The thesis exhibition reception was great! I felt so good to be showing art with my amazing classmates at the University of Cincinnati Master of Fine Arts Program, with whom I have spent the last two years of my life. The show looked amazing and was really well planned. The turnout was great too, including local celebrities like Mayor Mark Mallory and well-known artists like photographer Michael Wilson.
The director of our program Joe Girandola got ahold of an amazing projector for me so the images were bright and crisp even at about twelve feet across. Rather than simply project www.solgonda.com onto a wall, I built an environment to kind of bring some of the magic and mystery of the desert outdoors into the gallery. Bill at Ohio Valley Stone hooked me up with some big rocks, including a 1,400 pound boulder. I covered the speakers with Papier-mâché and painted them to look like the rocks, put the sub-woofer in a burlap bag, etc. I figured, you only get an MFA once (unless you’re a masochist or bored and wealthy) so I pulled out all the stops with the details.
People were really into the work, and at many times there were lines to control the interface. The best moment was receiving a hug from a young boy after his parents pointed me out as the artist. The boy was so satisfied he was gleaming. I joked that children were my target demographic. But really, that is not far from the truth–if I can evoke a kind of child-like wonder in adults too, I know I’m doing something right. At moments of extreme joy in my own life, I value adventure and discovery over predictability, the way children do. Curiosity is the essence of my work. Thank you for letting me share it with you.
If you didn’t get a chance to see the exhibition please enjoy the piece online now: www.solgonda.com