UR’s ‘The Boondoggle Scandal’ to be a Mixed Media Event
University of Richmond’s Senior show, The Boondoggle Scandal: Senior Thesis Exhibition, promises to explore complex themes across multiple mediums, giving the graduating studio arts majors a chance to highlight their talents.
There are three painters featured in the exhibition, and while their media binds them together, their theories and methodologies show great diversity. By relying on her memories of living abroad, Sarah Matheson creates characters and stories that communicate both positive and negative emotions of feeling distinctly American. Sarah Fagan utilizes a personal vocabulary of organic imagery to create narrative portraits of memories and their fleeting impressions on the mind.
Dee Glazer, paints with regulated flows and organized chaos, where what is “human” or “natural” is increasingly systematized and mechanized. Glazer sees these two shows as reflection of her work “having to adapt to strange surroundings, images, and people.” She painted two site-specific installations, a mural at Plant Zero, and an assemblage of wooden panels at the Pickles Gallery in the Univ. of Richmond Museums.
Glazer, who also majors in philosophy, explains that sexuality simply doesn’t relate to the work; “My work deals with the channeling and harnessing of flows. Although some of these energies may be sexual driven, it is there more as an energy for me to manipulate, and not a determined state of being or concrete definition.” She is quick to cite Foucault in defining sexuality as a system of transactional reality, which is a definition she was ambivalent to agree upon as she follows her own desires. Glazer doesn’t box herself into identity categories but thinks being with a woman for three years counts for something. In her opinion, Richmond isn’t the most open to deference and this translates into its architectures aesthetics of neo-gothic brick.
Helen Vu concerns herself in her prints with the outside world’s overwhelming bombardment of information. With a refined sense of delicacy in her prints, she seeks to convey complexity through the use of simplicity. Julia Eldred and Zach Correa both make digital work. Through her videos, Julia Eldred addresses the issue of anxiety and the attempts Americans make at attaining happiness. Zach Correa presents captured moments of unforced digital glitches accompanied by text in order to define what life has become through computers.
In his fashion designs, Kadeem Alphanso Fyffe asserts that his aesthetic is the product of a constant critique of Fashion itself as he expands and empowers the female form through volume and the inclusion of unorthodox materials. Fyffe remarked that the developing of these outfits has been a fabulous experience and helped prepared him for graduate school at Parsons. One issues that Fyffe noticed over his years at UR was that the art department was constantly compared to VCU’s Art School:
I don’t really think it is fair to compare because we are so much smaller, as a school and a dept. I think the methods of teaching are much different as well. If I were at VCU I would have studied Fashion Design in a specific program, but at UR I had to combine independent study and courses in Costume Design to make fashion my own program and enrich my studies. I liked having to be resourceful to create my own program.
Fyffe was a co-founder of UR’s Black Alliance for Sexual-minority Equality. He sees promising future prospects in the fashion industry: “The only thing I can say is that I find Fashion accepting of my sexuality and I feel it will actually help me thrive in the industry…If I were straight I’m not sure I would be in Fashion…but I don’t think it is a huge determining factor in how I actually go about my design process.” Yet, his design principles are not directly related to his sexuality but more focus on “creating beauty” as he has done in his womens-wear; “Designing has always been a form of escape, escaping normal life and the mundane and making things fabulous and beautiful. ” Don’t we all need a little escape from something?
The exhibition was organized by the University of Richmond Museums and the Department of Art and Art History, University of Richmond. The shows spans across the city with a portion in the Westend at the Joel & Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University and down in Westchester at Plant Zero.
Featured Artists: Zach Correa, Julia Eldred, Sarah Fagan, Kadeem Alphanso Fyffe, Dee Glazer, Sarah Matheson, and Helen Vu.
Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art: April 19 to May 9, 2013
Plant Zero: April 26 to April 30, 2013
“This year the Q-Summit is putting a more explicit focus on racial justice as it intersects with queer organizing in the south.”March 3, 2016
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