The third MFA Thesis Exhibition runs April 16-20 and features the work of Patrick Kingshill, Pecos Pryor and Zora Murff. A reception will be held April 20 from 5-7 p.m.
Just prior to the closing reception on April 13, the artists will present public lectures at 3:30 p.m. in the gallery. Each of the three artists in that week’s exhibition will present 20-minute lectures on their work.
Gallery hours for the MFA Thesis Exhibitions are Monday-Friday, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free and open to the public.
The Eisentrager-Howard Gallery is located on the first floor of Richards Hall at Stadium Drive and T streets on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln city campus.
Below is more information on the artists:
Kingshill’s exhibition is titled “A Synthesis of Structures: Reflections on the Built Environment.” Kingshill was born into a family of cobblers, loggers and carpenters. He quickly developed a fondness for the crafts and eventually found himself at the potter’s wheel. Since then he has sought education from various community colleges in California, and eventually received his B.F.A. from San Jose State University. In 2014 Kingshill studied glass and ceramics at the University of Sunderland, England and has recently worked as an apprentice for Takeshi Yasuda in Jingdezhen, China. He has exhibited his work in venues nationally and internationally including the de Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco and multiple National Council on Education from the Ceramic Arts conferences.
In his artist statement, he writes, “My work presents an ongoing investigation of the environment that I exist in and my efforts to curate that environment in order to make sense of my place within it. I seek connectivity and commonality among the many musing subjects that I have come across in my life, if only to better understand my own personal values of aesthetics. My studio practice challenges me to find links between the many different designers, builders and craftspeople of today and throughout history, and discover the ways that we humans interpret and manipulate the world we live in.”
Pryor’s exhibition is titled “Time and Lines.” He is a visual artist who primarily works in printmaking and drawing to make visible the mundane beauty of daily life. Pryor grew up in the small hill country town, Dripping Spring, outside of Austin, Texas. He received his B.A. in fine art from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.
In his artist statement, he writes, “Partnered with curiosity, I began this series by exploring the potential of drawing materials. How far and for how long can a single sharpened pencil last? What does a mile of lines look like? These curiosities parallel my life’s larger questions: How many years will I have with my parents? What do I want to do for the rest of my life? As time is the border of a life, I have used distance and duration as the self-prescribed perimeter for these images. The various expressions of time and distance are a metaphor of our mortality and most of all, our potential. The process is the impetus—time, distance and materials become means to explore the significance of the rituals of everyday life. Mostly what I’ve found is that the spectacular occurs within life’s natural procession.”
Zora J. Murff
Murff’s exhibition is titled “Re-Making The Mark.” Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Murff studied photography at the University of Iowa and received a B.S. in psychology from Iowa State University. Combining his education in human services and art, Murff’s photography focuses on how social and cultural constructs are mediated through imagery; specifically the power dynamics of stigmatization systems including criminality, socioeconomics and race. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Aperture Magazine, VICE Magazine, and GOOD Magazine. Murff was the Daylight Photo Award Winner in 2017 and was a Joy of Giving Something Fellow through Imagining America in 2016. He published his first monograph, Corrections, through Aint-Bad Editions in the Winter of 2015, and his second monograph, LOST, Omaha through Kris Graves Projects in the Spring of 2018.
Murff explores the passing of the National Housing Act of 1934, which brought with it the practice of redlining—refusing mortgages and business loans to people of color in segregated areas because those areas were deemed a poor financial risk. This is a history experienced by the historically Black neighborhood of North Omaha, Nebraska, the community in which Murff makes his work. He asks: Is there a difference between a lynched body in 1919? The condemning of a family home long abandoned? The forced removal of a community through the construction of a freeway? A landscape shaped through generations of segregationist policy? In ‘Re-Making The Mark,’ Murff contends with the convergence of the physical and social landscape. Through photography, sculpture and re-contextualizing vernacular photographs, he references the oppressive rhetoric and legislation used to establish stereotypes and shape the landscape; visualizes the legacy of redlining as a way to understand its fullness; and invokes the notion of the photographic archive to emphasize the act of looking at images. Meant to be viewed in both their historical and contemporary contexts, his works weave a complex narrative about person, place, presence and absence inside of a larger conversation about race and power.