After a long, unforeseen hiatus, the 2020 Studio Art MFA cohort is proud to present their thesis exhibition, ______: Revisited. Comprising works in painting, photography, sculpture, video, and installation, this exhibition celebrates the critical discussions and collaborative experience this group of twelve artists has shared over the past two years. The title of the exhibition is left intentionally open, acknowledging the long pause and recent return to work this cohort has experienced. Reconsidering their work in a new context, each artist is invited to fill in the blank.
Through a range of interdisciplinary practices, the artists each explore what it means to persist as a body trapped in time—a notion drawn from the French philosopher Jean-François Lyotard. To be a body trapped in time is to be a human observer, watching change happen right before your eyes while seeking ways to either grasp it or look away. Revisiting their work in the wake of a monumental change in the world and in their daily lives, each artist’s work acknowledges these perspectival shifts: what it means to make art, what it means to be an artist, to be an activist, to be a good person; where purpose can be found, and how change can be made.
Lauren Bechelli (b. 1988, San Diego, California) received her MFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2020 and her BA from the University of California, Davis in 2010. She has exhibited in group exhibitions at the Casa de los Tres Mundos, Granada, Nicaragua (2017); Chester Art Center, England (2017); Visual Arts Center, Austin (2018); Sense Gallery, Washington, D.C. (2019); and Jonathan Hopson Gallery, Houston (2019). She is the recipient of a Fulbright grant based in Mumbai, India for the 2020–21 academic year.
CC Calloway (b. 1993, Augusta, Georgia) received her BFA in Printmaking + Book Arts from the University of Georgia and her MFA from The University of Texas at Austin. CC has exhibited widely across the US, most notably at The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga, and Ox-Bow School of Art. She has participated in many residencies including the Ox-Bow Fellowship, Atlanta Printmakers Studio (EAR), and the Ossabaw Island Residency for Arts and Science. Her work has been featured in BURNAWAY, Glasstire, Number Inc., and glitterMOB. CC has written and self-published four books of poetry, including one photo book entitled My Favorite Word is Nothing.
Heather den Uijl (b.1992, Woodlands, Texas) lives and works in Austin, Texas. den Uijl received her BFA from the University of Houston in 2016 and her MFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2020. Her work has been exhibited at the Jonathan Hopson Gallery, Houston (2020); Lawndale Art Center, Houston (2019, 2017, 2015); Visual Arts Center, Austin (2018); Winter Street Studios, Houston (2017); and Blaffer Art Museum, Houston (2016). She has an upcoming exhibition at Box 13 Art Space, Houston (2020). den Uijl’s work has also been published in Voyage Houston Magazine (2018).
Mathieu Grenier (b. Black Lake, QC, Canada) lives and works in Montreal QC and Austin TX. He holds a BFA in Visual and Media Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal, participated in an exchange program at The Royal College of Art in London, and recently received a MFA from The University of Texas at Austin. In 2020, Grenier will be presenting his work in solo and group exhibitions at Arsenal Contemporary Toronto and Montreal, at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery from Concordia University in Montreal, and at NARS Foundation in New York. He has presented solo exhibitions in numerous venues in Canada, France, the U.S., and the U.K. In 2014, Grenier received the Charles Pachter’s Prize for Emerging Canadian Artist from the Hnatyshyn Foundation. He has received grants from the Quebec Arts and Lettres Council and the Canada Art Council. He is currently represented by Blouin|Division Gallery, and his works can be found in several private and public collections in Canada and France.
Rafael Fernando Gutierrez Jr. (b. 1985, Ft. Benning, Georgia) received his MFA in Studio Art (Transmedia) from The University of Texas in Austin in 2020 and his BFA in Studio Art (New Media) from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015. Gutierrez is the recipient of the South Texas Fellowship; the David Deming Endowed Scholarship in Studio Art; the Kelly Fearing Endowed Scholarship in Art Education and Studio Art; the Burdine Anderson Giese Endowed Scholarship in Studio Art; and the Marshall F. Wells Scholarship and Fellowship Endowment. Gutierrez's work has most recently been exhibited at Jonathan Hopson Gallery, Houston; The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; and internationally in Bogotá, Colombia and Mexico City, Mexico. Gutierrez participated in the SOMA summer artist residency in Mexico City in 2019.
Saeid Janaati (b.1989, Iran) received his B.A in Visual Communication from The University of Enghelab at Tehran in 2015 and his MFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2020. Janaati's works have been exhibited at Jonathan Hopson Gallery, Houston (2020); Acme Art Studios, Wilmington (2015); Seyhoon Gallery, Tehran (2014); and Iranian Artists Forum, Tehran (2011). Janaati is the recipient of the Robert Levers Endowed Scholarship in Studio Art, the Russell Lee Endowed Presidential Scholarship, and the William and Bettye Nowlin Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Photography.
An Phung (b, 1993, Austin, TX) received her BA in Radio/Television/Film and in Art Theory and Practice form Northwestern University. Phung is a recipient of the Faricy Award for Creative Achievements in the Arts, and recently completed a residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
Jerónimo Reyes-Retana (b. 1984, Mexico City, Mexico) is a former electronic music producer and performer who mixes sound with a variety of media to create site-responsive installations. As a Studio Art MFA candidate (Sculpture + Extended Media) at The University of Texas at Austin, he received the Fonca-Conacyt: Study Abroad Scholarship from the Mexican National Council for Culture and Arts. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions at OMR Gallery, Mexico City; Salón Acme, Mexico City; Co-Lab Projects, Austin; S3026, Boulder, and a forthcoming show at Museo de Arte Ciudad Juárez, Ciudad Juárez.
Will Shea (b, 1992, Burleson, TX) received his BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. Shea's work has been exhibited at Page (NYC) in New York and Jace Space in Los Angeles, and has been featured in curatorial projects by Dylan Kerr and André Filipek Magaña.
Maia Snow (b. 1990, Perm, Russia) received their BFA from Maine College of Art in 2013 and their MFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2020. Snow has shown their paintings throughout New England, Texas and the Midwest. Snow has been selected to show their work at the 2020 Maine Biennial at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art.
Hannah Spector (b. 1993, Florida) is an interdisciplinary performance artist, poet, and curator currently residing in Austin, Texas. Spector received her MFA from The University of Texas Austin in 2020, her BA in Creative Writing and Literature from The George Washington University in 2015, and participated in an international exchange program at Sciences Po in Paris in 2014. In 2016, Spector traveled to Lago Atitlan, Guatemala to study the philosophy of yoga through The School Yoga Institute. Spector has shown at Transformer Gallery, Washington, DC; Co-Lab Projects, Austin; Bunker 2, Toronto; Gallery at Avalon Island, Orlando; Jonathan Hopson Gallery, Houston; and The Museum of Human Achievement, Austin, among others. She has taken part in residencies at Pyramid Atlantic in Washington, DC and Siren Arts in Asbury Park. Spector has self-published a number of chapbooks which are available to view on her website.
Anika Todd (b.1992, Boston, MA) received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and her MFA from The University of Texas at Austin. Her site-specific installations have been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Co-Lab Projects, Austin and VisArts Center, Richmond, which were featured in Glasstire (2019) and the Washington Post (2018) respectively. She is the recipient of a City of Austin Cultural Art Council Award (2019) and the Godine Travel Award (2017). She has participated in numerous residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2019); Haystack School of Craft and Design (2018); and Salem Art Works (2017).