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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Best of Texas State artists featured in BFA Thesis Exhibition


Photo courtesy of Brie Henderson.

Every semester, Texas State University showcases the greatest talent of the art department with the BFA Thesis Exhibition at the University Galleries.
In the BFA Exhibitions, all mediums of art are featured including photography, painting, ceramics, printmaking and metals. Here are three of the seniors who were showcased in this spring semester’s exhibition.
Brie Henderson
Brie Henderson, studio art senior, has three oil paintings showcased at the BFA Thesis Exhibition.
Henderson has had an interest in art since she was a little girl, beginning when her mom taught her how to color inside the lines.
“Later on I wanted to get good at doing shadows, highlights and stuff like that so it continued on from there,” Henderson said. “Also, I didn’t have any other area I was interested in so it seemed like the direction I should go.”
When deciding what type of art to pursue, Henderson chose painting because she noticed most galleries display paintings rather than drawings.
Specializing in acrylic and oil paintings with styles including impressionism and German expressionism, Henderson featured a set of three oil canvas paintings of two female nude models. Two of the canvases are 2×3 feet and the third one is 5×4 feet. The two smaller canvases are titled “Redress and Blue Daisy” and the larger one is titled “Alyx.”
“My work deals with characteristics of a person and their personalities,” Henderson said.
Henderson plans to attend the University of Washington in St. Louis after her graduation in May to earn her masters in fine arts.
Amanda Bartlett
Amanda Bartlett, studio art senior, had five wearable sculptures on display for this semester’s BFA Thesis Exhibition.
Since she was young, Bartlett has wanted to be an artist and has been encouraged by family and teachers to do so.
“I’m kind of the wildcard in my family because I come from a family of doctors and stuff like that, so I’m definitely the far left field one,” Bartlett said. “I was just really lucky to have people who encouraged me to do what I wanted to do.”
Initially, metals were not exactly what Bartlett had in mind as her main medium to work with, but became a strong interest after a class project.
“It’s the true love story of my life, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced something so amazing,” Bartlett said, “The ability to harness a raw source from the Earth and be able to change it and to put color on it and being able to just love the process of what you’re doing just as much as the finished outcome is what made me pursue metals.”
In the exhibition Bartlett displayed pieces including necklaces and brooches in an intricate and complex way, making her display look like an altar.
“I displayed them as sculptures and I accompanied my work with over 100 Polaroid photos that gave context to the work,” Bartlett said. “Then I had my work on three pedestals and all the pieces were on a mirror so you could see the back because the back is just as important as the front.”
To create all the pieces that were displayed in this semester’s exhibit, it took Bartlett thousands of hours as she had to go through special processes to make the sculptures, such as beating pigskin and hand-cutting and piercing the metals.
After Bartlett graduates this May, she will be leaving for Baltimore for a residency and plans to attend graduate school University of Georgia, Kent State or in San Diego.
Darryl Demps Jr.
Darryl Demps Jr., studio art senior, had one large oil painting titled Mourning in the exhibition. The piece was composed of 12 small canvas panels to create a large American flag with smaller portraits within the flag.
Unlike Henderson or Bartlett, Demps did not have interest in art until college and stumbled across his interest for painting unintentionally. Initially, Demps was a communication design major, but after complications with his portfolio and loss of interest with the major, he began to lean more towards painting.
“This semester, I ended up dropping communication design because I realized that I didn’t really enjoy it and I enjoyed painting and creating other forms of art way more,” Demps said.
For nine of the 12 panels that compose Mourning, each one features an African-American that died tragically or controversially. Some of the 27 African-American deaths Demps chose to feature include Eric Garner, Sandra Bland and Trayvon Martin.
To accompany the large painting, Demps compiled a book that features articles discussing each of the 27 deaths.
“Growing up, my whole life and my whole existence here on this earth, a recurring theme I see is black death either by police brutality, other blacks or just black death,” Demps said. “For me, I feel like I had to do something and use art as a form of my voice, and I felt like I needed to be more involved.”
After he graduates in December of this year, Demps plans to apply to as many residencies as possible so that he can continue his career in art.
The BFA Thesis Exhibit will be open until May 12. Every five days, the art department will refresh the exhibit with new student artwork to showcase. For more information, visit their website.

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  • Photo courtesy of Darryl Demps Jr..

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