March 23, 2004

MFA thesis exhibit on display at University Museum

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Graduate student Stephan Way would be the first to admit how quickly people get boxed in by forces around them.

Way explores this theme in the screen prints he created for his master of fine arts thesis exhibit, on view through March 31 at the University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.



Museumgoers can see his prints, dubbed "Box-Work," and meet him at a reception from 4-7 p.m. Friday, March 26, at the museum. All are welcome and admission is free.

The museum is in the north wing of Faner Hall, just behind Shryock Auditorium.

Below, Way explains his work, which consists of large-scale, flat reproductions of packages as they appear before they become three-dimensional.

"The packages that I choose to employ as subject matter stir in me thoughts of social and personal situations individuals are confronted with in our society. I appropriate the packaging in order to make commentaries about racial politics, labor practices, globalization and violence.

"While these messages are probably not those intended by (the packages' creators) and have little to do with the packages' contents, they are beliefs and circumstances ... commonplace in the daily lives of many people. I find ... (it) ironic that (by) purchasing these products, consumers are buying into the (prejudicial) ideas and values conveyed in the packages," Way adds.

See the new show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 1-4 p.m. Saturdays through Mondays.

Way is a master's student in the School of Art and Design, housed in the SIUC College of Liberal Arts.

Achieving excellence in graduate and professional programs is among the goals of Southern@150, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.