Review: "One Trick Pony" BFA Exhibition 

"One Trick Pony," the title of Boise State's 41st biannual bachelor of fine arts thesis exhibition, is a bit misleading. Of the 17 graduating seniors featured in the show, a handful have already established themselves as dynamic talents in galleries around town.

Perhaps the most recognizable name in the bunch is mixed-media artist and printmaker Benjamin Love. Known for his ambitious installations--covering the second floor of the Student Union Building gallery in Astroturf with an overarching 20-foot rainbow or constructing a Dr. Seuss-ish recycled tire playground in Helen B. Lowder Park--Love plays with space, provoking viewers to challenge their interactions with objects. One of his pieces in the show, An Accumulation of Bad Luck, features hundreds of miniature black cats crowding a random column, drawing attention to an oft-overlooked corner in Gallery Two of the Hemingway Western Studies Center.

Another well-known name with an installation in Gallery Two is illustrator Julia Green. Green's whimsical work has been featured on a number of local concert posters and in the solo show, "Wild Wilderness," which lined the walls of Flying M Coffeehouse last January. Her found- and altered-objects installation Common Folly features a faux-wood-paneled mantle covered with random trinkets and tiny, framed illustrations of fairy-tale characters gone bad.

But perhaps the most moving and well-executed work in the show comes from a couple of emerging names. Photographer Eli Craven's 16 Self-Portraits: Pretending to Sleep in Other People's Beds, is a poignant collection of sun-dappled shots featuring the artist cocooned in an array of colorful blankets. And straddling the more provocative end of the spectrum is mixed-media/collage artist Willow Socia's The Spectator's Feast. Socia's work features dozens of mounted, '70s soft-core porn photos with the ladies' fleshy bits replaced by oddly disturbing photos of spaghetti, gooey casseroles and egg yolks.

"One Trick Pony" will be on display in both Gallery One of the Liberal Arts Building and Gallery Two of the Hemingway Western Studies Center through Tuesday, Dec. 7. For more info, visit artdept.boisestate.edu/vac.

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