UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art to feature senior visual art majors

Joanna Bean, (719) 255-3732, jbean2@uccs.edu Daisy McGowan, (719) 255-3504, dmcgowan@uccs.edu
Shanah Leaf

COLORADO SPRINGS — The works of 15 University of Colorado Colorado Springs senior art students will be focus of UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art’s 11th annual senior visual arts majors exhibition “Ways of Seeing,” opening April 21 at the campus GOCA1420 gallery.

A free public reception will take place 5-8 p.m. Friday, April 21.

The exhibit will be on display through May 13. Gallery hours are noon – 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, or by appointment.

“Ways of Seeing” features the works of Marina Atchison, Susannah Barnes, Leia Belgrave, Amber Cruz, Nina Foster, Caitlin Goebel, Nathan Hodges, Frances Huntington, Collin King, Shanah Leaf, Thia Lynn, Jacob Scott, Summer Stapleton, Nancy Vongsengkeo, and Amanda Weeks.

Amanda Weeks

This exhibit displays the cumulative work of these graduating students’ education at UCCS. Curated, designed and installed by the Visual and Performing Arts Department graduating class, this collaborative effort spans the course of the spring semester. Students determine how and what will be displayed to best represent them as they embark on their lifelong creative paths. Working across all media, students explore movements throughout art history from their own perspective.

The influential writings of poet and art historian John Berger have charmed and validated artists the world over, and at UCCS, Berger’s work is incorporated directly into the curriculum. Essays including “Why Look At Animals” and “Drawn To That Moment” are discussed in lecture and studio classes to encourage intention and attention in students’ artwork. “Ways of Seeing” shares its name with a book and a television series produced by John Berger in 1972. In both of these formats, Berger thoughtfully and intelligently opened the often prohibitive art world to audiences everywhere. Berger died Jan. 2, leaving behind some of the most gentle and insightful art critiques of the last century. As an art exhibition, “Ways of Seeing” embodies the values of accessibility, creativity, ingenuity, intelligence, and beauty that the VAPA department at UCCS holds high.

“Ways of Seeing” showcases the work of the following student artists:

  • Marina Atchison. Atchison’s work recreates imagined images of the afterlife or the “better place.”
  • Susannah Barnes. Barnes uses paint and paper cutting techniques to design graphic compositions that explore geometric shapes, line, space and color.
  • Leia Belgrave. Belgrave creates paintings and drawings that discuss our societies interactions with nature and pop-culture icons.
  • Amber Cruz. Cruz focuses predominantly in sculpture with plaster gauze and domestic textiles.
  • Nina Foster. Foster explores concepts of memory, most recently trauma, through photography
  • Caitlin Goebel. Goebel’s work explores capitalism and consumption, simulacra and simulation, meta-reality and reality, magic and manipulation, and intimacy and wonder.
  • Nathan Hodges. Hodges’ work depicts distorted and mutated organic forms inspired by his love of science, specifically evolutionary biology.
  • Frances Huntington. Huntington’s artwork expresses ideas about time, spirituality, femininity and the temporality of life.
  • Collin King. Animals, anatomy, and cartoons inspire King’s ink drawings and wooden sculptures.
  • Shanah Leaf. Leaf’s work uses automatic drawing to reflect people’s ability to process an overwhelming amount of information.
  • Thia Lynn. Lynn explores themes in the shadows of memory in paintings, reliefs, sculptures and installations.
  • Jacob Scott. Scott’s works – painting, drawing, needlework, sculpture – draws on his life events, mythology and sexual culture.
  • Summer Stapleton. Stapleton explores the transformation of memory through recall using mixed media prints.
  • Nancy Vongsengkeo. A first-generation American-Laotian, she creates mixed-media paintings that her inner emotions of living in two different cultures.
  • Amanda Weeks. Weeks’ photography explores lights and colors, often in nature, with an abstract viewpoint.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest-growing universities in Colorado. The university offers 45 bachelor’s, 22 master’s and five doctoral degree programs. UCCS enrolls about 12,000 students on campus annually and another 3,300 in online programs. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu.