The East Tennessee State University Department of Art and Design and the Reece Museum present the “Spring 2021 BFA Senior Exhibition” now through April 30 featuring works by nine Bachelor of Fine Arts students.
The ETSU Department of Art and Design offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in both studio art and graphic design. Studio art seniors are William Arrowood, Camila Edye, Loki Gardner, Lindsey Goddard and Jess Uhl. Seniors in graphic design are Hank Collie, Haley McBrayer, Laura Rogers and Emilee Storie. All nine students will graduate from ETSU in May.
“Essential” is Arrowood’s look into the home improvement retail industry impacted by COVID-19. This exhibition is a photographic documentary of retail workers’ daily struggles, such as enhanced safety measures, stock level, empty shelves and social distancing. Arrowood previously received a Presidential Purchase Award selection in the 2018 ETSU BFA Honor Show and will receive a BFA with an emphasis on photography.
Collie created “No Place Like Home” as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastation of the live music industry. Growing up in a musical family, Collie has witnessed first-hand the importance of a relationship between artists and venues. Through a virtual benefit concert series, viewers will have the unique opportunity to engage in live music from home while supporting independent venues. The branding has a playful aesthetic aimed at sparking nostalgia while looking forward to the “rainbow at the end of the storm.”
Edye’s exhibition, “Symbiosis,” references elements of nature in her work to depict a dialogue and raise awareness about the negative impact in the world’s ecosystems. Edye explores the relationship humans have with nature by combining metal with alternative materials to create organic and textural pieces that aim to capture biological beauty. A native of Maldonado, Uruguay, Edye attended UDELAR Architecture University in Montevideo for four years and transferred to ETSU.
Gardner strives to lace his work with comedy or wit, aiming for contemplation of the symbolism and humor in it. His exhibition is titled “Because I’m Hilarious” to accentuate the title’s significance using a series of puns and symbolist elements that are part of the more obscure information of subcultures in which Gardner involves himself.
In “The Space of a Second,” Goddard expresses the connection between the opposing emotions of anxiety and disassociation. She strives to create emotionally engaging work with her minimalistic style and love for realism. Each of her paintings is created by multiple sessions of meticulous layering and blending.
McBrayer’s “Fletic” is a brand design for nutrition products and supplements made specifically for women that encourage healthy habits in nutrition and at the gym. “Fletic” encourages women to lead a more balanced lifestyle; achieve goals when they engage in exercise they enjoy; and nourish their bodies with food they love. McBrayer was part of a student team that represented ETSU and ranked among nine national finalists in 2020 during the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition. She is a recipient of the Fletcher Dyer Graphic Design Scholarship and the Margaret and Ruth Hays Scholarship for 2020-2021.
Rogers’s exhibition, “Periodus,” examines menstruation as a natural process that women’s bodies go through, necessary for human life. Rogers’s goal in this graphic design exhibition is to help others feel comfortable about periods without embarrassment or shame and to combat the negative stigma that may surround them.
Storie saw the growth of Downtown Johnson City and other local establishments first-hand and also felt the devastation when some of those doors closed as a result of COVID-19. Envisioning local and small businesses as what fuel smaller cities and communities, Storie developed “Local Fusion,” an app dedicated to serving and recognizing small businesses throughout Johnson City.
Uhl’s exhibition, “The Human Connection,” is constructed with natural, and organic ceramic forms inspired by trees, mountain tops, and bold shapes such as rock formations. For her, vases are significant for their ability to hold something fleeting and natural. Uhl also uses video to add a sense of place and immersion, as well as dimension to her work. She attended Asheville Buncombe Community College for two years before transferring to ETSU, where she is finishing her BFA in ceramics.
The Reece Museum, located on the ETSU campus, is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit etsu.edu/reece or phone 423-439-4392.
For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.