A mix of figure paintings and metal work is what you will find in the graduate studio of Carrie Adamson-Riefler. Adamson-Riefler is obtaining a Masters of Fine Arts, with a concentration in painting and sculpture. She has had three solo shows since transferring from UNT during her undergraduate and currently has a show in the 010 Gallery in the Student Union.
Her work focuses on the human figure – however since her undergraduate studies began, Adamson-Riefler’s paintings have evolved in their composition. During her undergrad, Adamson- Riefler was painting animal heads on human bodies in an anthropomorphic style reminiscent of the ancient Egyptians. As a master’s student, she has chosen to remove the animal heads and create a steady mix of subjects, experimenting with color and movement in the paintings.
Unsure of how the anthropomorphic paintings were conveying her message, Adamson- Riefler progressed to “…only showing the human side and showing different versions of the psyche, the fractured psyche.” Her paintings are about portraying psychological issues or mental illness. “Some people close to me have issues with this and I see that it’s an important issue to talk about. A lot of times there’s stigma attached to it, so then people don’t really want to talk about it as much,” explained Adamson-Riefler.
Despite the silence that exists in discussion of mental illness, Adamson-Riefler is prepared for the challenge: “My goal is to bring it to fruition, to light, so that people can talk about it in a comfortable space.”
Her graduate show will incorporate more metal, such as copper plate applied with patinas. The patinas creates a chemical reaction on the metal—essentially eating away at it. “That kind of has a correlation with chemical imbalances that can happen in people when they’re dealing with disorders,” Adamson-Riefler said, later pointing out the imperfections on a sheet of metal created by shotgun pellets.
On top of being a graduate student, Adamson-Riefler teaches Basic Drawing and Figure Drawing as an adjunct in the TWU Art Department. She also volunteers her time to teach Painting-at-the-U once a month, a Student Union program open to all students who pre-register.
Adamson-Riefler has been featured alongside other artists in 2016 through the Graduate Painters Collective, VAST and 500X Hot and Sweaty to name a few. She will have a reception tonight in Dallas for Alterra International Emerging Artist Exhibition at the Butler Brothers Building, where Adamson-Riefler’s artwork will be on display for a month.