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Twelve senior students honored in ISU College of Design’s annual BFA exhibition

April 15, 2014

Edison Moody's "Encounter" received best in show
Karl Schecht's "Richie Culver" won 1st place
Liz Fisher's "Jacob" was awarded 2nd place
Kathleen Albright's "1 in 1,762" took 3rd


AMES, Iowa — Twelve Iowa State University College of Design students took top honors in the 2014 Senior BFA Exhibition on view through Thursday, April 17, in the college's Gallery 181.

The show features 85 artworks in a variety of media by 31 students who will receive bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degrees in integrated studio arts in May, August or December this year.

Internationally renowned painter and Iowa State alumna Melanie Vote served as the juror for student awards. Recipients were recognized at a public reception Friday, April 11, at the College of Design. Recognition was given for best in show; first, second and third place; three merit awards and seven special mentions.

Edison Moody, Des Moines, won best in show for his oil painting titled "Encounter."

In her remarks at the reception, Vote called the painting a "very strong piece" and cited Moody's impressive understanding of color and the human figure.

Karl Schecht's "Richie Culver" (charcoal), done in the style of a self-portrait by photorealist painter and photographer Chuck Close, took first place.

"This piece is captivating on many levels," Vote said. "It 'holds the wall' through the organization of lights and the curious individual [Schecht has] chosen to draw."

Schecht is from Round Rock, Texas.

Liz Fisher, Des Moines, was awarded second place for "Jacob," also a charcoal drawing—"a very straightforward, classical portrait" through which Vote believed Fisher "captured a sense of feeling and knowing something, perhaps love."

Third place went to Kathleen Albright, Burlington, for her "very playful re-use of paper" in "1 in 1,762" (mixed media).

Merit awards were presented to Kat Bowers, Jesup, for "Modern Apron" (textiles) and "Afterglow" (pastel), and to Teresa Ward, Ryan, for "Animalistic Stool" (wood).

Vote observed that Bowers' "investigation of contemporary culture is a common vein in both of these pieces, which is such a crucial element of being an artist today." She enjoyed "the whimsy and great craft" of Ward's "playful and captivating piece."

Vote also recognized six students' entries as deserving of special mention: "Quiet Self-Portrait" (mixed media), Johnathan Fusco, Indianola; "Lake Kabetogama" (acrylic), Ashley Hogenson, Muscatine; "Adirondack Chair" (cypress and polypropyline) and "Mindless Monday" (ceramic), Erik Rolek, Waukee; "Microbiological Portfolio" (relief prints), Stephanie Schoeller, Ames; "Robert Rockolriguez" (photography), Guillermo Thompson, Ames; and "Ghost Stories" (brass), Reed Wu, Ames.

Each spring semester, the graduating BFA students organize their senior show as part of the ART IS 499 Senior Seminar/Exhibition course taught by Associate Professor Cindy Gould. Vote was impressed and excited to see all the experimentation across the various disciplines apparent in the exhibition entries, she said.

Vote holds a bachelor of fine arts in craft design from Iowa State (1995) and a master of fine arts in painting (cum laude) from the New York Academy of Art (1998). She received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 2007 and was awarded residencies with Abu Dhabi Art Hub, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2013; Jentel, Banner, Wyo., in 2009; the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City, Neb., in 2007 and the Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vt. (with a full fellowship from the Dodge Foundation), in 2002. She was a visiting artist at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art in 2013.

Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the U.S., Mexico and South Korea. She received the Rosenthal Foundation Best of Show Award in the 54th Art of the North East exhibition in 2003.

Vote has taught drawing and painting at Pratt Institute, The New School, New Jersey City University, York College and Hofstra New College. She is a member of the College Art Association.

Gallery 181 is located on the first floor of the College of Design building on the west side of the Iowa State campus. Exhibition hours for the 2014 Senior BFA Exhibition are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or by special arrangement. Admission is free. The show closes at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 17.

Cindy Gould, Integrated Studio Arts, (515) 294-6297,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,