Ohio University

Graduate MFA Thesis Artists

MFA Thesis Projects, Spring 2020

This page features the work and profiles of graduating MFA Studio Art and Graphic Design students completing studio thesis projects in the School of Art + Design.     

J.P. Snyder – Sculpture + Expanded Practices 

J.P. Snyder MFA, Sculpture + Expanded Practices

My work renders what I perceive as the truest depiction of the landscape--an amalgamation of inherent wilderness happenings and major human interventions or simply put, a series of actions and marks. Through this blurred combination of contrasting elements, we are left with a space that we have come to call nature. In my wood sculptures and drawings, I seek out processes that intimately interact with both my mind and body to achieve a greater understanding of my current locality. 



Terry Kolb – Printmaking 

Terry Kolb, MFA, Printmaking

My art practice is fueled by my small-town upbringing- comics, old machinery, and a variety of grungy, street culture aesthetics. Currently, my work is directed at internet memes, emojis, and digital image creation software; anything used to create an image that communicates a complex emotional state across the digital landscape. I am interested in our cultural obsession with the personification of the inanimate, and the substitution of the lived experience for something meant to be absorbed without much pause for reflection."  



Derek Page – Painting + Drawing 

Derek Page MFA Painting 2020

During my time growing up in the 1990s and 2000s, I experienced the beginning of online messaging platforms such as AOL Instant Messenger, MySpace, and Facebook. My work is concerned with humanity’s detachment from reality through advancements in digital technology. Social media, and its connected devices, have become indispensable for daily communication. I use mediums and modes directly related to social media, creating animated gifs of fleeting situations that happen because of these new devices. I juxtapose these animations with traditional charcoal drawings that tie the work to the physical, relating to how technology has affected everyday activities such as a morning commute on the subway.  



Peilian Wu – Painting + Drawing 

Peilian Wu, MFA, Painting + Drawing

Intimate Landscape is an immersive painting installation that invites the audience to rediscover the connection and interaction between people and their natural landscape, as well as between different cultures and the local context. The installation hopes to inspire the audience to look anew at the natural environment with an open mind. At the same time, by re-creating beauty and positive ambience from the natural landscape in an indoor space, I seek to provide a relaxing and soothing atmosphere through aesthetics for the audience to linger in and to re-establish their connection to the natural world of the mountains and woods. 



Belle-Pilar Fleming – Printmaking 

Belle-Pilar Fleming MFA Printmaking 2020

Belle-Pilar Fleming is a printmaker and textile artist from Southern Ohio. She holds a BA in Psychology from Warren Wilson College, and an MFA in Printmaking from Ohio University. Drawing heavily from research practices based in the social sciences, her work investigates the experiences of identity, unpacking the emotional realities of various sociocultural landscapes. Focusing on the histories of particular demographics through investigations into archives, libraries, and other collections, she investigates the role of the artist as a community historian and the means through which we catalogue experience.  



Dallas Wooten - Ceramics 

Dallas Wooten, MFA, Ceramics

Historical interests act as origin points in design, such as 19th century vine-scroll and floral patterning. These are then reconstructed within a contemporary context that is digitally and graphically conscious of its patterning while still maintaining subtlety. This results in a marrying of historically laborious fine-craft with modern/contemporary design based on simplicity and process/material-based ornamentation. These patterns are informed by my own organic mark and residual evidence of processes. Mark and material exhibit this errant, yet beautiful, evidence of the vessel’s history and maker. This evidence is referential of historical, production, and folk pottery, archived in porcelain to represent its importance in our post-industrial and disciplinary time. Flaws, blemishes, and process marks are openly flaunted; attempting to recontextualize them under the guise of intricate and abstracted patterning inspired by status imagery, patterns, and materials. 



Bri Murphy - Ceramics 

Bri Murphy, MFA, Ceramics

I use my work to hold the tensions of the present up to the idealized past, specifically the era of the Founding Fathers, in an attempt to reclaim the virtues written into historical documents and imbued within cultural iconography. In their original forms, such texts and symbols make harmful assumptions about identity which only perpetuates the privilege of certain people. Through both digital and analog manipulation, as well as the mediation of machines such as 3D printers, my work endeavors to interpolate existing and well-known national iconography to expose the fault lines of the American myth. 



Quinn Hunter – Sculpture + Expanded Practices 

Hunter Quinn MFA Sculpture 2020

Quinn Hunter is looking at the way Black women negotiate between the self and the world. Between the crisis and the authentic. Through acts of self-exhibition, she is interrupting the view on the body and asking questions about the prescribed performances of femininity to the Black body. In divulging their limited imposed meanings, she reveals the persistent futility of Black female body reacting within the culturally allowed space and the subtle absurdity of it all. 



Ellie East – Photography and Integrated Media 

Ellie East MFA Photography 2020

My work encompasses individual women’s trauma and the process of healing through sharing stories otherwise unknown. This platform creates a space for exchange, connection and healing between the women, the artist, and the audience shown via women’s hand murmurs and their voices speaking in poetic form. Tens of thousands of paper butterfly wings scatter the floor, forcing the audience’s wandering to become implicit to their destruction and displacement, mimicking the role they assume when listening to the experiences. 



Kelly McLaughlin – MFA Ceramics 

Kelly McLaughlin MFA, Ceramics

There is a long-standing relationship between humans and the objects we create, specifically those objects crafted in our own image. The complexities within our desire, as people, to rationalize our existence through myth, religion, and symbols is what I am interested in most as an artist. I find that both the roles of the deities and the people who worship them harness the characteristics of the creator and the created. My focus is on the psychology behind belief itself, and how these beliefs manifest within our culture, which includes ideas of religion, morality, mental health and class. The physicality within my art practice reflects my own life practices and subscriptions, exploring the idea of the figure as myself, the tool, and the object. 



Ji Won Chung – Painting + Drawing 

Ji Won Chung MFA Painting + Drawing

I am talking about diverse Korean social context using personal reflections on that relationship between me and my grandmother. Especially, my relationship with my grandmother is a form of mediation – a way of finding connections between a singular relationship and the whole of Korean social structures and history. I am trying to tell these stories to my audience a more experiential way through my works. 



Nisiqi – Graphic Design 

Nisiqi, MFA, Graphic Design

Memory Bread, constituting a daily performance ritual and the post-action objects, seeks to address the generational decline of mother language use in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, a post-colonized province of China. I chose to eat sliced white bread in the performance and later casted concrete sculptures as the extension of the action for both substances’ capitalistic nature. Being an invasive material that took over the traditional architectural lifestyle, the use of concrete mirrors the pervasive cultural and ethnic assimilation in China. Meanwhile, the materiality of concrete being a mixture of various substances also metaphors the mixed culture that Chinese-Mongolians are living. 



Ran Xu – Graphic Design 

Ran Xu. MFA, Graphic Design

Overview: "GOOD DAY" is an exhibition with the theme of Social Anxiety Disorder. Five independent works are included to express the different negative emotions of suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder. The whole exhibition is curated in an apartment form, aiming to bring the audience back to the life fragment of a Social Anxiety Disorder person.