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Student art showcase exhibited at the Snite

Amanda Gray | Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Candidates for Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees have come together to display their art once again.

The BFA and MFA thesis projects are currently on display at the Snite Museum of Art and will be until May 16.

“This annual exhibition of culminating works by seniors and third-year graduate students in the Art, Art History and Design Department demonstrates a broad awareness of the themes and processes of contemporary art and is often provocative,” a Snite Museum press release said.

The Efroymson Family Fund Emerging Artists Awards were given for the fourth consecutive year, the press release said.

The winners of the awards were MFA students Christopher Andrews and Ryan Bantz and BFA students Shelley Kornatz and Takashi Yoshii.

“The gallery showing means a lot,” Yoshii said. “We’re one of the only schools that allow us to actually display our designs in an actual art museum, and in a great art museum.”

Yoshii’s project “Revolution” has been in design since last July. The project focuses on wheelchair design.

“I went through a lot of research … talking to physical therapists, spending a day in a wheelchair, trying to cook in a wheelchair, and from there it’s the concept development,” Yoshii said.

BFA student Andrew Pautler said he enjoys Yoshii’s work.

“My favorite project is probably Takashi Yoshii’s project,” Pautler said. “He thought of a totally new way to think about the wheelchair and designed one that could really help handicapped people add ease and functionality to their daily lives. The rendering of the final wheelchair is crazy awesome.”

Pautler’s BFA project, titled “New City Catholic Church,” is also featured in the Snite.
“I knew I wanted to do something related to the Catholic Church,” Pautler said. “From my own experience and personal research over the past 12 months, I found that the Catholic Church in many ways is extremely outdated and is in fact dying in many ways.”

His project creates a hypothetical Catholic parish that offers recommendations and resources for parishes around the country.

BFA student Katherine Campbell said she is excited to have her artwork shown in the gallery.

“It was quite surreal to see my thesis on the wall during the opening with so many people viewing it,” Campbell said. “It is a great honor both as a student and a designer. I will never forget the experience.”

Campbell’s “Love & Dignity” is a digital print design for a stained glass window triptych, inspired by Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”

“Everyone did such a wonderful job and the entire exhibit looks amazing with our hard work displayed in the gallery,” Campbell said.

BFA student Matthew Degnan began his “Rex,” a large-scale sculpture robot, last fall.
“I began construction when I came back to campus on January 5,” Degnan said. “I finished the skeleton by mid-February and spent the last month sheeting the work in plastic, painting it and adding decals.”

Through their theses, many of the students looked forward to future career plans.

“Working on a large-scale work has motivated me to hopefully pursue a career as a scenic designer,” Degnan said.