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Nine MFA Candidates Recast Media in Thesis Exhibition
April 23 through May 19, at San Francisco State University


College of Creative Arts


Ariane Bicho, Publicist
College of Creative Arts
San Francisco State University
(415) 338-1442
(415) 338-0520 fax

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


San Francisco -- March 29, 2005. Defiance of traditional, media-specific approaches and a penchant for moody immersion pepper an annual exhibition of thesis work by San Francisco State University MFA candidates. The 2005 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition is more than a showthe works of nine emerging artists, on view at SFSU's Fine Arts Gallery, Saturday, April 23 through Thursday, May 19, appeal to the senses as portals to inner dialogue, addressing salient topics with wit and sensitivity. Sponsored by the Art Department, the exhibition includes ceramics, conceptual and information arts, video, painting, sculpture, textiles, installation and new practices.

Karrie Hovey's politically charged work has already surfaced in San Francisco and on the Great Wall of China. On Veteran's Day last November, her installation piece Diamonds in the Sky appeared in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza. The undulated aluminum wall, which has been selected for the New California Masters 2005 MFA candidates exhibit in San Jose this summer, was originally covered with 1,262 three-dimensional porcelain stars, each bearing the name, age and death date of a coalition soldier lost in Iraq. The stars were affixed with magnets, intended for removal by viewers who could then place them in public spaces. On her web site,, the artist now posts updates from the circulating stars, tracking their paths around the world as the small reminders are found again and again. She has received word of a star that was washed away in the devastating force of last December's tsunami, as well as a single star that was found on the Great Wall of China, flown to Australia, and most recently heard from in New Zealand. The magnetic stars encourage viewers to become messengers, actively reminding others of those lost in the war.

Hovey's new installation -- on view at the MFA Show -- again addresses the conflict in Iraq, but this time focuses on the portrayal of the war by American news media, as well as the projected end of the conflict. Incorporating an uncommon mix of elements, such as fiber optics, maps, and expanses of hand-stitched quilting, Unstable Terrain creates an associative puzzle for viewers to assemble. Here too, her aim is to evoke a personal consideration of war.

Hovey's installation is one of five marking the exhibition. Casondra Sobieralski's series of 3-minute short films creates another puzzle, presenting images from Egypt as archaeological shards of information and casting viewers as archeologists susceptible to subjective interpretation. Eric Sanchez's dynamic work ingeniously projects a roomful of glowing chain reactions triggered by the efforts of bioluminescent bacteria, Karen Schwartz's interactive Victorian parlor is complete with adorned curio cabinets made available to the intrepid viewer, and Lucrecia Troncoso's disembodied, dissociate hair styling flirts with two and three dimensions.

Also addressing environment are Ulla de Larios' Crossings, a series of suspended weavings, airy and intricate in their exploration of the space of and between borders, surpassing boundaries themselves as they divide space and transcend the province of the woven wall piece. Mark J. Leavitt's sculptural work, with textile, explores the junction of what "remains, and that which is obviously, sometimes painfully missing." One of Leavitt's works is called April's Boys I and II and it is about the US soldiers killed in Iraq that month, and Jennifer Brazelton's ceramic cartography offer a broader interpretation of their respective media. Larysa Rybchynska's painted triptych depicts women as diffracted through a prism into a spectrum of role models, sex symbols, and individuals.

Artists' Reception and Senior Open House

Join the artists for a reception on Saturday, April 23: Preview 1-2 pm, Reception 2-4 pm in the Fine Arts Gallery. The reception is in conjunction with the Art Department's Senior Open House. Attracting 2,000 viewers last year, Senior Open House, held for one day only, presents work by 200 graduating seniors completing bachelor's degrees in studio art and art history. For this special event, the studios, hallways, and classrooms of San Francisco State University's Fine Arts Building become a walk-through exhibition space. This free event coincides with the MFA Thesis Opening Reception, Sat, April 23 from 12-5 pm.

Gallery Information and Parking

Admission to the 2005 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition is free. Gallery hours are as follows: noon to 4 pm, Tuesday-Saturday; open late Wednesdays until 6 pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays. The Fine Arts Gallery is located in the Fine Arts building on the SFSU campus, 1600 Holloway Avenue at 19th Avenue, San Francisco. Public parking is available in Lot 20 on the SFSU campus, accessed from Lake Merced Boulevard between Winston Drive and Font Boulevard. Parking is $1 per hour with a $5 daily maximum. Nearby on-street parking is readily available on weekends. For more information, please visit and


The San Francisco State University Art Department fosters the development of specialized skills, encourages personal creative direction, and promotes understanding of the history and cultural practices shaping artistic expression. More than 100 courses in traditional art media, innovative and multi-disciplinary techno-media, and art history provide training for a variety of related careers. Three degree programs are offered: the bachelor of arts, the master of arts with an emphasis in art history, and the master of fine arts with an emphasis in studio. Undergraduate students may emphasize art education, art history, ceramics, conceptual and information arts (including experimental digital media), painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, or textiles. The department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Art is a department of the College of Creative Arts, which has the only academic program primarily devoted to the creative arts in northern California. Under the direction of Dean Keith Morrison, an internationally acclaimed faculty directs more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in seven disciplines: art, cinema, broadcasting, music, dance, theatre arts, and design. The College of Creative Arts is part of San Francisco State University, one of the 23 universities comprising the California State University, the largest system of higher education in the nation. SFSU is a highly diverse, comprehensive, public and urban university. For more information about the College of Creative Arts, visit For an application, please call SFSU Admissions at (415) 338-1113.


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Last modified March 29, 2005, by the Office of Public Affairs