Bachelor of Fine Arts fall exhibit to be displayed until Dec. 17

Artist Josh Elston discusses his piece, Social/Personal functions of a table, with Sculpture Professor Jeremy Davis, December 3, 2016 in the University Art Gallery on the campus of Central Michigan University. Josh Barnhart | Staff Photographer

Three Central Michigan students have been given the opportunity to display their artwork in the University Art Gallery from Dec. 2-17.

Seniors Ifeoluwaloju Zuri, Joshua Elston and Marie Jeffrey hosted a gallery talk Dec. 3 and reception for their exhibit: “Dissection - Separating Something into Pieces to Better.”

The students will each be graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art in art.

“Art has been an outlet for me to express my emotions and has acted as a source of therapy,” Jeffrey said.

Zuri discussed her ten pieces of art, displayed in the back of the Main Gallery.

She said she began the pieces by using canvases, but noticed she had more weighed materials.

“I use a multitude of different materials,” Zuri said. “Sometimes material will spark ideas, or an idea will return in the materials that I use in my work.”

Because she uses colors expressively, her work features a lot of reds, blues and yellows. The yellow represents impatience, red for irritability and anger, and blue for peace.

Zuri also used hot glue on one of her paintings to express the melting of the exterior.

Three pieces of her artwork were incorporated images of outer space.

“I’m fascinated with outer space because it is so important to our life and our existence,” Zuri said.

Elston was the second speaker and had four pieces of art displayed in the West Gallery.

His work explores the permutations of the communication process and the effect space has on social interactions.

“My working process stresses that ideas come first,” Elston said.

Elston will write down an idea on a piece of paper and pin it to the wall, but won’t return to it until months later.  

He does this so that he can see old ideas and try to get back into that mentality that he was a few months ago.

“At times it’s like I’m communicating with my past self,” Elston said.

He started three canvases with the idea of having an underlying order of strips going across the painting horizontally and distorted the folds.

He said  he uses color to heighten the idea of permutation.

“It’s this back and forth negotiation between what I want and what the materials give to me,” Elston said.

The fourth art piece that he showed was an interactive table.

The top of the table was removed because Elston wanted to remove the physical function to focus on the social properties.

“Just like a canvas, with the table there’s an interest in how ideas change my process itself (and) reflects permutation with information through the communication I have with my past self,” Elston said.

Jeffrey was the last speaker, with nine art pieces of printmaking and painting displayed in the West Gallery.

Her work consists of figure drawings that became prints, and are often fragmented and dissected. Its then reinvented into a space where she puts oil paint on top.

“These works are self portraits. They are based off of my personal experiences,” Jeffrey said.  “There’s a suppression of acceptance, a pulling yourself back together after an emotional tragedy, relentlessness for perfectionism and a psychological baggage present.”

Her images are primarily nude, which she said adds vulnerability.

Jeffrey began working on canvas’ before switching to paper, allowing her to cut the figure up and take multiple figure drawings to combine them.

“It was easier to twist and change their proportion of the figure and kind of evoke an uncomfortable presence,” Jeffrey said.

In most of her work, the heads were separated from the bodies and placed in different areas of the picture.

Jeffrey said she tries separating the head from the physical form, and feels like it expresses more of a psychological dialogue.

“The mind controls how you embrace a situation, how you become okay with who you are and where you are now,” Jeffrey said.

The last piece had a child figure that she said was influenced from a sense of patience her daughter wants for her and the box of innocence that she puts her daughter into.

Her overall work is a reflection of herself that is derived from her life.

“I feel like the figures are relatable to others in a way that they seem pretty ambiguous and have gone through different processes to get where they are,” Jeffrey said.