Congratulations to the class of 2020!
The Department of Art & Art History is so proud of our graduating seniors and all the hard work they put into achieving their goals. This exhibition shows off the wonderful and varied talent our students have developed over their years of study. We hope they continue their passion for making art and wish them the best in all of their future endeavors.
The faculty awarded two seniors as Best in Show!
We want to thank Blick Art Materials for generously donating the awards.
These oil paintings are part of a series of landscapes paintings in which the sky becomes the predominant theme. The ephemeral nature of the sky reminds me that life is constantly changing and the narrative which we believe is important today often fades and those that we love today could be gone tomorrow. I am drawn to moody skies with complex cloud patterns. I’m sure it appeals to my brooding side which on a difficult day is in full bloom.
In her INFRA series, Natalie Hopes looks at the history of infrared film and its use by the government to surveil. The film was created by Kodak and the US Military and is known for coloring the infrared light reflecting from chloroplast-rich trees, leaving behind a hot pink color. Using a digital camera, Hopes uses various filters and in-camera techniques to re-create infrared images focusing on two popular tourist destinations, Las Vegas and Southern California.
In his book “Our Inland Sea”, Alfred Lambourne details his year of solitude on the Great Salt Lake’s Gunnison Island. The book, written in 1909 notes “Another quarter of a century, it has been predicted, and the Inland Sea will be no more.” A century later, and the water is still there, but mineral extraction has transformed the “Inland Sea” into a series of small evaporation ponds. The companies extracting these minerals are notorious for releasing chemicals into the lake water and neurotoxins into the airshed as a bi-product of their profits; out of sight and out of mind to the residents downwind.
Every mark on a canvas is just a blob of paint or a smear of charcoal until it leaves a path, a story left behind for someone else to interpret. This is what I am searching for. Fluctuating between the past, the present, and the unknown is what drives me to paint. Finding solace in the stories left untold, the never constant is what draws me in. The power to capture a likeness of something that never existed in the first place. Taking a forgotten photograph and recontextualizing those forms to become something else. A birth of new and old unable to be separated. The power to create a truth of my own and the power to destroy each layer with the next.
Urban Ruins built in a post-industrial era pose as capitalistic artifacts as they rot into the ground. Their secrets will forever be locked away in their deteriorating structures.
Experimentation is imperative in my work, whether that be with materials, layouts, etc. Each material or technique encompasses the content of each piece. Design is everywhere and the opportunities to make something new are endless.
My artwork is collected runoff, created as I process my pain and the pain of others. This sampling of my work in this collection has manifested as womanly figures in reverent positions, praying for healing and peace, while resting in solidarity with the broken and crushed in spirit. The goal of my artmaking process is healing – for myself, for others that are part of my art, and for those who view and are hopefully touched by my work in some way.
Rachel Roser is a senior at the University of Utah. While experimenting with alternative photography, Rachel has developed a love for alternative processes. Rachel uses this medium of photography to push the ideas of memory with fragmentation and distortion. She uses these ideas to explore her identity by recreating critical moments of her life.
My work explores themes of duality and ambiguity. I explore several questions: Where does the boundary lie between self care and self harm? When does enjoyment become indulgence? When does confidence become pride? Depicting scenes painted from candid photos of my friends, I assume the role of artist as anthropologist, documenting DIY culture and the night lives of artists. Experimenting with watercolor, I paint artificial light in the night. My goal is to relay universal themes—isolation, self-medication, constructed identities, etc.—through specific snapshots of a particular subculture.
Lily is a Utah artist. She has been deeply influenced by the beautiful landscapes she has grown up with and seeks to understand the relationship between land and identity in her work.
These paintings focus on a combination of Vietnamese-American traditions in a journey of self-exploration. The paintings utilize Asian symbolism to show deeply rooted traditions and heritages, yet painted in a more modern aesthetic, challenging a harmonious mix between the two cultures.
These works for me have sentimental value as I consider my academic time here at the U of U coming to a close. Focusing on the human form, specifically portraiture, I try to capture the “essence” of the people I paint, because there is so much more happening beneath the surface.
Throughout my time at college I have often made work dealing with narratives as well as tableau scenes representing personal memories and the neighborhood I grew up in. Even though the following images are from two different series, they both represent these ideas. The photographs embody two important moments in my college career.
The ability to make something beautiful out of nothing is what draws me most to art. The opportunity to create a voice others’ need to see in order to understand is empowering. Nothing is more exciting than looking at something you brought to life and sharing it with those around you.
While both my entries are different, I chose them because Child’s Play is one of my unexpected works as I am drawn to taking portraits. My piece Mac and Lindsay was a piece made for my senior capstone show, and I found my true calling as a photographer in my capstone work. But including two different pieces seemed right considering all the different styles of photography I explored in my four years of school.
Water is a powerful element. It has the power to give life and also to drown it out. It has the power to cleanse and also inflict discomfort. The difference between bathing oneself and being forcefully subjected to the water paints a picture of the importance of consent.
Trauma is the basis of this body of work. I work through personal experiences to try to express the feelings associated with trauma. Using expressive gestural brushstrokes and small representational pictures to represent memories and the feelings surrounding them.
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