Ohio University

Undergraduate Thesis Exhibition: The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark

The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark

The Ohio University School of Art + Design is excited to host the undergraduate thesis exhibition of Abby Pike (Painting + Drawing), Charles Vondenhuevel (Painting + Drawing), Declan Yert (Sculpture + Expanded Practice), Emma Fisher (Photography + Integrated Media and Painting + Drawing), Felicity Gunn (Printmaking), Hannah Arthur (Painting + Drawing), Julia Kiss (Printmaking), Katie Botterman (Ceramics), and Tyffanie Shriner (Photography + Integrated Media and Graphic Design): The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark. on view April 20 - 24, in the Ohio University Art Gallery, Siegfried Hall, Athens, Ohio.

This thesis exhibition is an academic capstone required of all BFA undergraduates in finalizing their degrees. Focused on political and environmental issues, this group show questions our place within nature and the effects or responsibilities that come with our coexistence. Through scale and a variety of media, these students address the Anthropocene both globally and locally.

Abby Pike built large-scale statues of six different endangered creatures in one of their favorite sandbox games, Minecraft. Visitors can not only view a time lapse of the building process but will also be given the option to explore the virtual world for themselves.

Charles Vondenhuevels works are rooted in familiarizing oneself with the foragable natural world that surrounds us all. His works are an up-close view of plants that are categorized as unsightly weeds, though there are edible benefits that each holds. These plants are able to be found as close as your own yard. By incorporating these select few and easily recognizable plants, the work hopes to inspire a more self-sustaining way of eating what the world provides.

Declan Yert’s work is rendered as future geological amalgamates; a collaboration of the creative functions and systems of our planet and the ever-increasing ingenuity, production, and eventual detritus of human happenings. What remains is sublime and realization; created through an alchemic disguise of material solids- analogous to a time where consumption and creation outweighed, overpowered, collaborated, infused, and became our shared environment.

Emma Fisher’s thesis explores how nature connects to memory and psyche. Through photographs and alternative prints in a hand bound book, she brings the viewer into a magical realm untouched by man, in the hopes that it provides a sense of comfort and wonder.

Felicity Gunn’s work is inspired by landscapes found in and around the southern region of Ohio. By observing the way trees hug sides of homes, hills foster gardens, powerlines dance along skylines, and grass and weeds grow in the smallest of cracks along the sidewalks, she is drawn to finding intimate moments of beauty within this environment. She views her work as a way to shed light on the dependency we, as a community, have on the local and natural landscape around us.

Hannah Arthur’s thesis work addresses the human role as an individual organism in part of a larger, complex, and ever-shifting web of natural systems. The illustrations shine light on a disconnection from the natural world festering in contemporary human society and hope to fan the flames of community actions and reformation, rekindle a deeper understanding of our creator planet, fanning the flames of community actions and reformation.

Julia Kiss’s work centers on plant life found in the Athens region, with a special interest in overgrowth of foliage and invasive species. The body of prints and cyanotypes ponder the intimate beauty of these plants despite their chaotic and sometimes destructive nature, and what happens at that intersection.

Katie Botterman’s work combines mythology with natural phenomenon, using ceramic sculpture to highlight the similarities between the Phoenix and fire responsive pinecones.

Tyffanie Shriner’s body of photographs, “Shedding Light,” documents the desire for adventure while discovering the details of the less-traveled paths of Hocking Hills State Park in Southeastern, OH.

The School of Art + Design hosts a virtual gallery talk April 20th at 5pm on the Ohio University School of Art + Design Youtube channel. The exhibition can be viewed in person at the Ohio University Art Gallery on the 5th floor of Seigfred Hall, 20 Church Street, between April 20 - 24, with open gallery hours Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment with one of the artists.  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.