The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University celebrate the work of graduating Master of Fine Arts students with exhibitions in the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts and SMFA's Steven and Barbara Grossman Gallery. Working in a range of media and methods, 59 SMFA Master of Fine Arts students will showcase their thesis projects in film, video, painting, performance, sculpture, photography, installation, drawing, and more.
Cyclorama Exhibition On View:
539 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116
Tuesday, May 17, 11 am–7 pm
Wednesday, May 18, 11 am–7 pm
Thursday, May 19, 11 am–7 pm
Friday, May 20, 11 am–5 pm
Public Reception: Friday, May 20, 7:30–10 pm
Performances: Friday, May 20 by Tamara Al-Mashouk; Mariana Gutheim (8:30 pm); Sara Oliver Gomez de la Vega; Jessica Tatara; Jonathan Weiskopf (every 20 minutes).
Robert Solomon's Exhibition On View:
Grossman Gallery, SMFA, 230 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115
Monday, May 9—Friday, May 13 | 10am—5pm
Closed Saturday, May 14
Monday, May 16—Friday, May 20 | 10am—5pm
Saturday, May 21 | NOON—8 PM
Sunday, May 22 | 2 PM—4 PM
Generously funded by Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté and Sandy Moose and Eric Birch. Special thanks to Horizon Beverages.
The Cyclorama Show features the work of the following MFA students:
Pete Adam Bialecki
Susan White Brown
Max Avi Kaplan
Soo Young Kim
Sara Oliver Gomez de la Vega
The Safarani Sisters
Lisa Andrea Smith
Kim Druker Stockwell
J. Seth Van Der Eems
M. Sylvia Weintraub
Image: "Volendo", 2016. Detail from installation.
Laila Abduljawad's Volendo is an interactive installation of body ornamentation. Her art process begins with a close examination of the butterfly—under the microscope—revealing visually appealing patterns and shapes. Using clustered cellular organic shapes cut out of stainless steel, the work engages with preconceived notions about gender, specifically female bodies as aesthetic objects, and marks a place of silence, resonance and an unspeakable.
Born in London, Abduljawad grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She received her BA in International Management with an emphasis on Marketing and Visual Communication Arts in Switzerland at Franklin University. Currently, she is an MFA candidate at Boston's School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University. Abduljawad uses industrial material to create cellular organic body ornamentation.
Image: "New Relations (detail)", 2016. Latex paint on canvas. 45 x 41 inches.
Ola Aksan's paintings and sculptural installations investigate how environment impacts morality and perception to visualize Seboek's idea of the "umwelt." She uses the pattern of the inner rings of a tree as the perceptions of one's umwelt. The artist employs the laws of physics to create a visual relationship between the mind, body, space, and time. Ola pours and drips paint through constructed systems to illustrate the constant flux and flow of the universe.
Aksan is a first generation Polish-American from Houston, Texas. She received her BFA in Painting and Communication Design from Texas State University and is currently a MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University.
Performance: Friday, May 20 at 8:30 pm
Image: "License", 2016. Sculpture, video, and performance. 16 x 12 feet.
Tamara Al-Mashouk License is a 12' x 16' sculptural based structure that reflects on architecture and incorporates live processing and performance. This work foregrounds the position of Arab women in today's global culture and highlights the challenges faced in the realms of educational rights, freedom of mobility, legal restraints, and general women's rights in the private and public spheres.
Al-Mashouk produces large scale video installations for the gallery as well as event based public art works projected onto outdoor surfaces. She graduated from Wellesley College majoring in architecture and subsequently attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts as a Post-Baccalaureate student. She is a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Image: "Pillbox and Platter", 2016, Oil on Canavs. 50 x 54 inches.
Marie Anthony re-interprets the tradition of still life painting while combining the processes of working from life, photography, and imagination. Her source material pertains to the domestic sphere, and the objects that comprise a personal territory. The work questions our complex relationships with home, hospitality, and our possessions.
Anthony is an MFA candidate at Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She holds a BA from The College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA.
Image: "The House and its Maker", 2016. Deatil of installation featuring video, sound, and wood.
Danica Arimany's video installation examines the perpetual cycle of building and maintenance, and explores the relationship between a house, its maker, and its patrons. Video footage of a house in Guatemala, which has been in constant construction for over 30 years, is projected upon scaffolding to juxtapose construction practices in Guatemala and the USA.
Guatemalan-American artist and scholar Arimany generates visual experiments to investigate multiplicity within land use, water pollution, and labor. Arimany is currently a second-year MFA candidate at the School of Museum of Fine Arts. She has been recipient of the Tufts Graduate Student Research Award and Montague Travel Grant.
Image: "Untitled", 2016. Carbon Ink, Paper, Charcoal, and Encaustic on panel, 45 x 55 inches.
Grace Baxter's project alters racially charged early twentieth-century photographs appropriated from the Web as a way to see current American culture through a subversive lens. Baxter enlarges and then rebuilds the images by transferring them to paper through a multi-step process—retaining the marks of their photographic, digital, and print transmutations.
Baxter received her undergraduate degree from the U.N.C. School of the Arts, then worked professionally as a scenic artist in NYC before launching her fine arts career at SMFA. She focuses on conceptual methods of art creation and experimentation with different media.
Image: "Its the Museum", 2016. Graphite.
John Bergman-McCool's thesis is a series of graphite drawings that explore his research into the provenance of an artifact at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The process is intended to enliven the object, which originates from the cultural area where he worked in Arizona, by looking its movement and how it was subsumed into museological practice.
Bergman-McCool received his BA in Anthropology from Western Washington University. He moved to Boston from Arizona where worked for ten years as an archaeologist. Concurrent with his MFA, John is enrolled in the Museum Studies Certificate program at Tufts. John received SMFA's President's Grant and co-curated the 2016 Student's Curate Students exhibit at the Boston MFA.
Image: "Transplanted" (detail), 2015–2016. Found objects.
Adam Berk's Transplanted is an installation consisting of plant-like sculptures made out of found objects. The space is architecturally designed for viewers to interact with a synthesized garden that inhabits a seemingly balanced ecosystem of shrubs, flowers and trees. Take a chance to take a seat and listen to an engineered nighttime soundscape.
Berk grew up In Los Angeles and received his BA in 2011 from University of California, Santa Cruz. Berk is a multimedia artist concerned with environmental topics. His works address issues ranging from water scarcity, industrial pollution and consumerism.
Pete Adam Bialecki
Image: "Heavy Metal Meditations on Labor and Distance", 2014–2016. Abstract artist rendering.
Focusing on themes of chaos, noise, silence, labor, meditation, ethnic identity, and social economics, Pete Adam Bialecki's work expresses how labor is closely related to the Buddhist concept of suffering, chaos, and noise and silence as a representation of peace, order, deep reflection and mindfulness.
Bialecki was born and raised in Chicago, IL where he worked for 10+ years as a union laborer and residential/industrial painter and a nationally touring songwriter and recording musician.
Image: "Who Is Simone Holiday?", 2016. Digital photo collage.
Kat Bossi's thesis is an exploration of the creation of personae through social media. Through immersive research and the elaboration of an alter ego, she uses a popular social media platform to explore the ways in which women portray themselves on the Internet. Follow her project on Instagram: @simone.holiday
Bossi was born and raised in Somerville, MA and studied Spanish and studio art at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. She is currently an MFA Candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she has received the Montague Travel Grant and President's Research Award. Her work in video, photography, and performance examines the ways in which the Internet and social media influence our expressions of gender and identity.
Image: "Nancy", 2016. Detail of sculpture. 1 x 1 feet.
Kaeley Boyle's "Nancy," a sculptural video installation, enters the mind of a complex reclusive woman and the world she constructs around her. Exploring ideas of reality, hierarchal systems, gender roles and self, "Nancy" uses visual displacement to question our perceptions of what is correct or necessary.
Boyle is an interdisciplinary artist using painting, video and installation to destroy and rebuild "reality" through perception and illusion.
Image: "Puritanical Twins", 2016. Oil on canvas. 30 x 40 inches.
Through painting, Kathleen Brewster explores the issue of self, multiple pairs or "the twin unit," and the intimate space shared between two closely allied persons. The artist draws from her experience as a fraternal twin, and creates loosely based metanarratives to interpret the internal space and the interaction with the world around itself. Her paintings explore what it takes to ultimately forge individuality, but to also examine sameness and the duality between two corresponding parts.
Brewster is a painter born and raised in Portsmouth, NH. She completed and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, and is a MFA candidate at the School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University.
Image: "Tea Time", 2016. Graphite.
Sarah Brewster's thesis utilizes her familial relationship with her twin sister in a narrative series of figures and their impromptu encounters with their shadows. In these images the shadow functions as a constant, a doppelganger, contributing an element of shared connection—a dialogue of likeness, strangeness, and unity in a shared space.
Brewster is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus in drawing and printmaking. She was born in Portsmouth, NH and received her BFA at the University of New Hampshire. She is currently an MFA candidate at Boston's School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University.
Image: "Table Farm", 2016. Reclaimed wood, steel, ceramic, vessels, fish tanks, growing vegetables, LED grow light. 78 x 22 x 14 inches.
Philana Brown is committed to transforming the urban environment into a vibrant and sustainable home. Through research, sculpture, and photography she examines the potential of sustainable urban gardening practices and high-tech innovations such as LED grow lights that reduce agriculture's environmental impact and reconnect city dwellers with their food sources.
Brown is an artist and educator in Boston, MA. After growing up in Wisconsin she studied sculpture and ceramics at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. While pursuing her MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University, she received the Montague Travel Grant, Chan Sculpture Award, and President's Research Award. Brown has exhibited in Portland, OR; Kansas City, MO; Austin, TX; and Boston, MA and is currently working in Studio Education at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Susan White Brown
Image: "Untitled #1 (In the Fens)", 2016. Oil on canvas. 60 x 72 inches.
Susan White Brown's work attends to the cultural history presented in—and represented by—the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, relative to the natural history of its setting in the Fens. Depicting an uncanny existence of native or displaced Fens species within the human-built and human-occupied structure of the MFA, her oil paintings address reinvention of environment, and edited recording / retelling of historical events, by people and their institutions.
Born in Wiesbaden, Germany, White Brown has a B.A. in Visual Design from Purdue University and has worked as a graphic designer in Seattle, WA, and Boston, MA. She completed the Post-Baccalaureate program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is a 2016 MFA candidate at the School.
Image: "Within", 2016. TV installation, steel, dirt, wood, rubber.
Soyoon Cha draws from her own past with bipolar disorder to reflect the Shadow, surrounding the viewer with a darkness made beautiful, in a collection of moments and metaphors playing on an endless loop in 20+ TV screens. The videos juxtapose decrepit settings with intimate scenes of bodies immersed in elements.
Soyoon works primarily in video, photography, and steel. She is currently finishing her MFA at the SMFA in Boston, where she has resided for the past eight years. She is originally from Seoul, Korea and received her BFA in Photography at the Lesley University College of Art and Design.
Image: "Barite". Charcoal on paper. 14 x 17 inches.
Fotini Christophillis's thesis uses the collection of the Harvard Natural History Museum's earth minerals as a point of departure to investigate organic forms and structures and their relationship to the human experience. She creates her own imagined and invented spaces through an alchemical process arising from direct observation of these complex natural forms. Through a ritualistic, disciplined practice of repetitive drawing, she develops landscapes from another world, with rock formations and clusters of crystal forms revealing the dynamic relationship between visual form and language.
Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Christophillis received a BA degree in Studio Art and Arts Management from the College of Charleston in 2008 where she received an Outstanding Student Award in the Visual Arts. She has received two grants from the South Carolina Arts Commission to present interdisciplinary arts projects, "Delete Apathy: Promoting Environmental Awareness" in collaboration with the Coastal Conservation League, and "You Are Safe" as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Currently her work is on view in "Drawing Connections", a Students Curate Students group exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Image: "Language Producing Factory", 2016. Still from performance video.
Furen Dai's video work begin with her research on a Secret Women Language called NvShu, which was originated and developed as a secret code among women in Hunan Province, China. Through research she discovered that though the language has lost its functionality, women who know the language have been pressured into performing their cultural activities as entertainment for tourists for menial wages. She has presented a language factory in her video and the act of producing secret women language as art object to sell to people who don't have access to the meaning of the language.
Dai is a Chinese artist, currently living and studying in Boston, MA, United States. Dai graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University with an undergraduate degree in Russian. She addresses language and literature associated with traditional Chinese culture in her work and is also engaged in a discourse around the position of being between two cultures and a cross-cultural exchange.
Image: "To live in the to live", 2016. Video and photography.
Deng Dekuan's work focus on extras in film "To Live," which is a 1994 Chinese epic film directed by Zhang Yimou. I will use different video and photo form to represent the extras in this film. Through moving and still images, I try to find and creat some new information from these extras.
Dekuan was born in Jinan, China in 1990 and works predominantly in the medium of video and photography. He completed a BFA at Shandong art university in 2013 and is currently in the MFA program at the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Andrea Dillon's work in Cyclorama draws upon her performance background in dance, and conjures questions about interpersonal relationships. What is it to be separated from others in a physical space even when there is close proximity? Her sculptures create a quiet void, mimicking the wings of the stage, which viewers may enter.
Dillon received a BS in Childhood Studies from Plymouth State University (2007) and is an MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (2016). Her practice includes painting, drawing, performative gestures, site specific work, and installation. She has been a teacher for nine years and has a studio space at SOWA.
Image: "I'm exploding...just too slowly for anyone to take notice", 2016. Archival pigment print, pigment and resin. 16 x 20 inches.
Amanda Elam is fine artist and photographer dealing with the complexities of mental health, illness, and wellbeing in her work. Through a hybrid photographic/painting/sculptural practice, she investigates the psychological space of a person to create abstract portraits that represent the emotional intricacies of the human mind. Most recently, she has created self-portraits exploring her own experiences with panic disorder, anxiety and depression.
Elam was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Brooklyn College and is a MFA candidate at the School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University. She is currently based out of Providence, RI.
Image: "Within Gold Clouds", 2016. Process image from sculptural installation. 15 x 15 feet.
Within Gold Clouds is a sculptural installation that materializes his struggle to come to terms with Jeremy Endo's Japanese-American upbringing. Through extensive academic research, he discovered that his distance from Japan, screens, and access to the internet have the power to manifest as surrogates of Japanese rituals and lifestyles.
Endo earned his B.S. in art at Skidmore College in 2014. He is a conceptual artist who works on a project by project basis with Manga comics, internet imagery, and Eastern to Western traditional and popular cultural forms to show how culture directs our interpersonal relationships and interactions.
Image: "The J.P.B Mash," 2015. Digital.
Tyler Giordano's "Recyclorama" imagery derives from the successful ideas of artists Paul Philopoteaux, Judy Chicago, and Buckminster Fuller. Giordano's Gesamtkunstwerk distorts and reinterprets imagery from said artist's installations within the Boston Cyclorama in an attempt to further philosophical strides in synergetics and present burdens of modern endeavors.
Born in 1990, Giordano is a native Floridian and multimedia artist whose work delves into the exploration of alternative histories and the collapsing of time.
Performance: Friday, May 20 at 8:30 pm
Image: "Roving Cart", 2016. Artist drawing of planned performance featuring projections, drawings and light.
Mariana Gutheim's light drawings activate the site—augmenting other artist work, drawing attention to architectural details—while interfacing with the public. The ephemerality of her work contrasts with the perpetuity of architecture. Roving Cart is the combination between a fugacious performance, an architectural intervention and the augmentation of the viewer interaction with art work.
Gutheim (b. 1986, Buenos Aires) is an interdisciplinary architect and artist. Combining architectural abstractions, light, and technical drawings, Mariana develops site-specific interventions formulated as a direct response to the perceptual qualities, physical conditions and surrounding influences of a certain location or space.
Image: "Kite", 2016. Basswood, screenprints, steel pipe. Stacked 8" x 8" x 8" cubes.
Rina Ito's Kite first alludes to Japanese architecture and aesthetics, and borrows from modular origami techniques. Viewers are invited to engage with the piece, collapsing and expanding its individual layers and moving with the device. Once the viewer is able to take control of the movement of the layers, Kite is experienced.
"My work always begins in printmaking, and utilizes its ability for repetition in order to create illusionary effects of geometric forms. I am interested in Japanese aesthetics and architecture, and pull from my background in science and finance. From "repetition", I enjoy engaging the audience and creating interactive experiences, whether in smaller artist books to larger sculptural pieces."
Max Avi Kaplan
Image: Porcelain plates from the installation "Big Night for You?," 2016. Porcelain plates. 10 inches.
The first iteration of Max Avi Kaplan's Big Night For You? was conceived, produced, and exhibited at the Hochschule für bildende KünsteHamburg. This work is composed of three image object hybrids that invite an interactive exploration where viewer becomes voyeur and objects entrap images. Panels, Pyramids and Plates engage the viewer in a meditation referencing the thinly layered illusions created by the veneer of a glamorous image.
Kaplan works with photography, sculpture and installation. He received a BA in Art History and an MA in Visual Culture: Costume Studies from New York University and is currently an MFA candidate at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Kaplan's work explores the psychological fragmentation of glamour as an illusion imbedded on the surface of designed objects that recede in space. He received an Art School Alliance Fellowship from the Hochschule für bildende KünstHamburg and more recently SMFA's Boit Award. His work is exhibited internationally, most recently at the Yuan Art Museum in Beijing.
Image: "Origin Series #7", 2016. Acrylic on mixed media detail cut of 16 x 20 inches.
Sawool Kim creates 'mindscape' painting, drawing, and mixed media work. She builds up a database of individual drawings from her lucid dreams and conscious imagination. Based on this drawing database, she paints chain-reaction images and narratives in paintings. In the mixed media works, she recreates her hypnagogic imagery into actual objects and visualizes illusion.
Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up there. Since she has been a lucid dreamer for long times, her verbal recording and drawing resources have been core parts of her practice. She currently is a graduate student at SMFA. She lives and works in Cambridge, MA.
Image: "#1 from Incomplete Boxes", 2016. Digital prints, Acrylic sheets. 8 x 6 x 8 inches.
In Incomplete Boxes, Taebyoung Kim takes photographs of various residential buildings in the Boston area, creates boxes using the photographs, and builds miniature houses with them. Incomplete Boxes is about the desire to settle and "assemble" a private or secure space of one's own, and alludes to the social obstacles surrounding such desires that make it difficult to do so.
Taebyoung is a visual artist who produces image manipulations and graphics that self-referentially bring attention to digital technology and craft process. He often fuses physical and virtual elements in his work. A native of Seoul, South Korea, Taebyoung received his BA in Film Studies from Chung-Ang University and worked as an independent filmmaker in Seoul. He is an MFA candidate at SMFA.
Soo Young Kim
Image: "Window", 2016. Horse hair, human hair, bandage adhesive. 4 x 4 inches.
The first part of Soo Young Kim's thesis work, a life size horse (half of the body coming out of the wall) is made from a Kozo fibers, connecting back to her Korean heritage as Kozo fibers are traditionally used for Korean paper, to create an airy, ephemeral, freedom evoking senses, along with condensed energy within the horse sculpture. The second part will include nine stitchings made with horsehair and the artist’s hair mimicking the image of a horse eye.
Kim is a Korean born artist who has been studying and living in the USA for 12 years. After graduating from high school, she pursued her focus in ceramics and installation. This lead her to explore various media to work in the 3-D sculptural works about her own life story and soul searching process.
Image: "No. 24", 2016. Fabric, rope, plaster, and wire. 78 x 22 x 14 inches.
Julia Kwon constructs traditional Korean patchwork and invents textile by overloading patterns that are perceived as Korean to question the notion of "Koreanness" and "femininity." By meticulously recreating the colorful patterns, she celebrates and cherishes her cultural background. However, through overburdening the textiles with "ethnic" patterns and treating the human-scale figures like objects, she not only conveys her experience of being objectified and judged superficially, but also expose and undercut the very preconceptions people may have based on her gender and ethnicity.
Kwon was born in Virginia and studied studio art at Georgetown University. She is a MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University creating painting, sculpture, and textile art. She has received awards such as SMFA's Montague Travel Grant, Boit Award Honorable Mention, KOWINNER's international art competition Chosen Homeland: Searching for Woman's Identity and Unity, Lepgold Phi Beta Kappa Award, Georgetown's Outstanding Senior Project in Studio Art, and American Association of University Women's poster competition: Celebrating Women's Voice in Politics and Art.
Image: "Someone is from Everywhere", 2016. Oil, solvents, and canvas.
Using water as a medium, Ryan Leitner creates painted canvases that stretch and bunch on a two dimensional surface. These paintings are then wrapped around a large metal structure that acts as an environment for people to escape into. These installations are also adorned with video screens that help orient the viewer within the space.
Leitner is an interdisciplinary artist working in water marbling techniques, video, installation, and photography. Using these varied mediums, his work concentrates on the nomadic lifestyle that stems from his Navy family. Leitner is currently working towards his thesis show, as well as a residency at the Plumbing Museum that starts September of 2016.
Image: "A Dozen Pieces of Meat" (detail), 2016. Oil on wood panels. 11 x 14 inches.
There are two parts of Tianqi Lu's final thesis project: A Dozen Pieces of Meat, which consists of 12 oil paintings of pieces of raw meat painted life size on a wood panel (11 x 14 inches), and Curing People, which includes six oil paintings of figures in positions of physical suffering (9 x 12 inches). Both series examines consumption, suffering, and life and death.
Tianqi was born in China. He got his Bachelor Degree of Oil Painting from Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China. His works focus on modern life, usually begin with a simple idea describing the events he has witnessed, photos he has taken, or people he has met, and then transform them into live characters on canvas. In a way, his works resemble a production set where he acts as a director who collaborates with actors to play, record, or recreate a situation, various impressions, or the effects thereof.
Image: "Jay near green walls", 2015. Photography.
Vinny Martin is a photographer working with his own biography to investigate larger social issues. Martin's most recent body of work documents his close group of friends as they navigate the complexities of becoming adults in a former industrial city with few economic opportunities. Martin's photographs explore connections between labor and self-destructive behavior.
Martin is an American artist and photographer born in Fall River, MA in 1987. Martin received his BFA from Umass Dartmouth in 2009 and worked as a freelance photographer before beginning the MFA program at the Museum School in 2014. In January 2016 Martin was included in the exhibition "Neither Here Nor There" at the Yuan Art Museum in Beijing.
Image: "The Screen", 2016. Projection mapping installation.
Arturo Mejia is interested in the influences that social constructs have upon our perception of everything we see. Mejia’s video installation The Screen is a distilled representation of visuality that offers the viewer an experience that will increase awareness of the cultural filter that colors our visual perception. Mejia’s intention is to raise our awareness of the automaticity of the act of signification and to instill a new skepticism in is as consumers of images.
Mejia is a first generation native of Los Angeles whose work is inspired by the combination of that American urban sprawl and the Mexican village life of his extended family. This first-hand bicultural experience has increased his awareness of natural and urban environments and contrasting social structures, contexts, and perceptions all of which inform his work.
Image: "Tina, major in heritage management, arrived 2013, from Sichuan, China", 2016. Archival pigment print. 25 x 30 inches.
Xiaoxue Mo's project, Brought by waves is a photographic project that foregrounds the displacement and adaptation that occurs with the migration of Chinese intellectuals. This project is based on research and then a visual re-articulation of the histories of the diaspora of Chinese intellectuals.
Mo was born in Chongqing, China. She got her Ph.D. in Ecology by study the impacts of local traditional forest management on a tropical seasonal rainforest in Southwest China, and now she is a MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She carried her interest in diversity and ecosystem into her art practice.
Image: "Untitled", 2016. Paper, Cyanotype, Van dyke Brown, Pallets, Clipboards, Ink. 14 x 8 feet.
Joseph Moccia's installation combines photography, sculpture, and printmaking to visual depict the United States control of the economies of our southern neighbors in the Americas. He explore this vast scenario in a way that looks at a multitude of aspects: the control by U.S. companies of the profits from crops that were grown in other countries; the management, sometimes by violent means, of the laborers working for those companies; and U.S. military interventions that deposed of democratically elected local leaders who disagreed with or interfered in policies by these U.S. corporations.
Moccia was born in Dunedin, FL. He attended the University of South Florida where he received his BA in studio art and moved to Boston, MA to pursue his MFA. As an MFA candidate at Tufts/SMFA he explored alternative process in photography as well as exploring many other mediums.
Image: "Back Splash (detail)", 2016. Acrylic on canvas. 68 x 64 inches.
Catrina Morbidelli uses painting to explore and question notions of femininity, as they have been passed down from generation to generation. Drawing from pattern and imagery that has surrounded women in both their domestic and daily lives, the work struggles to understand the meaning of matriarchal tradition, and the weight that it puts on being a woman in contemporary society.
Morbidelli was born in San Francisco, CA and studied studio art at Sonoma State University, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is currently a MFA Candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and works primarily with painting, printmaking and drawing.
Image: "Grief", 2016. Still from video.
Chelsea Nee's thesis work is based on the ideas behind grief and how this untangle emotion is felt and dealt with by herself and her mother. Looking into the personal relationship she had with her deceased grandparents and the home that she shared with them. Nee is answering the question "how does one deal with grief." Her video bridges the gap between memory and the realties after the loss of a loved one.
Nee was born and raised in a small town in Maine. She received her BFA in photography from Montserrat College of Art in Beverly MA and is a MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University. Based in Marlborough MA, Nee is building her own photography business.
Sara Oliver Gomez de la Vega
Performance: Friday, May 20, every 20 minutes
Image: "Hemisphere I", 2016. Cardboard, fabric, paint, speakers.
Sara Oliver Gomez de la Vega's DUONO, before split, is an installation composed of three interactive painting–sculptures that incorporate sound, smell, animation, as well as an accompanying performance piece. The work uses sensorial elements to provoke experiences of disruption and haunting. Meant to be a reflection on our binary nature and the elements that live outside or at the limits of our perceptive spectrum, DUONO recreates physical experiences that we experience in the milliseconds before trauma.
Spanish artist Oliver Gomez de la Vega majored in painting at Complutense University of Madrid. As a current MFA candidate at Boston's SMFA/Tufts University, she works in painting, sculpture, sound, and animation to create installations that play with un/making sense and dis/order to explore self/perception and our quotidian resistance to embodiment. She is the recipient of the recently received SMFA's 2015 Boit Award.
Image: "The Elephant in the Room", 2015. Acrylic on canvas. 48 x 50 inches.
Fritz Pielstick maintains a nuanced and multidisciplinary art practice that situates the artist as a constant consumer and producer of information. His recent work uses text as a common thread, exploring how the incorporation of written language onto the canonized surfaces of visual art obfuscates the distinction between reading and seeing. With a distinctly irreverent and often satirical bent, and a heavy dose of sarcasm and profanity, Pielstick's often (but not always) politically-charged work ranges from intricately detailed illustrations, to imposing and monolithic slabs of text, to sincere, heart-on-your-sleeve poetry.
Born in Oregon and raised in Southern California, Pielstick finds inspiration in everything from the subversive text art of John Baldessari, to 20th century surrealism, to 1970's psychedelic album covers. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Southern California, with a B.A. in Political Science.
Image: "A Myth of Our Own Creation", 2016. Oil, wood, mylar, pins and wire. 48 x 192 x 24 inches.
Kate Rasche's modular paintings examine the fabrication and accessibility of the contemporary American wilderness. She collages imagery from site visits, memory, and Google Earth to reconcile the aesthetic of the Western landscape tradition with our current methods of framing the natural world.
Rasche grew up on the Maine coast and studied painting at Skidmore College. Her work addresses ideas of landscape and wilderness, incorporating elements of painting, sculpture and installation. She has exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and throughout the Northeast.
Image: "Exhaust IV", 2016. Etching.
Emily Reinauer's installation explores this topic of direct and indirect consequences of industry through the medium of print and artist's books. It examines how obsolete and declining industries directly affect society, the landscape, and the environment. She observes how they may also indirectly affect not only the industries that follow, but also whatever may come to exist on these former industrial sites.
Reinauer received her BFA in Illustration from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and is currently a graduate student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, working primarily in printmaking. Her work, influenced by her years spent in New Bedford, Massachusetts, addresses the economical and social consequences of obsolete industries, and the modern dilemma of humans’ growing detachment from nature.
Image: "The Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE)", 2016. Detail of installation.
Maryam Safajoo has constructed a three dimensional representation of a BIHE classroom that has suffered a raid by Iranian authorities. The BIHE is an educational institution created by the intensely persecuted Bahá'í religious minority in Iran whose members are not allowed to study or teach in the country's universities. This installation gives observers the opportunity to enter into a space dedicated to education that has been invaded, interrupted, and arrested.
Safajoo raises awareness of the persecution of the Bahá'ís in Iran through her art, which includes painting, film, sculpture and installation. She is an active advocate for the Bahá'ís in Iran who have been denied access to higher education since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Her advocacy has led her to be interviewed by the Voice of America and BBC, as well as having an article recently featured in the Boston Herald.
The Safarani Sisters
Image: "Alone", 2016. Oil color on wood. 55 x 48 inches.
There are moments that are beautiful, strange and wonderful. The beauty of them is not easy to be seen and recognized, for that one should have knowledge, imagination and sensitiveness.
These moments depict a narrative in which the time floats. It dose not pass. It remains in the mind of the viewer and then it returns to the first moment again and again. (A woman enters the room looks into the mirror. She looks into her eyes, a window to her inner world, and she look for herself). Time exists in a world that is unreal, somewhere that belongs to magical realism. This world could be a dream, a fiction, and a fantasy image of oneself.
The six video-painting installation Presence tries to create a new world from the perspective of humans who live in this magical world and experience a different reality from the one that we call objective. This kind of magical realistic world depicts the real world of those of us whose reality is different from others.
To do less is what we always consider. Indoor and almost empty rooms in our painting point to the world of the character who is trying to think about only one thing, about reconnecting to herself.
Image: "MRI", 2015, Archival Pigment Print.
Paige Schmehl uses photography to investigate the physiological aspects of the human body in pain. Schmehl has accumulated research and medical imagery to help her understand how the body is affected through range of motion internally and externally. She has created self-portraits layering the medical with the personal aspects surrounding her own conditions.
Schmehl was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College for Creative Studies and is currently a MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Paige's practice is currently based out of Boston, MA.
Image: "Utopic Flower Fuckfest", 2016. Oil on canvas, 5 x 6 feet.
Caleb Smith's thesis piece includes two large paintings whose imagery reference the nudist gymnastics of Hans Surén's Mensch und Sonne, an assemblage, and a video piece cataloging through song his paintings created at SMFA.
Smith received his BFA in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts, and his art practice includes painting, sculpture, and installation. He received the President's Research Grant and has exhibited locally at the Piano Craft Gallery and the Dorchester Arts Project.
Lisa Andrea Smith
Image: "Deskilled Coping", 2016. Oil on Canvas. Dimensions based on artist's bra size.
With in each of the pieces in Lisa Andrea Smith's series How to Imagine Sisyphus Happy, something is off, but the colors do not let the viewer know this. By using her own body as reference to construct the frames on which her paintings cling and juxtaposing these different pieces with the same, but shifted color gradient, Smith explores how color trumps form, and tests our empathy.
Smith is a writer and visual artist. She received a BA in Theology and a BFA in Painting and drawing from Hardin-Simmons University and a Post-Baccalaureate from SMFA. Her work explores the aftermath of trauma and how one reconciles the body in that wake. She will be receiving her MFA from Smfa/Tufts University.
Exhibition Location: Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery, SMFA
Exhibition Dates: April 28–May 21, 2016
Image: "irvr7677", 2015. Oil and wax on aluminum. 6 x 48 x 1/8th inches.
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." –Heraclitus
My work provides an opportunity to experience color liberated from pre-assigned definitions, emptied out of all personality—color devoid of metaphor. Intense, raw modulation engages the viewer; color architecture discloses formal structure, providing opportunities to slow down time and focus on the moment before moving on to the next temporal element in the work. Solomon's thesis publication is titled "Joseph Stapleton: Are His Drawings Significant to the History of Abstract Expressionism."
Robert Solomon grew up in Brookline, MA. His work won First Runner Up in the Rome Prize Fellowship in 1973, and he earned his BFA from Pratt in 1974. From 1973 to 1983, Solomon's work was exhibited at four museums (High Museum of Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, and Berkshire Museum) as well as SoHo's OK Harris Works of Art. His thesis exhibition in the Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery marks his fifth.
From 1984 to 2003, Solomon set aside his art career to support his two children working as an international market consultant. A hospital error during radiation treatment in late 2003 caused irreparable damage to his spine as an incurable, progressive nerve root disease began to compromise his mobility. Despite the increasingly intense pain, he returned to the studio in 2013 after friends mounted a retrospective of his early work.
In addition to his research of color and viewer response, Solomon is also an art historian with a specialty in mid-twentieth century art history. He plans to continue to a Ph.D. in History of Art while continuing his studio practice.
Image: "Vamos, pero ya", 2016. Graphite and xerox transfer on paper.
Gabriel Sosa renews ties between the Cuban diaspora and those living on the island through an exploration of the fallibility of memory and the synthesis of fact and fiction.
Both an artist and linguist, Sosa will earn an MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Recent exhibitions include Drawing Connections at the MFA Boston, SKIN at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, and The Independent Artist Fair in London. He is originally from Miami, Florida.
Kim Druker Stockwell
Image: "Madame", 2016. Oil on board. 24 x 30 inches.
Kim Druker Stockwell makes paintings of fictitious women with the intention of revealing the contents of their mind through the depiction of their facial expression and bodily gesture. Their bodies are imperfect, even awkward, but always overtly feminine. The paintings are ambiguously narrative, suggesting specific scenarios and situations featuring these women as individuals with the power to do and be who they want to be and most importantly, to counteract the male gaze.
Stockwell grew up in Boston and went to Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA where she received a BA in art history. Following stints living in Washington, D.C. and New York City, she returned to Boston. Kim completed the Post Baccalaureate degree at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and currently is completing her Masters in Fine Arts at the same institution.
Performance: Friday, May 20, every 20 minutes
Image: "Tears", 2016. Bullets and mylar.
Public memory joins the past of mixed greatness and devastation to the future of potentially peaceful invincibility. In Jessica Tatara's contemporary installation, which confronts school shootings by showcasing books shot by guns, a walkway of bullets of the same caliber as those used in school shootings, and wearable art made of Kevlar, ballistic nylon and protection fabrics.
Tatara integrates poetry, literary analysis, robotic design and installation art in her upcoming projects at Tufts. She holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley and holds awards from the American Lung Cancer Society and Artsbridge America, and has received the UCB Art Department Award of Excellence and the US Congressional Art Award.
Image: "Dee - Dress Right Dress", 2016. Gum Arabic transfer on handmade uniform paper. 22 x 30 inches.
Christine Tinsley's SisterVet is a mixed media project that includes portraits of women veterans printed on handmade paper made from the uniform shirt these women. The creation of the paper is a multi-step, multi-dimensional process, which deals with my desire to unify all the damaged and divided psyches of my sister in uniform, this paper is my joining, our shared lives together.
Tinsley is a Boston based visual and community artist who served her country for 30 years. Her projects include close-up portraits of women veterans building dialogue and solidarity with these women to sweeping landscapes. Christine has been part of numerous group shows and is a Co-Curator of "Violence Transformed" Student/Faculty Show in May 2014–2016.
J. Seth Van Der Eems
Image: "In Remembrance of our Past, In Hope to Our Future", 2016. Charcoal and Graphite on Paper. 54 x 156 inches.
J. Seth Van Der Eems' thesis work, collectively titled A Drawing Room, investigates the construction of ideas and objects through Individual mark. The works span large-scale drawing, woodworking, and invitational experience to set aside a space for communion in an attempt to re-democratize the historically creative and academic space.
Van Der Eems is a research-based draftsman based in Boston, MA. He studied Fine Art at Asbury University before becoming an MFA candidate at Tufts University and SMFA. His thesis work received several research awards including the SMFA President's Research Award and the Montague Travel Grant.
M. Sylvia Weintraub
Image: "A Ways Away", 2016. Participatory sculpture / artist's books. Dimensions variable.
Public spaces provide an occasion for individual anonymity and disengagement. To incite conscious deliberation of human relationships and social presence, M. Sylvia Weintraub's artworks take the form of re-designed furniture and journalistic materials. By applying concentrated effort to banal social procedures, an opportunity to reconsider the type and quality of human collaboration arises.
Weintraub is an American-born artist from Iowa City, IA. Her work imagines an uncontrived intersection between deliberate aesthetic sensibilities and utilitarian objects to address perfunctory human behavior. Weintraub will be pursuing her Ph.D. in Fine Arts at Texas Tech University in the fall.
Performance: Friday, May 20, every 20 minutes
Image: "BUT HOW DOES ONE EVEN MAKE A PAINTING AT A TIME LIKE THIS, ANYWAY?", 2015. India ink and graphite on primed canvas, 96 x 120 inches.
Jonathan Weiskopf presents text-based works from a number of ongoing projects: an 8 x 10 foot canvas delves into the existential pondering of a pessimistic art-world producer; an 8 x 16 foot flow chart scrawled with chalk directly onto the gallery walls diagrams the artist's literary, theoretical, political, pop-cultural, and art-historical references and forebearers; an 18,000 page, 59 volume library is comprised of hand-written books containing lists, rewritten culturally significant texts, and entries from the artist's journal. Weiskopf will perform his repetitive, neurotic writing process for the duration of the exhibition.
Weiskopf is a Boston and New York based interdisciplinary artist whose work encompasses painting, writing, bookmaking, performance, curating, and conceptual practices. He attended the School of Visual Arts (BFA Photography, 2012) and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA, 2016). His work has been exhibited at institutions nationally and internationally including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Royal College of Art in London.
Image: "Phantom", 2015. Bleach on canvas. 20 x 24 inches.
Anthony Young's thesis tests the power of cultural imprinting using the history of the black image through a series of drawings and paintings using unconventional materials such as bleach and gunpowder. These materials signify how violence, fetishization, and racial stereotyping associated with the black body have been branded into the black psyche.
Young is a visual artist, born and raised in Charleston, WV. His work celebrates the intersection of race, gender, and identity; while questioning how blackness is shaped in society by social media and other more violent and destructive means such as profiling and mass incarceration. He received his BA at West Virginia State University, and is an MFA candidate at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University.
Image: "Tian Xia Wei Gong", 2016. Still from documentary.
In Yang Yang's documentary, three Chinese immigrants working in Boston's Chinatown explore the history and meaning of "Tian Xia Wei Gong" through conversations, autobiographical monologues, and integrated movement pieces. Tian Xia Wei Gong (????) means "the world is one community for all," a Chinese idiom. This phrase is the symbol and philosophy for Boston's Chinatown.
Yang is a Chinese artist, was born in Beijing, China in 1991 and currently living and studying in Boston, MA, United States. She is a MFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University. Her documentary addresses issues of privacy, intimacy, and urban life associated with traditional Chinese music. Her film reveals the collective history of the Chinese in the United States through conversations, autobiographical monologues, and theatrical movement pieces.
Image: "Digital Rendering of A Monument to Sheep", 2016. Mixed Media (EPS foam, wood, paint, and recycled materials), 14 x 8 x 14 feet.
Hilary Zelson's "A Monument to Sheep" is an installation that responds to the Cyclorama, and to its inclusion in the thesis exhibition for MFA candidates at SMFA, Boston. The artwork draws upon the history of public artwork in Boston, adds a hint of institutional critique, and touches upon conversations surrounding environmentalism in the Anthropocene.
Zelson is a site-specific installation artist. She is working towards her MFA at SMFA, Boston and Tufts University. She earned a BA at Union College in Studio Arts, magna cum laude with honors. Recently, Zelson displayed "Who Wears Wool," a public project in downtown Boston, and exhibited "Elemental," a community art project at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.