“This Will Be Our Little Secret” BFA Thesis Show

Ry Webster adjusts her piece for show’s opening. Photo by Hawie Reyne Veniegas

“We’ll probably go in there tonight and go, ‘This is one of the best shows we’ve ever had!’ And we’ll be sincere about it because it’s always powerful to walk into that kind of commitment.” Linda Swanson, chairwoman of the Studio Arts department, has high hopes for the last BFA thesis show of the 2016-2017 school year. “This Will Be Our Little Secret” features the work of Studio Arts seniors Conor Flynn and Ry Webster, as well as a mini show for Hannah Gardner, Mike Sutton and Emily Villarma who wrapped up their senior theses on April 29. “This is just an opportunity for them to have a presence, a small presence, in the space for family and friends who are here for graduation,” Swanson says. This additional show contains small components from Gardner, Sutton and Villarma’s theses, each working together in new conversation. But Flynn and Webster’s pieces fill the majority of the space.

Webster brings mixed media work with her as well. Though she considers herself a painter, her thesis works in a collage circling a single theme. “I’ve collected a lot of photography and material and things like that to incorporate a history behind it and I’ve just kind of been collaborating with all of it.” Webster’s work focuses on memory and the human psyche working itself out. “I talk about history and memory due to relatives that have passed away. So there’s a lot of content of the dead coming alive again.” Webster came to SFUAD as a junior in Fall 2015 and since then has been trying to find her voice while surrounded by the voice and work of her fellow student artists. “I don’t really like to work off of anybody else’s ideas or concepts so finding my own has really been nice.” As an artist, Webster describes herself as someone who “can’t stand coloring inside the lines.” Her collage work will certainly show that.

Conor Flynn, a senior Studio Arts major, adjusts the lighting for his piece before the show’s opening. Photo by: Hawie Reyne Veniegas

Flynn, a SITE Scholar, works primarily in printmaking, painting and drawing but is also experimenting with sculptural light displays for this show. Like his exhibition with SITE Scholars, his thesis examines “chaotic systems in nature.” He says one new aspect of this piece is how he delves into actual, natural systems such as termite nests and railroad tracks. “I think of nature as being everything. Manmade structures are as much a part of nature as termite nests.” He is also “exploring the way humans leave imprints. It’s similar to the way other organic things leave imprints.” In addition, Flynn is using the space to create gestural drawings and paintings, two-dimensional works that delve into three-dimensional space. He and Webster have worked up to the wire to complete this show on time and Flynn warns there might still be some wet paint on the walls.

The exhibition is in the Southwest Annex and a reception will be held May 4 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. It will remain open until the end of the semester on May 13.