Ohio University

Undergraduate Thesis Exhibition: Alphabet Soup

Alphabet Soup

The Ohio University School of Art + Design is excited to host the undergraduate thesis exhibition, Alphabet Soup. This thesis exhibition is an academic capstone required of all BFA undergraduates in finalizing their degrees. Alphabet Soup consists of work from multiple artists of varying disciplines, addressing the notions of body, identity, personal narrative, and psyche.

The show includes work by Holly Barrett (Ceramics and Painting + Drawing), Emma Campbell (Photography + Integrated Media), Ava Da Re (Painting + Drawing), Madison Eaglowski (Painting + Drawing), Nicole Malcolm (Printmaking), Dominic Mensurati (Photography + Integrated Media), Moss Nash (Printmaking and Sculpture + Expanded Practice), Callie Smith (Painting + Drawing), and Chip Wagner (Ceramics). Alphabet Soup is on view April 13-17, in the Ohio University Art Gallery, Seigfred Hall, Athens, Ohio.

A collection of black and white, illustrated ceramics by Holly Barrett features the artist’s own “turning points” through the lens of literature. Holly’s work specifically addresses the non-linear nature of how people and stories develop over time, each influencing the other in the process.

Emma Campbell’s work, titled On Stitches, is a body of cyanotype prints and silver gelatin photographs that document emotional growth through self-portraiture. Emma’s work explores the process of trauma healing and what it means to hold empathy for oneself, doing so by drawing comparisons between physical and emotional trauma.

For artist Ava Da Re, her body of work branches from the tradition of painting to explore performance. This performance, hollow vessels, investigates the frustration that comes from trying to compromise daily needs, emotional struggles, and the physical body that is often beyond our control. Da Re aims for the viewer to not only feel immersed through the recorded performance, but through the remaining artifacts of its execution displayed in the gallery space.

This show also features a series of oil paintings by Madison Eaglowski, who discusses her own use of transactional humor. This body of work, titled Silent but Deadly, confronts her own behavior, and uses humor as a vehicle to talk about what it is like navigating a society that is obsessed with women’s bodies. By sharing her own experiences, Eaglowski’s work explores emotional and psychological- impacts, goals, interactions and transactions. So, we can arrive at a more nuanced discourse.

Nicole Malcolm’s immersive printmaking installation, Places You Pass, highlights significant moments of her personal growth while residing in Athens, OH. Her experiences are reflected through a handmade journal and an original song written by local musician, Bruce Dalzell, and herself. Malcolm’s practice consists primarily of printmaking, papermaking, painting, and drawing. Through handwritten recollections of growth, memory, and deeply personal experiences, she hopes to create an intimate physical and mental space. This work allows others to feel comfortable sharing their life stories as well.

Dominic Mensurati is hosting limited-engagement screenings of his upcoming music video production, Days in My Heart, featuring the music of artists Rex Schirra, Torre Lott, Kipp Stone, Curran Rooney, and Sophia Dalleo. Dominic acted as director, cinematographer, and editor of this production - his debut on all fronts. Days in My Heart was recognized as a semi-finalist of the music video category at Indie Short Fest in Los Angeles, CA this March.

Moss Nash’s Came To Be features a collection of zines, chapbooks, devotional cards, illustrated prints, and other spiritual paraphernalia arranged in a space of worship, reflection, and contemplation. This body of work draws from a mythicized personal narrative in the form of poetry and explores relationships between identity, spirituality, and corporeality.

Callie Smith’s work, titled Liminal, takes the form of large-scale oil paintings which speak to a surrealistic contemporary existence. By depicting contorted and discorporate figures wrestling with an amorphic space, her work explores disillusionment and disorientation.

This show also includes the work Inhale Nightmares, Exhale Sunshine by Chip Wagner which lets the viewer encounter a large ceramic snail. It’s shell has human hands extending from it, the body is a painting and it sits upon a bed of dirt. The piece invites the viewer to meditate on cycles of life along with how the environment and history shape people.

The School of Art + Design hosts a virtual opening reception with artist talks on Thursday, April 13th at 5 p.m. on the Ohio University Art Gallery’s Youtube channel.  The exhibition can be viewed in the Ohio University Art Gallery in Seigfred Hall, 20 Church St, by reservation between April 13 - 17, with open gallery hours from Tues 12-4pm, Thurs 3-7pm, and Sat 12-4pm. For updates, follow the galleries on Instagram and FaceBook @ohiouniversityartgalleries and on Twitter @ouartgallery.

This College of Fine Arts event is made possible through support from Arts for Ohio.

Contact: Courtney Kessel, Gallery Coordinator, kesselc@ohio.edu, 740-593-0796.