The Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition is held each semester as the capstone project for students in that program. Students must develop cohesive concepts through in-depth research with the show as a formal presentation of the results of their intense study into art forms.
Fall 2023: Agoraphobia
As for my inspiration for the pieces in the show:
They mainly come from a place of introspection, especially when I look back on my own childhood. I find it easier to paint my feelings, depicting memories and beliefs through symbolism and physical representation -- so the subject of the work is more often than not an exaggeration of myself. A lot of them are kind of dark, but it is meant to serve as a representation of how I blindly make my way through life -- peering through the darkness to find myself.
My work explores the unpleasant emotions often experienced through the fear of leaving the house through digital self-portraits. The combinations of being isolated, having negative emotions because of that, and fears of the outside world are themes from my life that I try to portray in these pieces. I use my anxieties to inspire the color schemes to bring the feelings to the surface and let others sit with them.
Shows open November 13
Closing Reception December 2 at 5 p.m.
Davis Hall 3rd Floor Gallery
Bennett was born in Oklahoma City and spent several years in Bridgeport, Texas, before moving back. Her degree emphasis is illustration and character design. She uses traditional charcoal, ebony, graphite and colored pencils to “create fantasy monsters and worlds.” She started drawing as a coping mechanism for ADHD, but she found her love of character design “ignited by classic ‘90s video game culture and the early 2000s music scene.
A Newkirk native, Harrill earned an associate degree from Northern Oklahoma College before coming to USAO once she decided to pursue her lifelong passion of creating art. Beyond its academic excellence, the campus’ small size and affordability also appealed to Harrill. She uses her art “to bring awareness to mental health and how ugly the experiences can be,” and she hopes that her works will create a visual representation of certain emotions.
Using screen, block and digital prints as well as sculpture, Wollenberg’s art shows how “love can be a prosthetic.” The recipient of a USAO art talent scholarship, alongside several other scholarships through the foundation and alumni association, she uses bold color harmony and detailed illustrations to “encapsulate the feeling of extending oneself” in the exploration of this concept of prosthetics being more than just mechanical extensions of the human body.
A 2017 graduate of Stillwater High School, Hannah Bays works predominantly in oil paints in styles ranging from landscapes to eccentric figures to abstract expressionism. This progression of forms is her “testimony to understanding the physical world around us by seeking the spiritual world.” After receiving her bachelor’, Bays plans on finding the right graduate program and completing a master of fine arts.
Kori Caparelli uses oil paint to create a set of unique creatures, focusing on animals with features slightly off what would be considered normal. Used in relatively large scales, her “surreal caricatures of life” come together to form a body of work that reflects how she views the world around her. She plans on focusing on her creative work as an independent artist before entering graduate school.
A ceramic artist whose work has involved extensive research in glaze chemistry in order to expand the available palette, Casey Gilman uses “slip-cast and slap-built forms to achieve images unique to their concepts of formal nonfunctional shapes.” After taking a gap year “to basically recover from COVID stress,” Gilman plans to pursue graduate studies.
Originally from the Phillipines, Coleen Sovick is completing her BFA with an emphasis in expanded media. She finds that “materials serve as vessels in visual storytelling” and uses “items with humble beginnings such as razor blades, mannequin parts and my body to dictate my artistic canvas.” After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree and then hopes to further her love of art through teaching.
Zor Weyrick works in oil, watercolor and screen prints to create semi-realistic worlds filled with “the mythical and mysterious creatures found in folklore,” and to represent “the idea that these creatures exist but have yet to be discovered. After graduation, she plans to work as an illustrator of children’s books and hopes to open a shop to sell prints and other creations.
Originally from Cache, Zoe Korn is a graphic designer and illustrator who hopes “to spark ideas into unsuspecting minds” with every piece she creates. Her works communicate connection with the world around us and encourage viewers to see beyond “the fairy tale stories they choose to tell themselves to help them sleep at night.” After graduation, Korn hopes to move to western Colorado to continue her education in animation school and looks forward to a lifelong career as an artist.
Hannah Adrian McCluskey
Born in Tuttle, Hannah Adrian McCluskey decided to make art her life’s passion at 16. Despite initially planning to study painting, after coming to USAO and meeting associate professor Jordan Vinyard she became fascinated with installation and performance art. Since making this shift in emphasis, McCluskey has dedicated her life to “ensuring her work inspires and encourages other people to remember that they are never alone in what they feel” as well as unburdening herself of her own emotions.
Transferring to USAO from Redlands Community College, Reyna Ponce’s sculpture and ceramics works reflect her interest in both art and biology. Touching on “the biological essence of emotion and humanness,” her pieces use bright colors and interactive materials like fur and yarn as well as incorporating plants and insects “to express the value of community within life.” After graduation Ponce will continue to create new artwork while exploring her options for graduate school.