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Creative student art impresses in Snite exhibit

Observer Scene | Monday, April 4, 2005

Fine arts students show their talents with varied artistic mediums in

contemporary display

Many of the exhibits featured at the Snite Museum of Art are interesting to a handful of people on campus with knowledge or interest in a certain area of history. But this is not always the case – as has been proven by the current Snite exhibit featuring the work of Notre Dame graduate and undergraduate students.

The Masters of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) students present contemporary pieces of art shown in a variety of mediums and covering a vast assortment of contemporary issues.

All of the pieces throughout the M.F.A/B.FA. exhibit are thought-provoking and artistically impressive. The range of the mediums of art includes prints, paintings, carving on drywall, sculpture, graphic pieces and much more. Each student has an individual area where his or her art is displayed as a collection. The variety and contemporary nature of virtually every piece in the exhibit ensures there truly is something for every visitor’s taste.

Some of the art was a bit more traditional in terms of medium, but challenging in subject. For instance, Megan Lloyd’s collection of ultra chrome prints features men and women with less-than-desirable figures in lingerie and sexual poses. Allyson Klutenkamper’s collection also featured prints, but the prints focused on female figures that appeared lost and confused in a variety of settings. Another attention-grabbing set of ultra chrome prints was Rachel Ourada’s collection that focused on the idea of possessions as an extension of the self. The prints visually focus on the connection between snapshots and material items that people may associate with the memory of the snapshot.

Rhett Poche’s collection was called the “Allegory of the Luscious and the Lecherous” and consisted of two acrylic paintings on panel. The subject of one of the paintings was a woman surrounded by a “luscious” scene composed almost entirely of pink tones; the painting displayed directly next to it was a mirror image of the woman and her setting, but the subject is a male surrounded by mostly blue tones. John Lambert’s installation sculpture made from clay focused on the “x” symbol, which is a symbol he considers to “represent the essence of structural strength.”

Many of the pieces were not as traditional due to the medium chosen. Tomas Rivas presented a variety of pieces including a piece carved on white drywall and a piece composed of a pins and thread drawing on the wall. Mary Prendergast’s piece called “Patternity” focused on the influence a woman’s relationship with her father has on her own well-being and future relationships. The piece is presented as a series of clothing patterns, showing the type of father that produces a daughter with certain strengths and weaknesses. Matthew Searle presented a collection called “The Internal Theatre” that was composed of three black boxes with a small peep hole that the viewer looks into and sees the surreal scenes created by Searle, “constructed to reveal something about the viewer.” Allison Traynham’s piece was a collection of graphic images focused visually around house and conceptually around the idea of the scattered family in the independent world of today.

The show includes a few borderline satirical pieces such as Eric Monger’s “Collecting Grief.” The piece is essentially a stand selling the product, “Eternaplast,” a product to which one can “Just add ashes!” of loved ones that have died and been cremated. Mark Cook presented a graphic piece satirically focused on the common dependency on fossil fuels.

The industrial and product design pieces were also intriguing. Alex Lobos designed a new kitchen system, focused primarily on a dishwashing system based on the principles of the ocean, as well as a system based off the principles of rivers. A safer forklift called “Levisafe” was designed by Mike Elweel and a broom that doubles as a vacuum cleaner, called “CleanSweep,” was designed by Selim Nurudeen. Kathryn Colarco designed a shoe to meet the needs of elderly people who are diabetic.

All in all, the M.F.A/B.F.A. exhibit is not to be missed. And it would be hard to miss it, considering the show will run through May 15 at the Snite, which is free and open to the public. The work of the extremely talented art students of Notre Dame deserves to be seen and the M.F.A/B.F.A. exhibit abundantly proves that point.