Department of Art
2021 BFA THESIS SHOW PRESS RELEASE
The Spring 2021 BFA Thesis Exhibition is the pinnacle of MSU Denver studio art and communication design students’ education as artists and designers. The graduating students will showcase their work in a joint online exhibition at msudenverbfathesis.com.
The MSU Denver BFA Thesis exhibitions are typically held at the Center for Visual Art, however due to social distancing and gathering guidelines, the exhibition is in an online forum. While not held at a physical venue, the graduates have put hours of work into photographing, organizing, and displaying their work on the website to create a dynamic exhibition.
The exhibition will feature the work from the following 28 artists and designers: Aman Alchokr, Grace Baclao, Anniston Craddock, Richard Deanda, Beatrice Drew, Reinna Florez, Sarah Folsom, Diana Garcia, Chris Godoy, Emily Hammack, Nori Hess, Jay Hoppe, Jennifer Hudak, Amanda Jensen, Ariel Kensington, Sophia LaBriola, Ashley LaFrance, Davida Martinez, Eric Sanchez Medel, Greg Nelson, Kara O’Dell, Maria Pardo, Angela Reider, Hannah Scheuerman, Kensey Simm, Sarah Steck, Leah Tschumper, and Parker Wiese.
Each graduate approaches subjects such as relationships, identity, societal structures and perception through their individual mediums which vary from sculpture to communication design, ceramics to painting, and digital media. Shared experiences and vulnerability are a driving force behind these works. Pulling from personal as well as shared experiences, the exhibition allows for a space of communication and awareness into expanded perspectives.
KENYATTA COLE WINS ONE CLUB AWARD
Graduating Senior Kenyatta Cole has been selected as a 2020 finalist for an award from the One Club for Creativity for his UX/UI Design and prototyping for a new anxiety app called Solify: Calming Everyday Anxiety.
Cole's work has also been included in the exhibition of all 2020 honorees in an online format called The One Show which is the world's most prestigious award show in advertising, design and digital marketing. For over 40 years, The One Club has had a rich legacy of honoring some of the most groundbreaking ideas, created by some of the most remarkable minds in creativity.
We congratulate Kenyatta on this award, as well as his recent graduation with a BFA in Communication Design!
ALYSSA MORA NAMED "MADE IN THE FUTURE" FELLOW
Alyssa Mora, graduating Senior in Communication Design, was recently honored by being selected as a Made In the Future Fellow. This Fellowship is a career-building design program that provides an immersive foundational curriculum, community support network and access to preeminent industry mentorship for aspiring underrepresented designers.
Mora was also previously awarded "Outstanding Student Organization Member," given to individuals who demonstrate special commitment and leadership to an MSU Denver organization, during Fall 2020. Her work as student club president with Future Leaders of Design (FLoD), the MSU Denver chapter of American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), "aided the [FLoD] to construct a very solid level of professionalism and growth under her leadership." Read more about Alyssa and the other 2020 Involvement and Leadership Award recipients here...
BFA THESIS STUDENT ADRIAN RAYA FEATURED IN WESTWORD
The Department of Art celebrates the recent article from Westword about our graduating student, Adrian Raya, and the BFA Thesis exhibition.
Raya's plan was to have three bodies of work at three locations across the city. He would have an installation exploring emojis and ethnic identities in a public area in an MSU building, another in a campus gallery, and two paintings on display at the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council.
Then came the COVID-19 shutdowns. Schools buildings went dark, classes migrated online. And the senior thesis shows were shut down.
MSU Denver Art students quickly pivoted, transforming the Spring 2020 BFA Thesis Exhibition, which includes the work of Raya and 34 other MSU students, to an online version.
So exciting to have our students recognized and featured in the press! Check out the Westword article here.
KANDICE CLEVELAND PUBLISHES REVIEW
We are very proud to share that Communication Design major, Kandice Cleveland, recently had her review of the Francesca Woodman exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art published in the international online contemporary art magazine, This is Tomorrow.
Cleveland, who was enrolled in ARTH 4480 Art Theory and Criticism over the summer, 2019, was mentored by her Theory and Criticism instructor, Rosanna Van Mierlo, who has an extensive background in contemporary art criticism. Van Mierlo put Cleveland in touch with an editor she knew at This is Tomorrow, who was looking to generate a stronger critical culture in Denver, particularly among emerging professionals.
Asked why she took on this extra-curricular opportunity, Kandice said “I always enjoyed writing, so I was on the lookout for opportunities to do both design and writing. After graduation, I would really like to combine both writing and Communication Design, so perhaps I will publish children’s books or short stories.” We think Kandice’s future looks bright since she’s combining her creativity and critical skills in ways that make her well-positioned to meet any challenge she sets for herself. Congratulations, Kandice! Read her review here.
SPRING 2020 BA SYMPOSIUM
ART AND RESEARCH FROM GRADUATING BA STUDENTS
The BA in Art and the BA in Art History, Theory, and Criticism are degrees that teach us to solve problems through creativity and discovery, and we love to share our results in public with our communities. This is why we have research symposia.
Beginning the semester with a goal of the research symposium in mind, our Spring 2020 BA students were well on their way toward shaping their projects for that public format. But midway through the semester, our world was immobilized by a pandemic.
CHANDLER DOLAN | COMMUNICATION DESIGN
Otten Johnson, in partnership with the Center for Visual Art, MSU Denver, announced a call for entry for original art that reflects the holiday season in Denver, open to current students of MSU Denver. Five works were selected for exhibition at Otten Johnson’s Holiday Celebration in November where Chandler's work was voted for inclusion in Otten Johnson’s seasonal ecard, and she was awarded a $2,500 cash prize.
For the past 5 years, Otten Johnson has partnered with artists and designers creating opportunities to showcase their talent to the firm’s stakeholders and community. Each holiday season, they work with artists to develop a creative, fun digital e-card featuring work that celebrates the holiday season and our unique and vibrant Denver community. Reveal Chandler’s winning design here.