UTSA Satellite Space presents M.F.A. exhibitions Dec. 3-20

Artwork Gregory
Artwork Ramirez
Artwork Stafford

Top photo: "In the Studio," Tommy Gregory, image courtesy of Aaron Munoz
Middle photo: "The Pink Cow," fabric and hardware, 2009, detail
Bottom photo: "Wet," oil on canvas, 2009

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(Dec. 1, 2009)--The UTSA Department of Art and Art History will host an exhibition by three graduate students, presented to fulfill a requirement for the UTSA master of fine arts degree. Works by Erin Stafford, Jessica Ramirez and Tommy Gregory will be on display Dec. 3-20 at the UTSA Satellite Space. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

>> An opening reception is 6-9 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3. The exhibit also will be open 6-9 p.m., Dec. 4 for First Friday, the monthly gallery open house in San Antonio's Southtown district.

Erin Stafford creates luminous, photorealistic oil paintings depicting pearl necklaces submerged in a viscous material. She uses the pearl necklace as a highly explicit symbol of femininity that explores both the sordid and seductive aspects of the female persona. She removes the pearl necklace from the female body, which eliminates the historical context of the socially constructed symbol and allows the viewer to rediscover their own ideas of femininity. Stafford received her bachelor of fine arts degree in 2006 from the University of North Texas.

Jessica Ramirez creates sculptural forms that juxtapose shaped fabric with various types of hardware. The tension generated by suspending the objects in space provides a conflicting dialogue that questions the choices one encounters in life. These objects reflect an interest in organic shapes, microorganisms and growth patterns. Suspension, the tear-strength of fibers, their elasticity and the manipulation of fibers are reflective in the presentation. Ramirez received her bachelor of fine art degree in sculpture in 2006 from the University of Houston. She has participated in several student and professional exhibitions in Houston and San Antonio.

Tommy Gregory works in a variety of media and formats to comment on the roles and intentions of established art institutions. Additionally, he views the economic crisis as opening the door for anything to happen. Up-ending the potentially disheartening situation, he explores alternatives to the commercial system and sees the uncertainties as a blessing. Gregory received his bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture in 2005 from the University of Houston, worked as an assistant to sculptors Luis Jimenez and Ed Wilson, was enrolled as a student and teaching assistant in the foundry of the Glassell School of Art in Houston, and served as preparator at Blue Star Contemporary Art Center.

The UTSA Satellite Space is the off-campus gallery of the Department of Art and Art History. Throughout the year, exhibitions are devoted to works by UTSA graduate students as well as nationally recognized professional artists. With 2,000 square feet of exhibition space, the gallery is housed in a converted industrial building in the Blue Star Arts Complex. Since its first exhibition in 1993, the Satellite Space has become one of San Antonio's most respected venues for challenging contemporary art.

The UTSA Satellite Space is in Blue Star Arts Complex Suite 115 at S. Alamo and Probandt streets, south of downtown San Antonio. Gallery hours are 6-8 p.m., Thursday, noon-6 p.m., Friday-Sunday and by appointment. For an appointment, contact Diana Roberts, gallery coordinator, at 210-212-7146 (gallery) or 210-458-4391 (Department of Art and Art History).