CWU News

Evocative MFA Thesis Exhibit Features Ceramic and Photo/Multimedia Works

The Sarah Spurgeon Gallery will host a Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition featuring artwork by Department of Art + Design graduate students John Giesin and Brock Jensen. The ceramic artwork created by Giesin is titled Terra Soma. Jensen’s work, which includes large-scale photographic prints, video, and installation, is called Inter : Domesticity.

The exhibit opens on March 29. Both artists will discuss their work beginning at 4:00 p.m. in Randall 117, followed by a reception in the gallery from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The theme of the reception is the “Oyster Ball,” a historical reference to a masquerade event and social that took place in Ellensburg in 1889.

According to ceramist Giesin, clay shares many tactile similarities with the human body. Giesin responds to this connection by focusing on the flesh-like, visceral quality of clay, producing alterations that mimic the body, such as folds of skin, protruding joints, and bones. These vessels become intimate objects that can be held and touched. While Giesin’s work suggests the human figure, it relies on the subconscious action of the viewer’s mind, which allows them to perceive vessels as non-existent bodies.


Living as a vagabond for six years through the Rocky Mountains, central Cascades, and southern Mexico, Jensen experienced the simplicities of life outside public bureaucracy and rigid social standards. The nomadic lifestyle continues to be a major influence for him as he creates and depicts ritualistic performances that explore his capacity for enduring pain, suffering, isolation, and physical exertion. Utilizing a wide range of techniques, he addresses man’s feral nature, while depicting issues of individual and community identity, and our relationship with the natural environment.

The exhibition will remain on display through April 15. Sarah Spurgeon Gallery is located in Randall Hall on Dean Nicholson Boulevard and is open weekdays 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and on weekends, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Please visit our website at:



Image Captions:  John Giesin, Terra Soma exhibition image, 2018
                               Brock Jensen, Pig, Video still image, 2017
Media Contact: Heather Horn Johnson, Sarah Spurgeon Gallery, 509-963-2665,