Master of arts festival at IUP

Quazetta Alexander (senior, biology) observes the prints made by graduate student, Rachel Precht, Sept. 4, in Kipp Gallery of Spowls during the Master of Arts Thesis Exhibition closing reception. (Morgan Cunningham/The Penn)

The 2014 Masters of Arts Thesis Exhibition in Sprowls Hall’s Kipp Gallery features five artists, each of whom draws from separate elements of contemporary society to create unique pieces for all ages to see.

Faculty, fine arts students and the artists themselves, all in the final stages of earning their master’s degrees, convened at Kipp Gallery Thursday for the closing of the exhibit.

Ashley Bouton’s collected pieces, “Silence Guards Our Minds,” make up a series of paintings that, according to her artist statement, “express the tension between unsettling life issues that we feel should be repressed or
exposed.”

Set against the pure white backdrop of the Kipp Gallery’s annex, the bold colors of these unsettling works juxtaposed with the various concrete shapes also contained in the frames certainly strike the viewer’s eye.

“Middle Passage,” paintings by Emanuele Gillespie, are inspired by the voyage across the Atlantic by slaves in the 1700s and, more specifically, the slaves who died during this voyage.

“A clearer understanding of our past inevitably helps shape our present,” Gillespie said in his artist statement.

“Hu-Man” by Erin Jacob is perhaps the least traditional work on display in that it is neither a painting, sculpture nor silkscreen.

“Hu-Man” is a twist on a traditional kitchen and bathroom setup in that the display is covered in Post-it notes
with statistics and quotes about women – ranging from the merely pig-headed to the plain misogynist.

Jacob said that his piece is meant to serve as a reminder of the power that language holds over us and how
women are viewed in our modern society.

Rachel Precht’s piece, “Cacophony,” is a series of prints that explores the role of technology in modern life.

Precht adds layers of distractions to every print, combining Wi-Fi symbols, signal bars and other rudimentary shapes to create a mass of human-technology hybrids by the time the last print in a series is complete.

The exhibit certainly offers a variety of contemporary pieces to suit a range of tastes.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers these graduate students a quality venue in which to display their work at the Kipp Gallery, and students interested in art are welcome to attend.

The Kipp Gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. on weekdays.