By Blake Nelson
On Tuesday, the Bachelor of Fine Arts students will open the student gallery spaces in the Jot Travis Building at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the BFA Midway Exhibition. Their respective works will be displayed for the public to view, with Thursday, March 3, being the official reception.
Six students will be displaying art in the exhibit, each exploring their own themes and disciplines. The students have worked for months on the pieces that will be on display, with mediums ranging from sculpture to woodblock prints.
The exhibit is an annual exhibit of BFA students’ art who are midway through earning their degrees. Here are a few of the students who will be exhibiting this year:
Nathaniel Benjamin explores aspects of his psyche through the art that he creates. Benjamin uses human forms in woodblock that are heavily reminiscent of Jungian psychology and the intricacies of dreams. The pieces in this exhibit are a mixture of woodblock prints and sculpture displays, exploring themes of relationships between the self and the other.
Benjamin has been living in Reno for nearly four years and originally enrolled at UNR for forestry, but ended up choosing fine arts as a more realized life goal. Being mentored by Michael Sarich and much of the other faculty in the art program has helped him clarify his approach and goals in his work by allowing him to better understand why he makes art and what his interest in art is. Benjamin also does some signage for local businesses in the Reno area such as the Great Basin Food Co-op.
Olivia Cyr creates art that sheds light on gender socialization through a feminist lens. Cyr’s primary medium is painting, but has recently used booklets in combination with the paintings to create a narrative between the two. The pieces being displayed in the Midway Exhibit use these mediums to explore the topics of gender and body image in relation to women.
Cyr grew up in the Sacramento area and moved to Reno about five years ago. Moving around a lot when she was younger, Cyr enjoys the Nevada area and plans on graduating sometime next year. Although she believes that all of the professors have influenced and supported her throughout the program, her main mentors have been Michael Sarich and Inge Bruggeman.
Kara Savant works mainly in the medium of sculptures, and is an artist who is attracted to unsettling aspects in her sculptures. Savant originally began with drawing and eventually moved into tableau settings. Savant sets a scene that easily draws the viewer into the familiarity of the objects in the piece, but includes a detail that is meant to mildly shock the viewer by its abruptness.
Moving from Elko to pursue an education, Savant transferred to UNR two years ago from Truckee Meadows Community College. Studying under Jeffrey Ericson and other mentors in the BFA program has been an enlightening and challenging experience thus far, according to Savant. She hopes to go to graduate school after she graduates from the BFA program in the next year or two.
Blake Nelson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @b_e_nelson