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MFA Thesis Exhibition Begins

PULLMAN, WASH – The end of the school year means final exams, job hunting, and, for Master of Fine Arts Graduate Candidates, art museum exhibitions.

“This particular show is about celebrating the accomplishments of the Fine Arts thesis students,” Debby Stinson, the Marketing and PR director for the museum, said. 

Six students were selected for this program, which is typically an intense two-year program consisting of regular meetings with professors and visiting artists and scholars while sharpening their confidence and skills as artists.

Stinson said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some students in this program opted-in to stay for an extra year, with only one MFA thesis student graduating in 2021.

“The rest of them elected not to graduate during COVID because they wanted that face-to-face time with their professors and to finish their work and to be at WSU creating the work,” Stinson said.

This art isn’t just something you’d see hanging up on your mom’s fridge, this exhibition is a huge step in the right direction to jump-start these artists’ careers.

In this exhibition, some artists do multi-media digital work, weaving, three-dimensional fabric sculpting, and oil painting, which is done by graduate candidate Sarah Barnett. 

Barnett graduated in 2018 from the University of North Texas and has been doing oil painting ever since. 

“I mainly focus on the human figure as my subject matter. and I do, pretty much, consistently kind of these close-up views of these distorted figures. They’re distorted in various ways but I usually either cover them or wipe away recognizable features,” Barnett said about her oil paintings

Barnett was also one of the students who opted to stay in the program for an extra year.

“The past three years for me have been kind of a wild ride. I mean, I had no idea what to expect coming in, in terms of what I was going to make.” Barnett said.

Despite not being sure what she would make, Barnett will have nine oil paintings displayed in the exhibition alongside the other five graduate candidates.

The MFA Thesis Exhibition is on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art now until May seventh. MFA Thesis Artist Talks will occur during Family Weekend at the museum where the artists will introduce their work.

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