PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington State University Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Fine Arts department at WSU, will present The Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition from April 16 to May 16.  There will be an opening reception for the exhibition at the museum beginning at 7 p.m. April 16.

A 30-year collaboration between the art museum and fine arts department, the exhibition has become an annual tradition at WSU, this year featuring fine arts works in a variety of media, including ceramics, digital imaging, painting, photography and sculpture.

Created by WSU fine arts master’s degree candidates over the past two years, the thesis art works exhibit a range of subject matter, content, and style.

Included in this year’s exhibition will be the works of Chris Berkstresser, ceramics; Tom Clements, photography/digital imaging; Georgia Young Clements, painter; Erin Cassetto, sculpture; Donna Langan, painter; Brent Patterson, painter/digital imaging; and Alma Rocha, painter.

Also featured during this year’s exhibition will be Lisa Corrin, deputy director of art for the Seattle Art Museum, who will be the special guest lecturer for the Friel Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on May 3 in the Fine Arts Center auditorium. A biennial program, the lecture series is named for John Friel, a 1962 WSU Fine Arts graduate. The series is funded by an endowment established in Friel’s memory by his parents, Jack and Catherine Friel.

Corrin, who came to the Seattle Art Museum nearly three years ago after serving as chief curator for the Serpentine Gallery in London, will speak on the topic “Baja to Vancouver: The Art of the Social Landscape.”  She will also speak informally with fine arts graduate students while in Pullman.

Chris Watts, WSU professor of fine arts and this year’s graduate advisor, said the 2004 exhibition is notable because of the diversity of the work being exhibited by the artists.

 “The strength of the fine arts department and the MFA Program is we don’t have a certain style.  Each student is allowed to shine on their own–find their own path,” Watts said.

Roger Rowley, the curator of the Museum of Art/WSU, said the museum is proud to be able to provide a venue for the graduate students’ work.

“For many of these young, talented artists, this will be their first exposure in a true exhibition setting,” Rowley said.  “The Museum of Art/WSU is excited to support this collaboration, and would like to congratulate all of the MFA student candidates on their hard work over the past two years and wish them the best in their future endeavors. “

Funding for the museum exhibitions and programs for the fiscal year is provided by Washington State University, the Friends of the Museum of Art, the WSU Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission, Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Arts Endowment, the Museum of Art/WSU Directors Fund for Excellence and private donors.  Visit the WSU Museum of Art Web Site at www.wsu.edu/artmuse.