Art seniors strut their stuff

The first exhibit for many graduating B.A. and B.F.A. students, the spring show demonstrates how the students have grown.

PHOTO COURTESY CAT POND

PHOTO COURTESY CAT POND

John Sand

The B.A. and B.F.A. Senior Art Exhibits WHERE: Regis Center for the Arts, 405 21st Ave. S. WHEN: April 2 âÄì May 13 From drag queen troll sculptures in tiaras to eerie found-object collages featuring an apple nailed to the wall, the perspectives and media present in the University of Minnesota senior art exhibitions are countless. The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts shows run concurrently with the Master of Fine Arts exhibitions in the Katherine E. Nash Gallery. Joyce Lyons, the director of undergraduate art studies at the University, said this exhibit showcases the maturation of the undergrad students over the course of their education. âÄúWhen this education process works well,âÄù she said, âÄúStudents arrive at this point with creative skills and a knowledge they can add to that skill set.âÄù Lyons worked specifically with three of the students as a mentor for the show. One of these, Nicholas Rigger, occupies the foremost space in the Regis Center for Art. His installation âÄúRenewal GardenâÄù consists of three wooden boxes of plants along with seeds in cups on a nearby pedestal. The plants chosen, like mustard, actually purify the soil and are accompanied by the words âÄúTake a pot/Plant a Seed/Renew the earth.âÄù RiggerâÄôs work offers audience members an act of participation to demonstrate that millions of tiny acts will eventually begin to undo pollution and human destruction to the environment. Though the BFA show was meticulously designed, Lyons described it as âÄúa moving target.âÄù Paul Linden, in charge of setting up the exhibition spaces, had to begin work with almost no knowledge of the art pieces until they arrived Monday morning. An additional challenge to organizing the show was the wide range of voices, which made the clashing of pieces inevitable. The final result found the layout divided into two distinct themes: the development of identity and the exploration of intimate spaces. Many forms of intimacy were explored. At its barest was Aaron RotchadlâÄôs sculpture âÄúBetter take the middle path.âÄù One skeleton perches on top of another in a sort of genderless Jack Skellington Kama Sutra masterpiece. One photograph shows fellatio in a frat house with the manâÄôs face covered in an excited emoticon. Welcome to the future. On the far wall of the public art space of the Regis, Nathan WaldvogelâÄôs âÄúIntimacy Series 1-9âÄù is a checkerboard of photography exploring different types of relationships, all nude in black and white. âÄúIntimacy Series 1-9âÄù doesnâÄôt delve into voyeurism, though, but encourages the subjects to acknowledge the audience with knowing glances or diverted eyes. Upon viewing the work, it is hard to believe these students are just rolling into their early 20s. Lyons cited new alternative art galleries as space that students are now able to move into. âÄúThis group of students has a stronger sense of community,âÄù said Lyons, âÄúand how to make community for themselves.âÄù The students in the show will go on to work in artist immersion communities, attend graduate school or jump right into the business of creating and selling.