MFA Thesis Exhibitions open April 7 in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery

(left) Aaron Sober, "Ship of Fools," earthenware, 36" x 6" x 14", 2013; (right) Camille Hawbaker, "Leopards," thread, ink, paper and ash, 9" x 12", 2013.
(left) Aaron Sober, "Ship of Fools," earthenware, 36" x 6" x 14", 2013; (right) Camille Hawbaker, "Leopards," thread, ink, paper and ash, 9" x 12", 2013.

Seven graduating Master of Fine Arts students will present their MFA Thesis Exhibitions in three exhibitions April 7-25 in the Eisentrager-Howard Gallery in Richards Hall. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 12:30-4:30 p.m.

The first MFA Thesis Exhibition runs April 7-11 and features the work of Aaron Sober and Crisha Yantis. A reception will be held on April 11 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.

The second MFA Thesis Exhibition runs April 14-19 and features the work of T.J. Edwards, Normandy Alden and Dustin Young. A reception will be held April 18 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.

The third MFA Thesis Exhibition runs April 21-25 and features the work of Liana Owad and Camille Hawbaker. A reception will be held April 25 from 5-7 p.m. in the gallery.

Sober’s exhibition is titled “Carrying Water: A Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition by Aaron Sober.” Originally from Madison, Wisc., he completed his undergraduate degree in studio art at Macalester College in 1997. In addition to exhibiting at American Craft Council events, his work has been shown at AKAR Gallery, Penland School of Crafts Gallery, Baltimore Clayworks and The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. He received an Emerging Artist Award at the American Craft Exposition and the Foundation Award from the Red Wing Collectors Society.

Yantis’ exhibition is titled “Closely Distant.” In her artist statement, she writes, “Drawing upon my own experiences and observations of the world around me, I use the figure to explore what it means to be human. This current body of work expresses anxieties, relationships and the dynamics between our conscious and subconscious selves.” Originally from Olympia, Wash., Yantis received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Georgia. She will receive the Hixson-Lied College’s Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for 2014 and is a Lincoln Arts Council Community Supported Artist. Her work was featured in the NCECA Student Juried Exhibition in 2013, where she received a Retired Professors Award.

Edwards has titled his thesis exhibition “Iterations.” Born in Brigham City, Utah, Edwards served as an apprentice to professor emeritus Thanos A. Johnson in Marble, Colo., following his senior year of high school. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in ceramics from Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech University. He received a Windgate Fellowship and used the award to travel to Jingdezhen, China, as an artist-in-residence in 2009. The following year he was awarded a Baden-Württemberg Stipend for Vocationally Qualified People to participate in an internship program in Germany. His work has been exhibited at 15 exhibitions during his time at UNL, including 10 that were international in scale. He was recently selected as an Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly and will be featured in their international publication this May.

Alden’s untitled exhibition is inspired by the rural landscape where she lives in upstate New York. In her artist statement, she writes, “There is a 200 acre farm on the far side of Otsego County where I am building a house, a business, a family, a life. My vision for all of these extends beyond my own capabilities and lifespan. It is a vision of elegance, simplicity and utility. The pots that I make are reflections of this vision, and embody the qualities of the life I seek. They are both exuberant and quiet, expansive and constrained.” After graduation, she plans on returning to her farm and setting up a working studio, growing a garden and completing the house which she and her husband are building themselves.

Young’s exhibition is titled “Square with the World.” His current body of work explores the American experience through drawings inspired by memory and mnemonic devices. In his artist statement, he writes, “We store massive amounts of information from each experience and that data influences future thoughts and decisions. Included are the collective memories of daily headlines, articles, and images from media sources and pop-culture.” Raised in the rural town of Dumont, Minn., Young earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Minnesota State University. He received his post-baccalaureate certificate from Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts.

Owad’s exhibition is titled “A Collection: Home on Display.” In her artist statement, she writes, “A couch, a table, a bed, a sink are all standard objects familiar in an American home. These generic household staples are items I have a particular relationship to on a daily basis. In my sculptures and installations I reference furniture and household items from my childhood home and my current residence. Through distorting proportions and reconstructing these domestic objects they transform from utilitarian object to symbolic icons.” Originally from York, Pa., Owad received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Her work is currently on display at the Norfolk Arts Center in Nebraska. She has also exhibited in both Pennsylvania and in Lincoln, Neb.

Hawbaker’s exhibition is untitled. In her artist statement, she writes, “I use simple systems of making to create spontaneous, intuitive image-objects in an attempt to escape the cultural conditioning that is inherent in everyday language. Through processes of creating and destroying my work, I construct a personal, physical language of line, thread, texture, color, and pattern.” Originally from St. Paul, Minn., Hawbaker received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Baylor University. She works in prints, drawings and mixed-media works on paper that are influenced by textile surface design. She has taught printmaking and book arts at UNL and the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh.

For more information, contact the Department of Art and Art History at (402) 472-5522.