November 8 – 16, 2018
The Visual Arts Center is pleased to present a group exhibition of new works by The University of Texas at Austin’s first-year Studio Art MFA candidates. It Sounds Like Cher is a multifaceted exhibition featuring a wide spectrum of perspectives from an international group of artists on the ideation of culture, mundanity, tragedy, and self. The show features paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs and video.
Please join us for a reception with the artists on Monday, November 12, 12–1 PM.
Lauren W. Bechelli is a painter from Southern California. She received her undergraduate degree in Art from The University of California at Davis, studying under the guidance of Robin Hill, Dave Hollowell, and Wayne Thiebaud. She has studied and worked at the Chautauqua Institution, Penland School of Crafts, and Fundación Casa de los Tres Mundos. Lauren’s paintings explore the relationship between things that are seemingly unrelated yet inseparable. Namely, how our biology is tied to pattern and aesthetics and how the ‘unseen’ is essential to every aspect of our lives. She explores the contradiction of experiencing and demystifying synchronicity through random assignments and visual patterning. Her work synthesizes the botanical, the unconscious, the designed, and the intuitive in an attempt to expose the fallout, and impossibility, of attempted dominance over the natural world.
CC Calloway is a poet, printmaker, and sculptor from Augusta, Georgia. Recently moving to Austin from Atlanta, Georgia to Austin, she was a 2017-18 WonderRoot Walthall Fellow and a 2018 artist-in-residence at the Atlanta Printmaker’s Studio. In May 2017, she received her BFA in printmaking and book arts from the University of Georgia. She has written and self-published four books of poetry including one photography book entitled My Favorite Word is Nothing. CC’s work is an effort to create a space of shared empathy. Focusing on present-day web experience, she questions how intimacy and empathy function in a world where information and resources are easily created, shared, and expended. Through a process of self-archive, she collects and repurposes ephemera to locate glimpses of honesty in the fast-paced culture of the digital world.
Anika Cartterfield is a New England based artist who creates large-scale sculptures that are made for and defined by specific architecture and environmental sites. She has created site-specific installations in the U.S. and abroad and exhibited in galleries in Vermont, Boston, and Maryland. She completed her B.F.A. at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design 15’. She was the 2015 recipient of Godine Travel Award and has participated in residencies at Salem Art Works, Salem, NY and Arquetopia, Puebla, MX. Cartterfield worked for four years in environmental conservation and education for the Vermont Forest Service. She moved to Austin from Salem Art Works, a sculpture park and residency program in upstate NY. Anika’s practice confronts places of tension — instances in politics and in her personal story where two forces are so at odds with one another, they are locked into immobility. Here in Austin, she is investigating how Texas defines ownership of its land and resources. She is developing a series of site-responsive installations and interventions that challenge Texas’ culture and policy around this issue. Expanding from this local context, the works define and challenge the human impulse to claim ownership.
Heather den Uijl is a painter and native Texan from Houston. She currently resides in Austin at the University of Texas where she is a current MFA candidate. Heather received her BFA in painting from the University of Houston in 2016 and has since been shown in the Blaffer Museum of Art, the Lawndale art Center in both 2015 and 2017, as well as Winter street Studios. Her work has also been published in the Houston Press, Paper City Magazine, and Voyage Houston Magazine. Heather’s work mainly deals with the intense connection we have to our domestic spaces through object. More recently her work has evolved to deal with highly recognizable everyday items and experimenting with how much information we need in order to still acknowledge them as the highly present objects they are in our everyday lives.
Mathieu Grenier lives and works in Austin TX and Montréal QC Canada. Through a practice that involves installation and photography, Mathieu’s work draws upon memory to piece together a certain ‘renewed perspective’ on local art history. He has been exploring the history of exhibitions and/or specific artworks with re-enactment strategies and observing the exhibition space as a photographic component. Mathieu has a BFA in Visual and Media Arts from the University of Quebec in Montreal and he is a current MFA candidate at the University of Texas in Austin. For the last 3 years, Grenier has presented solo exhibitions in France at La Halle art center and La Factatory, in Montreal at René Blouin Gallery, Roger Bellemare Gallery, Arprim artist run space and in Chicoutimi at Le Lobe artist run space. In 2014 he has been awarded the Charles Pachter’s prize for Canadian emerging artist from the Hnatyshyn Foundation. Mathieu Grenier’s work is supported by the Quebec’s Council for the Arts and Letters and is represented by René Blouin Gallery.
Rafael Fernando Gutiérrez Jr. is an MFA studio art candidate in Transmedia at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his BFA in studio art (New Media and a minor Art History from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Gutierrez spent his formative years in Augusta, Georgia, and lived throughout the US, Europe and Asia before settling in San Antonio, Texas after his honorable discharge from The United States Air Force. His work researches macro and micro relationships between race, ethnicity, language and personal identity.
Saeid Janaati is a photographer from Tehran, Iran. He received his BFA in visual communication from University of Enghelab Eslami at Tehran. He recently moved to Austin for his MFA at UT. Since moving to the states, he is realizing that the America he’s found doesn’t fit his assumptions at all. It is not an evil empire nor is it a perfect world where everyone is treated equally. Instead of the false assumptions he made about the “American dream,” he uses his camera to explore and begin to understand the complex reality of what is happening all around him in America.
An Phung is an artist living and working in Austin, TX and a recent graduate from northwestern university in Evanston, IL. She uses film history, performance and new media to unmask and rebuild forms of culturally constructed identity. Today she is trying to be the predator from the movie, predator (1987). The predator uses camouflage but it’s meaning is in plain sight. The predator is actually an alien.
Jerónimo Reyes-Retana is a sculptor and graphic designer from Mexico City, Mexico. He received the FONCA-CONACYT study abroad fellowship given by the Mexican government. Reyes-Retana was part of the SOMA Summer Program (2017), and the Jumex Foundation Workshop (2017). His work has been shown in Mexico City, New York City, Los Angeles, Venice and Bogotá. His current series of photographs, “Fast Dreams,”is part of an ongoing project that explores the social and cultural relationship between the so-called ‘twin cities’ on the Texas-Mexico border. Aiming to shape a basic understanding of the vernacular, field research was carried out in Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville in order to create a conceptual catalog of symbols. The constant encounters with pickup trucks motivated the dissection of their meaning. By the use of overexposure as a pictorial device, the images stretch a moment in time to questions the ephemerality of cars as a symbol of success.
Will Shea is a multimedia artist from Burleson, TX. He moved to Austin from New York City, where he got his BFA at Cooper Union. His work maintains a clear relationship to the history of painting, integrating current complications concerning vision and experience in the context of technological progress.
Maia Snow was born in Perm, Russia. They received their BFA from Maine College of Art (’13) and is currently an MFA candidate (’20) at the University of Texas at Austin. Their work celebrates the dead spaces of paint and the resilience of living. Maia’s work is about celebrating the harsh and tender complexities of sexuality, gender and queerness within contemporary and historic culture. She calls this the “dead space of painting.” By this, she means how the history of painting, in different segments, has refused to acknowledge gender, sex, and queerness in its relation to the development of today’s culture.
Hannah Spector is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and poet interpreting the infinite internal spark of consciousness. Spector graduated from The George Washington University in 2015. Shortly thereafter, Spector completed a Denbo Fellowship in Printmaking at Pyramid Atlantic in DC and was a resident artist at The Orlando Museum of Art and A Place Gallery in Florida. Spector’s artistic practice is deeply interwoven with methods of meditation, ritual, and movement. She has self-published 3 chapbooks and runs Seul Poetry Quarterly.
Jessica Wilson is a London based sculptor. Jessica’s work considers the white homogenous space we exist within an anthropocentric society where conflicts of natural and artificial, animate and inanimate, technology, machine, body, come in to question. Through creating artefacts, she pieces together fragments, fossilizing myths of the present into ritualistic narratives. The work acts as a graveyard, where monolithic forms that appear both futuristic and archaic are suspended – in an attempt to fold time in and upon itself, to disorientate and disrupt our sense of stability. Her interest in otherness attributes itself to a surreal landscape and sci-fi aesthetic. Jessica’s work is intuitive and playful using a range of everyday materials which are worked in a way reflecting her background in traditional sculpture techniques of modeling, molding and casting.