2017 Fall BA Group Exhibition

Ten BA Candidates to Exhibit Their Work

Rescheduled to Friday 12/15 following graduation

Fall 2017 BA Senior Group Exhibition
December 8 – December 18, 2017
S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, Owen Hall
Gallery Hours: S. Tucker Cooke, Owen Hall, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Opening Reception: Friday, December 15, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public.

The exhibition is a selection of artwork from each candidate's larger portfolio. The portfolio is the culmination of each candidate's work toward a bachelor of arts degree. Some of the candidates have a selection of work from their portfolio linked below. 

BA Participants

  • Kade Case, Ceramics
  • Lia Hazen, Drawing
  • Reyna Adams, Drawing
  • Tiana Bush, Painting
  • Brittany Klutz, Painting
  • Ellen Marion, Painting
  • Joe Bolado, Photography
  • Shannon Kennedy, Photography
  • Thomas Carter, Printmaking
  • Bonnie Lawrence, Printmaking

Tiana Bush, Painting:

Artist Statement: Tiana Bush (2017 BA Portfolio)

My current work, “Raised by the Sea,” is a series of acrylic landscape paintings of the Cayman Islands. I chose to portray the Cayman Islands because this is where I am from; this is my home, and it is the one thing I know most intimately. I have been in the United States for over three years now and it has made me nostalgic for the past, for times when I did not have to be away from my home for so long.

With this series, I want to give people a glimpse into the environment that helped shape me into the person I am today. I am attempting to capture the beauty and emotional pull the Cayman Islands has on me. These paintings are a way for me to capture the emotions I feel when I am in the Cayman Islands and translate them onto canvas for the viewer to feel as well.

As you can imagine, life on an island in the Caribbean revolves around the ocean. There’s a common belief back home that the salt water cures everything. When you get a cold, a cut, sore muscles, etc., the first thing any Caymanian would tell you to do is to go in the water, and I’m a firm believer that the water does, in fact, cure everything.

This series is meant to fully establish the important role the ocean played and continues to play in my life. I want to represent the ocean’s brilliance and healing powers. I want to find out if it is possible to capture the healing powers of a specific body of water from over 1,000 miles away.

My process for this series is simple. First, I begin by searching through photographs of different landscapes of the Cayman Islands. However, I am not just choosing an image because it is pretty, I am choosing images of places that hold some of my fondest memories. Just like my memories of these landscapes, my paintings are nothing more than moments frozen in time. The moment is forever gone, but the feeling will always remain.

My approach is similar to that of Zaria Forman, a Brooklyn-based artist. I have been inspired by her work, specifically, “The Maldives” series for quite some time. In this series, Forman focuses on drawing the ripples and splashes of the ocean in the Maldives. The subtle shifts in color as well as the crisp highlights of her waves are aspects truly worthy of admiration. — Tiana Bush

Kade Case, Ceramics

Artist Statement: Kade Case (2017 BA Portfolio)

Think about how many times in a day you use a cup. Perhaps in the morning with your coffee. Maybe you go to a restaurant and order a soda or at home when you need some water. We use a cup almost any time we drink something. Now, how often do you really pay attention to that cup you’re holding in your hands?

Probably not as often. Cups can be boring, but they can also be works of art.

My goal is to transform the idea that a cup is just a cup. Starting with a wheel-thrown form, I then carve different designs to create a tactile texture. After the cup has been fired I use a combination of various glazes to make it shine with beautiful colors. My cups are not only just cups, but functional works of art that one can physically hold and feel. — Kade Case

Joe Bolado, Photography

Artist Statement: Joe Bolado (2017 BA Portfolio)

In my art, I seek to bring together visual elements that contrast the natural and modern worlds. Currently, I am photographing the human form, particularly the introvert, as a way to poignantly visualize this relationship. I am very excited about this body of work, as I feel that it brings together and builds upon my other photographic interests, such as the figure, personality, memory, and connections.

My current project revolves around the idea of introversion. Introversion is recognized as being a state of inward reflection. Most introverts are interested in their own mental self and are comfortable in solitary activities often culminating into some form of artistic expression. One such form of artistic expression could translate in photographic images that generate from the artist’s inner self.

Many photographers have navigated their struggles with introversion through the help of their artistic process. For example, photographers, such as Melania Breschia and Anne-Maria Arpin, have looked to portraiture to relieve their self-containment. But how do introverted artist successfully project their emotions? They do so by using specific artistic techniques, such as the use of tableaux, monochromatic imagery, and low light or night photography, techniques mastered by Gregory Crewdson, Richard Tuschman, and Michael Kenna. While always looking for inspiration, the introverted photographer can use these techniques to successfully project their thoughts and ideas into images, and express themselves in ways that they normally cannot.

Photography has become one of my main passions in life, and I strive to continually grow and evolve as an artist. In looking for technical and conceptual inspiration, I not only look to the work of canonized artists and contemporary photographers, who are pushing the boundaries of the medium, but I also look to pop culture, in order to be more aware of issues that society are currently facing and how those issues are being visualized. — Joe Bolado

Shannon Kennedy, Photography

Artist Statement: Shannon Kennedy [2017 BA Portfolio]

Ever since I was a little girl painting at the dining room table, art has been something i’ve always loved doing and I’ve been most passionate about. Everywhere I go, I have some form of journal to doodle in and that has been a habit of mine for as long as I can remember. Nowadays, I can’t leave my house without my camera, my laptop, and my journal so I can take in any experience or idea anywhere I am. I gain inspiration from my surroundings and along my travels to other countries.

Traveling to new, far away places has and always will be my favorite thing to do. I am a very sentimental person who puts value in everything from a plane ticket to a whole country that holds a special place in my heart. I believe that’s why I became a photographer, because I love to make connections with people and document everything I can so I always have tangible photos to remember my adventures. My recent habit on trips is to keep a journal and write about every day’s experiences. I also carry a polaroid camera with me to take photos that accompany my journal entries. This project stems from my love for travel and immersing myself to my surroundings.

This body of work specifically represents the relationship that the human race has with the nature that surrounds them whether it be positive or negative. The images show a duality of emotions or a simple moment that contains a relationship. A lot of the use of graphics and photography reflects my passion and use of duality as an artist who works with multiple mediums.

In these images you will see a reflection on the relationships people may have with their surrounding nature. This idea was sparked by my trip to South Africa and my feelings while living here in Asheville. Nature surrounds everyone and everything and no matter what one does in life, they have a relationship in some form with nature whether it be a daily walk, keeping plants indoors like a greenhouse, an activity like climbing or fishing, etc. This body of work is dependent on personal relationships with nature so I want my viewers to have personal reactions based on their experiences. — Shannon Kennedy

Thomas Carter, Printmaking

Artist Statement: Thomas Carter (2017 BA Portfolio)

There is a point in most lives where innocence is shattered and reality grows clear. As much good and light as one might witness, they will experience equal amounts of dark. Through this necessary balance, the decisions of how one deals with it matters. These are choices that I wish to explore.

There is a variety in the ways people can choose to react within darkness. Some are surprising, while most are not. Some choose to create, while many find it easier to destroy. It seems that there is an overarching darkness that can be found within all of us. It is those who destroy that lean into this abyss. Each piece illustrates the emotional sensation of this abyss, whether it be focusing on those that lean into their darkness, its effect on others, or how one might overcome it. These textures created by spit-biting, litho tusche, and pointillism explore the visualization of this tactile experience of darkness. It is through these works that I look to find some understanding of the entity of this darkness, its weakness, and how one might raze it. — Thomas Carter

Bonnie Lawrence, Printmaking

Artist Statement: Bonnie Lawrence (2017 BA Portfolio)

The overall beauty, complexity, and fragility of life has always been fascinating to me. I have witnessed and experienced both the deterioration of health and the process or healing. Our bodies are amazing, and go through cycles of both growth and decay, much like our environment does. There is an unspoken connection between human and earth in which both elements must depend on each other to maintain a state of balance and healing.

I think a lot about the structural elements in both botanical and skeletal anatomy. In a sense bones, stems, and leaves are perceived as fragile, but at the same time withstand illness, famines, and winters. We stand resilient, and the leaves and flowers come back in the spring. It’s a beautiful, mundane thing and cannot be taken for granted. — Bonnie Lawrence

Reyna Adams, Painting

Artist Statement: Reyna Adams (2017 BA Portfolio)


The artistic process has been exploring the nature of resilience and its effect on the imagination. The cycles of nature and its ability to begin anew and reclaim its own are tied to resilience. The imagination improvises ways to interpret coping with hardships and creating a paracosm; an imaginary world. These works represent a dreamlike rebirth of a new beginning created by the imagination. The abstract forms are inspired by nature. Nature can bounce back and overcome destruction similarly to how we, as humans, overcome the circumstances of life. There is a personal narrative behind the works created. However, the abstract format allows viewers to have their own interpretations and emotional engagements. This imagery is depicted using movement, form, translucence, and color. The beeswax in the encaustic medium conveys an ethereal push and pull effect in the flow of inks and pigments. The layering of colors embellishes a surreal dreamscape that is thriving with abstract floral and plant inspired forms that create an imaginary world. The dreamlike landscapes are saturated in bright pops of color to capture the lively connection between imagination and nature. These compositions are intended for the viewer to engage and marvel in the interpretations of resilience. — Reyna Adams

Brittany Klutz, Painting

Artist Statement: Brittany Klutz (2017 BA Portfolio)

My works explore my views of the black experience as I continue to learn and express it. Focusing on capturing emotion with text, color, layering, and paint texture, my work becomes a reflection of what I feel and think, as well as a narrative of what has and what is happening in our current world from a black perspective. My personal experiences and the knowledge I attain are the most important things to me and, therefore, are the driving influences and subjects of my work.

In my three years of attending UNC Asheville, I've come across countless moments of clear realization about my existence in the world in relation to my skin color. It started in 2015 as I noticed the demographics and lack of representation of black people in my department and throughout campus. It was followed by a white roommate who felt the need to correct me on how I should act being an "educated black person." It continued with countless stories of police brutality day after day on the news and social media. Here I am, an art student about to receive my degree, and I felt like this was an opportunity to give representation of myself and somehow express what I feel and have felt on my journey.

I have received my main inspirations from visual artists such as Basquiat and Carlos Delgado. I enjoy how expressive and liberating Basquiat’s works feel, which result from his use of odd shapes, bold lines, and color. I was inspired by Carlos Delgado because I admire the way he layers paint. His work is composed of layers that come together to make exquisite pieces rich in depth and texture. My textual inspirations come from musical genres such as hip-hop, rap, soul, and jazz. Specifically, I used lyrics from rapper Kendrick Lamar’s song “Alright” and Solange’s album “A seat at the table” because they are artists who speak to the depths of the struggle that black individuals face and the resiliency we have inside of ourselves to not only rise above the struggle but to thrive. In my own work my process is very freeing. There are often no clear objectives when I begin painting other than to portray emotion. For this series, I typically put on music and began thinking about particular topics, issues and feelings I wanted to address and the rest came naturally. I have used raw canvas, pastels, and acrylic to make the base surface for my paintings. The canvas layers are a combination of text, doodles, faces, and paint splatters. The portraits or faces found in my paintings are meant to give alternative views on what it means to be black.

I have only begun to learn what it means to be a product of African Diaspora and I have only begun to understand the systems that I live in. The works shown might reveal how chaotic and uncomfortable that can be at times but I hope it also shows the complexity and beauty of being black. — Brittany Klutz


Ellen Marion, Painting

Artist Statement: Ellen Marion (2017 BA Portfolio)

Reflections: An Introspective Autobiography

“I paint myself because I am so often alone, and I am the subject I know best.” -Frida Kahlo

Research Question: What is the art therapy process to me? How can I use it to heal past traumas, and strengthen myself for my future goals?

I’ve chosen to explore the art therapy process on an individual level for two reasons. Educationally, it will prepare me for the career I currently have in my sights, to practice art as therapy transpersonally; before I can embark on the psychological and spiritual plane beyond my own personal identity, I must strengthen myself as a vessel before taking in external energies.

I have to establish security within myself, a universal obstacle of the human condition. I believe this goal must be sought after with mindfulness, care, and openness. I will be conducting an introspective examination in this series to assess my sustained traumas, triage the blockages that are inhibiting self-growth, and address each trauma with a corresponding work that includes genuine expressive art activity and reflection on that process. I hope that through this work I will be able to liberate myself from the ways I am holding myself back from actualizing my educational, career, and personal goals. In doing this, I will be able to further myself as an individual as well as an aspiring art therapist, creating a smoother gradient between these various selves while maintaining respect for each.

I chose to conduct a series of portraits of myself and my experiences, some literal and some metaphorical, in order to explore my own identity and the way I find myself fitting to and being molded by the world around me. I have found in creating this work I have both cleared blockages in my energy and instilled a greater value in my self presentation and care.

The content of my series will be about some of the major experiences and themes that have influenced my life as a young female artist and how I have internalized and digested those experiences through introspection and the creative process. Each piece is unique and personal to me, and the three that were chosen to be featured in our show are the three I have invested myself in the most.

The first completed piece, Transmutation, is about an experience in my life that happened two years and eight months ago, and had been affecting me since it happened, until I completed the piece. It was a highly personal, medical and psychologically challenging event that forever changed my worldview. This piece represents the feelings of being bound to that event, in a chaotic mix of emotions, trapped in a cellular structure which represents one part of the plot of my resulting night terrors. The fruition of this piece has brought me some solace; since completing this piece, I have not experienced another night terror about that trauma, and have been able to energetically clear myself of related blocks.

The second piece, Self Examination, is the visual representation of how I feel I see myself and how others see me in relation to the “patterns” that young women are “supposed” to fit into. My figure is facing away from the viewer, but looks back in three reflections that communicate how I see other people viewing me. I used vintage dress patterns to represent these expectations placed on young women today, in combination with tissue paper texture as a base. Some places in the image fit, and others show through as “imperfect,” although I am satisfied with this image as a whole. Creating this piece has brought me more comfort in relation to by physical being, something I hope to encourage in viewers. While some may perceive this as a narcissus narrative, I view it with the recollection of my mother saying to me it is important to be able to blow yourself a kiss in the mirror at least once a day. I have found a deeper love for myself through this work.

The third piece featured in my series is titled The Divide. I named this piece for the split feeling I have between my association with my “home.” I come from a place with beautiful people, friends, and family, in a rather geometric setting. I currently live in a more organic setting, in the embrace of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I feel deeply rooted to both places, for their differences, but especially to this romantic mountain town where I have formed most of my identity. In the image, I look back on where I’m from, while gesturing towards the western region I identify with. They say “home is where the heart is,” but I find myself feeling my “home” divided between central and western North Carolina. This is my homage to the long drives between my homes, Greensboro and Asheville, and the scenery I witness along the way.

Visualization of my work comes to me through posing reference photos and sketches. This process feels natural to me, and is my preferred method of artmaking. I emphasize each theme addressed through means of repetition, gradation, transmutation, dissolution, and layering. I feel that I can see a piece most clearly when I can sculpt it around a figurative reference. Working with this process comes naturally, although not without its obstacles and artistic blocks in creative processes, which can usually be remedied with shifting of focus and returning to each work with a fresh perspective. For this reason I find myself working on multiple pieces at once.

Methodology behind my art making process begins with a reference photo, which helps me to conceive the theme/trauma/idea I want to convey. Through introspection, I identify my dark spaces/blocks that are associated with that theme. I sketch the image based on that reference photo, pin down major shapes, and push myself to create “outside” the reference. The work is actualized from drawing to painting and completion, beginning with a tissue paper surface as an imperfect texture upon which to build layers of charcoal and pastel drawings, followed by acrylic paint. In assessment, I ask myself if I worked through what I was attempting to address in this piece, and if the work conveys my progress with the subject. I believe this series was successful in answering both reflective questions.

Artistic influences include Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali, Gustav Klimt, Bob Ross, Alex Grey, Fernando Vicente, F. Scott Hess, Michael Reedy, and Amylin Loglisci.

Cultural Need for Art Therapy & Introspection, Past/Present/Future and My Role

When we can look bravely into the darkest parts of ourselves and shine our light, with no fear or hate, with the intent of really seeing ourselves for who we are and what we have experienced, and find love and beauty for and from that darkness, we can become stronger and more complete with who we are as individuals, and exist in a liberated, completely recognized, wholesome state, which benefits each of us as well as all others in our surroundings.

This age-old practice of looking inward is something I came into familiarity with through my family. I grew up going to a Quaker school and Meeting for worship, and I personally identify as a Light-centered Quaker. I believe in a fundamental goodness that flows throughout all living things, symbolized by a light, and this goodness can be found when we look within ourselves- when we can be introspective.

I hope this series will be seen as one of many ways of exemplifying this introspective process, and the openness with which I address myself in this work will model the openness, acceptance, forgiveness, and self-love I wish to encourage within each viewer. In this series I am attempting to shed as much light as I can on this process which I so firmly believe in, and has helped me so much. This idea of the creative arts as therapy is not a new convention, although has been overlooked and undervalued since its creation, like many revolutionary understandings.

As a young American woman residing in North Carolina, I believe this Country is especially in need of introspection at this time. There are too many collective traumas that we have inflicted upon ourselves that are blocking the even and unobstructed flow of goodness between each other, and it is present in the hate that is carried between opposing viewpoints and violent expressions of ignorance of one another. If we as a country could look inward at ourselves and acknowledge our own dualities and polarities as being valid in their own respects, and find love for one another despite extreme contrast, we could see a complete picture of social wellness and interconnectivity. These not-so-United States are in dire need of a renaissance of psychological care and conscious well being, and I view my role on this planet as contributing to the awareness and treatment of mental health care. It is only through this conscious existence that we can hope to become truly united, love our neighbors, and love ourselves. — Ellen Mation

Marylia Hazen, Drawing

Artist Statement: Marylia Hazen (2017 BA Portfolio)

This body of work focuses on nature in both concrete and abstract ways. Some pieces are carefully rendered in graphite to create a near replica of the actual subject matter, whereas others merely suggest flora and fauna. I use traditional materials such as graphite and watercolor to create a soft and gentle image that invites peaceful viewing. Delicate hand cut pieces obscures images of birds or cats and plays with the idea of what is real and what is not. Sometimes, I utilize origami imagery in conjunction with representative drawings to further push the idea of reality versus symbols. I referenced paper cut artist Kako Ueda and Timothy Lee and drew inspiration from ancient Chinese scholar gardens. My goal is to interest viewers and challenge their perceptions of what is real and what is not— Marylia Hazen