Project Description

University of Oregon
MFA Thesis Exhibition 2019

May 18 – June 2, 2019

University of Oregon
MFA Thesis Exhibition 2019

Opening reception: 6-9pm on Friday, May 17, 2019 at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center
Exhibition on display: May 18 – June 2, 2019

Free and open to the public.

The Department of Art at the University of Oregon is pleased to present our 2019 MFA Thesis Exhibition at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, Oregon. Marking the culmination of three years of rigorous studio investigation and critical discourse, the ten artists in this exhibition engage a wide breadth of art making practices that build on and challenge the histories of painting, sculpture, photography, print media, craft and digital practices.

With dramatic shifts in practice over the past three years, this cohort of artists have created a tight-knit community through the exchange of ideas formed by extensive conversations with our nationally and internationally recognized faculty, visiting artists, critics and curators. This exhibition is the outcome of the expansive work undertaken by our graduates and their intellectual curiosity in looking deeply at the conditions prevalent and pressing in our world today.


Aaron Whitney Bjork’s practice focuses on the milieu of digital artifacts, the internet and neoliberal politics. His work has been exhibited at Gallery 151, New York, Ny; Fisk Gallery, Portland, Or; SOIL Gallery, Seattle, Wa.; Ditch Projects, Springfield, Or.; and has been curated in internet based exhibitions with Fluidity. Online, ECLIPSECORE, and The Wrong Biennale. He is also a faculty member at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California and a member of Ditch Projects, an artist-run studio, installation and performance space located in downtown Springfield, Oregon. Aaron received a BFA from Art Center College of Design in 2007.

Talon Claybrook is Mvskoke, deer clan. He was born in Claremore, Oklahoma and was raised around the Keystone Lake area, where his father taught him to farm, hunt, fish, and trap. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Art from the University of Oklahoma. His art practice involves decolonizing and confronting white supremacy.

Leah Howell (b. 1980) received her BFA in ceramics from the University of Colorado in 2005. She currently lives and works in Eugene, Oregon where she is a Graduate Teaching Fellow and and MFA candidate at the University of Oregon. Her ceramic sculpture draws on the implicit value and utility of craft and the material history of ceramics. Ideas of labor-value and production are examined through the representation of disposable objects and applied decoration. Her work has most recently been shown at Coop Gallery in Nashville, TN and Rule Gallery in Marfa, TX.

Sumer Khan works in a variety of media. Contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, a new recollection is born. In those moments, ambiguities and indistinctness, which are inherent to the phenomenon come to surface. The attempt of dialogue, the dissonance between form and content and the dysfunctions of language. Lack of clear reference is a key element in the work, increasing the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through varying experiences. Her works never show the complete structure, imagining the possibilities without hindrance of historical reality. Sumer Khan currently lives and works in Springfield, OR.

Daniel Miller (b. 1989) is a photographer and woodworker. His photographs come from a deliberate practice of walking and an openness to drifting observations. He currently lives and works in Eugene, OR.”

Neal Moignard is an artist located in Eugene, OR via Calgary, AB, Canada. Born in Adelaide, Australia, he received his BFA in 2012 from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. In 2015 he directed his first experimental animated short for the National Film Board of Canada. In 2017 he participated in the Alberta Bienniale in Edmonton, Alberta, exhibiting the interactive artwork, Smokescreen. His painting and sculpture has shown at Eastern Bloc and Galerie Yergeau, Montreal, QC and the Marion Nicholl Gallery, Calgary, AB. He is a 2019 MFA Candidate at the University of Oregon.

Stephanie Parnes (b. 1984, Columbus, OH) creates speculative arrangements of objects and images–both found and made–that probe an uncertain and precarious embodiment. Working in response to physical space, she privileges the improvisational as well as the haptic logic of the body. Stephanie received a BA in psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2008 and a BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 2015.

Aja Segapeli (b. 1992, El Paso, TX) is an MFA candidate at the University of Oregon in Eugene. She received her BFA from Texas State University San Marcos in 2015. Segapeli currently lives and works in Eugene, OR and is a member of Ditch Projects, Artist run gallery in Springfield, OR. Her works in video, photography, and performance explore self-representation and identity-fraught screen culture. She has exhibited her work in Texas and across the Pacific Northwest, including a recent solo show, Full Spread, at Ditch Projects in Springfield, OR.

Kayla Thompson is a artist blending ideas of design and function with sculpture processes, challenging design norms and object interaction. Her practice evolved from ideas that began in the Sculpture and Functional Art program at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Mi, of which she graduated in 2011. After working as a ceramics technician and studio manager at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, she entered the ceramics program at the University of Colorado, Boulder as a post-baccalaureate. She has worked as a ceramics technician in several studios around the country, including the KCAD clay studio, Grand Rapids Pottery, The Boulder Pottery Lab, and Gasworks Ceramics NYC. She is currently pursuing her MFA from the University of Oregon, where she works as a Graduate Teaching Fellow.

Jen Vaughn (b. 1982) is an interdisciplinary artist utilizing a wide range of processes and materials to explore humanness as it is related to complex cultural constructions of self/other, nature, and gender. Negotiations, speculations, and personal interactions are enacted upon spaces and objects to manifest the complexities of human/non-human relationships. She currently lives and works in Eugene, Oregon.


Opening Reception:

Friday, May 17, 2019 at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center from 6-9pm
Exhibition on display May 18 – June 2, 2019

Gallery Hours:
Friday – Sunday, 12 – 5pm

FREE and all ages