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UNO Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis students shine

Contributor

Published: Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Updated: Sunday, January 26, 2014 15:01

Ronee Smith

Photos by Joe Shearer/ The Gateway

Ronee Smith's "As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death." 2013.

Contemplative imagery and a feminine perspective on the female form with themes of Dia De Los Muertos fill the main room at the UNO Art Gallery. Paintings of ambiguous figures draped in lavender and digital illustrations of the seven deadly sins decorate the other walls of the gallery. UNO’s Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis students have their art displayed as they are given the opportunity to showcase the best of their works.   
Along with the showcase, artists were able to speak about their art works and answer questions the audience had. Althea Satterfield and Xuan Pham spoke on Dec. 2 and Kristine Hansen-Cain and Ronee Smith on Dec. 4.

 “Millennium Park,” “Mehgan” and “Interstate 89” hung on the walls behind Hansen-Cain as she explained to the crowd that all of her paintings were of specific places and people who she has had experiences with. Her painting thesis, “Art as Contemplation” stated, “the color palette is subdued and meditative, speaking as a whisper to the viewer.” She said her collection depicted solitary figures and left signs in her paintings without names so the viewer could plug their own memories and experiences into her pieces.   
 Other artist Smith said her Mexican heritage influenced her thesis, “La Anatomía de la Belleza” in which she used skulls to represent the celebration of life Day of the Dead entails. Smith said she titled most of her pieces in Spanish because it tied the theme together and because the language sounds beautiful to her. Though she does not speak Spanish, its something she plans on learning.

“I work in mixed media because I don’t feel that one single medium can properly express the many tones that accompany my subject matter,” Smith said about her thesis. She uses different types of wood to paint on because she said she likes that every piece of wood’s surface is different therefore making each piece even more individual.

Satterfield, who worked on the seven deadly sins, said her favorite piece was “Envy” because it was the first one she made and the one she got to experiment with the most. Each sin is accompanied with its own illustration titled in Latin and short haiku to tell each story.

“All of us have that seed that can lead us to do disastrous things,” Satterfield said. That’s what encouraged her to create her thesis, “Seven.”

“Family Dynamic I & II” are among Xuan Pham’s paintings that focus on family and the struggle between the individuals in that group to find their own identity as said on her thesis statement, “Pure Anxiety.” Her collection was about working out her own anxieties through her art.

“I hope that when people see my paintings and read my artist statement they can also recall or recognize the struggle of self-discovery and finding individual identity from a collective or cultural identity, “ Pham said.

All artists will be graduating from UNO this December or May. The student showcase is open through Dec. 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

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