Released: March 23, 2009
Lincoln, Neb. - The first of three MFA Thesis Exhibitions opens April 6 at the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery in Richards Hall on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus. Three Master of Fine Arts candidates in the Department of Art and Art History will show their work in the exhibition.
MFA Thesis Exhibition I will run April 6-10 and features the work of Shane Haley, Josh Norton and Samuel B. Rapien. A closing reception will be held April 10 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.
Haley's exhibition is entitled "The Constellations of Palomar." Palomar is one of the oldest observatories in the United States and boasted the largest telescope for a time. The connection with Palomar and Haley's work is in the observation of our universe and the world around us. His work is about the connection between the human views of nature and the observations we make from an image. He has been drawing tree structures covered with barks and skins not normally found on trees. Haley grew up in New Burgh, N.Y., about 50 minutes north of New York City. He received his B.F.A. in studio art and a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He became an art teacher in 1990 and spent 16 years working with students across Nebraska before coming to UNL in 2006 to pursue his M.F.A.
Norton's exhibition is entitled "Die! Akhnaten Die!" It is a series of large, sequential woodcuts that follow a cowboy named Akhnaten as he attempts and then succeeds at taking over a town by force. It is loosely based on the heretic Pharaoh Akhnaten, who ruled Egypt from 1358-1340 B.C. The story is revealed as the viewer walks through the gallery, like being inside a comic book. A paperback book featuring the work exhibited will be for sale at the exhibition. Norton is an artist from Minnesota. His work resides in collections around the country, including the Boston Scientific Corporation, Columbia College in Chicago and the University of North Texas. He has his own website at www.joshuanorton.net.
Rapien's exhibition is entitled "Dysfunctionation." Through his large-scale ink drawings, he explores the dysfunction of American culture and his own personal disillusionment with sexuality, politics and social mores. Often times as surreal as they are satirical, his work forfeits complete control of the media and invites the imperfections, mishaps and blemishes of working with ink to add to the drawings' dark and uncanny physiognomy. Also being exhibited are two documentary films, Tia and Her Dad, a personal story of a father whose repressed sexuality afflicts his youngest daughter, and a currently untitled film about the local sex industry. Rapien received his B.F.A. with an emphasis in graphic design from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2006 and has been awarded two medals from the Nebraska Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts since being in the graduate program: the Gold medal in 2006 and the Silver in 2008.
MFA Thesis Exhibition II will run April 13-17 and will feature the work of Sarah Blitz, Jewel Noll and Kelly Manning. A closing reception will be held April 17 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.
MFA Thesis Exhibition III will run April 20-24 and will feature the work of John Carrasco, Autumn Cipala and Seth Green. A closing reception will be held April 24 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.
Gallery hours for the MFA Thesis Exhibitions are Monday-Friday, noon to 4 p.m.