Springtime and The 2012 MFA Exhibition Come to The William Benton Museum of Art
The 2012 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition is opening March 30 from 5 to 7:30 pm with a reception that recognizes the artistic accomplishments of this year’s five degree candidates in the studio art program at The School of Fine Arts. The exhibition opens officially on Saturday, March 31 and remains on view through Sunday, May 6.
David Cool is an artist, technologist and life adventurer who was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania. He attended Pennsylvania State University where he was awarded the Leslie P. Greenhill Photography Scholarship and graduated with honors in Integrative Arts. He has worked in IT infrastructure management, web development, underwater photography and video, taught English in South Korea and implemented networks at an environmental forestry institute in rural Himalayan Bhutan. He uses various computer hardware, software programming, hand built microcontrollers, lighting, sound equipment and other devices to explore the ego, spiritual awakening and both conscious and unconscious interactions between individuals and groups.
Yelizaveta [Liza] Masalimova was born in Kiev, Ukraine and immigrated to Connecticut with her family when she was five. She earned a BFA in Sculpture from the Lyme [CT] Academy College of Fine Art where she studied with Master Draftsman Deane G. Keller and was inspired to explore the printmaking medium by Master Printer James Reed. In her most recent work, primarily drawing and printmaking, she explores themes of collective struggle and uncertainty in the presence of a shattered, unforgiving world. She says of her work, “I am fascinated with the way that labor and pain can resonate through history, and shape the memory of the past, as well as the direction of the future. My figures are adrift in a perpetual void of doubt and engaged in visceral interactions that evoke a common human fear, longing, and desperation. With my images, I hope to express a deeply felt emotion that language fails to describe.” [www.lizastudio.com]
Alyssa Matthews is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, and a graduate of Louisiana State University with a BFA in painting with Honors. Her current pursuits within painting grew out of a youthful passion for ballerinas and the Virgin Mary. She loves trophies, celebrity weddings, and Christmas. “I make paintings that celebrate a feminine desire on the brink of chaos. Exploring excess through color, cleavage, and the female gaze, I push the traditional prettified damsel to assert her agency and submit us to the anarchy of her fancies. Robust or cloud-like, her décolletage unravels Western etiquette. Implied or realized, her gaze propositions us with irreverence and frippery. In the face of an ever-pervasive rhetoric of authenticity, these charged saccharine spaces provoke me to investigate a subversive, feminine, and painted beauty in this contemporary moment.”
David Sinaguglia, sculptor-videographer-photographer, was born in Hartford Connecticut, received his BFA from Hartford Art School, and attended the Wassaic Project in NY. He has contributed to FreeCabinPorn.com and is a 2011 “Step Up” recipient from Real Art Ways. He builds and fabricates structures in which to exercise his autonomy, and greets each day with grace and precision. “My sculptural environments, video work and photos all stem from the exploration of masculine want. The capacity to distinguish from what is wanted, needed, and desired is a question that propels my work; the need to feel autonomous may be less about autonomy and more about the need to be seen as autonomous, and in that search for definition is the performance.” He is also interested in the social rewards received by those who choose not only to live up to a stereotype but also to exemplify it and an earnest desire to live up to the stereotype of a capable, well-rounded man—following the myth of autonomy while knowing full well it is a fabrication. [www.davesinaguglia.com]
Heather Stamenov was born in Cleveland, Ohio, lived abroad with her family from ages 4–16, and returned to the Midwest where she studied at Herron School of Art and Design and received Bachelors degrees in Art Education and Fine Art with a concentration in painting. During her time at UConn, she has focused on painting, printmaking, drawing and photography. “My work springs from an ongoing fascination with body image, human behavior, and social interactions, specifically as these relate to gender. I pull from the anxiety, awkwardness and irony that arise when traditional roles and expectations collide with my own personal experiences. This tension prompts me to construct narratives in which I imagine theatrical situations, intimate sets and close communities that allow for a range of social behavior both performed and sincere. Through paint, print and photography I present my own ideal in which cellulite is glorified, performance is play and where nothing is inappropriate.”
The 2012 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition shares the Benton Museum space with Screenshots and From Objects to Object: Found Sculpture by Leo Sewell, both of which are on view through May 20.
THE WILLIAM BENTON MUSEUM OF ART is the state art museum, located at 245 Glenbrook Road, at the center of the University of Connecticut campus at Storrs. 860.486.4520. Admission is free. Museum hours are Tuesday–Friday 10-4:30, Saturday–Sunday 1-4:30. www.thebenton.org. www.facebook.com/benton.museum