The New Mexico State University Art Gallery is hosting the annual MFA exhibition, which honors the year’s graduating students from the Department of Art. The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree is a program in which students are encouraged to create works that are both interdisciplinary and intercultural. Typically working within a three-year timespan, students of the MFA program communicate complex concepts through the exploration of a diverse range of media. Students work with materials ranging from the more traditional like acrylic paints to new media, resulting in found object installations and 2-dimensional works, all of which provide each student an opportunity to investigate new contexts for their practice.
This year’s MFA graduates are Aubrey de Cheubell, Lea WiseSurguy-Sophiliazo, and Kristopher Wilson. While all three artists are working in highly different formats, each has a connection to the world around us as well as within us. De Cheubell asks that we use all of our senses to explore remnants of past biographies, evoking within us emotions from memories that perhaps never existed. Wise-Surguy-Sophiliazo invites visitors to leave their imprint in a petri dish on their journey through the gallery. She integrates the viewer into her “landscapes of life” by challenging the visitor to come back repeatedly to see how their touch is transformed into beautiful microscopic landscapes that evoke the cosmic landscapes of our universe. Wilson’s paintings, although seemingly static visual objects, reward the patient viewer with phantom shapes and colors that move forward and recede in space, like musical notes that time weaves into a performance. According to Dr. Margaret Goehring, a committee member for each candidate and Interim Dept. Head for the Dept. of Art at NMSU, “the 2015 MFA candidates are best described as, an eco-activist interested in how we are linked to our environment, an installation artist who seeks to elicit emotions through fabricated memories and a painter who explores color theory–all of which present to the viewer a united belief that the act of viewing is a participatory and kinetic experience.”
The opening reception for the MFA Show: In Between, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the UAG from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, April 24th.
The exhibition will run through Saturday, May 9th.
-Aubrey de Cheubell is initially from Pennsylvania, and holds degrees in both Studio Art and Art History. Her work explores the issues of human emotion and society’s hindering of these feelings. She, “create[s] art that allows both for the outward expression of emotion as well as offering a place in which emotion can be confronted, considered, and critiqued.”
-Lea WiseSurguy-Sophiliazo moved to Las Cruces from Ohio in 2012 and focuses her work around an artistic expression of scientific phenomena. Working directly with human bacteria in much of her work, she aims to explore our bodies, which she terms as a, “landscape of life”. By exhibiting microscopic organisms in her artwork and growing them in agar, “the normally hidden blending between our ‘self’ and our integral organisms can be made visible, raising questions about our identity, our relations to each other, and our relations to our environment.”
-Kristopher Wilson was born in Mississippi and moved to Las Cruces in the fall of 2012. His work focuses on the external stimuli to our lives such as the colors and systems of organization which are constantly involved in our day-to-day lives. Working primarily through paint, Wilson explores the notion that everything that happens to us depends on certain stimuli and mental organizations of the moment. Our responses to any given situation depend on specific factors and could easily change given different moods, memories, etc.