The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Interactive, immersive, innovative: MFA Thesis Exhibition returns to on-campus museum

Master of Fine Arts candidates displaying work at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art until June 29
The+All-Seeing+Eye+by+Mozi+Jones.
COURTESY OF MOZI JONES
“The All-Seeing Eye” by Mozi Jones.

Expect interactive, immersive and innovative art at the Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, which will be on display March 26–June 29 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Graduate students Reika Okuhara and Mozi Jones are the candidates for this year’s exhibition.

“It’s an exciting time for these two students this year,” said Kristin Becker, museum education and programs curator.

Each spring, the museum and Department of Fine Arts dedicate a certain amount of time and gallery space for graduating MFAs to display their work, Becker said.

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This year’s candidates are presenting work ranging from photos to sculptures to interactive pieces, Becker said.

Reika Okuhara

Okuhara is an MFA graduate from Okinawa, Japan. She received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Middle Tennessee State University.

Okuhara will be displaying a collection of visual and physical artwork inspired by Okinawan culture and American culture. The goal is to blend elements of both cultures into one and create something new, Okuhara said.

“I want you to feel like you’re in the ocean or a dream,” Okuhara said. “I enjoy using vivid colors and bringing my imagination to life.”

Okuhara also takes inspiration from Pullman and Tennessee, often comparing the rolling hills of the Palouse to the green waves in the ocean.

Okuhara references the ocean in her sculptures by mimicking bubbles and using shades of green that remind her of the ocean and Okinawa.

“It’s magnificent. There’s nothing out there, just rolling hills,” she said. “I think about ocean waves. Big, green and beautiful.”

Exploring sculpting even further and combining it with other mediums in the future is something she looks forward to, she said.

Okuhara is grateful to be able to present her work at the museum and is excited to showcase it to new people, she said.

Mozi Jones

Jones is an MFA graduate from Southern California. She received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from California State University Long Beach.

Jones will be displaying a collection of interactive sculptures and artwork inspired by circuses and carnivals.

“I’m just kooky and I like the circus aesthetic,” Jones said. “The idea is that people will be able to walk into the space and actually interact with the pieces, so I want it to feel kind of like a fair or carnival.”

Typically, guests are not allowed to touch artwork showcased at a museum. Most people have been trained to not touch anything because you are not allowed to, Jones said.

“I want people to have fun,” Jones said. “I’ve always wanted people to interact with my things. Mostly because fun is really at the center of what I’m making.”

Artist talks, in which Okuhara and Jones will answer audience questions for 10–15 minutes, will be from 3–4 p.m. April 5 at the museum.

There will be a free opening reception after the artist talks from 4–6 p.m.

An artist demonstration and performance will be from 2–3 p.m. at the museum. Okuhara will showcase the craft of resin casting, inviting guests to learn more about the process behind the technique. Jones will be doing a short, interactive and immersive performance related to her work.

“This year is new and special because we have never had them do anything on Saturday in addition to Friday,” Becker said. “I hope people who are interested in art in our community have a great time and celebrate the work that’s been done.”

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