Welcome to the 2020 Student Exhibitions
In the virtual galleries below, discover the art and design work of our students graduating from the following programs: MFA in Art, MS in Sports Product Design, BFA in Art, BFA in Art & Technology, and BFA in Product Design, as well as work from the Art + Design Academic Residential Community students and Spring Storm, the annual school-wide show featuring the work of senior undergraduate art, art & technology, and product design students. Each gallery has a show description followed by a button that will lead you to the full exhibition website.
Click on the flashing circle icons below to hear from School of Art + Design leadership and explore the art and design galleries.
Naily Nevarez (BFA Art & Technology) has been passionate about immigrant and human rights since she can remember. For her thesis project, Nevarez, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, funneled that passion into creating Wavering Stripes, an interactive website telling the stories of every person who perished in detention on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“How can people become more informed about the individual stories of people going through this,” Nevarez remembered asking herself as a prompt for this project. “I’ve realized that creativity is really about solving problems.”
Navarez is one of countless graduating students across the School of Art + Design who is applying creativity to solve, challenge, capture, and rethink the world’s pressing issues. This spring, due to COVID-19, students from the Departments of Art and Product Design had to get creative to show their final projects, a capstone moment for emerging artists and designers that traditionally occurs in physical gallery spaces and in-person presentations in Eugene, Portland, and beyond. While art and design students have long made catalogs and websites to present their work, the 2020 graduating class accomplished a feat in not only creating these assets in a condensed timeline but completing the work itself remotely, away from studios, workspaces, tools, and their communities.
“This year, while we were unable to be together in person to celebrate, we are excited to share the work of our students online,” said Charlene Liu, head of the School of Art + Design. “I feel proud and deeply privileged to see the creative vision of a new generation of artists and designers.”
Sarah Klecker, a MS in Sports Product Design student, is tackling the issue of inclusive performance gear with her capstone project Velox, a collection of Paralympic uniforms, weatherproof training apparel, and push gloves designed for elite women wheelchair racing athletes. These athletes, Klecker said, are issued the same gear as standing track athletes, which is too bulky and inflexible for wheelchair use. Klecker collaborated with Paralympic athletes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“I would love for this project to shed light on the fact that there isn’t a market for adaptive sports apparel,” Klecker said. “In this age of wanting to expand the image of what it means to be an athlete, that’s part of it, catering to wheelchair athletes.”
Meanwhile, MFA Art graduate student Junwei Zhang has been collecting junk tires for his art installation “Pseudo-Well,” which went up in the LaVerne Krause Gallery. Stacking the tires, Zhang created a well, reached by a wooden platform, with an interactive video of the sky within, mimicking the reflection of a real well.
Zhang said he created this work during the current pandemic and was meditating on how the tire is a tool of travel and conquering—actions that COVID-19 has stymied.
“We are getting back to the age before the age of discovery,” Zhang said. “We no longer have the opportunity to conquer this world because everyone is at home. It reflects a global situation.”
Eleanor Strand, a BFA Product Design student, is examining weighted clothing and the crossroads of anxiety and fashion.
“I’m looking at the trends and researching why athleisure is so popular, why sweatshirts make us feel so comfortable,” Strand said. “I’m making the argument that you can wear a sweatshirt anywhere these days and it doesn’t matter.”
Paige Van Doren, a BFA student in Jewelry and Metalsmithing, has transformed her whole apartment into a studio to complete her thesis, “The Only Way is Through.”
“For the past three years I’ve been making work that is about the intersection of trauma, memory, and time,” Van Doren said. “This work is the material manifestation of trauma; what it looks like, how it’s carried and held. The ultimate goal is to make something that is both understandable but is also implicit and understood through the body.”
Van Doren has developed a process of coating aluminum foil in black automotive paint to make a transformative material for chains and braids.
“The jewelry and metalsmith program at the UO is tremendous. It has changed my life,” she said. “I feel pretty prepared honestly to go out and work as a studio artist.”