If not completely exhausting, the end of each semester can be pretty gratifying. The students are relieved to be finished, turning in their last papers and tests, sometimes telling you they enjoyed the class and sometimes dropping anonymous notes on your desk. I teach art history at Texas State and at the closing of each semester, the Galleries at Texas State hold BFA Thesis Exhibitions. After giving my last lecture of the season on Monday, I walked down the hall and into the galleries to find students milling about, showing off their hard work to their professors and peers. Parents took pictures of their children standing in front of their photos, paintings and sculptures. Hugs and congratulations spread throughout the space. It was impossible not to garner a sense of pride for the fine arts students and professors of Texas State. It felt good. It also looked really terrific. Here are some pictures I took of the second installment of the consecutive shows. Each week a different group of BFA students conceive, design and install the exhibition. The next group show opens on Monday, December 10.
Mayra Albiter created a portrait series entitled Forever Young which depicts people in their apartments, bedrooms, and natural habitats. Linking people’s decorative choices to their innate personalities, Albiter states, “The way these individuals inhabit their home establishes a sense of an extended adolescence.”
Paul Mendoza’s grouping of photographs, No Exit, presents everyday sites in the neighborhood he grew up in, the West Side of San Antonio. The photos are oddly cropped and closely framed, creating a sense of the quick glance; an askew view of the urban landscape. Mendoza states that the neighborhood represents his identity, thus, these colorful photographs in painted, store-bought frames accumulate into a self-portrait.
With her super elegant industrial string sculpture, Darby Rose Hillman performs three-dimensional drawings in space. Hillman explains that she came to the work through the act of unspooling thread, “a new conversation with line was born; pulling it became a dance, a pattern of movements shifting between quick arm expansions and the patient waiting as it unfurled. The string is the drawn line, my body an extension of that line, each thread two of my own body lengths.”
It was sadly not easy to get good documentation of Tiffany Gardner’s series of abstract photographs. The works, according to Gardner (who smartly doesn’t give too much away in her artist statement), play with perceptions of light and space. The gray tones of the photos share Gerhard Richter’s haunted quality, while the moving vertical lines recall Barnett Newman’s zip. Reading one after the other in a straight line, they start to feel like lost frames of a film. I fell in love with this series.
Casey Normandy White makes tiled prints of colored abstract shapes. Allowing randomness to occur in the printing process, the prints are “delicate and clumsy, saturated and empty, flowing and stagnant.” They’re also real nice to look at.
In these collaged photographs, Heidi Wehring smartly combines architectural forms with quilt patterning. “By overlaying photographs of buildings with swatches of floral and patterned fabric,” she writes in her artist statement, “I am making basic architectural design decisions through the eyes of a quilt maker, ultimately leading to new constructions.”