Meet Our Graduate Students
Katayoun is an Iranian-born ceramicist and sculptor. She belongs to the generation of Iranian women who experienced a childhood of wartime and an adolescence of social and political turmoil under the post-revolutionary regime. Shortly after immigrating to the United States, she came to realize that what she had left behind was more than material belongings, friends, or family members. Rather, she found herself stripped away from the familiar cultural context that had once constructed her sense of Self.
"I am invested in the process of generating novel geographic concepts--and expressing them-- through visual media, focusing on photography, video, and interactive web design. There is a raw, direct connection between the speculative types of “spaces” conjured in the mind’s eye by geographical writers and the articulation of those spaces in visible forms. Full comprehension of these invisible spaces that we live in cannot be achieved with words alone."
"I have spent the last two decades at the intersection of art and social practice, focused on radical healing, as you can see with my creation of “Art Church” and “Harvest Feast”. Radical Healing is a process of unlearning the internalized ideas that keep us from imagining new possibilities. My practice is the means to unlock these issues."
"I am a visual artist whose work explores the structure and life cycles of systems. I begin with the premise that my art practice is a self-contained system that can give insights on the nature of other things we observe and are a part of. Time is an important point of focus in my work because it is through the passage of time that we experience changes in systems. My aesthetic interlocks nostalgia for the forgotten past with anticipation for an imagined future."
“In printmaking I find a back door to image making. As I work, I am paying attention to what happens as I ink the plate, as two plate marks overlap, or as the pressure from the press wrinkles a newsprint mask. I am on the lookout for errors, following, cultivating some and eliminating others. There is an ongoing tension between wear and care in relation to printmaking matrices and sculptural objects. I am drawn to the moral ambiguities of sanding, polishing, oxidation, and stains. My images tend to be partial, isolated fragments that, because of their intimate scale and means of selection, suggest a wider field of information. In the relationships between visual fragments or objects, I am looking for a certain balance point, a tension between resemblance and difference which resists closure.”
"I am fascinated by movement and stasis in bodies and systems, and the forces that act upon them over time. I make films that consider the implications of these forces, such as how the body at rest is simultaneously pathologized and desired, or how the politicized body is conscripted by larger social systems into labor or forced migration."
"Broadly speaking, I’m interested in material that humans create. My practice has developed from connecting with architecture and the built environment to asking more specific questions of human processes and resource use. The forms I create pose the question: what becomes of the fruits of our labors after the labors themselves cease?"
Nina O'Leary is in the Photo & Moving Images discipline. O'Leary graduated with honors and as a scholar of the college from the U of M, Morris in 2015 with a degree in Studio Art & Art History. She recently published a book of her photographs and interviews of Native American college students across the US with the Michigan State University Press. She is attending the University of Minnesota as a DOVE Fellowship recipient.
Kevin O'Meara is a Minneapolis-based photographer. After graduating from Augsburg College with a BA in Screenwriting, Kevin refocused his work to still imagery, particularly silver-based processes. His first book was released in 2016 on A Love Token Press and explored self-identity and regionalism. His work has shown in Minneapolis, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Anna Orbovich is fascinated by the lines, textures, formations and moments that have shaped this earth. Through the processes of printmaking, paper making and metal casting she explores the interconnectedness of trails and waterways, and how the influence of human footprints have an effect on the environment through resource extraction and the desire to explore the wilderness.
"I am an interdisciplinary artist. I sniff out, paw at, bite on, and then finally, work in many divergent art concentrations. Switching up media and trying new things is part of my art DNA. For all the variety within my practice, sketchbook drawing is consistently at its core. Recurring symbols of teeth, tongues, vermin, and domesticated animals are echoed across other media as signifiers of consumption and primal urges. These symbols continue in my print and installation work where I value the power of dissemination and the surreal nature of multiplicity."
"My comics are heavily symbolic and occult visual stories, presenting mysteries and confronting the readers with more questions than answers. Within the panels, my art explores magic as knowledge and vice versa, internal versus external worlds, and the mundane fabric of human life as intrinsically metaphysical. Magic is a beautiful subjectivity that paints my work, as well as a mental and spiritual tool within the narrative worlds for characters to enact violence, offer peace, or alter their reality."
“Fit is a constant, reoccurring theme in my work. I feel that dress (in all its complex elements that extend far beyond garments) never seems to fit me in all of the ways I need. Further, I have little context for how I am interpreted and how I should interpret my own identity. I exist in space and have to navigate through it, so I need to see and understand my body, as I want it to be, in the context of space. Art allows me to create that space to observe myself, whether it directly incorporates my own body or uses a proxy.”
Emily Swanberg’s work investigates what it means to mark a site with a structure and how the physicality of structure functions beyond what it marks. Employing altered building processes and refabricated materials, she considers the intimacy of building labor and the ways in which it links to larger systems of power.
Erika Terwilliger works primarily in ceramics, fibers, and printmaking to craft multi-work installations that investigate collections as sites for rotation, stagnation and protection. Her work relies on time and labor intensive making processes to explore relationships between the human and the natural, the organic and the inorganic.
Born and raised in Eau Claire Wisconsin she is influenced by a childhood spent planting, harvesting, and preserving produce from her family’s large garden. She attended St. Olaf College and received her B.A. in studio art with distinction in May of 2016. She took part in St. Olaf’s 5th year emerging artist program and is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Minnesota.
"My work takes a critical look at societal, political and cultural divisions as seen through the lens of someone who has experience in multiple parts of government. The Army, Photojournalism and Law Enforcement communities play a huge role in our everyday life. However, one must be apart of these communities to fully understand them. My work attempts to peel back the curtain between these communities and the greater population."
Anna Van Voorhis's work aims to collapse volume and movement onto a two dimensional plane. She uses a range of repurposed printmaking and photographic techniques to make both abstract and representational renderings of objects in motion. She received her BA in Studio Art from Macalester College in 2014.
Asia Ward works between the realms of science, art, and education. Through her work with the Science Museum of Minnesota, REcharge Labs, and grant funded residencies and projects, Asia creates public art projects and educational activities about the environment, water systems, and electric power production. Recently Asia was involved in two large public art projects, the downtown St. Paul spectacle called the Plume Project, Plume Coloring Contest, and a 27’ solar powered sculpture Solar Tree at Franconia Sculpture Park.
"Through Hnav Hmoob, I am able to formulate and ask different kinds of questions relating to what constitutes Hmong identity, culture, gender, and sexuality. The wearing of Hmong dress has been challenging because I am always aware of gender and cultural performativity. Questions such as, how are Hmong subjecthood produced, who creates Hmong culture and how do we grieve what has been forgotten or lost is what Hnav Hmoob seeks to explore."