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Third-year MFA art exhibition gives students a chance to leave their mark

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A video still from “Some Things (Ineffable Reverie)”, a Third-Year MFA project by Cameron Sharp. Credit: Courtesy of Cameron Sharp

For graduate students Sarah Goetz and Cameron Sharp, the Department of Art MFA Third-Year Exhibition is a culmination of their three years of research at the university. It is the final display they will present before graduation.

The exhibit, featuring 15 artists, is on display until March 18 at the Urban Arts Space.

“We eat, breathe and sleep art,” said Goetz. “If you can think of a super rigorous athletic training regimen it’s like that, but for art.”

Goetz has two pieces in the exhibit, one is a large text work detailing the idea of a “safe home” free from violence and the other a video stream featuring shots of trees. She said she originally planned to have her artwork focused on her response to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing because at the age of six, Goetz was nine blocks away from the bombing.

But as a result of the change in the political climate and the emergence of new political issues, her art shifted to represent the changes she was seeing, she said.

“When Trump won and the conversations about the wall began, it really took over my work,” said Goetz. “Instead of making this memorial of the fence in (Oklahoma City), became a fence surrounding the United States.”

Sharp, a photographer, took another route with his work. His video titled “Some Things (Ineffable Reverie)” was inspired by the relationship between lived experience and the representation of lived experience through images.

“If I showed you a picture of my first car, I would say, ‘Hey, check it out, it’s my first car,’” said Sharp. “But if I was standing in front of that car and showed you a picture of it, it’s not my first car anymore. It’s a photograph of my car, so then what is this photograph?”

A reception for the exhibition will be held on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Urban Arts Space, located at 50 W. Town St. The event is free to the public.

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