AMES, Iowa — Five Iowa State University College of Design students took top honors in the 2015 Senior BFA Exhibition on display through Thursday, April 23, in the college's Gallery 181.
The show features 60 artworks by 20 students who will graduate with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in integrated studio arts in May, August or December this year.
Juror Jeremy Rudd, an assistant professor of art at Divine Word College, Epworth, and owner of Jeremy Rudd Art and Design, Dyersville, announced student award winners at a public reception Friday, April 17, at the College of Design. Rudd received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in visual studies from Iowa State in 2001 and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, in 2005. He recognized students with best in show; first, second and third place and two merit awards.
Madison Haws won best in show for "Snow Blind" (oil on canvas, 2015).
Madison Haws of Ankeny won both Best in Show for her self portrait titled "Snow Blind" (oil on canvas, 2015) and third place for a sculptural painting titled "The Weight of It" (paper mache, acrylic and oil on masonite, 2015).
Engaging and emotive
Of "Snow Blind," Haws said, "I wanted to convey the cold oppression that comes from an Iowa winter and how that can wear someone down."
The painting is "engaging, arresting and emotive," Rudd said. "Everything about this work kept me going back to it, and the craftsmanship and execution did not fall short upon closer inspection. The title perfectly matched the imagery and created a fantastic psychological space for the viewer."
Haws also won third place for "The Weight of It" (paper mache, acrylic and oil on masonite, 2015).
With "The Weight of It," Haws sought "to convey this overwhelming sense of a heavy work load that comes not just with classes but also with the 'real world' and all the hoops that have to be jumped through to be considered an adult," she said.
Rudd observed that the piece "engaged me with its intimacy and left me wondering, what was the weight? I found myself empathizing with the figure while also feeling a little unnerved viewing someone in such a vulnerable position."
Haws completed both works as personal projects outside of class, although she noted the research to make them possible was done in the ARTIS 310: Sources of Visual Design class taught by Jennifer Drinkwater, adjunct associate professor of art and visual culture.
Reed Siems was awarded first place for "The Unstabled Mind" (collograph and drypoint in front of monotype with ceramic base, 2015).
Eccentric and sophisticated
First place was awarded to Reed Siems of Granger for "The Unstabled Mind" (collograph and drypoint in front of monotype with ceramic base, 2015).
"This work was eccentric and managed to stand out even with its small scale," Rudd remarked. "I particularly enjoyed the transition of two-dimensional media to sculptural form. This piece also used a layered and intentional set of symbols and metaphors that were very sophisticated and really supported the content of the work."
Siems said the work was inspired by "playing on a balance of dream state and reality. 'The Unstabled Mind' is my relation to the human experience of hope, desire, fear and failure."
The project began with an assignment in ARTIS 357: Intaglio and Monotype with art and visual culture Professor April Katz, Siems said. He used a laser cutter to create two plates, which he layered for the front print. Outside of class he created another set of monotype prints and decided to use one behind the front print, which he cut into to reveal portions of the monotype. The prints rest in an egg carton with broken egg shells, supported by a sculptural ceramic hand Siems developed for a self-potrait project in Professor Ingrid Lilligren's ARTIS 322: Intermediate Ceramics class.
Second place went to Cassandra Detrick for "Escapes" (acrylic on wood, 2013).
Ominous and intriguing
Ankeny native Cassandra Detrick's "Escapes" (acrylic on wood, 2013), which depicts fire escapes on the sides of buildings, "nicely blends formal composition and narrative subject matter," Rudd said. "The clear representational images crammed into the thin vertical bands really convey a sense of confinement, leaving the viewer looking for a way out."
Andy Bounkhong's "Bamboo Scribe Set" (metals, 2013) received a merit award.
"Impermanence" (acrylic on steel) by Bailey Goodwin received a merit award.
Merit awards were presented to Andy Bounkhong of Des Moines for "Bamboo Scribe Set" (metals, 2013) and Bailey Goodwin of Sioux City for "Impermanence"” (acrylic on steel, 2015).
Rudd said Bounkhong "showed great sensitivity in conveying the essential forms of the subject with the defined object. The craftsmanshipo and thematic design were great."
The physical presence of Goodwin's work and the creative use of paint and natural patina, along with a solid composition and theme, made her painting successful, Rudd said. "As a sculptor, encountering a large steel plate on the wall really engaged my curiosity. The relationship between the materials, subject and concept was clear and really effective."
Of the overall exhibition, Rudd noted, "There are a lot of brave individuals in this class making very expressive and emotive work. It is no small thing to take your time and personal feelings and make them into an object for a mass audience. The work in the exhibition is also compositionally sound and well designed."
Each spring semester, the graduating BFA students organize their senior show as part of the ARTIS 499: Senior Seminar/Exhibition course taught by Associate Professor Cindy Gould. Gould invites a successful alumnus/a of the program to serve as the awards juror each year. Exhibition hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or by special arrangement. Admission is free. The show closes at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 23.
Cindy Gould, Art and Visual Culture, (515) 294-6297, firstname.lastname@example.org
Madeline Haws, Integrated Studio Arts, (515) 402-1011, email@example.com
Reed Siems, Integrated Studio Arts, (515) 770-3423, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289, email@example.com