Graduates 2016

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Emily Baker

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As a former gymnast, how do I describe feelings of flight to someone whose feet have never left the ground? It is a state of extreme precision and emotional fluctuation; a fluctuation between cognitive thought and cognitive spacial awareness. This muscle memory inside of me allows a task to be performed without conscious effort. A decreased need for attention and a maximum efficiency is created within my motor and memory systems, however, will this memory always reside inside of me? My current work explores mark-making and the actual scale of range of motion. It seeks to both digitally and physically document the visual space in-between start and stop. Areas of focus are fear, burn out, repetition, mistakes, and temporality.

Vanesa Gingold

Longing. An animal. Animal needs, animal feelings. The inevitability of death. Wondering what nothing is – does it have a texture? Is it soft, like the insides of eyelids in the vacancy of sleep? Is it spacious, like the top of a breath, a quivering dark balloon? “Mit einem lachenden und einem weinenden Auge”, is a German phrase which translates as “with one laughing and one crying eye”, meaning “mixed feelings”. Rather than connoting indecision, this phrase points to the state of simultaneously experiencing more than one feeling: such as in the combination of grief and relief one may feel when a long suffering friend passes on, or the mixture of excitement and sadness that accompanies most major life transitions: preparing for the new, while mourning the past or passed on possibilities. An animal. Plant memories, insect memories, human memories. A buffer against the nothing: techno magic, the vastness of space, the giant hive mind, interconnected, omniscient, omnipotent. The death of the earth – mass extinction – the age of loneliness. Instant nostalgia: a moment of time you’re not quite in or out of – perhaps more bittersweet due to the simultaneous experience and reflection of that moment. this is all there is

Morgan McAllister

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My work explores the distinctions between wild nature and domesticated nature and the tension between the natural and designed world. Through collage, assemblage, paint, and installation, I create spaces with elements that are both being made up and coming apart simultaneously.

Tom Pazderka

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In 1818, Caspar David Friedrich finished his painting “Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog.”  This work became the most iconic image of 19th century Romanticism.  Today, in a world emptied of authenticity, utopian and romantic thought is never too far away. In my current work, both types of idealism meet at the point where each can be recognized for their naïve optimism, for their innocence, purity and sublime sensibility, but ultimately and more interestingly for their failures. Especially interesting to me is the specifically American veneration of the individual and nature.  The individual is a stand in for the larger notion of freedom, an idea that gained dominance in the 19th century with Thoreau and is now undergoing resurgence in the popular ideology of the globalized technological West. For me, having come from Eastern Europe, and born during the twilight of Communism, the failure of utopian idealism was an ever present occurrence in the same way that the technological utopia is present in today’s globalized society, promising something that cannot be delivered.   The vestiges and ruins of a Stalinist past can still be seen in much of Eastern Europe in the buildings and remnants of nationalist monuments, but similarly are the vestiges of a not so distant technological past of the United States visible, decaying in the California desert, inside mountains and buried beneath concrete slabs miles below the earth. It is wonderful to live among the ruins of bygone days.

George Sanders

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Being a part of a driving culture, I began to notice and photograph different styles of storage and transportation devices built for cars, specifically surf roof racks. I find similarities between the structure of roof racks and that of paintings – intersecting beams used to support something with a fragile surface (surf board and painted fabric for example).  I want to bring attention to the support and its utility and find humor in the act of putting that on display rather than whatever is being transported (whether it is painted imagery or surfboards). In part, these objects comment on the blurry line between painting and sculpture but it isn’t the crux. I enjoy working within a painting vocabulary by using canvas, gesso, paint, and wooden frames. At the same time, I want to incorporate every part of the frame; I am wrapping individual beams instead of covering it up entirely to form a picture plane. I see it as a bizarre form of resourcefulness.

Shannon Willis

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I am interested in the exchange between philosophy, quantum physics, and spirituality.  The mixed media immersive environments I create are the tangible results of these converging ideas. Using light, sculpture, projection and interactivity I create viewer engagement. The art work becomes an event.  I create the objects and the script, providing spaces for the viewers to become engaged, entertained, and entangled in the phenomena of being alive.