Fine arts students showcased in thesis exhibition at Fontbonne University

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Fontbonne University Department of Fine Arts hosted its bi-annual Thesis Exhibition reception on Friday to showcase the work of its undergraduate-senior and master-level artists.

Thesis works from Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts graduating students will be showcased at the exhibition. Each student shared 4-8 pieces to be presented in form of paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography and graphic design. Artists include Ling Li, Abrar Hamoh, Marin Mercer, Lauren Arens, Bethany Ottens, Nia Coleman, Saroj Shrestha, Andre Henderson and Xiaolin Tan.

The “Thesis Show” is put on at the end of each semester, usually falling on the first week of December and the first week of May. This semester, the Fine Arts Department has five Bachelor of Fine Arts students, 2 Master of Arts students and 2 Master of Fine Arts students that are being showcased.

“We do a big opening reception,” Anthony Borchardt, Assistant Arts Professor and Gallery Director said. “So many different identities stuffed into one show which is really interesting to put together just because there are so many different components that you have to kind of play with when putting it together.”

This semester’s show incorporates political activist pieces as well as pieces about self-esteem.

“We’re kind of known for a figurative aspect in our technical training as a Fine Arts Department,” Borchardt said. “Any time we’re doing thesis shows, there’s usually a good majority of figurative work.”

Borchardt has been an assistant professor with Fontbonne University for three and a half years and the director of the Gallery for two and a half.

The gallery was built in 2000, as part of the renovation of the Fine Arts Department. Before the gallery, the arts were scattered across campus and students would complete off-campus sites for their thesis shows. When the gallery was finalized, the department started the thesis shows on campus.

The selection process of the students’ pieces to be showcased are coordinated between the students and the head of each of their mediums. Graduate students attend Graduate Critique Seminars, where they critique throughout the whole semester discussing and building their works specifically for the Thesis Show. Undergraduate students go through courses, Junior Synthesis and Senior Thesis, both of which are in preparation to build them up to get ready for the Thesis Show.

“They also learn how to be an artist,” Borchardt said. “The business aspect of what it takes to be in a gallery, how to frame, how to mount pieces and things like that to have them gallery ready.”

The Fontbonne University Fine Arts students typically began working on their pieces five months before the show. Borchardt said that some in the graduate program may even start a year in advance.

“Getting some recognition for emerging artists is our first goal [of the show],” Borchardt said. “And then also it’s just to prepare the students to understand how to show in galleries and prepare for the future in the art world for themselves.”

The Exhibition will be at the university’s Gallery of Art, Fine Arts Building (6800 Wydown Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63105). The public is welcome to view the student’s work for free from November 30th to December 15th.

Fine Arts Exhibition
Friday, Nov. 30th-Saturday, Dec. 15th
Gallery of Art, Fine Arts Building
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm; Saturday, 12:00-4:00 pm
Free and open to the public