ASU presents BFA studio art exhibit

Article Published: Apr. 29, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
ASU presents BFA studio art exhibit

Appalachian State University presents the BFA Senior Studio Exhibition: Spring 2010, at the Catherine J. Smith Gallery in Boone.

The exhibition will be on view from April 26 through May 7 and will include work by 10 candidates for a BFA in Studio Art at the Catherine Smith Gallery. Three additional candidates will be exhibiting their works in other venues in Watauga and Avery Counties. Works in this show are composed of a variety of materials including photography, printmaking, painting, drawing, ceramics, installation, and sculpture.

The gallery presents works by the following artists: Lisa Coombs, Anthony Deal, Lindsey Elsey, Amanda E. Hart, Melissa Lynn Horne, Leah Johnson, Michael Lee Mull, Anna Reeser, Chelsea Schroeder, Michael Sinclair, and Ashley Spero. Nicola Moussa Bajalia II, Ryan E. Grady, and Jaime Johnson will display their work in other art venues listed below.

For the past year, these students have been working with April Flanders, a professor in the Department of Art.

"The Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition provides the Department of Art, the Boone community, parents, family and friends an opportunity to gather together and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating BFA Studio students," Flanders said. "This year's group of students has worked tirelessly all year developing exceptional work in the areas of painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography and installation. Their perseverance has resulted in an exceptional show that represents the quality and diversity of the art department."

The reception for the BFA Senior Studio Exhibition: Spring 2010 is on May 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Alternate Exhibition Venues & Artist Receptions
? Jaime Johnson at Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery, 129 Allen Circle, Crossnore. Reception is May 6, 5-7 p.m.

? Nicola Mousa Bajalia II on view from April 20 through May 7 at the Looking Glass Gallery in ASU's Plemmons Student Union. Reception is May 7, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

? Anthony Deal, Outdoor installation at Sanford Mall outside ASU's Plemmons Student Union

? Ryan E. Grady at Nth Gallery, 683 W. King St., Boone. Reception is May 7, 7 p.m.-12 a.m.

About the Artists
Nicola Mousa Bajalia II was born in 1986 in Valdosta, Georgia. Bajalia studied at Appalachian State University, where he is currently a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate with concentrations in both sculpture and painting. In 2009, Bajalia worked with Tasmanian artist Patrick Hall in an international residency through the Center for Craft Creativity and Design and was also the recipient of the Plemmons Student Union Purchase Award. Bajalia held a solo exhibition at the Robert F. Gilley Recording Studio. His most recent body of work is deeply rooted in the ephemeral and transient essence of memory. With everyone, there is a creative interpretation involved in the recollection of past experiences and the emotions they conjure. Through the exploration and manipulation of personal materials and their ability to transcend our spatial relationship with time, Bajalia's work is accessible from multiple levels.

Lisa Coombs was born in 1983 in Haw River. She is a currently a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate at Appalachian State University, where she is concentrating in painting and photography. Coombs studied painting at East Carolina University and graphic design at Alamance Community College. Her work has been published in Painted Dreams Magazine. She exhibited in East Carolina's Fall Exhibition 2002. Coombs's work addresses society's response to deviant behaviors in popular culture. She plays with androgyny and a fascination with its visually awkward nature. Her current work uses painting and scale to confront the abnormal.

Anthony Deal was born in 1983 and is a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate at Appalachian State University. He also holds an Associates of Arts degree from Valencia Community College in Orlando, Fla. He has been awarded several scholarships and shown his work in a number of juried art shows. Additionally, he has recently worked with many noteworthy sculptors including Chris Scala and Bill Brown. At the core of Deal's artwork is the history of manipulating and casting metal. The concepts, which currently embody his work, are the union of the four elements: earth, wind, fire and water. This body of work is on exhibition in two locations. Installed on the grounds of Appalachian State's Plemmons Student Union is a large-scale cast iron sculpture. In the Catherine Smith Gallery, he explores the way sculpture can function in a gallery setting.

Lindsey Elsey was born in Charleston, S.C. She currently attends Appalachian State University as a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate in the Honors Studio Art program with a concentration in ceramics. In 2007, she was selected to represent Clemson University in the NASAD accreditation show for painting and sculpture. She has interned both for the Johnston County Arts council under executive director Jessica Meadows and for John Britt, former clay coordinator and studio manager of Penland School of Crafts. Recently, she exhibited in the show, Mud Summer, at the Crimson Laurel Gallery in November 2009 and at the ECU Material Topics symposium in January 2010. Her work was selected for the annual student exhibition, Art Expo 2010, where it received a Plemmons Student Purchase Award. As a ceramic artist, Elsey explores the intimate relationship between the possessor and the object; how each influences and directs the behavior of the other. Her recent work begins a commentary critiquing the superficial desires and trump of immediate gratification in Western culture. In the culmination of this discourse, she creates a table for the idealized American family, where function is brought into question as a desire for embellishment overtakes the fulfillment of the need for nourishment.

Ryan E. Grady is a visual artist and illustrator based in Boone. She is currently a Bachelor of Fine Arts Candidate at Appalachian State University, majoring in Studio Art. She has shown in local galleries in both Boone and Winston-Salem, at the Baltimore Symphonic Orchestra Center, and is a member of the Nth Gallery in downtown Boone. Grady's work focuses on the advantages and consequences of desires, concentrating mainly on relationships, lust and romantic love. She is heavily influenced by decorative arts and craft, and incorporates elements of both in her visuals and her process. She is currently producing a body of work that involves creating wood-burned drawings with imagery from Romantic ballets and melodramas. The pieces function as stage sets for both the character of the narratives and the audience. Her experience at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, a performing arts school, has greatly inspired her work.

Amanda E. Hart is a Bachelor of Fine Arts Studio candidate at Appalachian State University, concentrating in printmaking. She has worked at Penland School of Craft, Haystack School in Maine, and has received community and university scholarships for her work. Hart has shown work in Greenville, Charlotte and Boone, where she currently resides. Most recently, Hart worked as an assistant silversmith for Penland's resident artist Jeung Ju Lee. Using oil painting, screen-printing and layers of wax, Hart creates paintings that reference past, present, and the act of remembering. Her latest work deals primarily with reflections upon the lives of her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and their consequent influence over her own.

Melissa Lynne Horne was raised on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and is a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate at Appalachian State University. She has participated in two locals only shows at the Festival Park in Manteo in July of 2006 and 2007. The base of her work for this exhibition stems from the surrealist technique called automatism where non-representative, sub-conscious lines are applied to a surface. While lines are being collected from many different people, they are also elaborated on and eventually morphed into objects that have the ability to take many forms. By asking others to make lines, she is able to let chaos take a hand in her work and can form a small community within the canvases.

Jaime Johnson is currently a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate at Appalachian State University, concentrating in painting. Her work was exhibited in Art Expo 2008, 2009 and 2010 at the Catherine Smith Gallery in Boone. Johnson's current work is spiritually inspired and uses the sky as a key visual reference in an abstract way. Her paintings express her relationship with the divine, which for her is echoed in the relationship of the clouds to the light of the sun. Her work is an exploration of that relationship, as well as a means of encouraging spiritual experiences in others.

Leah Johnson was born in Hickory and currently works and resides in Boone. She is a candidate for a BFA Studio Art degree at Appalachian State University. In 2009, Johnson's work was displayed at the UNC-Chapel Hill administration building in Chapel Hill. Additionally, her work was juried into Appalachian State's Art Expo and was included in the Predator versus Prey exhibit at the Gilley Recording Studio in Boone. Through photography and printmaking, she explores connections between the past and present. These explorations are inspired by a personal belief that the past can be found in all aspects of life. This body of work focuses on her family history as a link to days gone by. Johnson's work expresses her desire to combine "then" and "now" in a tangible way.

Michael Mull currently lives in Boone and attends Appalachian State University as a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate with interests in printmaking, fibers and drawing. Mull participated in an exhibition at the Lucky Penny gallery and boutique in October 2009. She has served as a teaching assistant for etching at ASU and participated in The Great Print-Off during Print Dialogue Day in the fall of 2008. Through mixed media portraiture, Mull studies and depicts the inner life of individuals with which she has some sort of contact or relationship. Her interest is to expose, illustrate and narrate the hidden characteristics of the subject to find an alternative significance of human life. Mull hunts for the secret, grotesque, dark, covered, withheld and lost elements of each individual. Visual meditation and writing helps Mull define each image.

Anna Reeser was born in Atlanta, Ga., and is currently living in Boone, where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Clay. She is a mixed media artist with experience in fibers, clay, drawing and painting and often incorporates found materials into her work. She has a variety of experience teaching in the arts, including assisting at a children's workshop at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tenn. Her current body of work is focused on furniture and objects painted on top of a collage of patterned fabrics. By presenting these objects in a figurative manner, Reeser refers to the human condition by representing universal needs. The chaotic juxtaposition of the patterns and luscious colors is symbolic of the complicated human psyche. We are all burdened with the same human condition, and Reeser's work is speaking to this common ground to encourage personal and universal growth.

Chelsea Schroeder is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She is currently a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate at the Appalachian State University in Boone. In Art Expo 2008, she received Juror's Best in Show in Painting and was awarded the Jaroslav and Jarmelia Kabatnik Memorial Scholarship. In 2009, she received the Sherry Edwards Memorial Art Scholarship and showed in the Gilley Recording Studio's Predator versus Prey juried exhibition. In her current work, Schroeder transforms painting application into a new mode of mark making. Through the manipulation of a number of materials she exposes the intrinsic qualities within them. In her process, she uses the color, shape and texture of these materials as a means for challenging the preconceptions of what defines a painting as a painting. The lines between nature, sculpture and painting are dissolved and what remains is the immanent experience of man and material.

Michael Sinclair was born in 1987 in Orlando, Fla. He is currently a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate in Studio Art at Appalachian State University with a concentration in Painting. While residing in Boone, Sinclair has displayed work in the juried exhibition Art Expo at the Catherine Smith Gallery in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Sinclair's recent body of work is inspired by the surrealist technique of automatism, as well as Darwin's Theory of Evolution. He mimics biological evolution by establishing a foundation of subconscious automatic mark making and then gradually rendering forms from those marks. Since his finished forms are not fully representational, the viewer consciously decides what to make of them. This aspect of his work can be compared to a Rorschach inkblot or recognizing a familiar form in the clouds, permitting a more personal conversation with the viewer.

Ashley Spero currently resides in Boone to attain her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Appalachian State University. Spero has exhibited work at various venues and received juror's selection for best sculpture in Art Expo 2009. She has also participated in an international artist residency and an internship in Santa Fe, N.M. Recently, Spero presented a solo show at the Looking Glass Gallery entitled, The Slithering Creature that Leaks through the Realm of Your Subconscious. Through subconscious and automatic thought, Spero's work dwells in the organic and surreal. Her sculptures embody principles of animism from which a soul and character emerge from previously lifeless materials. These anthropomorphic forms encompass fluent shapes, smooth transitions, and grotesque allusions. While exploring various reactions in metal casting, the process of unearthing and studying burly formations of wood act as a reoccurring muse in her creative work.

The Catherine J. Smith Gallery is located in Farthing Auditorium at 733 Rivers St. on the Appalachian State University Campus. Admission is free. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call (828) 262-7338.

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