Art and Design Grad Student Thierry and Burchett

The University’s art and design graduate students are displaying their diverse array of art at a two-part exhibit, currently happening at the Art and Design building. From drawing and ceramics to weaving and tie-dye, students have the opportunity to show off their projects that required lots of time and hard work.

Alex Thierry, a graduate student from St. Louis, said his love for art and design began when he was a rebellious high schooler, who felt the urge to explore the world outside of typical academic classes.

“I’m really far ahead in math and science and I just kind of got tired of doing calculus so I was like screw it, I’m going to take art classes,” Thierry said. “It was a hobby more so than a career choice and I’ve decided it’s what I want to do because I’ll be happy doing it.”

Thierry, who has a degree in ceramics and painting, said he will be expressing his fascination with drinking whiskey by displaying his collection of handmade ceramic drinking containers at the second part of the exhibition Oct. 5.

He said he likes to make sculptured pots and it usually takes about three to four hours to make one. Thierry plans to finish his graduate studies here while figuring out where he wants to go with his work after school. He also plans on expanding on different art processes.

Shelby Burchett, a graduate student from Kansas City, Mo., practices a different form of art with her background in textiles. Burchett said she used to be a heavy weaver, but is now experimenting with other media.

Burchett has been working on a polymers-based substance that forms a sort of “goop,” a form of art that Burchett hopes to bring to more people’s attention by showing it off at the art and design exhibition.

“I’m not really sure where it’s going yet, but I think it’s such a physically interesting subject,” Burchett said. “It sort of has a will of its own. I’m really interested in things that have their own life, like no matter what I do its going to have its own will so I’ve been playing with different set ups on how to show it off and get people interested in it.”

Aside from exploring new ideas, Burchett teaches a tie-dye and resist print class where they do shibori, an artform similar to professional tie-dying.

“Eventually one day I hope to bring all these ideas of textile and science together,” Burchett said.

Ruben Castillo, a graduate student from Dallas, Texas, will be displaying his personal work with intaglio printing, a form of printmaking, at the exhibition. Castillo said he has always had a love for drawing and decided to explore it further when he was introduced to etching and intaglio printing.

“I got my undergrad in printmaking and I focus specifically on etching and intaglio where you put a ground on a plate and draw through that ground and etch it and you can create reproductions,” Castillo said. “It’s an old process but it’s still very effective as an art medium.”

Castillo’s interest in this art form sparked when he was in high school. One of his teachers assigned a project that involved a dry point on plexiglass. He was given a collageless image and then was told to put clear plexi over it so he could then scratch through it with a needle.

“I always liked drawing and art when I was younger, it was kind of that thing where I started doing it and couldn’t stop,” Castillo said. “Print making was that place where I could do not only more drawing but learn skills in etching and lithography, as well as different kinds of printing.”

Castillo is currently working with the concept of home to create his art. He said he is in the midst of drawing his apartment with the fascination of the space humans create for themselves.

The two-part exhibition started this past Sunday, Sept. 21. The visual arts students and their pieces will be on display in the gallery on the third floor of the Art & Design building through Oct. 3, and for a second showing from Oct. 5 through Oct. 17.

— Edited by Rob Pyatt

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