USAO Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates prepare for final exhibition, "Vex"

Black background with red "Vex" crisscrossing

USAO Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates prepare for final exhibition, "Vex"


Five art students from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma are preparing for their final exhibition, “Vex,” before graduation. An opening reception will take place March 31 at 7 p.m. in the Nesbitt Gallery, and the exhibition will remain on display until April 26. The event is free and open to the public.

The spring 2018 candidates for a Bachelor of Fine Arts are: Taylor Clear, Leo Corbett, Hailey Craighead, Alex O’Dell and Joshua Tuaila.

Born in Mustang, Clear works primarily in mixed media sculptures and installations, with an overall focus on “textural qualities and our perceptions of surface in the world around us.” Her pieces “lean towards a more organic and grotesque physicality” that introduces the audience to different media, pushing their perceptual boundaries. Clear wants her work “to make the viewer more aware of their conceptions and knowledge of texture and our diverse relationship with our tactile sense.”

Corbett was born in Oklahoma City and decided to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts at USAO due to its highly regarded faculty and small class size. His work combines traditional and digital illustrations with physical models, “focusing on the possibility of communication in the absence of traditional spoken dialogue.” Corbett draws inspiration from the “evocative imagery of expressionism.” He plans to pursue a career as a professional illustrator and is considering graduate courses in animation.

The daughter of two USAO alumni, Craighead’s work embodies adventure and discovery, combining modern color techniques with classic children’s book and television illustration. Her goal is “to harmonize mixed, and often contrasting, media in order to create pieces that are both an integral part of the story and appealing on their own.” She has already worked as a freelance illustrator on more than half a dozen projects and hopes to partner with a publishing company.

O’Dell, from Newcastle, works primarily in digital illustrations. Drawing inspiration from the German Expressionist movements, “especially their wood linocut prints,” O’Dell combines “this seemingly outdated media with a newly developing one to change the perception of what people think it is.” His figural pieces display a huge range of emotions, “from haunting to calming,” making use of forced perspective, dramatic lines and shading.

Originally from Cyril, Tuaila came to USAO to study ceramic sculpture and pottery. The concepts for his work originates in his Otoe-Missouria heritage and “shines a light on the grim reality many minority groups face in our society.” His pieces “embody the direct influence that misconceptions have on Native Americans as well as other cultures of today,” and “symbolize the mistreatment that subgroups face at the hands of the government and other institutions.”