UCSB Art Department’s student-run exhibition space opened for its first show of the year in Gallery 479 on Tuesday, October 12. The gallery features creative artwork and ideas from Master of Fine Art (MFA) students, including the work of nine first-year and five second-year graduate students.
Grad student Ruby Osorio explained the purpose of this show as a way to present to UCSB and the Santa Barbara community a taste of the work of graduate level artists. Artists hoped to see their work create conversation, interaction, and discussion within the community.
“I feel it is very important for the community to recognize and appreciate art, especially in an academic environment,” Osario said. “Sometimes images can communicate where words and language cannot.”
Inspiration for the pieces comes from a variety of different sources. Bessie Kunath, a first-year MFA student presented several sculptures as her showcase. As an undergraduate, she started her focus in painting, drawing, and fashion. However, after working for a garbage company for six years, she started using garbage as her materials to make different types of sculptures. She now focuses on sculpture.
“The sculptures came out of thin air,” Kunath said. “I would say my art is a response to the lack of craftsmanship I see in manufactured production.”
The gallery additionally displays a variety of different artwork made with different mediums. Such work includes large wooden sculptures, electronic art sculptures, paintings, and even an office space.
Van Tran, a first year MFA student, wants to present the community with a variety of MFA student work.
“I try to not feel forced to put a physical painting on a wall,” Tran said. “I just wanted to see how I can change it up.”
Whether art is classical, abstract, or unconventional, UCSB and its gallery embrace every piece.
Osario describes her particular artwork as “narrative in that it seeks to tell a story that must be completed by the viewer.”
“It blends fact and fiction and incorporates themes of creativity,” she said.
For these students, art is more than just a tangible item. Art is about creative thinking and expression that is incorporated in each work.