MFA Thesis Exhibitions, Part II

The Department of Art at the University of California, Irvine is pleased to present the solo exhibitions of MFA candidates Andrea Welton, Mountain House, Nicolas G. Miller, Ariel McCleese and Michael Thurin. Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, May 18th from 2–5pm.


Lidija in the Buttermilks —

Alabama Hills;

Mono, Convict, June

Andrea Welton — University Art Gallery (Front)


There’s a line that wraps all around the granite rock face. Make that two. A pale coral with lichen dusting the sides and sometimes racing through the middle. I keep calling the elements she; she brings a sense of calm. I could stare at her for hours even with her jagged edges.


Andrea Welton paints scores of the landscape in response to the lived experience of the body in nature. The resulting works are an investigation of natural and synthetic materials, plunging the immediate properties of the materials past their boundaries. Through a highly utopic lens, she asks the sincere question: How does one construct a relationship with the landscape?



Two Weeks in May

Mountain House — University Art Gallery (Back)


A collective that practices radical stewardship of land, relationships, and culture, Mountain House endeavors towards cultural work as political action based upon personal and collective care by tending to and creating cultural formations, experiences, and networks that bring dispersed needs and abilities into close proximity. We come together by acknowledging our varied social locations in the world(s) we each inhabit, and in so doing, manifest transformative relationships directed towards mutual liberation. For Two Weeks in May, Mountain House will take up residence in the gallery, holding space for our ongoing projects to come into collaboration with our campus community through performance, skill-shares, and knowledge-building. Learn more at



Spring / Summer

Nicolas G. Miller — CAC Gallery (Front)


It is early morning. Soft, dawning light is pouring into the room. You’re running a little late. And you need to get dressed. So you check the weather. The brittle glow from the screen says that today there will be no weather. No, not that the weather will be normal for this time of year, but that there is no weather at all. None. So there you are, standing in your room, puzzling over whether or not to open the window. And you ask yourself, “If there is no weather, then what will I wear?”



Daughters of Wolbachia

Ariel McCleese — CAC Gallery (Back)


The Wolbachia bacterium is transmitted in arthropods through female sex cells. There are four types of dissemination to produce the maximum number of hosts: feminization, asexual reproduction, embryonic death, and male killing. Whole insect populations have been made female through the infection. Bacteria spreads.



Chiffon and Indiscrete Glitter

Initiated by Michael Thurin — Room Gallery
Devised with Ezra Anisman, Morgan Embry, Elliot Guo, Christine Hudson, Taryn Lee, Sophia Metcalf, Veronica Preciado, Danielle Strickert, David Andrew Torres, Regino Rodriguez Vazquez, J.M. Weisbaum, Lily Welling, Sandra Zen.


When I ask you for this dance, I’m really saying, I need you;
Over, with, inside, against.
If you ask me what I need, you’re also saying, you can’t do this work alone;
To move, to be moved.

Chiffon and Indiscrete Glitter is a performative installation upon and through which an unstable dance floor becomes a queer timespace for the constant renegotiation of the spatial, material, and affective relationships within a formless collective.




Andrea Welton, Mountain House, Nicolas G. Miller, Ariel McCleese and Michael Thurin
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery
Room Gallery
University Art Gallery
Exhibition Dates: 
May 18, 2019 to Jun 01, 2019
Saturday, May 18, 2019 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm