UT Dallas Students to Hold
Concurrent Exhibitions Opening Aug. 24

RICHARDSON, Texas (Aug. 16, 2007) — Three graduate students at The University of Texas at Dallas — Eric Baze, Christi Nielsen and Diane McGurren — will present three concurrent solo exhibitions in the Main and Mezzanine galleries of the university’s Visual Arts Building from Aug. 24 to Sept. 28.  The exhibitions are free and open to the public.

The works are varied, but all artists rely on photography and digital technology.  Baze uses digital photography in the context of his installation emphasizing the human form.  Nielsen combines both digital photography and video to create her performance-based imagery, and McGurren’s documentary project incorporates book arts, digital photography and installation.

Baze explains his digital photographic print series, Idle Worship,as an exploration of “the beatification of the celebrity in contemporary culture.”  He “creates dense visual textures layered onto studies of the human form, focusing simultaneously on the flesh that binds us and our desire to transcend it.   At the center of his images, a luminous glow surrounds the figures, reminiscent of halos connoting sainthood while referencing the attraction of celebrity.  Fragments culled from the tabloid press become the skin on their naked bodies, part of the daily bread fed to us by the media.”

According to Nielsen, her exhibition, Faux Real, focuses “on our collective obsession with the ideal.”  Through her performance-based self-portraits, she “heightens viewers’ awareness of their own physical presence and prompts them to consider the plethora of information shaping the psyche, and consequently the physical.”  Unlike performance art of the past, she places a distance between the viewer and her physical presence, creating personas that exist virtually.  These personas perform through text, pose, gesture and voice, communicating a response to mass media through characters that mimic the avatars of her virtual environment research.

McGurren’s exhibition is an installation of artist’s books combining photography and text documenting the rural town of Millsap, Texas, located 80 miles west of Dallas along FM 113.   McGurren states, “Emphasizing the vernacular architecture, language and culture of Parker County, Farm to Market features five artist’s books, including both hand-bound volumes and a wall installation, accompanied by sculptural elements invoking the image of the clothesline so prevalent on the rural countryside.” 

The Visual Arts Building is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The gallery is closed on Sunday.

An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 24, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. 

More information about the event is available at http://ah.utdallas.edu/season0708/graduateexhibition.htm.
For information about the many musical, arts, theatre, dance and other performances and exhibitions held throughout the year at UT Dallas, please call 972-UTD-ARTS (972-883-2787) or e-mail [email protected].  Persons with disabilities needing special accommodations may call 972-883-2982, Texas Relay Operator: 1-800-RELAYVV.

About the School of Arts & Humanities

The School of Arts & Humanities at UT Dallas offers a dynamic and integrated approach to education that fosters the critical, creative and communicative skills necessary for success in the culturally diverse, technologically rich and change-intensive environment of the 21st Century.  For additional information about the School of Arts & Humanities, please visit the Web site at http://ah.utdallas.edu/

About UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s Web site at www.utdallas.edu.