By Keri Hayes

Arizona Daily Wildcat

This year's Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition presents a combination of unique internal visions and manipulations of some not so unique societal realities for a truly enlightening and eclectic viewing experience.

Modern media stories and societal stereotypes are reproduced and given new meanings by Carlos Encinas in his group of works dealing with childrearing and modern Hispanic life.

Video game images of violence, fast cars and tough men symbolically come to life in Encinas' piece "Game." Painted steel and digital images combine to create a striking message about the correlation between play and real life for children of the '90s.

Video images reminiscient of the evening news appear throughout Encinas' works, interspersed at times with police helicopters, guns, skeletons and religious symbols. Pieces like "Video Paz" say a lot about people's ability to retain religious faith in a society overrun by violence and death.

In contrast, Mary B. Tuma's installation presents dreamlike images to create a peaceful vision entitled "Shapeshifters." Tuma drapes gauze netting and ribbons over dried plants to resemble human figures. The figures are mounted above an ocean of ghostly tumbleweeds, some covered in netting, others piled atop one another. The installation is divided by an enormous dried tree, artfully decorated with straw weavings.

Leslie Schmidt manipulates and paints photos from her mother's modeling career into large murals that explore gender issues. Some images are combined with other photographs depicting older women with different body images to create messages about generational differences. In other creations, such as "S-Curve" and "Untitled," expectations of femininity are examined.

Tai Goo's award-winning knife-making skills contribute to a series of striking sculptures. "Matricide" depicts a blazing knife piercing through mother earth in a symbolic gesture of our current environmental state.

A six foot fence toward the back of the exhibit displays a series of paintings by Laura J. Valandry depicting the different stages of her son's development and her own struggles to accept his journey into adulthood.

Anya Kristin Beeler uses sterling, acrylic, enamel and mosaic tiles to create her unique pieces which eminate distinct messages about what she calls "false dichotomies in life." One piece, "Influence of Planet X" had a particularly interesting theme of rechanneled energy - a woman's aura flows from the back of her mind into her lower stomach where a series of vibrations flow to her heart.

Elizabeth Kronlage's interest in the nuances of speaking and listening are reflected in her interesting audience participation piece, "The Conversation Piece." Lori Wolverton's work "Separate Acts of Private Production" is also one the viewer must meditate on to gather the full meaning.

Also contributing to the MFA show is Cynthia Laureen Vogt's exploration of books as art forms, Andrea Reynosa's cast bronze pieces and Zoe Dimassis' mixed media sculptures.

The location on campus makes it a perfect activity in between classes or after a long boring day when in need of some intellectual or visual stimulation.

The Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition at the UA Museum of Art will continue through Sunday, April 24. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Read Next Article