2022 Senior Thesis Exhibition: Shift + Ground

Jack Contreras
Lily Fillwalk
Claire Manning
Olivia Meehan
Max Otake
Julia Duran Stewart
Zoe Storz

April 28–May 14, 2022

@Nichols Gallery, Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Scott Hall, Academic Quad

Jack ContrerasLet Me Let You Go, 2022, plaster bandage, flowers, paint, and found objects.

Let Me Let You Go is an altarpiece made from found artifacts serving as a personal and communal healing space. This sculpture depicts the grieving process on the body and cycles of discomfort, healing, and letting go. How can we unlearn the repressed and destructive coping mechanisms that we’ve inherited from our families?

Lily FillwalkThrough the Eyes of the Crow, 2022, 10 digital inkjet prints, 16 x 20 in. each; speaker; video; artist book; silicone masks.

Using a multispecies approach I embody the crow with photography & performance in Through the Eyes of the Crow, exploring how the species might perceive fear and loss. Crows are associated with death and their diseased bodies hold important information about climate change. This work explores and questions the connections between fiction and science, as well as how mourning will be altered in a changing world.

Claire ManningUntitled, 2022, high fire stoneware, porcelain, digital inkjet prints.

This installation is the documentation of a meal I designed, cooked and served, making or sourcing everything as directly as I could. I designed the ceramic dinnerware specifically for plating the seasonal menu. I sourced goods from farms and vendors who support access to healthy food and give back to local marginalized communities. This project reflects my values and life practice which includes making ceramics, cooking, gardening, and reducing my reliance on long production chains.

Olivia Meehan, Picturing the Colonial Trace, 2022, framed digital prints, video, projection, wood ash, late 19th-century carved sandalwood box from India.

I use photography, performance art, and installation to explore the interpersonal, environmental, and economic histories contained within familial heirlooms. My art centers on a sandalwood box, its perfumed oil, and a photograph from my family album. I reframe these objects in order to physically unlearn familial narratives of a benevolent British Empire. Through this exhibition, I work within the tensions and contradictions of my own relationship to constructions of whiteness and British imperialism that haunt my maternal lineage. 

 Max Otake, Where Creeks Go to Die, 2022, Inkjet and Xerox prints, various sizes. 

Where Creeks go to Die is a photographic mapping project, documenting the current state of the San Antonio Creek and Dam. Beginning where the creek dries up — about a mile before the dam — I follow the natural path where the water once ran in search of portals and clues into a forgotten past. Through a process of abstracting the landscape, the boundaries between the natural and built environment become blurred. 

Julia Duran Stewart, Infestation: Shadows of The System, 2022, washable-paint prints, QR codes, wheatpaste.

This public installation serves to make visible the omnipresent pressure to consume and conform. Through the use of QR codes, the viewer is led to re-educational websites that serve to disrupt the hegemony of digital media. Seeping out of our screens, the infestation of capitalist ideology surrounds us. 

 Zoe Storz, the perilous body: an interruption, 2022, slideshow of scanned photographs, 11:11 min.; poetry; book printed on rice paper, 13 x 9.5 in.

the perilous body: an interruption is an installation of spoken poetry and projected photographs. My use of the broken film camera is a way to render chance, imperfections, and errors as a photographic language with haptic potential. Through this language, I address the embodied experience of the feminine Asian American subject, and I particularly attend to alternatives to the functional camera’s (mis)perception of this figure.