Graduate Research - Summer 2019 through Spring 2020
The Prisoner's Palace, an exhibition curated by Ian Breidenbach that includes work by Sahar Fattahi has been extended through May 1st in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhibition opened at the Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn, NY in late February.
During the controversial fifty-year reign of the Pahlavi Empire beginning in 1925, Iranian women enjoyed considerable progress and freedom. Women were no longer required to wear their veils, they gained the right to vote, they were offered education, earned equal salaries, and were able to hold public office. However, when the Shah was deposed in 1979 by Ruhollah Kohmeini, the pro-Western monarchy was replaced with an anti-Western Theocracy. Under this new institution of Islamic Law, many of those rights and freedoms were revoked. They were once again required to cover themselves in public. The Family Protection Law, which in 1967 raised the marriage age to 18 and put restrictions on polygamy and temporary marriage, was suspended, and replaced with traditional Islamic religious rules. This brief history serves as the backdrop to the visual art responses from Sahar Fattahi, an Iranian-American painter and sculptor who is completing her Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting this May, and Roya Farassat is a New York-based visual artist, born and raised in Iran.
Breidenbach is a Helen DeVitt Jones Fellow in the Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts completing his first year in the Master of Fine Arts program in Photography. He is conceptual artist, curator and connector. In 2012, he founded The Neon Heater in Findlay, OH as a space for contemporary art in a rural setting. He has curated over 120 exhibitions. Last fall he curated Carmen Winant: Pictures of Women Working presented at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (Lubbock) in conjunction with the Regional SPE Conference presented by TTU School of Art.
A work by Andrew Lawson, Master of Fine Arts student in Printmaking, was featured in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer on April 4, 2020. The print, which was shown at the 2019 Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, depicts Lawson's "Umbrella Girl" in her gas mask under a sky of black smudges and red blotches. According to the article's author, Helen Ubiñas, it could be considered prescient for our times. After three years of using the Umbrella Girl's image in his prints, Lawson continues to pose this question to the viewer: "What is she protecting herself from? Dangers from the outside? Or inside?"
José Santos P. Ardivilla, Fine Arts Doctoral Program student (at far left), was one of two students selected through competitive review to receive SOA scholarships to attend summer residency programs at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg,Tennessee through Arrowmont's Windgate University Fellows Scholarship Endowment matching program. Ardivilla had signed up for a figurative painting workshop but ended up in a narrative painting class instead. Says Ardivilla of his experience, "Considering that my works revolve around narration albeit filtered through a cartooning lens, the class offered me ample opportunities to push for a different approach and even consider richer and deeper stories to deal with."
Three School of Art graduate students gave presentations at the TTU Arts Practice Research Conference in October 2019: Madeleine Hernandez, M.F.A. student in painting, presented The Body: Human Fetishism and Feminism; Sahar Fattahi, M.F.A. student in painting, presented Art Inspired by Anti-Oppression Feminist Movements in Iran; and Corina Carmona, Fine Arts Doctoral Program, presented Chicana/o Lubbock: History, Arts, Production, and Praxis.
The conference addressed the transdisciplinary nature of arts practice, the processes and perspectives of art-making, and the synthesis of creative activity and critical analysis. The students' session, Socially-Engaged Visual Art-Making, was organized by Carol Flueckiger, Associate Professor of Art Foundations, and was based on the Inspired: Art@Work project in Summer 2019, which was attended by Hernandez and Fattahi (below).
Sahar Fattahi and Madeline Hernandez, Master of Fine Arts students in painting, participated in the Summer 2019 Research Group in Art, Environment and Sustainability and Inspired: Art@Work project led by School of Art Associate Professor Carol Flueckiger at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, Colorado. Fattahi and Hernandez met with students from Western Colorado University in two sessions held in June while doing their artist residencies at Elsewhere Studios.
Allen Smith, Master of Fine Arts candidate in painting, had a solo exhibition of his work at the Shore Art Gallery on the campus of Abilene Christian University on August 26 - September 20. The exhibition incluced an artist's talk, workshop, and reception.