2014 Studio Art MFA Thesis Exhibition

April 25May 10

The Arcade and Center Space

Free and Open to the Public

pool logo

The Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin presents POOL, an exhibition showcasing the work of ten studio artists completing their Master of Fine Arts degrees. The culmination of an intensive three-year program of research, POOL features work made in a variety of media including video, painting, printmaking, photography, installation, and sculpture. These ten artists use their work to explore the world around them – to connect, describe, communicate, and question. Their works explore a diversity of themes including cultural history, land use, identity, representation and power structures.

Lily Brooks (Massachusetts) photographs commonplace objects as a way of looking at how we live and what we want, creating a catalogue of history, desire, expectation and failure.

Kelly Donovan (Colorado) examines our relationship to digital culture, using the mechanism of Internet search engines to curate information and images relating to surveillance, national security and privacy.

Jonas Hart (Ohio) employs non-traditional materials including cement to create modular landscape paintings that investigate the infrastructure of urban development and question our conflicted relationship to the natural world.

Phil LaDeau (Texas) examines the latent memory of existing architectural spaces through drawing and sculpture.

Sara Madandar (Iran) makes painting and video work related to cultural identity, displacement and conventions of femininity.

Samantha Parker Salazar (Illinois) uses traditional printmaking techniques as a foundation for cut-paper installations that explore notions of interiority and exteriority in relation to the body and nature.

James Scheuren’s (Virginia) photographs function in a nonlinear narrative form, addressing a tradition of photographing the intimate life as well as a contemporary search for intimacy and wonder.

Taylor Swan (Montana) makes video works that operate as objects to shift the mechanism of time, stacking it in a way that suggests inertia.

Erik Shane Swanson (New York) uses readymade materials alongside handcrafted forms that summon, reclaim and examine the camouflaged and the conspicuous.

Shalena White (Texas) intersects traditional metalsmithing with non-traditional natural and manmade elements to explore the extraordinary potential of ordinary materials.


Special thanks go to Colin Frazer for his design work on the exhibition.


About the MFA Program

Over their course of study, MFA students work closely with Department faculty to fine-tune existing skill sets and develop new approaches, both conceptual and technical, to their studio practice. In a challenging interdisciplinary environment, students often work across media and in close collaboration with one another, exploring the potential overlaps and depths of established disciplines. The Department’s visiting artist and critic program brings acclaimed professionals from outside the University into graduate studios. As part of the diverse intellectual community that makes up The University of Texas at Austin, students have access to resources across campus allowing for a richly informed approach to art-making.