Three: MFA Thesis Exhibition

April 18 – May 2, 2013

F. Elizabeth Bathea Gallery + Mary Wilfred Moffett Gallery

Three: MFA Thesis Exhibition

Thursday, April 18th

5 pm: lectures by Joli Livaudais, Joni Dollar, and Diana Synatzske (VAC #103)
6 pm: exhibition reception

In every career, there are milestones. Three features the artwork of three women, each a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at Louisiana Tech University, as they complete three years of study and begin their professional paths. As unique as the artists themselves, sculpture, printmaking and photography will be displayed.

Joni Dollar bio

Joni Dollar is a mixed-media artist based in Monroe, Louisiana. After raising three children, being involved in numerous community organizations and charities, and painting murals for local facilities, she decided to continue her education by enrolling in the University of Louisiana at Monroe in January 2005. Since then, she has graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a sculpture concentration in July 2010. While pursuing her BFA, she received many awards and scholarships, including attending the New York Studio School Drawing Marathon in New York City, New York. In August 2011, Joni began the Master of Art Program at Louisiana Tech University with her emphasis in Printmaking. She has also been a Teacher’s Assistant for the last two years of her studies and will be graduating in May 2013.

Joni Dollar statement

My work is a visual recording of silent stories and experiences of moments in time by incorporating computer manipulations and printmaking methods, new and traditional. I want the viewer to question if the images are real or illusion.

My experiences and struggles with mortality and immortality have created a passionate desire to explore personal situations through metaphors of light and limited color within the picture plane. I am attracted to subtle, atmospheric perspective to give illusions of space and gravity to interlock with the images that I create.

I reference forms of nature to convey deterioration and decay to contrast with life and survival. I want to present to the viewer the isolation and alienation that we sometimes feel in times of extreme uncertainty and question of existence.

Printmaking and its processes are highly technical and raw at the same time. The process and structure that is involved in printmaking keeps me focused on my intent. I yearn for continual experimentation and exploration of the avenues that printmaking leads me, and what I may conclude from it.

I am conveying a narrative of events that have occurred in a lifetime of changes, illnesses and healing.

Joli Livaudais bio

Joli Livaudais served a four-year tour in the U.S. Army and received her BA and MS in Experimental Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington before establishing herself as a freelance commercial photographer in Dallas, Texas. Family ties brought her to Monroe, Louisiana, where she opened Livaudais Studio, a photography studio and fine art gallery. Livaudais also cofounded and is currently serving a second term as secretary of the Downtown Arts Alliance, a not-for-profit collection of artists and galleries that host the bimonthly Monroe Downtown Gallery Crawl. Livaudais is an MFA candidate at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, Louisiana. Her fine art incorporates her interest in psychology and explores the relationships between people and the constructs we use to interpret the world around us, and has been exhibited in juried and group shows nationwide.

Joli Livaudais statement

My artwork is an expression of my search for insight. The photographic compositions are inspired by my unconscious mind, through journaled dreams and free writing. They are my meditations on a universe and existence that is exquisitely beautiful, perfectly synchronized, and uncompromisingly merciless. I find that my carefully weighed conclusions about the human condition challenge me more than they provide any meaningful sense of safety, comfort, or promise of a happy ending. To exist is to struggle. In my artwork, this translates as an attention to process and labor-intensive practice. The accumulation of layers, fragmentation, deterioration, and replication are natural processes that are integral to the work and the meditation of creating it. Although the nature of the work lends it a timeless quality, I choose to use contemporary and experimentally combined materials including resin, photographic ink jet prints, aluminum foil and electrical circuits. The concepts I am exploring are primal, but my interpretation and understanding of them is anchored in today.

Diana Synatzske bio

It was persistence and self-confidence that carried me through an undergraduate degree and a journey as a teacher of kindergarten through high school. Teaching high school art only fueled me with an intense desire to continue with my own personal artwork. I enjoyed teaching, but felt that I wanted to understand ceramic processes on a more individual level and obtained a Masters of Art Education degree from Texas Tech University through a program developed for working teachers. This provided me an escape from the routines of life and offered me the opportunity to be completely absorbed in ceramics for six weeks every summer. Through this self-discovery was born a passion that fueled me to continue my learning through Louisiana Tech University’s MFA Graduate program in 3D Studio.

Diana Synatzske statement

My mother was invisible. My father was a liar. I remember fishing on the bank of a stock pond and going on service calls with the most absorbing man I ever knew. My father had an easy laugh and captivated his listeners. He was a good father. His personal narrative was filled with adventure and intrigue. I hung on his every word. This was a man who could make sense of anything mechanical, build a whole house completely by himself and build confidence in his only daughter by allowing her to work beside him. It was the cumbersome burden of time that revealed the truth and the lies and my innocence lay in ruin. My work is a silent reflection of the happiness of a small child and the veracity of the truth. The first time I can remember being around art was when I was eight years old and I was watching my father fashion a ring out of a silver coin. As a child, I was intrigued by the process and the diligent patience spent on a single object. Through experiences with my father I developed an over abundance of self-confidence and an intrinsic ability to problem solve. I have a driving force within that pushes me constantly, ever in motion. These fundamental and sometimes critical life lessons have proven to be valuable assets and inspiration for my work today.