Incoming Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students from the University of New Mexico held an opening reception for their group show, “At First Sight” at the Center for Fine Arts (CFA) Downtown Studio on Friday evening.

Work from the 12 MFA students varied from archival inkjet prints to two-channel projections, with a diverse array of art in between. 

Lee Montgomery, an associate professor of experimental art and technology at UNM, is teaching the introductory class for fine art graduate students this year. 



For this year's incoming student exhibition, Montgomery said he wanted to create a collaborative display of work between the students with their help and input.

“I made a couple of executive decisions, but mostly they discussed where things should be placed and what would look best where," he said.

Kerry Cottle, a graduate student from Sacramento, California, created labor-intensive oil paint pieces inspired from oil stains, textiles, and bright colors on the color wheel. Cottle said most of her work is inspired by oil because it is a harmful material that is also beautiful and changing.

“Most of my work is inspired by oil, like oil spots because I think they are very visual, beautiful and shiny, but they are also a terrible material to waste,” she said.

Cottle said she is interested in the art and ecology program at UNM and doing more research on the local environment. Although she isn’t sure what her future work will look like visually, Cottle said she plans to work with oil paints, is interested in natural dyes and textiles.

Another incoming graduate student, Blayne Greiner, created a sculpture separated into two parts— an FM radio transmitter and a Bluetooth-charger radio. His work is a meditation on creating the appearance of meaning after a tragedy, and the process of constructing resolutions with no certain answers. 

Greiner said this is the first time he has experimented with sculpture, programing, and incorporating electronics into art. He said his art is not only an altarpiece to his late father but also about rebuilding the grief process.

“It’s kind of reconstructing a grief process for me, like figuring out how you construct some kind of resemblance of meaning around a difficult event, and then you live with it,” Greiner said. “So you come up with the best construction that you can, knowing that it’s never going to be perfect. You never really know the finer points of life, but ultimately you come up with something that’s functional enough that you can use it to move on.”

This year, Greiner said he will be doing video work, going further with programming and making more sculptures that are integrated with electronics. He also plans to work with biological elements, including weaving things like bacteria, plants and insects into his art.

The graduate students will host an artists talk next Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the CFA Downtown Studio located at 113 4th Street NW. There, the students will introduce themselves and get to know other students and faculty within the art department. 

The public is also welcomed to join the event, and hear from the incoming graduates on their art and what their future work entails. For more information about the event, visit https://finearts.unm.edu/event/at-first-sight/.

Amanda Britt is the photo editor at the Daily Lobo and can be contacted on twitter @AmandaBritt_ or at photoeditor@dailylobo.com