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May Issue 2006

Clemson University in Clemson, SC, Features BFA Exhibition

Cessation: A Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Exhibition will take place from May 1 - 5, 2006, in the Rudolph E. Lee Gallery, in Lee Hall at the College of Architecture at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. The exhibit includes works by Jamie Gillespie,
Rebekah Hinson, Jay Nexsen, Samantha Saylor, Matthew Stepp, and
Cody Weston.

Jamie Lee Gillespie offers the following statement: "My most recent work is the result of an exploration of the possibilities available through oil paint as a medium. Along with the different techniques, I have been exploring various themes as well. The result is a loosely connected series of paintings using multiple techniques. I have studied and experienced many religious and spiritual traditions, along with various philosophies, over the years. I like to bring these experiences into my work in a subtle way. The purpose of my work is to entertain, give hope to, and perhaps nudge the viewer towards some type of enlightenment or edification. Some of my paintings contain open narratives. The narratives use modern, and sometimes fantastic, settings to develop a loosely connected mythology. Other paintings deal with themes of mortality and the possibilities of rebirth. Another set of paintings begin to show an effort to combine popular culture with certain religious or spiritual ideas. My other paintings are much more experimental, and reflect my continued growth as an artist."

Rebekah Hinson offers the following statement about her work: "Painting is my ideal media for personal and conceptual expression. The topics that I find myself exploring over and over are issues relating to femininity and more specifically, female body image. Being a woman, I am interested in the issues of gender roles and the ideas of insecurity that are often suffered by the female gender. I attempt a sort of visual conversation through juxtaposition and I love the idea that two separate forces can be combined to create a greater meaning."

Jay Nexsen offers the following about his work: "As an artist, I feel that aesthetics and form most influence my work. Clay and wood are natural materials that have been used for thousands of years both as building materials and an artistic medium. It is these two materials that I have the most experience with as both a builder and an artist. My ceramic works as well as my woodworking are primarily utilitarian pieces because I enjoy the idea of manipulating natural materials in order to produce functional works of art. Surface treatment and color play a key role in my ceramic work's aesthetic. To maximize these two things, I use atmospheric firings such as wood and soda to achieve the desired effect. The result is an unpredictable array of warm tones that seem to flow around the piece. It is this unpredictability that I find so intriguing about the whole process. My woodworking is also unpredictable but in a different way. The unique shape of each tree that I start with will ultimately decide what is made and how it takes shape. I use slabs of cypress because of the unique qualities it has. Rot resistant and easy to work, the trees provide the perfect material to build with."

Samantha Saylor says, "The most important part of my work is the media. In high school I learned about the power of charcoal and it has influenced my work ever since. I like the deep, smoky blacks next to the erased highlights and the dramatic and moody effect they create together. However, after drawing in black and white for a few years I needed to experiment with some color. My more recent works experiment with pastels and color relationships."

"My subjects are mostly figurative work and observational studies, adds Saylor. "Figures are one of the more difficult subjects to master and I always wanted to be able to successfully draw a person or face. It is that desire that pushes me to continue drawing figures and portraits. My other pieces consist of studies of objects I find interesting and beautiful. I take these objects, draw them from a different view and exaggerate features and colors to enhance or highlight their beauty. Recently I have started combing figures and objects by taking organs or parts of the body and representing them as I see them working in my body. I am drawing my organs not proportional correct, but emotionally correct. I plan on continuing this study of the normal versus the infected, damaged, or emotionally challenged."

Matthew Stepp said, "My work tends to be sporadic and spontaneous in both inspiration and subject. I tend to focus more on the art of composition relying more on the viewer's interpretation of the art than a publicized personal meaning. I've tried to develop my own eye of design and push the subjects of my works to their limits."

Cody Weston offers the following statement, "My work tends to deal with my own feelings and philosophies about life, in both the spiritual and physical realms. I am interested in the process of sculpture as a way of working through these ideas, peeling away layers to perhaps find where I stand. I try to create work that communicates the feeling of an idea, leaving it open for the viewer to bring their own thoughts into play. I enjoy the process of trying to wrap my mind around our existence in an organic way, the vague feelings brought from personal experience being the starting point as opposed to the cold scientific thought. I strive for a sense of confusion akin to a dreamlike state, at once familiar and foreign."

The integrity of what I work with is important," says Weston. "I work with traditional materials such as steel, bronze, clay, and glass, as well as nontraditional materials such as rubber, which is equally durable. The materials may be found or fabricated, with the evidence of hand and deterioration often being present in the work. I enjoy seeing the aging of these materials, which perhaps brings them closer, or at least more integrated, into this world."

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the gallery at 864/656-3883 or at (www.clemson.edu/caah/leegallery).


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