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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
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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
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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
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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
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“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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Double Dare

Description: Artist Statement from the MFA exhibition: In my recent work, I explore my identity as a first-generation American, using my painting practice to think about early memories of living in-between two cultures. These remembered moments allow a space for me to consider how both cultures merge. Portraying vivid memories through colorful recognizable objects and body parts, memories take on a new context, showing the passage of time, and reflecting on how memories take on new meaning. My desire to save these moments relates to my wish to name what makes me belong, and what marks me as unique, within the two cultures in which I exist.
Date: November 2019
Creator: Giron, Cynthia
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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Navigating the Waters

Description: My current work investigates visual meditations on water and its connection to the human experience. Through observation and reflection, my process allows me to make associative connections with water’s powerful metaphorical qualities. Water’s multiplicity of meaning is vast. It is a complex force of nature that begs to be explored through various modes of thinking. Mindfulness combined with the act of discovery and adaptation allows my imagery to evolve organically. Working between drawing and printmaking, I create variable series of artworks, that oscillates between mimicry and abstraction as a contemplation of our human relationship and natural forces.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Escobedo, Aunna
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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Skin Deep

Description: With this work, I investigate the mental and physical toll of the past and the dissonance that often occurs as we age through the use of experimental cameraless techniques. By placing photographic materials directly against my skin during performative acts of self-care, I document my body as I reflect on the damage it suffered as a result of my childhood as a competitive gymnast, which is being exacerbated by the effects of age and time. The resulting photographs are a poetic self-reflection on my physical form that embodies my struggle to understand and accept my deteriorating body.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Gerhart, Stephanie
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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Visceral Reflections

Description: I am an interdisciplinary artist whose work bridges mental health, body dysmorphia, and the visual arts together through sculptures, paintings, performances, and large installations. I work with traditional and nontraditional materials through a manual and digital process to physically represent my realities of living with body dysmorphic disorder. I use padding, paper, and other fibrous objects as metaphors for the flesh and manipulate these materials in numerous ways to create exaggerations of the body.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Hoskins, Heather
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design

Brachaid

Description: Brachaid is a collection of photographs that explore the blindness of our perspective that is informed by images. By photographing peripheral landscapes like wastewater processing facilities, the edges of temporary streams, and stormwater basins, the project uses the landscape and its perceived neutrality to foreground how the production of images constructs our perception. The work in Brachaid emphasizes the production of images, from subject and framing choices to the use of imaging software, to demonstrate that such production is regularly and radically obscured in most of the images we consume, and that this same structure exists in our lived reality.
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Date: May 2020
Creator: Evans, Chris Wright
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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A Narrative Rewritten

Description: In A Narrative Rewritten, I explore two distinct periods of my past. One group of work deals with the emotional effects of trauma I experienced as a child during years of practicing ballet. The other celebrates a pivotal moment of spiritual awakening that gave me the strength to confront internal falsehoods I previously developed. I paint from observation, to engage with my subject and to ground myself in the present moment. In my oil paintings, I paint representationally, while delving in to the spectrum of abstraction. I use imagery symbolically from ballet and boxing to represent a shift from inadequacy to empowerment.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Aaron, Hannah
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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Heeding the Underbelly

Description: Black’s work presents The Ubiquitous, an entity that propagates into subhuman beings that ravage the deserts in search of sacrificial circles or homing beacons. Their physical nature is heavily influenced by: Languid, liquid human body language; the otherworldly visage and tenacity of plant life; the heaving monstrosity of mountains and rock formations; and the joyous allegory of movie monsters, puppets, and pulp fantasy. The Ubiquitous is explored in Black’s whimsical writings and intensive drawings which are characterized by her mark’s immediacy; and her work seeks to understand this Being’s purpose, function, and correlation to her own life..
Date: May 2020
Creator: Black, Jordan
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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Lucky You

Description: Belief is our acceptance of an optimal truth. We embed a belief into the things in our life that give us comfort or strength. Whether they are recognizable in popular culture or are our own private object, their value shifts to what we need them to be. My current work is inspired by multi-cultural historic luck or from my own practice of object collection. They are physical objects that are representative of ritual or ones that “bring” luck. The objects are primarily wearable jewelry, although I have included the pocket as a location of wearability. Regardless of how or where they are worn, they are meant to be valued by the wearer in some capacity.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Dessoye, Caron
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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Floating Life

Description: Photography, as a way of recording, is often high-definition and highly descriptive. Therefore, photography has a close relationship with visual perception. In my soft and abstract photographic images, the particularity of time and place is deliberately diluted, and the traditional objects in the photographic images are eliminated to challenge the viewer to locate themselves in relation to the photographs. The ambiguity of the photograph stimulates the viewer's self-consciousness to the greatest extent, while also spurring profound examination of the particular ways one expects photographs to affect them.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Ning, Siyu
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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Of My Own Making

Description: As we travel through life, we lose pieces of ourselves. It’s inevitable. Yet we are more than the sum of our parts. These pieces can be cast aside, lost to the wind or imply left behind. They can also be stitched back together, forming a patchwork quilt of sorts. The world is constantly changing, and now more than ever we live in a time of uncertainty. So, I feel the need to stitch together my reality. I am a Maker, and I choose to make a reflection of the world I want to inhabit; a world of my own making.
Date: May 2020
Creator: O’Dwyer, Traci
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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Fractured Terrains

Description: Since my youth in Ukraine, I have been inspired by the first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, who went to outer space in April 1961. Since then I have been imagining the fragments of an unknown space that is divided into a variety of different felt locations. I am interested in envisioning fractured terrains, where the intrusion of sharp elements interact with a soft transparent and atmospheric space. I want to create a sense of discord as a metaphorical reflection on the absurd, political situation in Ukraine where I am originally from. For me, navigating or transitioning from one imaginary space to another through the act of making painting feels equivalent to experiencing a new place for the first time.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Vasyutynska, Laura
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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Counting Seconds

Description: Each of my oil or pastel paintings is an observation of seemingly mundane familiar places that I encounter day-to-day. I think of my art as a kind of visual journalism, where I examine common human emotions evoked by a careful consideration of the substance of light interacting with spaces or objects. The naturalistically rendered compositions are cropped and depicted in small fragments, allowing the viewer a brief glimpse into a quiet portrayal of the world. Essentially, my art allows me to share my sensibilities and to connect with others through portraits of ordinary, yet intimate, moments in time.
Date: December 2020
Creator: Shurbet, Kelsey
Partner: UNT College of Visual Arts + Design
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