Indiana Daily Student

Gallery displays MFA thesis work

Rachel Baxter displays her art pieces Wednesday at the Grunwald Gallery of Art.
Rachel Baxter displays her art pieces Wednesday at the Grunwald Gallery of Art.

Blue-tinted water projected on the front and back windshields of a gray Honda Civic parked in the Grunwald Gallery of Art. It’s two back doors remained open for visitors to sit inside and experience a car wash.

The Grunwald presented its master of fine arts group show Tuesday and will present an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.

Artists will give talks about their pieces at noon Friday to discuss the inspirations and methods involved in making their pieces.

Master of fine arts student Donny Gettinger used his thesis piece to explore the transition between boyhood and adulthood and how it relates to Midwestern consciousness.

To accomplish this, Gettinger chose to use the classic icon of a teenager’s first car.
“Your first car is your first ability to go out and drive through these flat spaces, corn fields and country roads,” Gettinger said.

Gettinger tried to focus his piece on the Midwestern experience by choosing a 1990s Honda Civic because it’s a standard first car, he said.

Finding the car was the hardest part for Gettinger because of how particular he was about the type of car he wanted for the right price.

Gettinger searched Craigslist for a Honda Civic made sometime in the ’90s.
The next step was to remove the engine and other parts to make the car lighter and more transportable.

“I don’t know much about cars,” Gettinger said. “I had to learn how to become a
mechanic.”

Becoming a mechanic was a way for Gettinger to involve himself further in his piece. He said there is a big push in the Midwest for boys to work on cars and be mechanics.

“I wanted to dive into that culture and see what the appeal was,” Gettinger said.
After working on the car, Gettinger filmed a carwash from the inside of a car with two cameras so he could project the video onto the front and back windshields of the Honda Civic.

After the show, Gettinger hopes he can keep the vehicle to show in other galleries, but the reality of storing it could lead Gettinger to scrap it.

MFA printmaking student Kristy Hughes is also displaying her work in the exhibit, but her pieces focus on her own experiences making them.

Each print was made using the same stencils and four inks. For Hughes, seeing the transformation of her material layer by layer is what she wants viewers to see as well.

“Each time they look at it, I think they will see something different,” she said. “It will give the viewer the opportunity to search like I did.”

Hughes has been working on the pieces for about a year and faced a few challenges during the printmaking process.

When making the prints, Hughes would lay a stencil on the paper and run it through the print machine. However, what she laid down was not usually what ended up on the page.

“I don’t ever really know what they’re going to look like,” she said. “It’s exciting, but sometimes I would lay down another layer, and it would totally mess it up, and I’d have to fix it.”

Other artists showing in the exhibit include Nakima Ollin, Mike Reeves, Hyejin Kang and Rachel Baxter.

The exhibit will remain on display until April 19.

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