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Live With It!

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "I did everything right. I counted my carbs, meal prepped, and joined the high school volleyball team (For exercise of course. Heaven forbid it be for fun). All growing up, I always assumed that things would get so much easier when I stepped into adulthood. I would be comfortable in my body. Spoiler Alert, that didn’t happen. Before this starts to sound like a Judy Blume novel, let me explain. A shot of apple cider vinegar, 13 vitamins, gluten free diet, and portion control. These are all aspects of my routine that I dread but they keep me going. The concept of routine as composition really resonated with me when I first made these dietary changes. Much like repeated elements in a composition, repeated elements in my routine are what keep me going, help me function, and make me a successful composition (or human, whatever you want to call it). So why do I get bogged down by the objects that are supposed to be helping me? As a woman who has been on some sort of diet since age 12, it was difficult to come to terms with the fact that your body is dependent on another object (or twenty) to fully function. By creating functional pieces specifically made to accompany these un enjoyable aspects, I intend to make the elements of my routine that I dread, something to look forward to."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Deal, Lyndee
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

North

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "My work about place attachment and the physical markers within the landscape that I consider home - Minnesota. I am interested in space and place and where those two things intersect. Using a limited color palette, metalsmithing and enameling techniques, texture, drawing, and photographs, I imbue my work with the memories of the landscape. My work is about experiencing space and is meant to bring pause -a moment of quiet and calm.."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Sawyer, Jessica
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

“Drawback”

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "My work represents my personal experience with having learning differences such as Dyslexia, ADD, Auditory Processing Disorder, and others. I create pieces that reflect my thoughts, experiences, and the obstacles that I face daily. I utilize materials obtained from school desks as memories that reflect on the long periods of time we spend siting at desks in classrooms, during which we discover how to process information. To articulate these experiences, I create marks and drawings on recycled pieces of school desks. These marks indicate equations, words spelling, and information that mimics symbols from my own learning experience. Through the inclusion of hidden stones and drawings, I integrate positive associations and humor."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Thomson, Jason
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

The Walk

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "Photography lets one be a participant as a viewer and recorder of moments in the space around them. The impulse to capture moments is felt as urgent in our current social atmosphere, and the act of image making to depict true reflection and sense of the space around us seems to have gotten lost. My intention is to observe and make imagery of temporal details I see in place. Through the process of a walk, I emphasize being present in my current space and moment. Walking is an independent, autonomous action that allows one to witness, freeze and appreciate instances in time and place. The curiosity that sets a body in motion while walking lets the observer detect variation in a situation, and to never see the same thin g twice. My work presents glimpses of individual human trace, as well as transient marks seen in nature that one might miss because of the ephemerality of place and moment. It portrays awareness of the environment and expresses interest with the unknowns of life around us. By walking to observe my surroundings, I allow myself to discover hints of others’ lives, and to contemplate the individualistic details of strangers by making imagery that expresses human touch but is devoid of human presence. I also express how time plays a part in our lives and is shown and shared through details within the natural space around us. The photographs, video and audio transport the viewer outdoors and make them a participant of the walk. By experiencing the artwork as a walk, one can actively analyze and understand the connections the work makes with the mysterious details in the world and lives of others."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Smith, Kendra
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Uncertain Ground

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "In my artwork I explore my concept of home in relation to my memories growing up in the border cities of Juarez, Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas. Being a young immigrant, the only constants in my life were my sense of home and the common landscape on both sides of the border. In order to create a connection of that time and place, I investigate materials that are symbolic to my Mexican heritage and my life in the United States through the combination of traditional handwork and digital fabrication. I utilize various materials such as clay and corn husks, unifying them through the formal elements of value, line, and shape. My work becomes abstracted to symbolize the passage of time and the way in which our memories are imperfect representations of events."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Garcia, Karla
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Beauty Remains, Object Portraiture

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "This body of work contains digital photographs, sculptures and wallpapers to highlight a personal journey through motherhood. Traditionally, the roles of a new mother have been handed down from generation to generation. A mother teaches her daughter how to soothe her fussy infant, her domestic responsibilities, to maintain her feminine mystique. Though many of these traditions of mouth to ear to mouth familial heritage continue, today’s society inundated women with visual language to remind them that although they can challenge the traditions and their choice to participate, those same discarded ideals of how to act or perform will continue to tug at the shoulder. "
Date: May 2019
Creator: DeSoto, Megan A.
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Who's Next?

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "My work expresses personal experiences dealing with race, identity, and social critique. As an African American woman born and raised in Texas, it is common for me to be the only black face in white spaces. Being framed as the "other" has been ingrained in my existence, affecting the way I navigate through life. Throughout my time in graduate school, I have constructed my own framework of identity. Referencing history and its permanent effects on the present, my work explores the internal and external complexities of being a black woman in America today."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Barnes, Taylor
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

On/Scenity

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "My work merges craft and queer iconography to reflect on my journey of is covering identity in the absence of a positive sexual role model. It has resulted in a body of work that is heavy with sex-toy imagery, and explores multiple disciplines including quilting, soft sculpture, crochet, and printmaking. Through this exploration of material, I humorously combine wholesome and taboo imagery in order to reclaim and confront sexual commodity, an industry that is heavily dominated by male pleasure. While questioning my own constructed identity, I use humor as a defense mechanism to ease into the conversation of Queer identity and the Queer female gaze."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Russell, Alyssa
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Bewildering Genealogy

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "When I left my parents to venture out into the world alone, my white privilege was stripped. While my racial background is not white, I was raised by white parents who had two biological children. Being raised this way afforded me the comfort and ability to pass through life with little to no danger of being hurt, being granted permission to be anywhere I wanted, never shut out because of my color. I still have access to many of those things because I am still my parents' daughter. I am however increasingly aware of the color of skin and how I am perceived in the context of being on my own, a single, bi/asexual artist. I also learned of my membership in a club of other people of color that I didn’t know I belonged, small and yet furiously protective of its members. A language of nods, shrugs, and eye to eye glances are a part of the language of the club, our nonverbal communication that validates our presence in a white world. much of the work this group does involves teaching and explaining why we exist as a unit separate from the world of white people. Ultimately my hope is that this group would not have to exist if we were afforded the same rights as white people. Escapism has always been appealing to me. When I feel like I don’t belong I imagine what could be; a different version of myself, different person, or an altogether a different species. I often have wanted to be a whale or an otter. These animals are mammals, which in some sense is not a huge stretch from my existence as a mammal, but the urge to be an aquatic species is part of my escapist ...
Date: May 2019
Creator: Janke, Sarah
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Kaugnayan (Connections)

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "In my recent work, I have expanded upon the deconstruction, reconstruction, and reflection that has informed my artistic process for many years. My working method involves using remnants from previous works; they reappear in their original form or are reworked, aged destroyed, or recreated from different materials. My Process allows me to illustrate the passage of time as older work takes on new forms in a renewed context. New connections begin to surface as my paintings and accompanying objects are layered into a work about the passage of time as well as other passages; a migratory mentality know to all who live away from home."
Date: December 2019
Creator: Pettyjohn, Johanna
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Angelfish Prayers

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "Through my art I strive to raise awareness towards the protection of the ocean. Plastic pollution, over-fishing, species extinction, and nuclear waste are some of the problems I symbolize in order to create conversations around the issues and do my part in starting a wave of change. The ocean is one interconnected circulatory system for our plane,t so anywhere that humans are abusing the oceans, it affects us all. I hope to remind people of the sacredness of the sea in order to help renew our reverence and respect for it."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Wachal, Amy
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Potty Talk

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "I create figurative sculptures that explore the anxieties and rituals of acceptance. These sculptures embody ambiguous, self-referential narratives that act as a resolution between myself and my anxieties. My work is primarily ceramic because clay is an extremely intuitive medium, allowing me to explore the figure from both an emotional aesthetic and an anatomical scrutiny. I am also interested in multiplicity and its visual relation to habits and rituals. Repetition can be a very calming activity, but it can cause adverse effects as well. I am interested in that fine line between compulsive and compulsory."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Larrabee, Teresa Kaye
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Trappings

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA Exhibition: "Trappings is a huntress’ vanity room installation, exhibiting the duality of being feminine while utilizing masculine skills and traits. Keela Dee Dooley is a metalsmith from southwest Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains where southern culture has gender expectations, stereotypes, and misconceptions. Working in what is considered a “man’s world” she challenges the expected role of a young woman by being skilled in a traditionally male dominated field, ferrous metalsmithing, and referencing the traditionally male dominated practice of hunting. Breaking the boundaries of industrial equipment and material, she creates elegant yet intimidating wearable sculptures out of steel on the CNC Plasma Cutter."
Date: May 2019
Creator: Dooley, Keela Dee
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design