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Art galleries host student exhibitions that explore objects, light, shadow

As the semester draws to a close, several art students are displaying their work to the ASU community for free, some of which are exhibitions as a final result of their thesis projects.

In the Harry Wood Gallery from April 8 through April 12, graduate painting student Benjamin Willis shows his “SIZE matters” collection. This Master of Fine Art Thesis exhibition in painting follows Willis’s personal journey; he has painted those who shaped his experience in the M.F.A. program at ASU.

“Each painting features an individual, their artwork and varies in size depending upon their authority in his academic/social cosmos,” Willis said in an email.

These portraits must be experienced; the light, shadows and colors craft memorable faces, while some hidden figures lurk in the pictures’ backgrounds.

Graduate sculpture student Christina You-sun Park’s exhibition — called “Between the Fragments” — investigates the “understood yet nonsensical coded languages spoken by immigrant families in the United States,” as explained on the gallery’s website.

You-sun Park’s art incorporates alphabetic structures tangled together while interacting with objects, such as stone sledges and wood shards. The exhibition itself turns the Night Gallery in the Tempe Marketplace into a long airplane corridor filled with language imagery.

Arrows point every direction in the Night Gallery. Graduate metals student Leon Nash also presents his work called “WAY,” which represents movement and directionality.

One piece, for example, has more than 60 white arrows emerging through a wooden plank, but several misplaced arrows face different directions in what suggests conflict. Nash’s art promises to appease the philosophically inclined with its suggestions on time and transience, but his art appeals to all people through its approach to setting goals in time and forgetting to live in the present.

If sitting down with a cup of coffee inside a gallery sounds enjoyable, graduate printmaking student Caroline Battle’s “You May Also Like...” series invites you to relax, sip java and observe the objects we overlook. Battle creates her pieces using material considered waste, such as junk mail, receipts and old furniture. In the Step Gallery near Mill, “You May Also Like...” reveals, quite literally, what one has “at their disposal to be happy.”

To conclude the list, the exhibit “de • liberate” features art from nine Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates — talent emerging from painting, ceramics and metals. Like all other exhibits listed here, “de • liberate” costs nothing — for free the public can head to Gallery 100 on the Tempe Campus to experience this gathering of artists and their interpretations of the world.

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