January 22, 2008



Department of Art, 657-2324
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


Tanskanen works on a sculptureMSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Shelly Tanskanen loves the beauty and intricacies of fine art. But she also knows that to make a statement, art does not always have to be beautiful.



That’s why Tanskanen chose to develop misshapen and uncomfortable sculptures for her senior show — “Cause and Effect” — at Montana State University Billings.  It focuses on war, the collateral effects it has on unwilling participants and the propaganda that often accompanies war. It is also not always comfortable to look at.


Tanskanen’s senior show will run from Jan. 28 to Feb. 8 in the outer gallery at the MSU Billings Liberal Arts Building. The gallery is located at the university’s senior campus, 1500 University Drive . A reception for Tanskanen and fellow artist Reicha Robinson will be held Tuesday, Jan. 29 from 5-7 p.m.


The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.


Tanskanen is a senior from Laurel majoring in art with a teaching option. Her interest in teaching, she said, comes from wanting to help others be more aware of the world around them and the policy decisions made on their behalf. Her commentary on war, she said, is not meant to offend, but to awaken.


Tanskanen's sculpture, "Jackal"“I incorporate drawing and clay which can portray both beauty and ugliness in the rough-edged silhouette of populous unrest and the silent shriek of freedom of speech,” she said in her artist’s statement. “The aspect of two-dimensional and three-dimensional paired in my artwork creates conflict and unease. Ideally, this body of work invites the viewer to either look away in disgust or encourages them to take action.”


Tanskanen said she hopes her ceramics and drawings give viewers the opportunity to think about the world in which we live and who controls its future.


For more information about the senior show at MSU Billings, contact the Department of Art at 657-2324.


PHOTOS ABOVE: Shelly Tanskanen doing her artwork;Close up of ceramic piece “Jackal.”