Coming into View showcases the thesis work of three MFA graduate students who are currently finishing up their final semester at Northern Illinois University. The artists—Rachel Beer, Alex Bridges, and E.A. Stuart— are thrilled to present this exhibition that represents three years of research, exploration, and discovery.
Rachel’s practice combines the lively qualities of monotype and woodblock printing with the delicate mark-making of graphite and lithography. Through her research she navigates a world of concrete while searching for the ruptures where softer ways of living can emerge. In her work she examines how the rigid structures that surround her have become internalized within while also considering how to nurture the cracks that are beginning to form.
Alex’s work investigates the relationship of our accessible conscious mind in conjunction with our unconscious beneath the surface. Combining lithography and collagraph printmaking techniques is her avenue for visualizing a distorted reality. An invitation is made for the viewer to experience the work from a distance, then finding new details once stepping closer. By working intuitively and keeping a balance between conscious decision-making and natural response, there is a collaboration which happens between the work and the artist.
E.A. Stuart’s practice examines how spaces, real or virtual affect how the individual perceives themselves and present that image to the world about them. Furthermore, as time passes and spaces transform, how that public persona is altered to adapt to these changes. Through the construction of brutalist objects, and then using these forms as models for multiple “portrait” paintings, she creates opportunities to examine the relationship between the objects and individuals from different viewpoints.
In each of their practices, these artists are exploring what’s been hidden and bringing these perspectives into view.
Image: Alex Bridges