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Campus Art Exhibit Hosts Guests

Seven graduate students from across the country will showcase their artwork in a Master of Fine Arts show at the UCSB Art Museum from today until June 20, as part of a “Visual Spectrum” exhibition.

The exhibit — organized by the UCSB Art Dept. and the University Art Museum — will feature the varying viewpoints, projects and mediums of the artists involved. The show is the product of a rigorous two-year course study undertaken by each of the seven artists and features artwork ranging from installations and paintings to videos and sculptures.
    
“I was very pleased to work with these young artists in putting together the exhibition at the UAM,” Elise Gonzalez, an organizer and curator for the exhibit, said. “I’m thoroughly excited with the resulting exhibition, which looks terrific and addresses the myriad ways artists are working today.”
      
Graduate Committee Chair Jane Callister, along with Chair and Professor Colin Gardner, collaborated with the artists to streamline their ideas and distill their messages. Although the show is mandatory for the graduate students, the necessity to synchronize the themes behind their projects was paramount for the effectiveness of the exhibition.
      
“My work is a reflection of the world around me and by extension everyone else,” artist Shane Tolbert said. “But if there were a message to convey, it would center on the idea of history and disrupting conventions through the vehicle of humor and irrationality.”
      
The talent ranges from aspiring artists to graduate students who have already constructed Web sites to showcase their work and further promote their career. Regardless, several of the artists said they are pleased with how the show is developing and are eager to introduce their artwork to the public on opening night.
      
The show will include a collage composed of trash and everyday items, a stop-motion video inspired by 1950s musicals and a series of paintings, digital prints and collages designed by Stephanie Washburn to demonstrate political themes and motifs.
      
“It addresses the intersection of aesthetics and politics, how the malleability of form can be used to affect the way we remember history and relate to power,” Washburn, a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut, said.

Tolbert, a graduate of the University of Houston in Texas, incorporated a number of different artistic techniques into the creation of his showpieces.
      
“I maintain the gesture of painting through the application of bleach,” Tolbert said. “A drawing element is found in the sewn thread and breaks in stitching. A sculptural element emerges in the work due to the fabrication process of bleaching, washing, ironing, cutting, collage, sewing and stretching; I wanted to make a painting without paint.”

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