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docMarch. E-News:
Escape PGH: MFA Thesis exhibition


PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER, "Carnegie Mellon MFA students Escape PGH in style," Curt Riegelnegg, April 8, 2010

































Miller Gallery
at Carnegie Mellon University
Purnell Center for the Arts
5000 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Tues.-Sun., 12-6pm
Closed Mondays

Free and open to the public

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Past Exhibition

Installation photo, Brian Brown
Installation photo, Amanda Long
Installation photo, Leslie McAhren
Installation photo, Gian Carlos Silva de Jesus
Installation photo, Jonathan Trueblood
Installation photo, Derk Wolmuth


Carnegie Mellon 2010 MFA Thesis Exhibition

March 19 - April 18, 2010

Artists: Brian Brown, Amanda Long, Leslie McAhren, Gian Carlos Silva de Jesus, Jonathan Trueblood, Derk Wolmuth

About the Exhibition

"Elements of risk and experimentation are present throughout the three-year graduate program at Carnegie Mellon School of Art. The unpredictability of the final result is what makes the process challenging and exciting. What you see here in the gallery is more propositional than conclusive.

The work is presented for critique. This happens internally with faculty, peers and invited guests, and externally with artists’ tours, which are open to the public.

You are cordially invited to come on one of the tours, hear the artists talk about their ideas and intentions, and offer your own interpretation of the works through open discussion.

The students work collaboratively to plan a final group show in the Miller Gallery. They must consider how their disparate practices can work together in a joint presentation.

While faculty advise, and the Miller Gallery staff assist, there is no one person working towards a predetermined curatorial vision.

Initial concepts for the final exhibit are presented and discussed, and from that point on ideas can develop, change, shift and shuffle. The architecture of the space, and the effects of works in proximity to each other, create the need for continual refinement of ideas, and negotiation of territory.

The result is a combination of individual ambition, and group dynamics. This organic process means that the content and composition of the final exhibition may not be apparent until the eleventh hour."

- John Carson,
Regina and Marlin Miller Professor and
Head of the School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University


"In the MFA program at Carnegie Mellon we encourage the exploration of every available territory for artistic practice. These 6 emerging artists will delight the eye, stretch the mind, arouse the senses, warm your heart, touch your wallet and give you cause for concern.

Brian Brown paints scenes of mystery and wonder. Hyperreal, yet dreamlike environments are inhabited by strange characters, or creatures, in search of a reassuring narrative. These inscrutable scenarios are redolent of final screen sequences, which leave you anticipating the next episode. Amanda Long creates mesmeric meditations in color and light, which draw us into intense worlds of psychedelic mysticism, erotic allusion and aleidoscopic fantasy. She pulls us physically into projected constructs with seductive imagery and invitational environments, which encourage us in playful interaction with chimeric realities. Leslie McAhren is ever the effervescent performer. Recognizing the cult of personality and acknowledging the relationship between art and commerce, the golden girl has laid her plans for total art world domination and entrepreneurial success. The art of Gian Carlos Silva de Jesus is in his embrace, his engagement with strangers, and his benign intent to make meaningful communication and interaction between disparate people, by confronting emotion and breaking the trammels of social and racial conditioning. He is a sculptor whose studio is the street and the sidewalk. With drawings, photography, found imagery and text, Jonathan Trueblood’s graphic skills and wry humor combine to satirical effect, as he examines aspects of celebrity, popular culture, and macho representations in sport and in the media. Derk Wolmuth’s ideal home is the igloo, yurt, garden shed, or upturned boat. He is the ingenious fixer who will set up and make it work anywhere. His kinetic sculptural propositions and impromptu dwellings, question value systems, with their frugality and impermanence.

I would like to congratulate this year’s grad students, on the quality of their final show, the culminating achievement of their time here at Carnegie Mellon, and I wish them all well in their future artistic endeavors."

- John Carson,
Regina and Marlin Miller Professor and
Head of the School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University

About the Artists

Brian Brown
"Sometimes the most interesting things are those that have no clear beginning or end. Everything is “about” how it’s made/ who made it/ the time in which it was made/ why it was made. I understand that and all, but I don’t think that I have to know “about” everything. I like to look at pictures that don't have a clear beginning or end. I like to hear stories that entertain through the telling, not through a singular climactic punch line. With some great movies, scenes are composed as though they are the film in its entirety. Look at Fellini. Better yet, watch any random five-minute clip of Otto e Mezzo and then try to turn it off. I can’t. When I start a painting I start with a scene in mind that I don’t want to forget. I start the telling, and the painting—like a good lie, ceases to make sense really, but maybe I’m holding your attention with charismatic confidence and bright colors."

Amanda Long
"For Lighter and Lighter, a three channel kinetic video installation, trapeze artists flying in space break into the component colors of red, green and blue, and escape the typical boundaries of the cinematic frame. Rotating projectors mix three videos to form hypnotic images of the human figure, exploring and expanding the structural components of both image and frame. The process of constructing and deconstructing the projected image in physical space is a way of exposing the magic of how video technology works as light, and a metaphor for overcoming the limitations of the physical self. I want to let the viewer into this magic, to move my audience into a transcendent space."

Leslie McArhen

Gian Carlos Silva de Jesus
“The approach to culture begins when the ordinary man becomes the narrator, when it is he who defines the (common) place of discourse and the (anonymous) space of its development”
- Michel de Certeau

"I am interested in everyday situations that involve communication and confronting deep feeling. Collecting information from the internet, media and related quotidian memories, I aim to retranslate what I find in a social context through sculptures, video, and sound/music gestures. I have been exploring themes concerning New Romanticism, collectivism, and relational aesthetics. I explore these ideas by making small and ephemeral intervention in the public realm, seeking to generate discussion. I created “Subliminal Confrontation” on the street, evoking notions of love, emotions, honor, race, economics, and music. I produce and create new means of cultural production."

Jonathan Trueblood
"I believe in the soul, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. I believe in appropriating pop-culture quotes, references, and images in my work that people may not know. I believe in Hollywood, big-budget, blockbuster movies and being surrounded by the roar of a crowd in a sports stadium and the immersive feelings they both give me. I believe words like “awesome” and “cool” can, and should, be spoken in critical discourse, if used correctly. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up DOES rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend."

Derk Wolmuth
"With the commonest of materials and techniques a humble dwelling or even a vehicle can be built. So I made this curious, mystical vessel. Within it I am able to articulate the need to inhabit and the drive to explore. Sheltered by this precarious form, I offer a chance to give in to an inner expedition."


Mar. 19, Fri. 6-8pm: Reception
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Mar. 25, Thurs.
1:30-4:30pm: Artists' Talks with B. Brown, L. McAhren and G. C. Silva de Jesus
@ Miller Gallery floor 3

Mar. 30, Tues.
1:30-4:30pm: Artists' Talks with A. Long, J. Trueblood and D. Wolmuth
@ Miller Gallery floor 2

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