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News & Stories: 2008-09

BFA II: two galleriesMay 1, 2009

For their Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Exhibition, held at the May 1–9 at the Center Art Gallery, artists Miranda Brouwer and Natalie Good not only installed new work. They built a new gallery.

"It was like a barn raising. It was hilarious,” said Calvin director of exhibitions Joel Zwart of the smaller wooden gallery within the Center Art Gallery. “They formed these walls and lifted them up.”

"Just looking at this space—it's really huge. We wanted to divide it up a bit so it wasn't so huge," said Brouwer, a 22-year-old BFA major.

Brouwer and Good, also 22 and a BFA major, are exhibiting a wide range of work in different media; it is different than each work each showed in her solo show at the (106) Gallery earlier in the year: “I think in this show we’re going to see a pretty wide variety of work, from intimate drawings by Miranda to large installations by Natalie,” said art professor Adam Wolpa, the adviser to the BFA program.

On one wall of the improvised gallery displays Good’s “exploded sketchbook,” a series of drawings and pieces that representing the many elements that go into a finished work. Good has also created a space outside the little gallery, which features a cactus table (containing real and homemade cactus) cowboy boots and bales of straw framing video screens. The screens play videos of Good picking lichens and sewing a quilt out of teabags, and decorated with lichens, that hangs in the space.

The entire installation is Good’s tribute to the west. “When I came to college, I met some people I went backpacking and hiking with, and I got this fascination with the west. I just fell in love with the objects of the west,” she said. The video installation is an example of Good’s preoccupation with the relationship between natural and human objects, she said: “Me touching a natural material, but I’m video taping it and having it on  a TV screen—which people have a different relationship to than they do a tree.”

Brouwer’s drawings and installations— little hanging pillows cushioning crystal globes, for instance— also have a unifying theme: “I feel like my work is a lot about the juxtaposition of body on the pattern.” The nails and strings that composed the giant string drawings from her solo show at (106) have been packed into tiny coffins whose lids carry instructions for burial. “I put a lot of time into them, and I saved the materials because it was very sad …,” said Brouwer, “I feel like I’m done with them—for now, at least.”

BFA artist Natalie GoodBoth Brouwer’s and Good’s work exemplify the standards of the BFA program, which requires students to achieve excellence in at least three media from the whole spectrum plastic arts: drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, photography and communication design.

"These students produce a lot of work,” said Zwart. show will open with a 7 p.m. reception on friday, May 1. The first installment of the 2009 BFA Exhibition, featuring work by Joe Arens and Karis Medina, was held April 17 though May 1 at the (106) Gallery.

Both Brouwer and Good are pondering graduate school following graduation, though each plans to take some time off first. “They take it seriously—being an artist,” said Wolpa. “It is sad to see these students graduate. I’m sad to see them go.”

~by Myrna Anderson, communications and marketing 

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