2014 UMA Senior Art Exhibition [ Link to view: CATALOG ]
As I studied Wenda's palette closely, I looked at the strokes of mixed paints. I noticed the dust that was lingering in the air and drowning in the wet paint. My eyes played with the textures, they flowed with the curves and danced in the cracks. The reds made my head run and the blues calmed me down. As I gazed at all of these beautiful colors and textures, I wondered to myself: When does paint actually become art? Does it have to be on a canvas, or can it be on the palette?
"Over the Edge"
Sometimes you slip. Sometimes you are pushed. Sometimes you jump. No matter how it begins, there are always times where you find yourself in a free fall, out of control, searching for purpose and a way to reorient yourself again. This visual investigation personifies that lost control. You are helpless in that moment, mind and limbs flying in all directions with little idea which way is up. Will you let go and enjoy the freedom, or spend the time wondering when you are going to land?
Incense have been burning for centuries. There is a belief that it originates from ancient Egypt. At one point incense was worth more than silver and was traded along the Silk Road. In actuality incense was traded along the aptly named Incense Road.
They have been used in every organized religious ceremony at one time or another. Today it is commonly used for aromatherapy and warding off unpleasant smells. It is designed to be a self-sufficient burning ember that releases a slow, expanding cloud that dances around for a brief moment in time revealing a temporal glimpse of its beauty and then fading away. It was and may be still used as a devotion to the gods and it is an exciting venture capturing its essence on film not knowing exactly what it will show. It is a treasure hunt to find the ones that speak to me in a visually stimulating fashion. I enjoy the linear aspect; they are spontaneous and unpredictable behavior.
"Contract: Documenting the Single Women + Pregnancy"
When I look through my camera I aim to show the raw and personal phases of life. Life is an ever changing and moving force, and my work documents the vulnerable moments that shape our lives. These photos are intended to be engaging and uneasy, with their sense of reality. The facts behind closed doors versus the fantasy of the american dream creates confrontation and tension with in my work.
Wenda Ashton Fisher
I seek to express the intensity of my personal socioeconomic struggles through my figurative paintings. This work is a direct reflection of the liminal place I find myself in, exploring my feeling of guilt and inadequacy as a mother. My palette reflects the emotional tension I am confronted with daily. I stretch my canvas with hand cut nails as if they were tanned animal skin exposing the visceral connection to my children and shedding the past years of emotional turmoil that great struggle creates, pulling from a growing personal resilience that has been forged by strife and the determination to prevail.
I embrace imperfection in all its manifestations in an effort to find contentment and the true underlying enlightenment.
I capture my performance off of the stage, I looked for moments outside of the theater of life, private moments where the audience wouldn't be able to find me, where my thoughts, fears, anxiety, and doubt are my understudies wanting to overtake me. These images are taken as if they are peering into a moment of privacy that I am having and are witnessing my moment of weakness.
One thing that everyone has, and utilizes on a regular basis, is a strong imagination. Books offer a chance for someone to create worlds in their minds from the stories they read. This project is an attempt to portray some of my favorite passages in a way that expresses the emotion found in them. Using my creative side, I have designed digital art to transpose what is in my mind onto paper, utilizing my imagination in a way that others can see, and hopefully understand.
The peacock has been known throughout history as a variety of symbols; glory, royalty, spirituality, immortality, and kind-hearted love. This bird was chosen as the subject of my piece because of his recognition world-wide as a symbol of importance.
Creating this representation of royalty and love, I assembled the peacock in a brilliantly colored abstraction using recycled pieces of stained glass in a mosaic. Mosaics are an enduring creation, with their existence lasting much longer than man much like the peacock’s embodiment of spirituality. The glory of this piece is the recycled glass. We live in a time in America where there is an overabundance of materials and I have committed my art into homage to the preservation of the past and the planet. The recycling of this glass is its rebirth from garbage to its new immortality as beauty.
Water is the most powerful element in the natural world. It has the power to reshape the landscape. It has the ability to give and sustain life. This body of work highlights the element of water and the way that it has a life of its own. From children skipping stones to the great power of the sea, water is in a constant kinetic state of motion. I capture that life in porcelain in this series of suspended motion.
I used to have a favorite question. That question was, why? It challenged me, engaged me and prompted growth and learning. All, good things. Sometime, after my son was born, things changed and what used to be my favorite question became my nemesis; an opponent of such great proportion that I found it difficult, this time, to rise to the challenge…Is it possible, in this instance, to answer, why? This series shows you glimpses of what life is like every day in my home, having normal interactions with my son. His name is Max; he is five years old and lives with Autistic Disorder. Autism affects one in eighty-eight children and one in fifty-four boys. “Why,” is no longer my nemesis, but again a friend, who has prompted growth, learning and more importantly awareness. My intention in this series is to show some of the many faces of this disorder and what it might look like to you.
I have found myself exploring the way we express ourselves through our created environments, and personal possessions. The toys we had as children, specifically the ones that we have held on to over time have a way of saying so much.
I started by asking the women in my family to join a game. Spanning generations, my Grandmother, Mother, Aunts, Cousins, Sisters, all agreed to play. I said to them, bring your most favorite toy, tell me what it is, where it came from, and where you saw yourself going. There has never been a chance for us to get to know one another. Living far away, awkward age gaps and tension kept us from getting close. Something about toys became an approachable topic where everyone had their own side of the story to tell. Learning where and what we did as children has helped me see the domestic, rebellious, intelligent, adventurous side of each of us. Our approach to playtime, the way everyone remembers events a little differently, helps inform character, allowing for a more intimate understanding of who these people are.
Kristen Beland Smith
Making coffee is my compulsive ritual, quiet moments of reflection in a world that moves too fast. Through repetition there is an observance and dissolution of the individual. By documenting a multitude of insignificant moments, collecting the filters, printing surfaces, and editing, the familiar becomes new. In a futile quest to transcend my everyday situation, seeking freedom from the banality of domesticated life, I collect these moments that would otherwise be lost in the daily chaos.
The sculptures I created challenge the tradition of balance, proportion, and practicality. They serve a ritualistic purpose for me. Tea has always been the go to, supportive skeleton healing me from the inside out. Tea has helped me get through some of the hardest time, especially recently with the loss of both my grandparents.
I am fascinated with the shapes, the internal and external spaces, the convex and concave created by them. The shapes of my teapots mimic bones in a stylized way, my intentions were to symbolize the internal support which brews with every cup I make.