MFA students present their final exhibition in the Belkin

Among the five-person cohort of UBC’s graduating MFA class, no one remembers exactly how they came up with the title of their graduation exhibition, Object Approaching Short Blue Waves.

The exhibition is the final project in the Visual Arts MFA program. It will showcase work from students Eric Angus, Jamey Braden, Anyse Ducharme, Jessica Gnyp and Michelle Weinstein.

According to Braden, the class had come up with a list of ideas for which to title the exhibit over the course of several weeks. After meeting to narrow down the selection, they realized they had to come up with something eye-catching and relevant. What came next was a process of frantic Googling that led them to an online diagram of the Doppler effect, which describes how objects emit short blue light waves while moving forward in space.

“We saw it and it just seemed perfect,” said Braden. “It’s kind of accidentally a very poetic phrase.”

Despite the hazy internet search process that led to the exhibition’s title, the students agree that it wound up being very fitting.

“It didn’t necessarily point towards one specific thing, but we felt it could be interpreted in many ways, and I think it can be interpreted in most people’s work somehow. It seems somewhat compatible I guess for us as a group,” said Gnyp, another of the contributors.

Tying the entire group together in this way is true of the exhibition as well. Although the students had mostly worked on their projects independently, they agreed that the two years spent in close quarters had led them to develop an influence on one another that can be hard to put into words.

“Even though we’re all doing our own thing, [the work] can stand together as a group. It’s not just a separate showing of everyone’s work,” said Angus. “Maybe other people won’t make that connection, but I’ve definitely been influenced by the work of my cohort here. I think that’s something that happens in an MFA program, and I think that’s why we all come here: it’s for that push, that influence.”

Each of the students use different mediums, and their exhibition projects range from Eric Angus's geodesic dome to a series of digital image transparencies by Anyse Ducharme. Some of the pieces will be a bit of a surprise, as -- like most students -- the class expect to be refining their projects right up until the deadline.

“I think a lot of us are still working right up until the end, and seeing where it ends up,” said Gnyp. “The Belkin is good for that -- they’re flexible at letting us do what we need to do.”

Object Approaching Short Blue Waves will run from May 1–31, with an opening reception held on April 30. The graduating students encourage guests to come check out their final projects, and experience the connections between the students’ work for themselves.

“It’s a lot more exciting and less dry than it sounds on paper,” said Michelle Weinstein.