VISION: BFA Exhibition at The University of Hawaii at Manoa.
by Shawn Spangler
At the end of each spring semester the University of Hawaii’s art gallery hosts the Bachelor of Fine Arts student exhibit. There the public is invited to view the work these aspiring artists have been laboring over for nearly a year. Most of the process begins during the spring semester in their cluttered studio space of chaotic beauty leading them to finality. The student’s work emerges from this semester with expressive, conceptualized work displaying a focused and compellingly product from their time and effort.
This year thirty-five students exhibited their work collectively in the BFA show VISION. The exhibition intertwines contemporary modes of presentation with site specifics in a gallery that was constructed by the Department of Art specifically for this exhibition. Each student is allotted a space within the gallery to compose their ideas and concepts while encouraging viewers to uncover the process behind their work. The opening event begins with the annual awards ceremony and reception where over 500 attendees gather to view the completion of the BFA capstone class. The exhibition includes artists from drawing glass, fiber, printmaking, photography, sculpture, painting, and ceramics.
Every BFA student in the class is provided with their own studio space for the duration of their BFA semester while they develop their projects. This course is constructed with the goal of fostering creative thinking and problem solving skills, coupled with initiative, and discipline, aspiring to a high standard of professionalism and studio practice. The class represents the articulation of a personal vision: the result of a rigorous investigation of one’s self and work. Aided by faculty advisors, the students are pushed toward individual research and continuous revisions a proposal to strengthen the concept and final product.
Two or three professors who specialize in a range of media areas teach the B.F.A. class. This gives students the opportunity to receive critiques from a wide variety of perspectives as well as from their peers. Interaction and constructive criticism is fully encouraged from the commencement of the class until its end.
There were many engaging and compelling work exhibited in VISION. I am highlighting a few students work I found compelling.
INTENSUS INCONTRA is a place where chaos ensues, and with its core acting as a reflective portal where the viewer can see themselves from an external perspective. The flames move and flow towards the center, illuminating a reflection of one’s self. The elements of fire and clay correlate in a magnitude of ways. I am drawn to the strong similarities—the physical characteristics of strength, force, energy, heat, and the aesthetic beauty—that these elements represent.
Making has a unique way of mirroring, if not emulating life. This body of work is a reflection of my interpretations of the club and party culture, focusing on the habitual glamorization and even glorification of the oppressed female persona. As a millennial I have directed my gaze and research around the urban phrase “trap culture.” This phrase refers to the drug-dealing street ghetto mafia of the early 1990’s. The term “trap” creates a narrative that portrays women as wonting and eager for a salacious lifestyle of a “Trap Queen.” Some of today’s trap culture can be discovered here in Honolulu, in the after-hours club scene where, similar to a origin of drug dealing and violence, this lowbrow art-trending scene continues the narrative that romanticizes women’s roles despite the fact that they are dismissed, oppressed and objectified. The intention of my installation is to present the subjugation of women viewed through social clubs and party and play communities.
[ALL STATIONS THIS NET, ALL STATIONS THIS NET]
As a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, [break]
I am among many who suffer [break]
from the ill effects of going to war. [break]
Fighting alongside my brothers and sisters [break]
the events that I have been a part of, [break]
and witnessed, will be forever in my mind. [break]
Through social media and mass media, [break]
the civilian may get a glimpse [break]
of the nightmares in war. [break]
I am trying to bring to light the realities of PTS (D) [break]
faces to the statistics, and the struggles we face every day.
[HOW COPY? OVER.]