Coloring outside the lines

BFA artists abandon tradition for innovation and the University for the gallery

by Katrina Wilber

Students who complete the competitive, rigorous Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art at the University often take one of two roads when they finish: pursuing a graduate degree or working professionally as an artist.

The following four artists are preparing to make the latter leap.

This month, nine students graduating from the Bachelor of Fine Arts program will show off their best work at the Regis Center for Art.

Instead of picking favorites ” and indeed, it would be hard to subjectively select four artists from this pool ” Rosemary Kimball of the Regis Center for Art drew names from a hat.

The following four artists were the lucky grabs. Seniors Joe Lipscomb, Rachel Mayer, Sarah Moores and Andrew Lange are innovative. They’re collaborative. And they’re more than a little philosophical.

Meet the artists behind the easel ” or the sculpture, photograph, storybook or computer screen. These coming graduates will be the ones molding art’s meaning.

Joe Lipscomb
Lipscomb is a painter who focuses on oils and sometimes dabbles in digital art.

He said he chose to be an art major because “art satisfies philosophical obsessions.”

“Art-making also invokes the ecstasy of creation and the agony of destruction,” he said.

He likes working with “either wet, gooey paint or Photoshop and Maya, but it depends on my coffee flux,” he said.

He writes and illustrates children’s storybooks, and he’ll keep doing so after graduation. He’s active in the collaborative event the “Art Attack” and helps create exhibits through that project.

Rachel Mayer
Mayer is a painter, but she doesn’t want that to place her in a single artistic category. “I’m also interested in collaborations and explorations of other artistic mediums,” she said.

Mayer paints primarily with acrylics, and she focuses on creating a language of objects in what she calls “ethereal spaces.”

“I work off the premise that reality consists of objects and events as they are perceived or understood in human consciousness,” she said. “Viewers’ interaction with the work should be specific to their responses.”

She said she’ll continue to paint after college, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with others.

Sarah Moores
Moores’ first instinct was to say she specializes in sculpture, but she also crosses over into photography. Lately, though, she’s been studying metal casting and incorporating other materials like plastics, paper and fabrics into her projects.

“Sometimes I work with materials based in sculpture to construct a subject for photographs,” she said.

She was fascinated by space and public art and curious about materials, which led her to an art major.

Her next project is to redo Martha Stewart Living by remaking the magazine’s images with other materials. Then, she said, she will photograph the altered images and rewrite the articles to follow suit.

Andrew Lange
Lange is a sculptor, and his decision to major in art was based on curiosity.

“I wanted to question the relevance of art, and I had a desire to study something fairly open-minded,” he said.

He’s inspired mainly by contemporary, minimalist and surrealist styles of art, and he enjoys working with molds and casting beeswax.

He said he’d like to go to graduate school eventually, but for now, he’s got a great job working as an artistic fabricator ” meaning he makes objects for museums, trade shows and the like ” for Minneapolis’ Blue Rhino Studio.