VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two students at The University of South Dakota will present their Master of Fine Arts Graduation Exhibit “Personal Meditation Sites” at the Main Gallery in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts, April 6-10. Reina Okawa and Renée M. Boutwell express two distinct approaches to meditation in art making, which invites the viewer to enter into a concentrated state of mindfulness. A closing reception for the artists is scheduled for Friday, April 10 from 7 - 9 p.m. and is open to the public.
Okawa is a fine arts major with an emphasis in printmaking. Born in Japan and raised in Venezuela, Okawa takes her experiences and influences from her heritage and background, and transforms them into an amalgamation of prints, drawings and wall pieces presented as gallery installations. Her work evidences her pleasure in responding to the diverse tactile and visual qualities of her chosen materials: Mylar, Plexiglas, thread, yarn, eggshells, paper scraps and wire.
Boutwell (née Traipoom), a master’s of fine arts candidate with an emphasis in painting research, has taught foundations drawing courses for three years at USD. She associates the frame of the canvas with a structural metaphor for the mind and explores the connection between language, intellect and autobiographical psychological states. Her canvases are lush and moody abstractions rich with myriad strokes and calligraphic forms. She utilizes impasto, sgraffito and glazing to contrast heavy textures with slick, candy-like surfaces that include multiple layers of drips, smudges, scratches and strokes which appear both spontaneous and masterfully controlled. The Main Gallery in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts is open at no cost to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends. Tours and special showings during non-public hours are available upon request. For more information about this exhibition, please contact the Art Galleries Director Eddie Welch at (605) 677-3177 or e-mail Eddie.Welch@usd.edu.