Art gallery showcases graduate students’ work

Joanna Kamvouris

A jar of heads rests under the spotlight in a room decorated with intricate paintings, ceramics and sculptures. The heads, crafted by graduate student Eun Byul Go, are among many other works at the 2013 Kent State Master of Fine Arts gallery.

The School of Art Gallery hosted a reception in the art building Thursday evening to celebrate the art pieces of 33 full-time MFA students.

Anderson Turner, director of Galleries, organized the reception. Turner said the event aims to showcase the efforts and talents of MFA students at the university.

“Every two years we show the work of everyone who is a full time student in the MFA program in the school of art at Kent State,” Turner said. “Kent is the only school in northeast Ohio where you can earn a terminal degree in studio art. It’s an international program. These students are from all over the world. It adds a unique voice to this campus, and it’s unlike any school in the region.”

Brenton Pahl, graduate assistant to Turner, said the preparations for the reception were enjoyable because he experienced a first look of the artists in their studios as he helped with the art selection process.

“We went to people’s studios and picked pieces from what they had available,” Pahl said. “It was really interesting because I’m an art history major. I’m not a fine arts major, so it was interesting to see people in their studios and see that environment.”

Turner said the process of selecting pieces from each MFA student’s body of work was challenging because each student had a variety of pieces.

“Often what an artist feels is their strongest piece, or has a personal attachment to, may not represent them as well,” Turner said. “The reverse might be true. That’s part of the curatorial process.”

Kathryn Shinko, another graduate assistant to Turner, worked with Pahl to curate the artwork for the reception, and said the event drew a large crowd.

“I think a lot of people have been coming here,” Shinko said. “There’s excitement in the air, and I’m very pleased at the turnout.”

Caitlin Binkhorst, senior art history major, said the show was a strong representation of the work MFA students have accomplished.

“I really think it’s a good selection of what our graduate students have to offer, what they’ve been working on over the years,” Binkhorst said.

Shinko said students of all ages and majors are encouraged to view the art produced by fellow Kent State students. The gallery is available for viewing Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. until February 15, Shinko said.

“I think that everybody can appreciate art at some level,” Shinko said. “I mean, you don’t necessarily have to be an artist, but I think it is possible — even if you’re, like, a math major, or health or science — to look at art and derive some pleasure from it.”

Contact Joanna Kamvouris at [email protected].