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MFA Thesis Exhibition
April 7-26, 2006
Tisch and Koppelman Galleries


This exhibition is the third of four in an ongoing series of MFA thesis exhibitions shown annually at the Tufts University Art Gallery as part of the joint graduate degree program of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

About the artists:
STEFANIE BRUSER-SMITH
My work explores the fine line between girlhood and womanhood.  Through the guises of traditional portraiture, forced-perspective, and role-playing, adolescence is revealed as an awkward flux where desire, sexuality, and identity are called into question.  The results are not merely portraits of girl scouts; they are female archetypes whose choices perpetuate a physical and psychological drama.
Stuffing, 36 x 28 inches, oil on canvas

 

BRIAN GERSHEY
My work centers around subjects I have been interested in since childhood.  Cartoons, video games, toys, and science fiction had a profound effect on me as a child and presently play a huge role in the way I view the world and influence the world(s) I create in my paintings.  Recently, I have been working on a series of paintings for an exhibition titled Sanctuary.  In these pictures are forms that resemble beings of some kind, flying in capsules, traveling in roving transports while exploring different environments and possibly finding an area in which to set up, live and be safe.  I hope that my paintings convey a sense of optimism.
Tomorrow is Today #3 (detail), 2005-06, 4 x 4 feet, acrylic on paper
 

NAN C. HOCKENBURY
Individual histories are constructed of quiet passages of solitude, brief encounters, life-altering co-incidences and near misses. On canvas, free-floating anthropomorphic flower forms engage in these encounters; the underpinnings of relationship at the first moment of intersection. Space between these bodies is haunted by memory. It is the theatrical site where staged events occur. Manifested through the gaze of the onlooker who determines the outcomes, this world records a particular point of view.
Untitled (detail), 2006, 6 x 8 feet, oil on canvas

   

THOMAS MARQUET
My work proceeds from a concern with language and its embodiment as a structure of meaning. This derives from my practice as a cartoonist (in which images are read and words are seen), and my interest in the relationship between cartooning and sculptural practices, particularly in terms of the assumed differences between representation and literal presentation. The mechanisms of representation in comics are things themselves, but these things have an internal logic separate from that of traditional representation. Recent sculpture oscillates between representational and literal presentation. The tension between these possibilities generates a comedy that is both physical and linguistic.
OK, okay , 2005, about 6 x 8 feet, burned pine
   

JULIE MILLER
A fascination with intensely visceral experiences of perception is the primary influence in my drawings and digital work. Circumventing subject matter and logic, my intent is to activate and animate a mesmerizing trip through vibrant imagery.
o(5) (detail), 2006, 6 x6", ink, paint marker on paper
   

LIZ SHEPHERD
I select pieces of furniture both for their stylistic anonymity and the degree to which they imply gender. The body is not only suggested by the work itself, but by the way it invites the viewer to engage in it. The viewer is encouraged to bend to look through holes and slices and squeeze to fit between walls and objects. Memories of traumatic events and experiences motivated the alteration of the pieces.
Untitled (Blue), 2005, 32 x 36 x 18", mixed media
 

SHELLEY ZATSKY
Photographing places/structures from the National Trust for Historic Preservations’ 11 Most Endangered list comes from the desire to document a time and place that exist in both the present and in history.  The spaces promise to reveal something beyond the peeling paint.  They arrive on this list with threat of impermanence and exist between survival and loss, caught in a struggle to remember why they stand.  I aim to capture the struggle, the in-between state, and in some cases, the end result.  I document change in a place that is no longer wanted or needed.  The place is left decaying and its history is left to fend for itself.  Where there was life, there are now only remnants of that life left behind.  These man-made structures have outlived their functions, but they battle obsolescence so history might remain in the present.  Some have survived the struggle, with history intact; others have lost their fight, only to be torn down to make way for another vessel of history to be built.  I photograph to capture a moment–my moment in a place’s history.
Doctor's Quarters, Marine Hospital, Louisville, KY, 30 x 30", lightjet print