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2024 MFA Thesis Exhibition



2024 MFA Thesis Exhibition: Making as Knowing · When I was Here, Thinking of There

Date: 2/22/24
2024 MFA Thesis Exhibition: Making as Knowing · When I was Here, Thinking of There
Opening: May 9th, 2024, 5:30pm
Dates: May 9th- July 20th, 2024

Contact: Eva Gabriella Flynn; Education and Outreach Coordinator, NMSU Art Museum,, 575-646-2185

Las Cruces, NM – The University Art Museum is delighted to present the 2024 Master’s of Fine Art thesis exhibition “Making as Knowing · When I was Here, Thinking of There” featuring an installation by MFA candidates: Karly Jean Kainz and Blanca Martinez. This exhibition is set to open on May 9th and will run through July 20th, 2024. In this two-person show, both artists explore ideas of home and personal ritual through repetitive actions tied together through layered connections to place. Viewers will be immersed in a full sensory experience as each artist transforms the space into their perceptions of domesticity.

Karly Jean Kainz, an interdisciplinary artist from Wisconsin, focuses her practice on materiality, craft, and her connection to place. In 2019, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with an emphasis on Print & Narrative Forms from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Kainz’s process involves the additive combination of collected materials and handmade objects, resulting in a landscape of sculptural forms. Drawing inspiration from functional ceramic ware, house plants, collected shells and rocks, selective colors, and line drawings, each piece reflects the domestic and external spaces of her everyday environment; these materials are solidified in clay and cement as an act of permanence. Borrowing from the form and function of the concrete sculptural environments of midwestern grottos, Kainz’s work serves as a newly crafted sacred space, one that shifts the ordinary to something extraordinary. Traditionally trained as a printmaker, her approach to creating three-dimensional forms derives from print concepts of repetition, layering, carving, and screen printing. The repetitive nature of Kainz’s practice provides her with opportunities to access a transcendental state of mind.

Blanca Martinez graduated from NMSU with her Bachelor's in Fine Arts with an emphasis in graphic design. She uses craft materials and techniques, specifically fiber arts and textiles, as a means to delve into personal stories and relationships. Martinez’s practice explores the intimate relationships among family members and their roles in shaping her identity. Crochet techniques provide a bridge connecting Martinez to older generations, and serve as a medium to address the lack of cultural tradition and values in her upbringing. Martinez creates works inspired by childhood memories of food and familial connection. Martinez crafts soothing bodies of work by way of tufting techniques that invite audiences to interact, evoking a sense of comfort just from the sight of the work's texture. Despite that sense of support which draws a viewer in, each piece contains an underlying meaning of disconnect that resonates with Martinez's past. While in the presence of comfort from her memories, her art creates a reconnection to a disconnected world.

Renowned independent curator and writer, Leslie Moody Castro, describes the exhibition as, “a culmination of years spent building, connecting, reflecting, and experimenting. It is an exhibition that toggles both time and place, a reflection of a present moment through the past with the juxtapositions and dichotomies that are always illuminated through both place and time. “Making as Knowing · When I was Here, Thinking of There” is a world built both strong and soft. It is of one knot, one mold, one loop and one slab, held together through a foundation of one stitch, and fire that gives the form its place.”

Join us for the opening reception of “Making as Knowing · When I was Here, Thinking of There” on Thursday, May 9th, 2024, from 5:30 pm-7:00 pm. The exhibition will run from Thursday, May 9th - Saturday, July 20th. A series of events and programming will run throughout the duration of the exhibition. For a detailed calendar of events, visit the UAM’s website

Image credit:
left, Karly Jean Kainz, detail of An Ode to the Ordinary, 2024, stoneware clay and
PC-11 Epoxy. Courtesy of Karly Jean Kainz and Yashoda Latkar.
Right, Blanca Martinez, detail of Ito, 2023; monks cloth, acrylic yarn, blue jeans. Courtesy of the

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