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Master of Fine Arts students display work in "Transmission" exhibition

Jennifer Guest's pieces "Budget", "Impending Berth", "Single Digit." Photo by Katherine Love. Members of the TCU community gather at the "Transmission" opening on Friday night. Photo by Katherine Love.  Allie Regan's "Yellow Rubber Gloves." Photo by Katherine Love.  Bradly Brown's "Purification Station." Photo by Katherine Love. Professor Christa Robbins and MFA student Bradly Brown with his piece "Attention Retention." Photo by Katherine Love. Hiroko Kubo's "I was here." Photo by Katherine Love.
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Members of the TCU and local community gathered Friday night for the opening of "Transmission," an exhibition of works by the TCU Master of Fine Arts students.

This year marks the fourth annual appearance of "Transmission." Local artist Nathan Green, who directs and co-founded galleries in Austin, curated the exhibition. Green selected and arranged pieces from many different mediums by the nine student artists including Bradly Brown, Tammy Bui, Tara Cook, Erick R. Figueroa, Ryan Goolsby, Jennifer Guest, Hiroko Kubo, Allie Regan and Lucia Simek.

"The title relates to the way that I have tried to pick work of the artists that thoroughly distills and represents their core set of interests," Green said. "By doing that, hopefully I find communicative works that are, indeed, transmitting these ideas."

The pieces vary in medium, size and color. Most do not have an obvious meaning, thus allowing the viewer to interpret the message independently.

Green co-runs a gallery called Okay Mountain in Austin where he usually chooses which artists to invite to his gallery. He said curating "Transmission" required a different approach. In this case, he selected the pieces from those the artists provided instead of choosing the artists based on their pieces.

"It was an interesting creative process. Somebody gives me the raw ingredients, and I have to figure out what the dish is," he said.

Student artist Bradly Brown, who co-founded the Dallas-Fort Worth Homecoming! assembly of professional artists, had three pieces on display and interpreted the exhibition's title from a more personal than artistic perspective.

"Being in school, we’re all emerging artists with the precipice of becoming students to professionals," Brown said. "So these shows to me are more networking events of getting ourselves out there, transmitting our names and work[ing] to a larger audience."

A few days before the exhibition opened, Brown said he finished his piece called "Purification Station." Using a pump that transmits water between a glass beverage dispenser and three plastic buckets stacked on top of each other, the piece serves as both a water purifier and a piece of art. Brown said the idea behind this piece was commodifying the survivalism trend that arose from the feared 2012 Mayan apocalypse.

"Anytime you get a chance to show your work to an audience, that kind of gives meaning to the work," Brown said. "All the work that I do is supposed to evoke conversation. It’s more about the ideas that they generate than just something to look at."

Both Brown and Sally Packard, director of the TCU School of Art, said they would encourage the TCU community to come see the exhibit at the Fort Worth Contemporary Arts Gallery before it closes on March 9. As opposed to the Moudy Gallery, which primarily serves TCU, Packard described the Fort Worth Contemporary as a more professional gallery, known in the metroplex for displaying artists "who are either out in the art world in a big way or are going to be, because our graduate students tend to move out pretty far in their careers."

In encouraging community attendance, Brown spoke about TCU's role as a liberal arts university.

He said, "[This gallery] should be a bigger part of this campus. We’re at a school that’s about building culture, academia, music, art, literature, science. A well-rounded education is always more beneficial than pigeon-holing yourself to one study."

The students' pieces will be on display through March 9 at the Fort Worth Contemporary Arts Gallery. The art gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 12-5 p.m and is located across the street from Cafe Brazil. Admission is free.

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