McDonough features graduate work

The McDonough Museum of Art is hosting Youngstown State University’s Fall Graduating BFA Show. The show opened on Friday and will run through Dec. 14.

Every fall and spring semester, students graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from YSU exhibit their work at the museum. The 10 graduating artists from this fall were on hand to present their featured pieces, which include photography, sculptures, drawings, graphic design and installation art.

“There are 10 different students and all the areas of study,” said Kirsten Pesa, a graduating photography student whose work is featured in the exhibition. “It’s going to be a nice show.”

Pesa’s work includes a series of portraits of the children she works with, along with an audio commentary that includes sounds of those kids playing.

“A lot of my work is on disorders and anxiety — my own and others — and on dealing with those issues,” Pesa said. “I think it came together really nice.”

Pesa will begin working as a professional photographer for a studio in Meadville, Pa., next year. She will be photographing weddings. “A friend got a job with them after she graduated, and [the company is] expanding. So, she recommended me,” she said.

Katelyn Gould, another graduate being featured in the show, said that her work, a series of vivid drawings and sculptures, was influenced by her reading and research on the male gaze, an aspect of feminist theory that deals with the objectification of women in film and advertising.

“[It’s about] the pressures women face,” Gould said. “There are different faces from different generations. It’s about how you feel and how it makes you want to escape to a different place … away from others’ opinions.”

Gould plans to research graduate schools and build her portfolio, but said she wants to take a little time after graduating to “breathe a little.”

Kevin Hird’s installation piece features two circles of stones, each engraved with text messages. The messages range from personal communications — such as “What are you cooking for dinner?” — to account balance inquiries.

Hird said a local landscaping company donated many of the stones. He had originally planned to make 10-foot wall-hanging tablets, but said he decided on the stones because, although they are smaller, they imply permanence.

“It’s like gravestones or statues,” Hird said. “They last a long time.”Hird plans to continue his education at graduate school and said he hopes to eventually find a job teaching sculpture at a university.

Admission to the exhibit is free, and the museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, stop in at the museum’s Wick Avenue location, call 330-941-1400 or check online at