Sand in the Vacuum opens at CAM

For the rest of the spring semester, the halls and walls of the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) will be lined with sculptures, paintings and interactive multimedia pieces created by graduating students.

Sand in the Vacuum: MFA 2012 Graduation Exhibition, which debuted Friday and runs until May 4, features the work of 10 graduating Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students.

Sarah Kelly, a studio art major with a concentration in digital video performance art, was one of the featured graduates in the exhibition. Her piece The Perfect Boyfriend consists of a bright pink wall decorated with red hearts and images of Kelly and actor Leonardo DiCaprio kissing.

A small television suspended in the center of the wall with attached headphones played a video of Alanis Morissettes You Oughta Know in the background as the artist enacted her outrage over DiCaprios relationship with actress Blake Lively.

I feel really strong about certain elements of popular culture particularly Leonardo Di Caprio and Alanis Morissette and I just like to express the youth culture and try to find funny ways to make a video about it, Kelly said. I like to talk about girl culture and social media and how as a female, certain references to popular culture affect us and how we can express them.

On the opposite side of the wall, video projections of Kellys other pieces $$$$, Like, Y R U Sooo Obsessed W/ Me?, Are You There Vagina? Its Me, Sarah and Say You Wanna Dance, Uh Huh Yeah, played one after the other.

Jay Hollick, a fine art major, said he drew inspiration for his piece from his hometown of Richland, Wash.

(My inspiration) came from my relationship to my hometown and how its history has affected my history. Hollick said.

Hollick experimented with different ways to develop housing structures, such as 3-D elements and shading, in his work, to capture the essence of his history and the history of Richland.

I started off mapping basically significant places that are, for me, important and then go from there and start abstracting the map over and over again, he said.

Drawing its themes from popular topics in the media today, Taylor Pilotes pieces received much attention from the crowd. In Ass, Gas or Cash, tires are stacked on top of each other in a puddle of gasoline oozing from the replica of a gasoline pump situated at the top of the sculpture. Across from Pilotes piece, Biff Bolen used colors in a variety of shades and shapes on an oil canvas in his piece, You and Me.

Wendy Babcox, associate director of the School of Art and Art History, said the exhibition offers emerging students the opportunity to say theyve appeared at CAM, a professional venue.

Its a wonderful opportunity for the graduate students to have their work in a professional environment as they transition out of the University, and so (CAM) is very gracious in hosting this exhibition. Babcox said.