BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
EAST HALL GALLERY:
Rasa Barzdukas - "What Goes Up"
Madeline Casteel - "Running on Empty"
Bennett Smith - "Auto-Mytho-Poesis"
Thesis Show Poster
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Barzdukas_Rasa_01_25_Jets_Almost_Home_Large_format_print_aluminium_20_x30_in_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Barzdukas_Rasa_03_Unfortunate_Misdirection_Large_Format_Print_25_1_2_x_30_in_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Barzdukas_Rasa_04_JAL_Flight_123_When_a_Seven_Year_Old_Shoddy_Repair_Job_Brought_Down_a_747_Aluminum_Steel_Epoxy_66_x_24_in_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Barzdukas_Rasa_09_Bones_of_the_Bird_Air_dry_clay_gesso_9_1_2_x_7_1_2_in_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Barzdukas_Rasa_17_Sunk_Large_format_print_hand_sanitizer_30_x_42_in_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Barzdukas_Rasa_22_Installation_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Casteel_Madeline_03_Parking Lot 5_Oil and Graphite on Canvas_27.5 x 27.5 inches_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Casteel_Madeline_06_Parking Lot 4_8.5 x 14 inches_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Casteel_Madeline_07_Finish_oil on linen on plywood panel_8.5 x 14 inches_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Casteel_Madeline_09_November 13, 2025 (The Day I Quit All of My Bad Habits)_Oil and Graphite on Ceramic Bisque_8.5 x 7 inches_Painting_2021_detail
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Casteel_Madeline_11_Parking Lot 1_Oil and Graphite on Canvas_22 x 22 inches_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Casteel_Madeline_14_Install_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Smith_Bennett_01_Install_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Smith_Bennett_08_Install_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Smith_Bennett_21_Install_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Smith_Bennett_27_Theater 2 (Detail)_Milk crate and mirror_13 x 11 inches_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Smith_Bennett_34_E_Color print, CC case_6 x 7 inches_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Smith_Bennett_Install_Painting_2021
By BFA PAINTING AND DRAWING THESIS SHOW - MARCH 30-APRIL 2
Links
Rasa Barzdukas - "What Goes Up"
A car is a progression from walking.

A boat is a progression from swimming.

A plane is a progression from a desire to explore a new space that has never been physically possible to inhabit directly by the human’s body; a space that defies gravity, and our stability on the grounded surface of the planet.

In a car accident there is a chance of walking away.

In a boat accident there is a chance of swimming to safety.

When an airplane goes down, we go down with it.

On October 28, 2018 a Boeing 737-MAX 8 plane crashed into the Indian Ocean, the plane had been in service only two months and the cause of the accident left unknown. March 10, 2019 a second 737-MAX 8 plane fell from the sky in another seemingly mysterious accident. An investigation into these crashes revealed that the cause was due to a faulty mechanical system installed in the aircrafts of which the pilots had no training on how to turn off. The plane’s automatic system would push the nose of the aircraft up, the pilots in turn, had to push it back down so as not to stall the aircraft. In both crashes, the pilots struggled against the machine for minutes before ultimately losing control and falling to the ground.
The vertigo I felt when investigating these two events carried me through March of 2020. As the outbreak of COVID-19 spread across the globe we watched the systems around us fail to protect us. Planes became the vehicle for the virus to spread and when sounds from aircrafts flying overhead ceased it was a signal that this ongoing event would be catastrophic. My investigation of the MAX 8 crashes grew into a wider exploration of airplane crashes and how they instill feelings of anxiety, awe, fear and sorrow. Ultimately, I see these vessels as metaphors for broader global issues in which human bodies are dependent on larger systems for safety and regularity. When these systems fail they reveal a vulnerability and fragility which forces a re-examination of our trust in them.
Madeline Casteel - "Running on Empty"1
This group of paintings emerged from my interest in Marc Augé’s concept of non-place, which he describes as a “space which cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity.” Bi- products of a society “surrendered to solitary individuality,” non-places, such as parking structures, airports, or gas stations are spaces of transience undergoing constant rehabilitation “on which the scrambled game of identity and relations is ceaselessly rewritten.”2

I wanted to trace a parallel between land and painting as holders of an indexical human mark in places where time couldn’t or wouldn’t be spent for long, where vacancy is a constant recurring tension. Five of these paintings are aerial maps of parking lots, a form of non-place where I spent a great deal of time as a teenager in Central California. But rather than offer directions, these maps are containers for accumulation and entropy. Signs and symbols fold back on themselves, leading only in and out of murky fields of paint.

I’ve built five plywood panels to the dimensions of legal paper (8 1⁄2 inches by 14 inches), a scale associated with the contractual, subjugated, and legally binding. A form where one might be asked to “fill in the blanks.”

Parking Lot 5 is a canvas I built in 2018, and several of the paintings I’ve made during the course of this program are buried beneath its surface.

November 13, 1995 (Birthday) and November 13, 2025 (The Day I Quit All of My Bad Habits) are painted on slab built clay panels depicting maps drawn from the location of the stars at a specific date, time, and place. A map of my life [set between birth and an unrealistic hope for self-improvement] veers toward the anonymous.

1 Running on Empty is the title of a Sidney Lumet film starring River Phoenix as Danny Pope, a gifted piano player whose dreams of attending Juilliard would mean fracturing his family, who are on the run from the FBI. Never staying in one place long enough to be known, constantly erasing records as they go, yet hooked on blind faith that there’s something out there worth running towards.

2 Marc Augé, Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, Verso 1995.
Bennett Smith
Auto-Mytho-Poesis
By