Apperceptions: Master of Fine Arts Exhibition 2009

April 4 – May 10, 2009

The William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut is pleased to present the works of the 2009 Master of Fine Arts degree candidates in an exhibition entitled apperceptions. The public is invited to meet the artists at a reception in their honor on Friday, April 3, 5-7:30 pm. The exhibition is on view April 4 through May 10.

Michael Donovan, a sculptor and printmaker, was born in Bridgeport, and currently resides in Naugatuck, Connecticut. In 2005 he received his Bachelor of Science degree in studio art with an emphasis in sculpture from Southern Connecticut State University where he received the Third Annual Olafs Zeidenbergs Award. Donovan’s work was included in “The Lasso Project” at Art Space in New Haven in 2007 and has appeared in several exhibitions in the New Haven and Storrs area.
Artist Statement: I create sculptural implements fixed in mid-function as absurd monuments. Using wood and steel, my work embodies both the structure and utility of a tool as it acts upon itself. The physical task that each piece performs creates tension and potential energy within the work that is never released. Each piece performs a designated task with no true purpose other than sustaining the level of energy generated within it. Interacting within each piece structural elements become dependent on one another, maintaining a senseless state of permanence. By perpetually engaging tool with task my sculptural objects become self- contained events.

 Bruce Myren, photographer and sculptor, has had his landscape photography featured in solo shows at the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA and Gallery Kayafas, in Boston. His solo exhibition “The 40th Parallel and Other Adventures” will appear at the Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography in summer 2009. He has shown in group exhibitions at the Lillian Immig Gallery at Emmanuel College, the University of Connecticut’s William Benton Museum of Art, and the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design. An artist in the Art in Embassies Program and an instructor at the New England Institute of Art in Boston, he has presented at College Art Association and Society of Photographic Education conferences. Myren earned his Bachelor of Fine Art with Departmental Honors from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Artist Statement : In my photographic work, I document a variety of arbitrary points of human measurement and the landscapes found at their intersections. I often create rules whether geographical, mathematical, historical, or memory-basedgoverning my choice of or approach to a site in order to make a series of photographs. This method stems from my interest in maps and mapping, and takes inspiration from earlier photographic and conceptually-based practices. By measuring, coordinating, and locating myself within the world, my work has naturally progressed from documenting universally recognized notions associated with location to addressing more intimate connections with place and home.
Jacob Saunders, printmaker, was born in Muncie, Indiana in 1984. A visual storyteller working in a variety of two-dimensional media, Jake harkens back to narrative conventions of rural America to tell true-life tales of contemporary tragedy. He received his Bachelor of Fine Art and a Master of Arts degree in printmaking from Ball State University. He has exhibited in a variety of venues in the Midwest and Northeast and internationally in London and India. Jake currently lives in harmony among small predatory mammals in Ashford, Connecticut.
Artist Statement: My work is storytelling. Narrative and musical traditions of the Ozarks, Appalachians, English broadside ballads and Delta blues all inform my work. I communicate tragic narratives while exploring the nature of narrative itself, such as the qualities that emerge through repetition. The threads prevalent in these traditions are passed on without a sense of authorship, and no two versions of the same story are identical. Retelling an original story, whether it is based in fact or fiction, simultaneously expands and focuses its meanings and implications. My work emulates tendencies inherent in narrative’s history of repetition; I use printmaking’s unique capacity for seriality and multiplicity to compose a set of elements and create several versions of the same account that, like the story on which they are based, originate in reality. In this way, I explore the grey area between fact and fiction that every chronicle occupies.
Elizabeth Talbot was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Arlington Virginia. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2006 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond where she received the Anderson Ranch Brooks Fellowship Award. She has exhibited in numerous shows in the Richmond and Connecticut area, including Plant Zero and at the Dakshina Chitra Gallery in Panjim, India.
Artist Statement: Through my paintings and installations, I search for new realities that turn ideas on their heads and break down preconceived notions. I picture my own fantastical land, mixing media and methods. Emulating children’s play, I learn by way of exploration. I paint, print, and sculpt, often combining approaches to discover new synergies. Collaging elements in my work allows for changing contexts. Recently, deep-sea animal imagery appears as a metaphor for that which has yet to be explored. My fish and other characters live in a land with its own language that offers expansive interpretations of existence.
Elizabeth Talbot, "Squid Falling on Language" Acrylic on paper 72"x55" 2009
Elizabeth Talbot, “Squid Falling on Language” Acrylic on paper 72″x55″ 2009
Erin Wiersma was born in Somerville, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Art degree from Messiah College with concentrations in Painting and Drawing. She also studied at Instituto Lodovico in Orvieto, Italy in 2003. Wiersma’s work was recently exhibited in New England and Atlanta, Georgia, as well as internationally in the Coast to Coast exhibit at Dakshina Chitra Gallery, Chennai, India and Ruchika’s Art Gallery, Panjim, India. In 2007, she exhibited her work in a solo show at Hampden Gallery, Amherst, Massachusetts.
Artist Statement: Figuration is the foundation of my paintings. Having begun with observed form, my current work seeks the transcendent and intangible aspects of what makes up the human being, using myself as point of reference. When I paint, I seek to maintain a meditative-like state in which I’m present and in the moment, experiencing what T.S. Eliot calls “a still point of the turning world.” Freed from ordinary time, I give myself a place to ask questions and search for assurance; painting on large surfaces, engaging the scale of my whole body, I use my physical energy and materials to catch a glimmer of something ineffable beyond myself. Tracing my body’s movements, I generate a language of marks across a ground, leaving physical evidence of my presence, residues of energy transcribed over time as lyrical passages. In the sum of these marks, I discover a confluence of the spiritual and the material.