Fresh BFA Graduates “Gopher” the gold

WHAT: Envisage : Work by BFA graduating seniors WHEN: Nov. 10-Dec. 12 Public Reception: Friday, Nov. 14, 6 to 8:30 p.m. WHERE: West Building Regis Center for Art, 405 21 Ave. S TICKETS: Free and Open to the public Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Slipping into the sprawling, wide-open space of the Quarter Gallery inside the Regis Center for Art, one is confronted by the amount of power tools that scatter the floor. It is Saturday and we are smack dab in the midst of a massive installation for the graduating seniorsâÄô final exhibition. Kelsey Nelsen , Ryan Rasmussen and Brittany Bailey work in relative silence, contemplating, shifting a track light to the left, sewing a piece of detached patchwork fabric to a cast iron hand before screwing a shelf onto a large makeshift barrier. Rasmussen calls his large-scale sculpture of a broken down frontiersmanâÄôs wagon âÄúA collision of time periods âĦ an icon of the shift towards the unknown.âÄù This is it: The senior thesis show of these nine BFA candidates, photography majors, painting majors, sculpture/foundry majors. This is the culmination of months of sleepless nights. These pieces are the end result of an enormous amount of work, and it shows. One revelation of witnessing the setup for Envisage is that, for these students, art has encapsulated within it the world of carpentry. The craft of construction, of creating with an eye rooted in pragmatics is what these students have learned out of necessity, and it can be applied to various hands-on mediums. To the left of the gallery is a wall of wood sculptures, continually lacquered and sealed to create a false petrifaction effect. Situated in front of the south door is the makings of a large-scale mechanized kinetic sculpture; thousands of balls which will spin and fall through an intricate system of pulleys. An erected wall at the center of the space displays the wood fired ceramics of Nelsen, who calls her work âÄúa record of what we are losing, the places and natural habitats we go to connect with people.âÄù Behind these ceramics are a series of ribbon-linked cast iron hands by Bailey who states that she draws from âÄúpersonal experience, travel and the moments of interaction with peopleâÄù while working. Each artist has brought their own cards to the table, from haunting photographs to chaotic mixtures of pigment, charcoal and wood glue and drawings of thousands of patterned lines of black on white each of the nine graduates has something different to say. Envisage means imagination and premonition, the last and first step in these studentsâÄô progression as artists. This is the home team; they are our own. This is the blood, sweat, pastel and graphite of an underfunded and overqualified wing of the University: The school of the arts.