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Go See These UNLV Artists Now

Barrick Museum's current exhibition features the works of five UNLV graduates who've gone on to success in art.

Arts & Culture  |  Mar 24, 2014  |  By UNLV News Center

UNLV's Barrick Museum hosts "Art for Art's Sake" (Aaron Mayes / UNLV Photo Services)

The current exhibit at the Barrick Museum, Art for Art's Sake, features the work of five UNLV graduates. Their works have been featured in galleries across the world and are also part of the Las Vegas Art Museum Collection, which is currently housed at the Barrick.

Art for Art's Sake will be on display through April 26. For details, visit the Barrick Museum website.

Tim Bavington, '99 MFA

London-born Tim Bavington bases his works on pieces of music. His works often employ bright stripes in the Op art style -- which uses illusion, contrast and a precise, mathematically based composition. He uses a computer program to assign colors to each melody, the width of each stripe representing the length of a note. "I was drawn into this area because of the interest in the correlation between color and sound waves," he said, "and was intrigued to find that there was a long history ... to be followed ... it's something that's been a thread through the history of painting." In 2012, he unveiled his first public sculpture, Anthem for the Common Man, outside the Smith Center in downtown Las Vegas.

Thomas Burke, '02 BFA

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Thomas Burke describes his paintings as a cross between "contemporary graphic design, digital technology, Op and Pop art, and hard-edged geometric abstraction." Burke usually creates his designs on a computer and then transfers them to thin sheets of aluminum with acrylic paint and a spray gun. Burke says he draws inspiration from mid-century California hard-edge painters like John McLaughlin and Frederick Hammersley and is "greatly interested in the concerns of perceptual art, a genre of painting I adore."

Brian Porray, '10 MFA

Brian Porray was born in Las Vegas. His large-scale works are part painting, part collage. Porray applies layers of printed paper, paint, and tape and draws on his background as a graffiti artist. "My paintings aren't really abstract at all," Porray says, "but more like psychedelic landscapes filled with broken technological assemblages."

David Ryan, '03 MFA

Texas native David Ryan creates multi-layered abstractions using high-density Corafoam board. Ryan is interested in the vibrant colors and slick lines of electronics, cars, and household appliances. L.A. art critic David Pagel described Ryan's methodology in a 2006 article in VURB magazine: "Each layer has been laser-cut by an industrial tool programmed to follow the lines he has drawn by hand and then altered on the computer, resulting in idiosyncratic shapes best described as blobs ... He meticulously sands the edges of each layer, leaving no trace of the laser's sharpness."

Yek, '97 MFA

Born in Singapore, Yek Wong paints florescent-colored abstract landscapes on slightly concave square canvases. "To me, my paintings are like landscapes with the distinct background gradation and the foreground line. It is more like deep space, about 15 degrees up into the sky where you can't see the horizon line." He has reinvigorated the Op art movement - a style of art that uses optical illusions. His colors bleed off the canvas surface giving the illusion of infinite space. "They have an aura that makes them expand," says the artist.

Compiled by Aurore Giguet, program director of the Barrick Museum, and DK Sole, content specialist.