Recent Submissions

  • Together / alone- under suburban sky: MFA Thesis - Photography and Related Media

    Lin-Liang, Li (2020-05)
    Together / Alone--Under Suburban Sky is intrinsically tied to my experience moving to the U.S. at the age 40 from Shanghai, China. Life is drama. For this project, I dressed up as an ordinary suburban housewife to show scenes of daily life. I made some images like film footage by using long exposures and 16:9 ratio. The inclusion of dialogue gave an understanding of the tension between family members. Each picture depicts a dramatic conflict. The male, as husband and father, was sometimes physically absent from the images, but actually, he is never fully absent, as he always shows up as a symbol. The main actress, as mother and wife, appears in most of the images, however, she is never fully shown. The mother is not just herself; she represents all females in the same situation. For the past two years, this project has been the primary source material in creating a body of work that explores the migrant narrative and my suburban housewife experience, albeit through a personal lens. Photography is an effective way to depict real scenes in life and can challenge norms of female sexuality, beauty, domesticity, and identity. While my need to decipher and address my own life is personal, my work has always touched upo n universal themes, with the potential to start a dialogue about cultural differences and similarities. The suburban life is very peaceful. It represents middle-class lifestyle, with a comfortable house, two or three kids, and a hardworking husband. They are living together; however, she feels lonely. In Betty Friedan’s words, the problem has no name.
  • Meandering progression: MFA Thesis - Drawing & Painting

    Loveszy, Rosa (2019-05)
    Observation of interior organic forms and microscopic environments inspired my interest the correlation between macro and microstructures in the universe. The flow of movement and material in natural settings, whether large or small, develop similar patterns over time. How can we identify regularities caused by liquid moving through matter? Using a methodology inspired by organic shapes and systems of growth, the intrinsic properties of encaustic medium and steel allow for the paint and construction to reflect patterns of natural progress. Patterns found in nature that are visible in everyday life informs my intellectual and creative process. I consistently look for ways to make complex structures out of simple building blocks. This search has led me to peer through a microscope and observe the small shapes that coalesce to construct the world as we know it. An integral part of my studio practice is not only the physical creation of art, or its formal properties, but the intellectual stimulation that comes from broadening my understanding of the universe. Consistently I am overwhelmed by the breadth of the knowledge and information available to aid our understanding of life. Through my research on growth patterns in the natural world, I have discovered exciting visuals that recently have been captured by modern scientific instruments. Looking through a microscope, I have been intrigued by the ability of a lens to reveal environments invisible to the naked eye. Depending on the lens we can observe a vast landscape of the growth patterns.
  • Of flesh and fruit: MFA Thesis - Ceramics

    Jaimes, Karen (2020-05)
    Of Flesh and Fruit is an experiential interventionist installation that interacts with Western hegemonic institutions, such as museums and galleries, to address the impact of colonialism on indigenous cultures. Pre-Columbian ritual objects and ideologies are re-interpreted to address postcolonial issues through a transhistorical approach. I invite the public to participate and learn about these issues by providing hidden truths on various sculptures, in literature, and on pedestals. By incorporating sensory and mixed media, and displaying work on unusual platforms, I use the agency of materials to enhance the conversations about indigenous knowledge, capitalism, and current forms of exploitation driven by political interference and big business.
  • Jumble gym, playful randomness in contemporary jewelry: MFA Thesis - Metal

    Gougherty, Stefan (2020-05)
    I create jewelry that is curious and interactive. Sampling content from trash to treasure, these playful objects are unpretentious and subversive. Exploring the surreal through engineering and illusion, these antics of adornment confound expectations. In celebration of our collective progress, I leverage industrial materials and manufacturing processes to anchor the work firmly within the present. Through mashups of contrasting realities and exploration of randomness, I articulate this strange new digital world. Staging collisions between vastly different references of time, scale and subject matter, an underlying unity can be found among the debris of shape and memory.
  • Packing universes: MFA Thesis - Sculpture

    Choi, Jung Yun (2020-05)
    Multiverse and dreams are the main themes of my work. I am usually haunted by vivid memories that feel real after dreaming. I imagined the existence of my other selves in that other universe. I borrow the eyes of my other-selves in my dreams. In other words, dreams are a channel to connect me with my other-selves. Pinecones and Bubble wraps are common around us, so people pass by them without noticing, however, these everyday objects are the entry points into hidden worlds. Like travelers through dreams, I hope that viewers will enter and explore these other universes.
  • Counting clouds, finding sheep: MFA Thesis - Painting & Drawing

    Willette, Corina (2020-05)
    In play, time slips away. Visual allusions occur, your mind broadens allowing new realities. These analog virtual-realty artworks — created initially for interior spaces — ended up “going out to play”. Once outside… they interwove with the natural environment they were inspired by, discovering multiple ways of being. Childlike wonder is essential to my approach to both materials and images. Sensual encounters, such as the pattern of clouds, the smell of dirt or the sound of birds calling take on meaning from our experiences and belief systems. In this way the patterns and connections we make, fact or fiction, become our reality.
  • About my meditation: MFA Thesis - Printmaking

    Zheng, Xuewu (2020-05)
    I titled this body of my work Meditation. The works, include two series, contain both printmaking and installation. I have been working on both series for about 30 years. I examine both history and the present in a very personal way and I integrate both philosophy and religion into my work. Through my artistic practice, I bridge the language gap between the Eastern and Western cultures. I pay attention to the relationships between humans and nature, and how they are shaped by modern civilization. Meditation is both the content and the state of my life, and my primary means of instigating this research.
  • Trace collectors: MFA Thesis - Metal

    Eom, Min Jae (2020-05)
    Everything around us has been touched, used, cracked, broken – evidence that reveals an object’s existence ​and experience. I create simple surfaces and forms that when carried on the body, slowly gather traces of the wearer. The marks that are collected through these time-based works are not simply scratches, dents and stains; rather, they become a witness, a form of archive embodying the history and coexistence between user and object. These truly unique traces share a memory with the wearer, accumulating sentimental value and highlighting the most overlooked and intimate forms of contact.
  • Made in the USA, When gnomes need to clean their homes: MFA Thesis - Sculpture

    Leu, Maxine (2020-05)
    My work, Made in the USA , focuses on the environment, communication, and identity. Using critical humor along with dark playfulness, I open doors to difficult conversations relating to issues of overconsumption and the culture of waste in America, through the lens of my own awareness of cultural differences. The works are based on my experience of being a foreign person in America. I choose familiar, everyday objects and commonly considered waste materials as the raw materials for my work and for their potential to initiate cross-cultural, nonverbal communication. Then I transform those materials into situational, humorous, and metaphorical artworks that double back and question our relationship to the commonplace things I started with.
  • Between / spaces: MFA Thesis - Metal

    Scherzer, Jamie M. (2020-05)
    Using metal as a drawing tool, my work expands the traditional vocabulary of mark-making. I strive to create aesthetic compositions with metal serving as both paintbrush and canvas, exploring and capturing the conversation I have with the material. With an ongoing dialogue with material and process, I create imagery in metal, then go on to use that metal as a tool for printmaking. Through my work, I respond to the properties of metal through repetitive acts such as melting, drilling, and hammering. I explore the balance between the contained systematic nature of form and its transition into more unprincipled outcomes. Working through this process allows for maximum discovery and also encourages unexpected outcomes. These inquiries result in a body of work made up of jewelry, object, and print. My research blurs the boundaries traditionally set between two- and three-dimension. Metal serves as my canvas. I see my metalwork as a surface to create abstract imagery and printmaking as a way to create sculpture in two-dimensions. By inking and printing experimental metal surfaces, I use objects as tools to transform and create new abstract imagery. These tactile works on paper further inform the context of the body of work. I know the print is final when it reveals a new understanding of the metal surface and the print feels palpable. Within this work, I create boundaries and restrictions throughout my process which allows me to develop new work with directional control while leaving room for the unexpected. Encouraging chance within a set of parameters, these restrictions paradoxically create infinite possibilities.
  • Reliquien: MFA Thesis - Photography and Related Media

    Wahl, Bruce (2020-05)
    My father lives in a town I can not get lost in. He still inhabits my childhood home, surrounded by a collection of objects and photographs arrayed as shrines to his American Dream. Both the town and the man seem alien to me now. This village could be anywhere in New England, it is generic in its quirkiness. Chock full of its own altars to cultural ideas and heavy with an American artifice of place. Photographs, much like memories, degrade over time but still reach for a truth. This is not a perfect objective truth, but a personal one both conflicted and contradictory, this is America after all.
  • Coral observations: MFA Thesis - Printmaking

    McDonnell, Jessica (2020-05)
    The first time I plunged into the ocean and opened my eyes to the bustling world of a coral reef was unforgettable. Equally remarkable has been the effect humans have imposed there, from rising temperatures and acidity to plastic pollution. This series is an intimate look into this complex system. Each piece is a pause- a reflection on both the reef’s current status, and the inner workings of an underwater landscape facing mounting pressure to change in order to survive. Dead is the reef we’ve known, crashing on the shore is the one we have forced into labor, birthed into something new.
  • The ponderous counterspectacle of things ceasing to be, or, How I learned to stop worrying about my future, accept the fact that I’m going to die, and make a bunch of pictures about it: MFA Thesis - Photography and Related Media

    Rouke, Nicholas (2020-05)
    Americans like to believe that we are better than everyone else. It is deeply ingrained into the culture we consume, even before we start school as children. TV and films portray a heroic American superhero defeating the exotic bad guy, or the dopey young man gets the girl and job of his dreams, just because he worked hard and had integrity. The cultural message is that someone born here can grow up to be whatever he wants, and live the American Dream. I was lucky enough to be born into the generation that ruined everything. In spite of growing up in a position of privilege, I have never felt like the goals set by previous generations would ever be attainable for me. As the economy and global standing of the United States declines, millennials have been accused of not working hard enough or spending too much time eating avocado toast to be able to achieve the traditional milestones of success. The series Ponderous Counterspectacle of Things Ceasing to Be was born of my own anxiety about the future. I created a character and a scenario that reflect the absurdity of navigating the systems of the modern world which have led an entire generation to “failure.” After surviving the undefined “Collapse” by hiding in a refrigerator, the last millennial on earth searches for a refuge in a brand new world. Alone and lacking the necessary skills to provide for himself, he resorts to trying things he learned from Saturday morning cartoons and reality TV. Lost and in awe of the world that he does not recognize, the man is trapped in a cycle he doesn’t have the tools to break, and chasing a dream that doesn’t exist. The photographs are sequenced as an endlessly repeating slideshow, not allowing viewers any control over image order or pace at which the photographs are displayed. The point of view alternates between that of the character and the audience, blurring the line between observation and participation.
  • In this era of big data those things we do not notice: MFA Thesis - Metal

    Wan, Kehan (Yoky) (2020-05)
    We live in an information-overloaded era. We are trapped and enslaved, while at the same time perceiving this as convenient. The overload of data exists with both advantages and disadvantages. We are able to get to know the world by clicking on electric devices. Meanwhile, it makes our lives overwhelmed sometimes, and the privacy invasion is also a significant problem that we do not notice. The data we create will not be erased, instead, they become random bits existing in the huge information platform, which is known as big data. However, many of us are unconscious of our lives being dictated by big data. My work is an attempt to reflect on this social phenomenon. In an effort to make sense of it all, I construct micro-installations and objects, employing intricate craft at a minute scale to draw in the audience and encourage them to notice the circumstance that we are living in at present. This work is intended to provoke a feeling of invaded privacy, surveillance, and the overload of information – ubiquitous, enveloping, yet often unnoticed when living under the big data storm.
  • Rock paper scissors: MFA Thesis - Painting & Drawing 

    Strauss, Sharon (2019-05)
    For me, making art is a ritualistic process bound up in observations of the material world. It speaks to my desire to interpret the world around me. How can spaces we consider "ordinary" allow an opportunity for transcendence? Can imagining a space or object from the point of view of a tree or forest animal, ruin/rune, or rock allow for a hidden world to filter through? Can we imagine the rituals that may have taken place in a particular location? I believe that our imaginations can offer an alternative perspective on what our conditioned minds tell us is real. By accepting the notion that magic exists all around, that the ordinary is actually extraordinary, we may connect to something greater than ourselves. I identify this as an illusory goal; a gesture of hope.
  • Material memoir: MFA Thesis - Ceramics

    Sartorius, Andrew (2019-05)
    My family owns a fifty acre plot of rolling red clay hills in West Virginia. When I return home, I dig clay, a pilgrimage to harvest from the strata of memory. This body of work explores the potential of wild West Virginia clay through the wood firing process. The kiln creates a dramatic range of effects as varying amounts of ash and heat amalgamate and give vitality to the wild clays I use. The kiln is my collaborator, a trusted but pleasantly unpredictable partner lending its voice to mine to create something made from a life of memory and memorial… Material holds memory. It has a lingering narrative more akin to memoir than a full memory. Memoir is not a life’s story; rather it is a remembered story from a life. In Material Memoir, I explore the use of West Virginia clay to construct artifacts that illustrate my longing from home and passion for the wood firing process.
  • Marks of time: MFA Thesis - Metal

    Santiago, Jolynn (2019-05)
    For a moment, reflect on the marks of time that are often disregarded or wiped away. Would you ever consider preserving the ring of dust that forms around objects, or collecting the residue that clings to your hands after handling items from the past? Have you considered the mark left behind from a label or tape that was once adhered to an object, or contemplated the duration of time that those two objects were connected? These questions stem from thoughtful observations that evoke special, habitual, uneventful, less than perfect, worst, best, lost, found, unnoticed, forgotten, quiet moments. My work is an assortment of lines that illustrate gesture—evidence that articulates time. These physical documents record and illuminate the past and the present. Each piece is a palimpsest—a document that is continuously re-used, but the traces of its original form still remain. The work continuously evolves, layers collect, and content grows. Marks and imprints highlight the attachment and detachment of objects, while drawing attention to their relationship.
  • American macaroni: MFA Thesis - Ceramics  

    Rosenbach, Heather (2019-05)
    Working predominantly in ceramics, I seek to explore the concept of lowbrow art, verging on ugly, in conjunction with personal experiences growing up lower middle class-to-working class. Memories are exposited through narrative imagery and joke-telling. Political issues surrounding class vs. worth, fine art vs. lowbrow are discussed with satire and humor to deliver a personal message.
  • Listen to them: MFA Thesis - Sculpture

    Naganoma, Megumi (2019-05)
    “Listen to them.”, represents a group of twenty-one rape survivors. I know them personally and they have confided in me the details of their attacks. These are all people that I have relationships with: friendships, family, ex-coworkers, colleagues, etc. The fabrics, colors, and other adornments chosen for each cone reflect the personality and some physical qualities of the individuals portrayed. The experiences of their assaults are also present on these standing quilts. Small, almost hidden books containing the survivors’ words are sewn to the bodies, revealing a literal remnant of the trauma. Stitching these forms by hand takes time and patience. For me, this process, is an analog to healing.
  • Chariots of the anthropocene: MFA Thesis - Printmaking

    Munford, David (2019-05)
    This series of prints begins a body of work that addresses the subject of climate change, including man's role in accelerating it and exacerbating its effects. I chose the medium of monotype because it is a painterly printmaking process which allows for a spontaneous method of working conducive to a more abstract, freer form of expression. Monotype is a printmaking process in which an image is made from a smooth non-absorbent surface that has been inked. Because the matrix is smooth, or unarticulated, there is no repeatable image being transferred therefore each print is unique. Using a large piece of plexiglass as a matrix, my technique involves printing multiple layers on top of one another. Ideas and associative meanings, signified by color and mark making, are printed in layers superimposed on top of preceding layers. In this way an overall composition is formed by combining individual layers. This is suggestive of multiple natural phenomena interconnecting and combining to form an overall climate. On top of these multiple layer monotypes I add screen printed elements emphasizing other key concepts.

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