BFA Exhibitions

Fall 2020

Our class of 2020 is exhibited exclusively online due to social distancing.

Please note that some of the images below may contain graphic content, self-harm, nudity.

Jump to: Claire Belmont | Max Fries | Sidney Westenskow
Melanie Bricker | Reilly Morgan | Karissa Klahr

Claire Belmont

“As a Japanese woman, my birth Mother was raised in a traditional culture where women express love through acts of service – but never physical touch…My craving for touch has followed me for my entire life…My images are an exploration of touch and how touch influences human connection.

My goal with this series was to start a discussion about how touch is vital to human connection and to let the audience think about how touch has been present or absent in their own lives…This series is an opportunity for me to open a discussion with both my peers and professors about our relationship to our bodies and the exploration of connection through physical touch.”

Read Claire’s full artist statement.

Max Fries

“I create large scale paintings of urban landscapes to represent the economic challenges brought about in part by online shopping and the increased use of social media. By abstracting vernacular buildings and spaces, I invite the viewer to experience the mundanity and the emptiness of these public spaces.

As a child, I traveled from the rural woodlands of our home to concrete foundations, department stores, and entertainment commodities wrapping the topography of rural areas like gray plaid. Currently, while individuals are avoiding public spaces because of the COVID-19 pandemic, my hope is that viewers of my work will reflect on the contemporary prevalence of isolation. Even before the pandemic, the increased presence of social media, the decline of shopping malls and community spaces, and smartphones contributed to the seclusion more than ever. With these urban landscape paintings, I hope the audience of my work gives thought to the economic and social impact of these prescribed utility spaces without the presence of people.”

Read Max’s full artist statement.

Sidney Westenskow

“In this body of work clothing is used as a tool to represent identity. Discarded clothing was collected from my own closet as well as my peers to create large biomorphic plush sculptures. These objects suggest almost human forms, mimicking the way the body fills clothing through the lumps and creases created by tension between the plush filling and the seams which have been created and recreated in the fabric. The objects begin as two-dimensional but when sewn together, stuffed, and hung from the ceiling they are activated and transform into three dimensional sculptures. The sculptures, though they exist as a collection of similar objects, all have their own personality. They have unique shapes and unique histories, and can be interacted with or related to in many different ways depending on the material of the clothing used, and the size and shape of the sculpture.”

Read Sidney’s full artist statement.

Melanie Bricker

“My brain is a confusing place. My brain is messy and fragmented. I am an artist with a dyslexic brain.

To educate others about what it’s like to function with dyslexia, what it’s like to function as me, I’ve experimented with artistic layering in two- and three-dimensional formats to create my senior exhibit.

Octolexia is what I’ve named my mental processing method and my exhibit. It is a word made by combining “dyslexia” with “octopus.” Imagine this: you have a giant octopus with 20-foot tentacles sloshing around in your brain. Actually, this octopus IS your brain. Just as in nature, this octopus is an ever-changing shape, fluid in form and color as it molds itself to life’s circumstances.

My octo-brain is represented by a system of intertwining boxes…The viewer will often find it difficult to comprehend the correlation between objects, boxes and images, just as I do…I want the viewer to try to sort through emotions, decisions and societal norms while…trying to correlate purpose when there is none.”

Read Melanie’s full artist statement.

Reilly Morgan

“These interior spaces were created to capture the vibrations someone feels when dissociating from their physical form. The oil pastels create lines in each disjointed room to carry…perspective lines crossing between each painting’s background. The three-dimensional figures emerging…clash with the large spaces of flat colors. This…creates vibrations fighting against one another, visually representing the physical dissociation I feel towards socially dictated identities.

Ultimately, I am exploring identity, and identity within the rules of western contemporary society…reject[ing] the bourgeois societal life plan. Through figuration and abstraction, it has always been my goal to find [that] ultimate connection/purpose.”

Read Reilly’s full artist statement.

Karissa Klahr

“I paint still life images that use the changes in scale to create an interesting perspective. These simple objects are familiar and bring a sense of serenity, yet the massive size to them leaves them with an uneasy feeling. I want the viewers to indulge into the process of the different colors and the structures of the oil and acrylic paint. This work plays with the relationship between colors, details, and the light source, as well as the perspective….I draw inspiration from Ria Hills, traditional food art, and still life paintings from the minimalist era.”

Read Karissa’s full artist statement.