firefly-like forms conjure the artist’s childhood memories, but also through their irradiation, connect us to nuclear histories both far and near. » More …
ABOUT | This annual showcase is the culmination of two or more years work by the Master of Fine Arts graduate candidates. With its wide range of art-making approaches, the thesis exhibition provides a stimulating experience for faculty, students and museum visitors. This year’s MFA candidates are Kelsey Baker, Mohsen Bchir, Azzah Sultan, Chadchom Cheskhun, Richie Masias, Harry Mestyanek, and Qarthian.
Traveling from many places to join the cohort at WSU, these student-artists have engaged in an intense two-year interdisciplinary studio program. They met regularly with faculty members for group and individual critiques. Visiting artists and scholars provided diverse one-on-one insight into their creative work. Each artist sharpened their confidence, convictions, and skills. Their MFA Thesis Exhibition is a focused conclusion, yet it also marks an exciting transition toward their professional careers. » More …