USAO Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates prepare for final exhibition

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USAO Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates prepare for final exhibition


Nine art students from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma are preparing for their final exhibition, “Synth,” before graduation. An opening reception will take place March 25 at 7 p.m. in the Nesbitt Gallery, and the exhibition will remain on display until April 21. The event is free and open to the public.

The spring 2017 candidates for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree are: Kathleen Ezell, Brianne Humphreys, Elizabeth Betzen, Alfredo Baeza, Kyle Bennett, Dylan Gerber, Victoria Clary, Brooke Curtis and Logan Webb.

Ezell was born in Ardmore and works primarily with acrylic paint. She enjoys playing with illustration and geometry in a style she calls “semi-realism.” She chose USAO after hearing great things about the art program and its promise of “experimentation and growth, not static perfection.” After attending the Montmartre chalk art festival and meeting with faculty, her decision was not hard to make.

Betzen is from Ardmore and decided to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts at USAO because of the university’s interdisciplinary approach. With a degree concentration in painting and primarily using oils, her work emphasizes texture and the interaction of colors. After graduation, Betzen plans to attend graduate school for a Master of Fine Arts and pursue a career in art education.

Originally from Guthrie, Humphreys’ artwork focuses on hybrid media, a specialization that the art department has added relatively recently. Her pieces consist of installation, video, sound and performance art as a form of social commentary that exposes idiosyncrasies while challenging viewer perspectives. She plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts and continue developing this new genre of art.

Baeza is a veteran of the marine corps originally from Ulysses, Kan. After leaving the marines, he first decided to pursue a career as a high school art teacher before realizing he wanted to earn his BFA with an emphasis in sculpture. Baeza plans to continue his work as a sculptor in graduate school and earn his MFA. He intends to become a professor and teach courses on installation art and sculpture.

Bennett was born and raised in Moore. He showed his interest in art at a young age with drawing and painting, but fell in love with photography in high school after working for the yearbook. Bennett’s high school art teacher was a USAO alumnus and recommended the university to him. Bennett loves the freedom that his camera and editing software give him to develop the stories in his imagination.

Gerber is from Yukon and graduated with his BFA in the summer of 2016 with an emphasis in painting and a minor in liberal arts. Returning to exhibit in Synth, his works use the traditional medium of painting to develop modernized pin-up images that reference the classical Greek ideal of beauty. Gerber intends to pursue an MFA and would like to get into the world of graphic novels.

Clary has come to USAO from Alaska to earn her BFA with a concentration in graphic illustration. Her work inverts traditional archetypal narratives and casts marginalized individuals in culturally significant roles. Clary’s ultimate goal is the normalization of these individuals and creating a representative space for those who feel invisible and excluded.

Curtis was born in Shawnee and attended Bethel Public Schools. She is pursuing a BFA with a concentration in contemporary sculpture. Her works serve as an absurdist reflection of the microcosm that social media creates and “how it has aggressively manufactured our priorities and values into a bodiless existence.”

Originally from Altus, Webb’s degree emphasis is contemporary sculpture. He draws inspiration from artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Nicole Wermers. Webb focuses on installations, employing materials such as acrylic sheets, aluminum, silicone and mechanized components to scrutinize the “contextual misapplication of Old Testament doctrine.” During his time as at USAO, he has been heavily involved in student government and is a member of several honor societies.