Studio art seniors exhibit thesis projects


Lifestyle Reporter
Nina Sandoval, psychology senior, blows on a sculpture by Julie Carey April 20 at the Joann Cole Mitte Galleries.

Students of the Texas State School of Art and Design had the opportunity to showcase their work Monday as part of the Spring BFA Thesis Exhibition at The University Galleries.

Mary Mikel Stump, gallery coordinator, said the exhibition is the result of hours of dedication put in by students in the last two semesters of their BFA programs.

“Every week for the next month, there will be a new exhibition,” Stump said. “We have 68 students participating in these thesis exhibitions in this semester alone.”

Stump said students have been progressing to the showcase since entering the program.

“The exhibition is actually the punctuation mark on their four years studying art and design here at Texas State,” Stump said. “Part of their curriculum requirement is that they do an exhibition of their work in the last two semesters of their area of study.” 

Stump said students are required take part in this event, but more importantly it gives them the opportunity to showcase their talents to the school.

Kaitlin Tucker, studio art senior, said working on the projects helped her learn how to use different materials and develop the ability to convey feelings through the work.

“I like using different mediums for people to experience,” Tucker said. “I hope they will make an emotional connection within the work.”

Stump said the galleries allow faculty to recognize students’ accomplishments during their time at Texas State.

“We get to celebrate (students) and what they have done, and they get to, in turn, show us what they achieved,” Stump said. “If you look back historically in the academy, it’s a way of proving proficiency.”

Courtney Cone, studio art senior, said she doesn’t want those in attendance to have difficulty deciphering what they see.

“There is no psychological underlying message (in my work) that people are trying to grasp,” Cone said. “Enjoy it for what it is.”

Stump said students did not have to follow any particular theme while creating their projects. Instead, the students were allowed to express ideas and personal views of the world in any way they saw fit.

“They’re all interested in different ideas,” Stump said. “Each body of work represents that artist’s interests and their ideas.”

Jessamyn Plotts, studio art senior, created costumes out of fiber-like material to elaborate on themes about women’s struggles with body issues.

“The whole project felt like a coming-of-age story about young women,” Plotts said. “I felt as though costumes would be the best way to express it.”

Stump said the students involved with the exhibition are dedicated to showcasing their art in a professional and unique manner.

“Our students really act as a conduit of what ideas are the most current in contemporary art,” Stump said. “They spend a lot of time and effort studying and perfecting their skill, and they in turn provide access to those ideas and trends.”

Cone said her pieces are figurative works about the standards of human beauty and identity.

“As hard as you try to control the factors to strive for perfection it cannot be done,” Cone said. “I learned to welcome the perfection that comes across with the help of my friends.”

Stump said the exhibitions help create a bond among students by allowing the artists to showcase their work to peers.

“Part of a liberal arts university is the presence of the arts on the campus,” Stump said. “I think it’s a unique opportunity to see your peers make music, do dances and make art.”