Subjects to Change: 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition
Cassandra Dixon, Andrea Luella Gohl, Katy Stuckel.
April 20-May 14, 2016.
The University Art Gallery (UAG) presented Subjects to Change: 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition, featuring artwork by three MFA candidates: Katy Stuckel, a sculptor of gypsum and rust; Cassandra Dixon, an illustrator who forms writhing textile body parts; and Andrea Luella Gohl, an installation artist who humorously warps the conventional uses of furniture and hosiery. The common thread between the artists in this exhibition is their exploration and use of unexpected media–which under their watch, becomes highly-charged fabric that evokes social commentary on diverse areas of modern-day life. Stuckel, Dixon, and Luella push the boundaries of their respective art practices to tackle controversial issues, namely environmentalism, self-image, and intimacy.
Stuckel’s reclamation of found materials and incorporation of these recycled objects into her artworks is an enactment that gives new life to the “discarded.” The artist broaches the topic of eco-activism by re-presenting “trash” as a beautiful media from which viewers can take note of their roles in the care of the environment. For example, Stuckel re-purposes ferrous material to present an alternative existence to “waste,” a concept that works as a springboard for the artist. Through her social practice, the artist asks viewers to reconsider their relationships with the environment.
Dixon’s corporeal sculptures challenge conventions of beauty and sexuality, forming their materiality in soft plush. Through her installation art, the artist presents the journey to know oneself as a complex pathway to openness and self-love. The forms of her sculptures communicate the unwieldiness of coming to terms with the conditions for the emotional and psychological acceptance of one’s identity and appearance. Dixon’s use of fabric acts as a skin of resistance and metaphorical protest against traumatic acts of violence that harm the body, mind, and overall sense of self.
a.louella’s artistic language, reliant on found materials with an innate history, speaks to experiences of privacy and voyeurism. The artist’s work enters into awkward territory, presenting audiences with objects and materials that engage closely with the body. a. louella’s repurposed pantyhose and used mattresses entice viewers to break from their individualized narratives and enter into the provocative scenes at hand. In the context of our hypersexual society, the artist’s installations question the intersection of the personal and the public realm.
The opening reception of Subjects to Change: 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition took place on on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the UAG.
Special to the exhibition opening was, the Food Truck Fiesta, live entertainment, and a ceramics, jewelry, and print sale will be held at D.W. Williams Hall, at the intersection of University and Solano Avenues. If you weren’t able to join us for this event, check out our blog for a recap and photos!