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BFA show explores artist’s interdisciplinary journey

Collyn+Aubrey+stands+in+front+of+her+piece+%E2%80%9CExposed%E2%80%9D+
Collyn Aubrey stands in front of her piece “Exposed”

Collyn Aubrey stands in front of her piece “Exposed”

Rachel Lightner

Rachel Lightner

Collyn Aubrey stands in front of her piece “Exposed”

Rachel Lightner, Editor

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Ripped up jeans with only their seams intact dangle on hangers. Ceramic teeth with gold-dipped caps form a circle on the wall, a ball of bright red string between them with single strings tied to each tooth. On a screen, a short film shows an arm dipped in clay, stabbing itself with a paintbrush and splattering colors in its holes.

These are a few of the intriguing pieces on display at Collyn Aubrey’s BFA show, and their diversity demonstrates the interdisciplinary art journey she has completed at Sierra Nevada College.

Aubrey started her art career as a painter but defied the standards of an artist enslaved to a single medium. In her time at SNC, she has created art in the forms of painting, ceramic, graphic design, sculpture and mixed media. She sees herself now as an interdisciplinary artist.

“At my last college, I stuck to painting and print-making because it easily got a message across,” Aubrey said. “At SNC I was given the opportunity to use all disciplines together, and I felt it to be a more effective way of getting to the viewer than any of my previous work.”

Aubrey is currently the president of SNC’s Art Club, taking on the role of planning trips, coordinating events like Art Prom and the Candy Dance, and creating fund raisers for the club. She has hosted monthly events at Alibi Ale Works in which local artists showcase their work for sale and meet other artists in the community. She also works as an intern under the direction of fine arts gallery coordinator Sarah Lillegard, who describes Aubrey as a “very proactive, organized and considerate student.”

Lillegard says Aubrey performs a number of important jobs, from setting up and taking down gallery exhibitions to facilitating and communicating details with artists and students. “She is thinking about 8,000 things at once, yet still knows how to communicate with others,” Lillegard says. “The level of spirit in her generosity and art-making is really parallel.”

Aubrey gives credit to her teachers for encouraging her to expand herself as an artist. From taking ceramic classes with Sheri Leigh O’Connor to uncovering the deeper meaning of her pieces with Rick Parsons, Aubrey has been inspired by her SNC mentors.

“All of my teachers have been the reason why I’m where I am with my art today,” said Aubrey. “They have motivated me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, and they have helped me every step of the way, whether it is critiquing my pieces or helping me set up my BFA show.”

Aubrey’s show, “In The Waiting Line,” included pieces from a wide range of media, demonstrating her progression from a single-medium painter to an interdisciplinary artist.

Art professor Rick Parsons said Aubrey’s artistic evolution was motivated by content, not craft. “When you look at her show you see a lot of different materials being used as metaphor. That’s a big leap for an artist to make when the material becomes just as important as the image being created,” Parsons said. “It really allows the artist to leave high craft behind and focus more on the material and what the material wants to be.”

With her BFA show completed, Aubrey is set to graduate this May. As she looks back, she says pursuing an art degree at SNC was “the best decision I ever made.

“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of a local community, and can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with the rest of the world.”

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BFA show explores artist’s interdisciplinary journey