From asphalt and carpet puzzle pieces to a musical performance of a song by John Ashcroft, this month’s Yale School of Art’s Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibit displays a wide variety of artistic styles and media.

This month’s exhibit is the first in a series of final projects of graduate students in the School of Art. Each student is allotted their own exhibition space in which to display their work for one month, at the end of which a new group will take their place.

“It’s always different every year, each presentation is particularly unique,” said Jessica Stockholder, Director of Graduate Studies at the Art School.

This month’s exhibit features ART ’04 grad students Chris Bogia, Chelsea Beck, Dave Hardy, Rachel Mason and Brian Wondergem, whose projects are displayed in Holcombe Hall.

In addition to different artistic styles, the exhibited pieces carry a unique theme about them. Some of the art is political, while other artists said they were inspired by their own memories.

Brian Wondergem’s exhibit featured unusual relations between objects and materials. One piece displays pegs coming out of the wall holding a chair, and another has a table and chair holding branches.

“It’s an interesting relationship to have materials with a very practical use, but used in an impractical way,” Wondergem said.

In another piece, a carpet cut into puzzle pieces covers the floor and is then covered by a layer of asphalt.

“It is playful, but the material of asphalt and carpet is an odd relationship,” Wondergem said. “It makes you think of a domestic carpet, but also of a parking lot.”

Other exhibits used very different materials, like Bogia’s which featured large patterned banners that covered the walls.

Hardy displayed massive rooftops that were modeled on various homes he had seen.

“The rooftops are actually derived from memories of neighborhoods I’ve lived in, and I created these hybrids from those memories,” Hardy said.

Beneath one of these rooftop sculptures, Hardy also included sculptures of wooden clogs with very bright colors. Hardy said he also got this idea from a past memory.

“I was in a bar, playing pool, and all the people around me were wearing yellow clogs,” Hardy said. “They were clog enthusiasts, and my art is a cartooney version of it.”

Rachel Mason’s exhibit featured political overtones, which included her performing “Let the Eagle Soar,” a song by John Ashcroft, and a sculpture of her kissing President Bush.

“The work generally comes from my feelings of wanting to explore my own interaction with politics and a way of entering that which I don’t understand,” Mason said in an e-mail.

Mason’s exhibit also included a performance by the Yale Concert Band and students from the Yale School of Music of a song called “Model Anthem.” The song is a mixture of national anthems from 193 different countries, and includes lyrics and phrases frequently found in the anthems. Using computer programs, she was able to integrate some of the tunes from each anthem into the song.

Though today is the last day for the thesis exhibits of these five students, other students will be presenting their projects in Holcombe throughout the year.

“This year has a very strong show,” Stockholder said. “It’s the best show I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”

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