lineage: MFA 2023 Thesis Exhibition

lineage: MFA 2023 Thesis Exhibition

An exhibition of five artists about to complete their Master of Fine Arts degree in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota.

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota presents lineage, a group exhibition of five artists about to complete their Master of Fine Arts degree in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota. The exhibition includes works by Olivia Gallenberger, Nadia Kellner, Camila Leiva, Nik Nerburn, and Hawona Sullivan Janzen. 

By molding and shaping clay as a form of somatic release, Gallenberger uses ceramics as a surrogate for her body. Kellner’s paintings and sculptures juxtapose bodily and architectural forms, pushing and pulling between interior and exterior, seen and unseen. Drawing from her familial archive, Leiva combines larger than life graphic novel spreads, textiles, and found objects to create an intimate and complex portrait of her grandmother. Nerburn constructs images and objects of whimsy and catastrophe using a regional vernacular of specific handicrafts. Informed by her multifaceted ancestral ties, Sullivan Janzen creates spaces, photographs, and experiences that unpack one’s ties to place and kin.

Public Program & Reception Saturday, April 1, 2023
Public Program | 6:00 - 6:30 PM Central | InFlux Auditorium
Reception | 6:30 - 8:30 PM Central | Regis East Lobby

March 28 - April 15, 2023
Tuesdays and Fridays, 11 am – 5 pm
Wednesday and Thursdays, 11 am – 7 pm
Saturdays, 11 am – 3 pm

Olivia Gallenberger (they/she) is a visual artist based in Minneapolis. She is a teaching artist at Northern Clay Center and Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts. Their multidisciplinary practice explores themes of memory loss, psychiatric care, medical violation, and familial relationships. Their interest in science fiction as a means of escapism seeps into the work via alternative fictions of the body. Gallenberger investigates the color blue as material and metaphor while considering how predisposed obsession affects the intersection between life and art. She is currently fascinated by the concept of portals and wormholes, what travels through them and what lies beyond them.

Nadia Kellner is a multimedia artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Materiality and process are inseparable to her identity as a painter and sculptor. The manifestation of raw materials in her work explores contingency and fluidity in concept. Process is a catalyst in her practice that facilitates dialogue and exchange between media offering a rich visceral experience. Kellner’s paintings and sculptures vary in scale and texture that reflect a rugged industrial appearance to challenge aesthetics of beauty. Her work is in a constant dialogue with contemporary abstract art such as an expressive use of paint and everyday materials.

Camila Leiva (B. 1987) is a transnational Chilean and U.S. American artist and educator whose body and soul are often seen traveling between Minneapolis and Santiago. Her life has been shaped by brave and loving women, especially by her grandmothers and her mother. She grew up in the visual, musical, and literary culture of Chilean social movements for justice, during the final years of the Pinochet dictatorship and in its neoliberal aftermath. She paints community murals, hand-draws comics, sews textile arpilleras and molds earthenware clay. She is razor-focused on telling the unknown story of her grandmother Fabiola Letelier, Chile’s most dogged human rights lawyer. Her work explores themes of memory, histories from below, and questioning the public versus private dichotomy imposed on women’s lives.

Born in Bemidji, Minnesota, Nik Nerburn’s cross-disciplinary photographs, videos, and sculptures reflect his passion for people’s histories and stories from places that are “off the map.” His wide-ranging work addresses urgent subjects like toxic masculinity and the rural-urban divide, while also centering craft, generosity, trust, and humor. Informed by the collaborative traditions of puppetry and documentary filmmaking, Nerburn works with amateur genealogists, community archivists, neighborhood clubs, small town philosophers, and little museums.

Hawona Sullivan Janzen is a Saint Paul-based social practice and visual artist whose work explores the intersections of grief, loss, love and hope. A 2020 Jerome Foundation Naked Stages Fellow, Hawona has received funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Endowment for the Arts, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the McKnight Foundation, and the Visual Arts Fund in support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Her writings have been read on National Public Radio, featured in 10-foot-tall broadsides, performed as a jazz opera, and produced as a play at Pillsbury House Theatre. Her recent projects include the co-design of Saint Paul’s Dale Street Bridge over I-94 and Love Letters for the Midway—a crowdsourced poem printed onto lawn signs.

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