University of Memphis Photo
Exhibition Showcases Work of 12 U of M BFA Candidates University News
For release, April 20, 2009

For press information, contact Simone Notter Wilson (901) 678-4164

U of M Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates will exhibit their senior thesis works in Jones Hall Gallery and Building 47, the Department of Art's new gallery on U of M's Park Avenue campus. The exhibition, entitled "XII," owing its name to the number of BFA seniors who will show their work, runs from Monday, April 20 through Saturday, May 2. Opening receptions on Saturday, April 25 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm in Jones Hall Gallery and from 7 to 9 pm in Building 47, are free and open to the public. For more information about the event call (901) 678-2925.

Jones Hall Gallery is located on U of M's main campus, in room 109 of Jones Hall at the intersection of Alumni and Desoto. Building 47 is located at 4097 S. MSU-C Street on U of M's Park Avenue campus at the corner of Park and Getwell.

View the 2009 BFA Exhibition Slide Show

About the BFA Candidates

Laura Breeden presents a collection of photographs that depict scenes from classic fairy tales that have been translated through modern eyes into contemporary settings. Her constructed tableaus investigate current social issues through the fairy tale characters, and invite the viewer to contemplate and debate sometimes uncomfortable themes.

Anna Brown creates paintings that dramatize and oversimplify social gatherings and human behaviors. It is her position that these events and actions have been influenced by personal decisions as a means to find humor in lost inhibitions. Brown's ideas are presented through the use of vibrant, flattened imagery, which form energetic spatial movement and vibration.

Lauren Coulson presents Portraits of Alternate Personas, a multi-medium project combining photo transfers and paintings on wood panels. Through this combination, Coulson creates surreal environments that present unique personas of her subjects transformed through her mind's eye.

Adam Gilliland presents Still Matters, a series of digital black and white photographs that investigate the metaphors of human spirituality found in the plant kingdom. These ominous and metaphorical images place the viewer into new relationships with the natural world, and inner states of mind. His images create an interpretive realm that is at once strangely familiar, and traditionally contemporary.

In her series of manipulated photographs, Kristen Guffey transforms the Baroque paintings of Johannes Vermeer into contemporary statements about today's "modern woman." By inserting symbolic and actual representations into the images, Guffey asks the viewer to realize the confluence of today's society compared to that of Vermeer's.

Nikole McMinn's works portray the lack of attention given to our cultural and entrepreneurial heritage by examining dilapidated juke joints, restaurants, and theaters throughout the Memphis area. Influenced by both Walker Evans and Lee Friedlander, McMinn creates documentary art that provides the viewer with a sense of place and time, as well a new understanding of the history and cultural politics of Memphis.

Jennifer Nickole Pope uses her thoughts and personal experiences to portray African American female figures as characters of emotion. The women depicted in Pope's oil and acrylic paintings stand in stark contrast to the vibrant environment and color-fields she uses to represent the character of her subjects.

Heavily influenced by comics, graphic novels and Japanese animae, Brandon Stokes presents Relics, a constructed environment based on his original story. Using ink and watercolor on paper, Stokes provides the viewer with a glimpse of his text, energetic characters and the imaginary world in which they reside.

Matthew Sulcer shows post-apocalyptic abstract landscape paintings. Sulcer has created large panel pieces using a variety of textures with the use of a primary color palette. Influenced by The History Channel and other modern documentaries, these works display the artist's view of the world thousands of years from now, after the human race is long extinct.

Clare Torina's large-scale figure paintings address ritual versus instinct in both the human and animal subconscious. Drawing references from behavioral sciences, religious art, caricaturing, and nature illustrations, she creates interactive scenes that are at once witty, sensual and savage. Torina is the recipient of the 2009 Dean's Creative Achievement award, and Yale University's Ellen Battel Stoeckel Fellowship. She has exhibited her work in Bruges, Belgium; Rome, Italy, as well as at solo show at the Brooks Museum of Art.

Personal treasures are the subject of Tracy Welch's photographs. She explores abandoned homes, buildings and factories in search of the things that people leave behind. Through her images, Welch imbues these found objects and environments with respect, and elevates them to the status of treasures.

Kyle Wingo's works are based on various aspects of contemporary music, which he abstracted through an intuitive and systematic process. His work is founded on a simplistic, yet formulated approach to making art. Using elements of shape, color and space, the works act as rhythmically patterned progressions. Wingo's paintings have been shown in numerous local galleries, and at the Brooks Museum of Art.

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