Affordable Dream House: 2018 Studio Art MFA Thesis Exhibition

April 20 – May 11, 2018

Affordable Dream House features ten artists from The University of Texas at Austin's 2018 Studio Art MFA graduating class. Moving across disciplines, the exhibition includes work from each artist developed from two years of studio practice and research. The title of the exhibition, chosen to illustrate the tongue-in-cheek desire to carve out an individualized sense of self within a peer group, also reflects a feeling of community built not just from proximity to one's neighbors, but through intersecting interests and collaborations.



Hiba Ali (b. 1990, Chicago, Illinois) earned a B.F.A. in Film, Video, New Media and Animation in 2012 and a B.A. in Visual Critical Studies in 2013 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She focuses on networks of invisible information flows and investigates the labor behind objects produced from techno-globalization through video installations and performances.

Evelyn Contreras (b. 1989, Santa Barbara, California) earned her B.F.A. in Printmaking at California State University, Long Beach in 2016. Contreras' current work incorporates manual and digital methodologies to create a cinematic and surreal experience using color, light, and form.

Siera Hyte (b. 1990, Santa Ana, California) earned her B.F.A. in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. Her work addresses embodied knowledge and ephemerality through sculpture, performance, and poetics.

Marisa LaGuardia (b. 1992, Youngstown, Ohio) earned her B.F.A. in Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014. Her work seeks to understand the structure of navigating space by confronting both its absence and presence as she works her way through dimensions.

Marta Lee (b. 1992, Moscow, Idaho) earned her B.F.A. in Studio Art at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She was an exchange fellow at the Royal College of Art in London in 2017. Her work juggles logic and intuition within a stubborn commitment to painting, music, and the space between ourselves and others. 

Rosa Nussbaum (b. 1991, Freiburg, Germany) earned her B.F.A. at Wimbledon College of Arts in London in 2014. She works across media at the intersection of sculpture and performance, with an emphasis on interactivity and technology.

Emily O'Leary (b. 1986, Boston, Massachusetts) earned her B.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art in 2009. Her work is comprised of embroidered "samplers" that describe vignettes that are specific in detail but missing enough context for the viewer to be able to fit them neatly within a larger narrative.

Anika Steppe (b. 1991, Ann Arbor, Michigan) earned her B.S. in Cinema and Photography at Ithaca College. During 2016-2018 she was a Russell Lee Endowed Presidential Scholar and William & Bettye Nowlin Endowed Presidential Fellow in Photography at The University of Texas at Austin. She engages with the unknown through photographing the visible.

riel Sturchio (b. 1990, Portland, Maine) earned a B.F.A. in Photography and Art History at the Maine College of Art. Sturchio's work often revolves around the body, identity, language, and gender, which coalesces through sound collage, photography, bookmaking, poetry, and videography.

Ingrid Tremblay (b. 1984, Montréal, Canada) earned her B.F.A. from Concordia University and her B.Sc. and M.P.O. in Speech-Language Pathology from the Université de Montréal. Her sculptures address the metonymic qualities of objects and the relationship between material culture, nature, language, perception, and experience.


design by Juliana Castro for 2018 MFA thesis catalogue, UT Austin

View the Exhibition Catalogue

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