By Anthony Riley

The Hite Art Institute held its opening reception of their Fall 2021 BFA Thesis Exhibtion Thursday in the gallery of Schneider Hall from 5-7. The exhibition features artworks of this year’s Bachelor’s of Fine Arts students, in various mixed media ranging from traditional painting, mixed media, scultpure, and audiovisual. Each artist’s set of artworks focused on specific themes and motifs.

Focusing on themes of identity, image, womanhood, societal expectations, and bodily expectations, Anatéa Cahill juxtaposed food and product advertising with imagery of the artist herself that highlights the embedded themes and expectations within society that criticize and control the female body. Marketing materials for various products such as Jell-O, Lucky cigarettes, and lingerie, containing rhetoric of strict diets, slim figures, and standards of what is considered attractive, directly contrast against confident imagery of the artist showcasing a body type that has been deemed ‘undesirable’ by societal expectations.

Plaster, clay and acrylic contrast with moss and blackberry juice in Andrea Mackin’s works that showcase the artist’s journey into womanhood and inner turmoil dealing with themes of life, fertility, and purpose. Mackin’s artworks take the phrase ‘fruit of thy womb’ literally, utilizing blackberries to flesh out her skeletal pieces and convey the cycle of life and rebirth.

Working with wood, metal, and portraiture, Bethany Figueroa’s works deal with the artist’s experiences with religion, the hypocrisy of the Catholic church, and themes of war and bloodshed. These pieces are intriguing augmentations of portraiture, altering imagery of the mother Mary and Pope Pius XII using imagery of barbed wire, Nazism, graffiti and darts.

Michael McDonald’s digital illustrations paint vivid pictures of the wildfires, wilderness, and cities of California and the west coast.

Other artists’ works on display include Lou Conley, Samuel Lawson, and John Ricketts. The exhibition will be available for viewing until January 28, 2022 in the gallery of Schneider Hall.

Photos by Anthony Riley//The Louisville Cardinal