Layer Cake features the work of five first-year MFA students

The Coulter Art Gallery, located in the McMurtry Building, is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6.

The works of five first-year MFA students are featured in the Department of Art and Art History exhibition Layer Cake.


“This is a very accomplished and diverse group in terms of their media and content, including drawing, digital art, painting, video, installation and sculpture,” said ENRIQUE CHAGOYA, professor of art practice.

“Their work projects various social and cultural issues relevant to the artists and to all of us as well. These artists have developed complex concepts that translate very well into thoughtful artworks that merge in highly engaging productions.”

  • Elkins’ work investigates the psychological and sociological impacts of mass incarceration in America. In her latest work, she uses catalog images of prison uniforms among other materials to examine the effects of incarceration in a nation that on any given day holds roughly 2.3 million people behind bars.
  • Grill creates work with reused and recycled articles of clothing, jewelry and household items to draw attention to the discarded. These discarded items and their embodied histories become symbols and metaphors for human aging and the cycle of life.
  • Moreno’s work examines the overlapping relationship between the natural and human-made environment and highlights patterns and systems of efficiency that exist within them.
  • Novelo’s work explores language, translations and cosmic storytelling, creating experiences for the viewer that showcase a cooperative relationship between “the spectator” and “the art.” His latest work focuses on ways to attain engagement that would develop empathetic channels between the self and the other.
  • Rick’s work reflects his father’s incarceration and his service in Iraq. He said, “Art was a bastion of light after I returned from Iraq, and helped me deal with the externalities of war. I tell stories that reflect my story but are not totally personal and are still in dialogue with the wider world.”

Read more on the Coulter Art Gallery website.