The Spring 2018 MFA thesis exhibition Flesh Out features the work of Kelly Cook, Ellen Dempsey, Bienvenido Howard, Jennalyn Krulish, and Lacy Mitcham. An investigation of conceptual and physical elements is “fleshed out” as they emerge in the graduate work of these five artists. The exhibition is an amalgamation of notions about what it means to be human and art’s incarnational qualities. Similar to a human body enveloped in living skin, the exhibition reveals layers of artistic, social, personal, and philosophical connections.
Sculptures and installation by Lacy Mitcham center on the repulsive and attractive qualities of the human body, reflecting her studies of psychological and physical maladies. The intangible nature of human connection is conveyed through the metaphor of social interaction in the watercolors of Kelly Cook. Ellen Dempsey’s furniture sculptures, infused with humor, utilize quotidian objects to emphasize discarded or overlooked properties. Jennalyn Krulish’s paintings of ecological relationships share specific knowledge about human involvement in the biosphere. Painter Bienvenido Howard deals with the liminal space between the viewer and portraiture. His work echoes the undergirding theme of Flesh Out, which expresses how artistic works exemplify a process of continual growth.
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