BFA students graduate with one final showcase

Opening its doors to the the public, Sonoma State University Art students with the Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) program are providing their best work for the University Art Gallery as they prepare to graduate.  

The BFA program is an advanced degree requiring an additional year of focused study in their chosen medium. This exhibition runs from April 25 to May 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. Complimentary  wine and cheese spreads will be present.

The BFA students can create what they want how they want as it’s a representation of their strength in the visual arts. That includes ceramics, painting, drawing, printmaking and photography. 

The Sonoma State University Art Gallery will be hosting the final works of the graduating BFA students from April 25 through May 18. (Courtesy // Sonoma State University Art Gallery)

The Sonoma State University Art Gallery will be hosting the final works of the graduating BFA students from April 25 through May 18. (Courtesy // Sonoma State University Art Gallery)

“The opening reception for the BFA Exhibition tends to be well-attended and fun, due in part because students are celebrating their peers’ hard work,” said Exhibition Coordinator Carla Stone. 

An art exhibition at Sonoma State is typical but this one is special. 

“This is different than a professional art show,” said Stone. “There is more connection to the art because [the students] have been working right alongside [their pieces].”

The BFA Exhibition signifies a culmination of senior artists and their interests through many forms of media.

 Through grant money, the program provides the artists’ opportunities that they are now able to pull off. Many of these works have been previoisly unacheivable for artists in the BFA program due to financial limitations. Now those ideas can come to fruition since financial obstacles are no longer a problem.

The amount of space the BFA Exhibition allows is very beneficial to the artist that creates through sculpture or any other three dimensional media. Aaron Milligan-Green’s project is taking advantage of the large swath of space as he constructs two large metal semi-circle halves that will stand seven feet high with ornaments hanging off. Creating this project has been on Milligan-Green’s mind for a while. 

“A lot of salvaging for materials and resourceful financial grant money that the course gave, accompanied with my own background of musical and personal interests led to the creation of my project,” said Milligan-Green.

The BFA exhibition is unique to other exhibitons that are presented at Sonoma State, as there is a larger emphasis on the individual expression of the student artists.

“The bodies of work seen here are chosen by the BFA artists themselves, rather than their work having been selected by a curator in the traditional sense,” said Stone. Often, pieces in the gallery are chosen by Michael Schwager the gallery’s director. 

“Most of my pieces usually take about 25 hours of total time,” said Mendoza. “It takes a long time to make my pieces.” 

As these eight members of the BFA move on after college, many of them consider what to do with their new Bachelor degree. 

In the past, graduated members of Sonoma State’s BFA have gone to established art graduate programs.

 Some have gone off to California College of the Arts, Duke University, University of Santa Barbara and many others to further their studies. For many, the common next step for some would get their MFA Masters of Fine Arts or continue their own passions. 

“After graduating I want to take a break and start to get my name out there. Later on, [I want to] get my MFA in Painting,” Mendoza said.

For Milligan-Green, his plan is “continuing on with my life. Taking the energy I’ve been investing here in school and redirecting it towards my own business of custom fabrication.” 

With the culmination of so much work, this exhibition is a true milestone for the students displaying their hard work and finishing the year on a strong and successful note. 

With so much work put into the BFA Exhibition undet its beautiful 25-foot tall ceilings at Sonoma State University’s Art Gallery, this is a fantastic way to reflect on the inspirational minds of the BFA artist.