New Faculty Exhibition: Stephanie Pierce and Cynthia Thompson
January 21 - February 23, 2014
The Fine Arts Center Gallery is pleased to present work by new faculty, Stephanie Pierce and Cynthia Nourse Thompson. Professor Pierce teaches painting in the Department of Art. Professor Thompson is the Curator for the Fine Arts Center Gallery and teaches printmaking as well as Book Arts.
Pierce received her MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle, BFA from The Art Institute of Boston, and she attended the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art. Sourcing common objects, Pierce’s perceptually based paintings reveal passages of change as light and viewpoints shift over time and the everyday resides in a state of flux. Her painting seeks an intersection between perception and abstraction using the phenomenon of light, space, and form as personal metaphor. Working from perception, Pierce wishes to convey a sense of the visual as it is unfolding into forms and space that are at once material and immaterial. The accumulation of observed moments stand as fragments of color, light, and location, as they change with the progression of each day. Her work is represented by Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects in New York and Alpha Gallery in Boston and has been exhibited nationally including The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Asheville Art Museum, NC; Space Gallery, Portland, and Art Chicago. In 2012 she was awarded an Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Her work is included in the collections of Joan and Roger Sonnabend, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Boston Public Library.
Thompson received her BFA in printmaking from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Thompson’s work contains strong religious undertones and has often been described as “Catholic” in nature and aesthetic— clean, pure, and ordered. At the same time, many of the surfaces and materials used in her work simulate flesh in order to evoke the body, an alluring and seductive association of great significance. Using the body as the site of personal investigation, the physical manifestations of denial, shame, and oppression are explored and moreover issues surrounding the female body are examined. In particular, Thompson shares her own experiences as a young woman raised in the religious South. She is interested in addressing her own concerns with beauty, desire, vulnerability and imperfection.Thompson previously served for twelve years as Professor of Book and Paper Arts at Memphis College of Art and the Chair of the Fine Arts Department for one year. Thompson was visiting faculty at University of Georgia’s study abroad program in Cortona, Italy teaching both papermaking and book arts as well as faculty at the prestigious Santa Reparata International School of Art teaching book arts and printmaking. In addition to teaching and curating, previously Thompson worked at Dieu Donne Papermill, Harlan & Weaver Intaglio, Inc. of NYC and the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, now the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions. In June of 2014, Thompson will be the Director for the Book Arts/Printmaking and MFA Studio Arts programs at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She will also serve as Associate Professor and teach within these programs.