'Diverge': Exhibit by graduate students on display at Reece


JOHNSON CITY – “Diverge,” a multimedia group exhibition by members of the Graduate Fine Arts Association (GFAA) of East Tennessee State University, is on display at the Reece Museum through April 17.

These graduate students in ETSU’s Department of Art and Design work in diverse media, including ceramics, printmaking, painting, drawing, photography and graphic design.

“Grouped together, these works are a contemporary display of unhindered exploration regarding poignant issues in society today,” says Karlota Contreras-Koterbay, director of Slocumb Galleries for the Department of Art and Design.  “The viewer will be moved through color, texture and sounds exhilarating for all the senses (and) awaking the thought process to consider the conceptual basis woven into the works.”

A reception for the artists and a gallery talk will be held Thursday, March 20, from 5-7 p.m. at the Reece Museum.

Students whose works are included in the exhibit are:


  • Marissa Angel is a first-year M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in printmaking.  Through her work, she explores environmental issues and the concepts of re-use and the resiliency of nature. 
  • Katherine Block, president of the GFAA, is a second-year M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in painting.  Her work revolves around the events in the Middle East called the “Arab Spring” and the sensation of liberation associated with those happenings. She expresses her concepts through color, texture and the use of such multimedia as video and sound.
  • Art Brown is a third-year M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in printmaking.  Brown often uses controversial issues and current events as inspiration for his work.  By combining letterpress type with images printed from linoleum blocks, he represents different sides of those issues, interjects humor and states his personal opinions.
  • Rickey Bump, GFAA treasurer, is a first-year M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in drawing.  His piece titled “The Quality and Variety of Painters Tape”explores the use of ordinary, self-evident material and simplifies thoughts of mass production and consumption.
  • Kelsey Ellis, GFAA secretary, is a second-year M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in drawing.  Her mixed media collage series examines ideas, definitions and interpretations of beauty.
  • Whitney Goller is a first-year M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in drawing.  Her drawings explore “the constructs of female sexuality” as perceived in various fictional characters.
  • David Grant is an M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in ceramics.  Grant explores the metaphor of light contained in vessels through his formation of objects resembling small bowls and containers.
  • Amber Law is a first-year M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in photography.  She is exploring concepts concerning women and photographing them in their domestic environments.
  • Katelyn Osborne is a first-year M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in printmaking.  For Osborne, dialogue presented by flora and fauna have created “a ritual and spiritual mysticism throughout mythology and culture.”  By combining silhouettes of flowers with depictions of animals and humans, she has begun to “create a language that explains the human condition.”
  • Greg Pace is currently a candidate for his M.F.A. in ceramics.  Pace’s work is centered on technical ceramic discovery related to color and firing resulting in tradition and non-traditional forms and images. His soda fired stoneware vessels depict the dichotomy of the earth and clay against man's destructive nature.
  • Danielle Sevigny Winger, vice president of the GFAA, is a second-year M.F.A. candidate with a concentration in painting.  She is originally from Nevada but most recently lived in Nashville.  As a person who has moved and lived in several places around the country, she explores through paint how geography of place and space affects self-identity. 
  • Katie Sheffield, a candidate for an M.F.A. in photography, received her B.F.A. in photography from ETSU.  Her photographs are based upon her lifelong interest in the people and communities of Southern Appalachia.  Most recently, Sheffield has focused on Civil War re-enactors, and her work explores how these re-enactors integrate into the 21st century South.
  • Brooke Wedding is a third-year graduate student in graphic design. She earned her B.A. in graphic design from Tusculum College in Greeneville.  In her current work, she focuses on typography and its relationship to how humans read, and her pieces in “Diverge” explore this concept with the use of fabric.


The Reece Museum, located at 363 Stout Drive on the ETSU campus, is free and open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

For more information, call the Reece Museum at (423) 439-4392.  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

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