Ohio University

First year MFA students present “Prelude”

First year MFA students exhibition
"Prelude – First Year MFA Exhibition”
design by Abigail Schneider

The Ohio University College of Fine Arts’ School of Art + Design opens Prelude today, an exhibition of works by first-year MFA students, in Trisolini Gallery at Ohio University’s Baker University Center January 19-February 6. More about the exhibition and gallery hours can be found here. Prelude is made possible through support from Arts for OHIO.

Short artist statements and/or descriptions of works by each MFA candidate presenting in Prelude follows.

Christopher Cooke (Printmaking) is a mixed media artist, placing importance on reflecting inner intrusive business. What makes loud, thick inner-noise truly heavy is its juxtaposition with the outer. Painted and plastered in social norms, he normalizes experience from behind his eyes.

The work of Jasper Dafeamekpor (Graphic Design) features a black and white symbol which he created. It was digitally printed and framed as a wall decoration. The symbol represents unity, beauty and elegance. The symbol was created based on his knowledge and his love for Adinkra symbols. Adinkra symbols are from Ghana, and they represent concepts or aphorisms.

Drawing from her experiences as a child of Appalachia, Lacy Golden Davis makes work that addresses issues related to family, memory, and sentimentality. Through the combination of photographic imagery and versed text, she examines the disconnect between reality and remembrance. The visual quality of the imagery reflects the inconsistent and fluid nature of recollection and invites viewers to search their own memories for connections.

Reiker Dean (Painting & Drawing) paints realistic anatomy from observation that resides within a constructed environment. This dichotomy emphasizes the disconnect that contemporary society imposes on our psyche.

Annie Eversz (Photography) is an American photographer that works lyrically in and around the documentary tradition. “Gemini” is from an ongoing body of work entitled Buckskin which investigates and reinterprets elements of a nonfictional cold case from the 1980s in Ohio.

In her work, Melanie Fisher (Ceramics) interprets real life situations as abstract ideas making connections between human behavior and the natural world, specifically fungi. In Trophy Hunter, Fisher imagines a character who has collected a piece of nature to display in his alligator skin cabinet, only to find that his trophy has slowly decayed.

Jacqueline Foss (Photography) focuses on allowing what is generally invisible to become visible, and tangible through repetition and performance-based self-portraits. The body is interwoven within foliage, signaling the symbiotic relationship between the microcosms within nature, the environment, and the unity between the human body and the landscape.

Mia Johnson (Printmaking) is an interdisciplinary printmaker; her work investigates body politics and questions the notion of beauty as inherently valuable. Johnson's work encourages the viewer to dispute their own conditioned ideas about fat bodies, and as an artist, she applies a constant counter-pressure to that which oppresses her. In “Fat Chair 1”, Johnson forces a lithographic print of her body into the confines of a found lawn chair, cutting away the print to perfectly mold into the seat.

Haley Kean (Printmaking) is focused on capturing radical tenderness.  In her piece "Why Save It?" she sequentially captures the subject of a house being demolished.  This piece uses shelter to speak about the precarity of the human experience, and how even the residue we leave behind is subject to death.

Marc La Pointe (Sculpture) navigates the permeable and inconclusive through an interdisciplinary art practice. Composed of dried dandelions tenderly tied together, La Pointe’s work “I wish I could go to the other side (I miss the there not the here)” appears as a playground swing—hovering as a reminder of an elsewhere that we cannot quite reach.

Solomia Nebesh (Graphic Design) graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in studio art and a focus in graphic design. Nebesh's Love Mapping is a series of 3 posters that attempt to visualize the biological phenomenon of love. Using ancient Greek mythology and astronomy she creates connections to help explain the abstract idea of love. In her three posters Lust, Attraction, and Attachment she shows the 3 stages of love.

Robyn Rahming (Graphic Design) is from Nassau, The Bahamas. She obtained her BA from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and graduated Cum Laude. Her main focus is typography and the impact it has on people and evoking changes in society. This piece is focused on the features of black women and black people that have been ostracized and considered non attractive; from our hair to our lips and everything in between. Through Graphic Design with specializing in typography, she hopes to shed light on topics that are taboo by society while adding an artistic twist to her work.

Logan Reynolds (Ceramics) includes this statement to accompany his piece, “Act Like You Love Each Other.” Much is hidden behind the guise of the family portrait. Sincere truth cannot be staged, yet we try every year. For a moment, unresolved tensions are stifled so that perfection may be preserved. Look at us, the perfect nucleus, immune to fission. Isn’t that nice?

Abigail Schneider (Printmaking) has a deep personal history in handicrafts. Her work often experiments with the relationship between image and object. While expressing a personal narrative, Abigail embraces negative societal assumptions of femininity and celebrates the notion that femininity can be multifaceted; vulgar, delicate, glamorous, and blaringly shameless.

The work of Cole Worden (Ceramics) investigates how the ceramic vessel can operate beyond its culinary function, acting as a conduit for conveying ideas. This work focuses on symbolic comparisons between the vessel's physical properties and theories of personal identity within a system of epistemological constraints and social pressures. 

Grace Worley (Painting + Drawing) explores details found within everyday life that are often overlooked as a result of the increasing reliance on technology and social media. This piece is the second part of a two-piece series communicating the interference caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on daily life routines and education.

Works by Kiana Ziegler (Painting & Drawing) shows an organic form hastily sketched out, surrounding a black, square void. Paired with a handwritten letter, Ziegler’s piece encourages the viewer and the artist alike to grieve, whether it be from loss of another or the loss of oneself, specifically in relation to chronic illness. In a society that values productivity, it is oftentimes difficult to allow oneself to step away from work and focus on healing without feeling guilt or shame and resorting to suppressing emotions. Ziegler hopes to combat this mentality in herself first, and then others.

Contact: Courtney Kessel, Gallery Director, Ohio University Art Galleries at kesselc@ohio.edu.