An extensive collection of work by the School's undergraduate Senior Thesis students featuring video and film, painting, drawing, performance, sculpture, print making, photography, and more.



Stay in Touch Exhibition On View:
3rd Floor A + B Sides, 230 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115
Saturday May 21–Wednesday May 25, 10 am–5 pm

Public Reception: Saturday, May 21, 5–8 pm


Stay In Touch features the work of the following undergraduate students:

ALEXANDER “GRIFFIN” MILLER

Griffin Miller, born in Portland, Maine, 1993, has lived by the sea all his life. His work draws primarily from his own life. His work often employs a mix of audio and visual poetry, incorporated into video format. The video work is intended as a reflection or meditation upon a significant experience from his life. The experience is more thoroughly digested in the process of art-making, and then reassembled in a condensed version through storytelling or revisualization. The video is imbued with a new, reflective energy, and a distilled emotionality that asks viewers to spend some time with their own thoughts and feelings.

The work is a looping video of a solitary island with different atmosphere/weather patterns, and a few small sculptures made from ceramics and shells.

ALONDRA SEWÁ SMITH CASAS

This project is born from my interest in the geographic, socio-cultural and political relations between Colombia and the United States—the two countries my parents are from. Using footage and images taken by family, this project attempts to provide a different narrative from the usual under-representations and misrepresentations of a place or home to fit into preconceived or prescribed notions and based on lived experiences provide a more realistic and accurate portrait of the reality of a country, its inhabitants and diaspora.

AMANDA KING

Amanda King is an artist living in the United States who works with interdisciplinary media, video and film. Her current work analyzes how technology can be used to generate identity, meaning and purpose. She grew up between the suburbs of New York City and Boston, and currently lives and works in both cities. She is one half of video production company MALA Productions with partner Melaney Portillo. Together, they work to create space for underrepresented identities in media.

I don’t want to be a person anymore is an artist book about technologies, ideologies and subcultures that support the enhancement of “natural” human abilities. The book’s first portion contains research analyzing efforts to improve “Nutrition,” “Energy,” “Sleep,” and “Posture.” Products and methods explored include Soylent (liquid food), Nootropic supplements, standing desks and polyphasic sleep.

Another portion contains documentation of performative experiments conducted in August and January 2015. The artist chronicles attempts to transform her lifestyle based on the advice of tech industry blogs with the intention of becoming more productive. Experiences are depicted in the form of journal entries, to-do lists, infographics and soliloquies, creating a conflicted internal monologue rife with the self-critical desire to be better. A clash between distant, academic texts and personal writings pose questions about humanity’s desire to improve its circumstances, IDWBPA considers what it means to be a human under the influence of Transhumanism, libertarianism and late capitalism. There is an accompanying video piece in which I am interviewing various people working in the tech industry about their daily routines and work environments, as well as their ideologies and hopes/ plans for the future.

ÇAĞIL HARMANDAR

Çağıl was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1992. She attended Uskudar American Academy from 2006 to 2011. She was accepted into the School of Museum of Fine Arts in 2011. During a short leave of absence (2012-2013) she attended the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts Academy, Istanbul. In her exchange semester in the junior year Çağıl studied with the Film Animation Video department at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. Her animations have been featured in several animation festivals including: The Melbourne International Animation Festival, Melbourne, Australia, and Primanima Animation Festival in Budapest, Czech Republic. Çağıl is currently a BFA candidate at the SMFA concentrating on drawing and hand drawn animation.

Overdone Wall consists of a wall stuffed with overwhelming amount of various sequences of paintings keyframes. It aims to resemble and reflect a sketchbook page to consist and preserve the rawness of an un-polished visual idea. I am envisioning every visitor to notice a new smaller sequence every time they look at the whole. The mundane and the convention hiding the poetic metaphor are emphasized with strangely and subtlety distorted human bodies in the middle of motion, awkward poses.

Stretch is a one and a half minute long animation piece of a person’s strange morning rituals.

CAITLIN “CAIT” LITTLE

I am interested in focusing on the technical choices made when creating a documentary and how these choices in turn affect the individual experience of the viewer. With documentaries as the medium, I am looking at how the individual perception has been crafted by the producer’s technical and stylistic choices. Many theorists argued that the traditional definition of a ‘‘documentary’’ is not so simple. Compared to other stories, documentaries are constructed representations of the world, but the intentions of the narrator or the producer are not always evident. There is an implied level of trust between the producer and the audience, but documentaries are innately shaped and biased by the information that is excluded by the producer. I am working with home movies originally shot in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

CHRISTOPHER “CHRIS” CHIVINGTON

Chris Chivington is a BFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. His video work has been shown at Harvard Art Projects, Bhoomi Art Space, and Gallery 535. He currently lives in Boston.

For this project, I have been creating sculptures, digital images, and video that imitates the iconography that the United States justice system uses to create its facade of morality. The monuments, interiors, and architecture that adorn its facilities, courthouses, and prisons, and the photographs and digital media that it relays to the public, all serve to maintain an aura of legitimacy, that the operation of the law is timeless, ahistorical, objective, and just. Through the investigation of these media I attempt to critique the injustices and expose the fallacies that allow our society to guiltlessly keep approximately seven million people either in cages or under crippling "community supervision." The impetus for my project began on September 4, 2014, when my boyfriend was suddenly taken away by the federal police. In the ensuing months I watched him become dehumanized and criminalized by the legal machine. In "Ronald Travis versus the United States," my only role was to provide a statement to use as evidence against him. My true voice was silenced. In this work, my goal is both to fashion my own claim to legitimacy and also investigate the creation of legitimacy itself.

CLAIRE SOWA

Claire is an interdisciplinary artist from Southern California. She is currently based in Boston and expects a BFA from the SMFA in 2016.

Presented as an interactive installation, EX-PHRASIS acts as a platform to facilitate viewer conversation about gallery art. The app asks art viewers to look and consider an artwork as they view it, turning the passive viewer into an active participant.

COOPER BECKEL

Beckel grew up in Los Angeles in 1993. He attended a Waldorf school, and has been influenced by Rudolf Steiner's epistemology. He has also been heavily influenced by Hollywood and the Los Angeles film and art industries. The contemporary city has become a challenge for him, and has enticed him to study the urban landscape and the ecological ramifications that result from contemporary urban life. He has become especially interested in the ways cultural products are used to shape commerce, and how debris from these products lead to global psychosis; psychosis both in the minds of people, and also in the molecular, physical matter of the planet. He is currently fascinated by geopolitics, information systems, cyborgian technologies, genome editing, and steganography. He hopes to elaborate on these studies after art school and create art, for a time, focused on non-humans, and post-humans (such as in vitro humans, cloned animals, satellites, and security cameras). He is a lifelong artist, draftsman, writer, sculptor, and maker of movies.

As described in the aesthetics of narcissism; video is a psychological medium. Video is not the mirror, and video is not film; it is an art form in which one confronts the self ‘live’; live, but with a delay. Unfortunately, many of the screens that we view videos on are flat, and the depth of our video selves become lost in the two dimensionality of the computer monitor, the phone, or of the 2d face‘book’. There is a psychological depth untapped in these technologies, a confrontation that takes place within the persona, a confrontation that takes place within the digital persona is limited by the flatness of the everyday interaction with these technologies. By using these screens against themselves, using them to create depth, or to move away from a flatland; in other words, by re-positioning the contemporary screen and using it in uncanny ways, we might confront a digital persona that often remains dormant. There are many artists who have dealt with this: Bruce Nauman, and Nam June Paik being two inspirations in this specific field. This work will use video-feedback in order to address the persona.

DAEL MUNDY

Dael Mundy is a born and raised New York-based artist exploring the dynamics and restrictions of the body. Coming from a background in sculpture, photography, and film, Dael uses a variety of her artistic talents to create a space of conversation with the viewer. This space allows the viewer not only to critique the work of art, but find a place within the piece where they can fit and further critique themselves. Currently a graduating senior at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Dael has focused on video art, receiving two honorary awards in her practice between 2015 and 2016. Dael’s work has been shown in several exhibitions such as The Howard Art Projects, Femme Factory’s “Art in the Dark,” annually in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Photography Exhibition, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts. She has also had experience working professionally in the art world with names like Cue Arts Foundation, The New Museum of Contemporary, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Armenian Museum of America.

The relationship that one has with oneself is vastly complex and deeply personal, influenced by events throughout their lives, loving and suffering. When thinking about the deep complexities of the psyche, the complicated thought process that one goes through when trying to describe their insecurities, words seem to flounder under intense feeling and anxieties. This failure is resolved aesthetically in Dael’s new video piece Self Medication. Within the work, Mundy explores the limitations and boundaries one may create for themselves, in the face of self deprecation. By using her own body as subject matter, Mundy films, edits, and projects reproductions of herself in conversation. These projections interact, talk, argue, and ignore each other's needs and wants, illustrating the struggle that she goes through with herself for the viewer. Although seemingly egocentric in nature, Mundy seeks to open a truthful conversation about self deprecation and mental health. By allowing herself to be vulnerable, she hopes to create a safe space for her viewer to discuss the limitations they give themselves, and furthermore, how the conversation of self deprecation and mental health is taboo in American social norms.

FANI AVRAMOPOULOS

Fani Avramopoulou is a poet, installation artist, and Anne Carson devotee.

JEANETTE MILLER

Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Jeanette Miller is currently finishing her BFA in Fine Arts and Art History at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tufts University in Medford. As an artist and art historian, she is interested in bridging the two fields in her studio practice. Her work draws upon her interest in and experience with working in museum settings as an archivist, researcher and curator for the Tulane Libraries, the Edward Gorey House, and Boston Athenæum. These experiences have shaped her interest in institutional-based studio work. Jeanette’s work has been exhibited in a solo show at the St. John’s Episcopal School in Dallas, and in group exhibitions at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary. Her curatorial pursuits have been featured at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Athenæum.

My thesis considers my interests in museum collections, museology, and, more specifically, my work as an intern at the Boston Athenæum’s Art Department. As an intern at the Boston Athenæum’s Art Department, I have become aware of the fragments that have been shed from frames and statues from the collection during the Athenæum’s history, as well as the “fragmental” denotations that have arrived at the museum over its 200+ years. Many of the fragments are impossible to trace to their origins, and are housed in archival boxes in the Art Department’s storage facilities. It is largely unknown if their original “sites” have been adequately restored, and it is unlikely that these fragments as they exist now will ever be displayed as part of the Athenæum’s art programming. Similarly, the Athenæum retains many donations that are difficult to research and categorize because of their spotty provenance, and that are unlikely to be exhibited because they fall outside of the Athenæum’s scholarship. Many objects are gathered together in archival storage boxes with labels such as “FRAGMENTS, MISC.,“ “BITS OF PIECES,” and “FRAGMENT BOX A-F.”

My interest in institutional practice, specifically, the origin and design of museum period rooms, has prompted me to make an installation that combines these interests with the “fragments” at the Athenæum. Creating and installing photographic tessellated textiles, I aim to create an installation space that evokes the history of the Athenæum and of museum period rooms where these objects can be “viewed” and “interacted with.”

My goal is to create an installation piece that will act as a home for these fragments and odd donations. I plan to create three distinct patterns using images of the Athenæum’s fragments - two textile and one wallpaper – which will be take the form of a 20th century museum period room. My installation will follow the format of a period room, an environment that, in a museological sense, represents other antiquated and difficult to categorize objects, such as furniture and textiles, as to provide a visible home for these objects.

JENNA SHERMAN

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and now residing in Boston, MA, Jenna Sherman is in the final stages of earning her BFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She focuses in portrait oil painting, sound, and electronic music production, combining these elements to express her synesthesia condition (a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway). When she listens to music she experiences bursts and textures of color. Jenna also is a DJ, performing every weekend in the city of Boston; she is very interested in the energy of the crowd and influencing people’s energies through music. With these interests she is combining the elements of music and painting to better understand the energy and soul of her subjects. The result is an intertwining of music, paint, relationship to the subject, and interpretation of her subject’s energy through these mediums. Experiencing these two worlds, fine art and music, side by side she has discovered how related they truly are. After her completion of her BFA at SMFA, she plans to move back to Los Angeles and further pursue her electronic music production practice and attend one the of the most prestigious Music production schools in the world, Icon Collective.

Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway, I embody the type in which when listening to music I see vibrant bursts of color. This discovery allowed me to make a distinct connection between my interests; electronic music production, DJing, and portrait painting. I believe that everyone exudes energy that is specific to one’s soul, each with a particular aura. When I perform as a DJ the ability to somewhat control the energy of people, or read their energy is crucial to deciding on what songs to play and which direction I will go in. This is also important when painting because the certain music I listen to affects color choices, textures, and movements I make when painting a portrait. With these things in mind I have created a process, which allows me to understand and interpret my subjects energy and soul through music and painting. First I ask for my subject to put together a playlist of music, next I listen to the music and start to paint their portrait, the music allows me to use my synesthesia to translate sound to color, and lastly once the painting is finished I then make a soundtrack by sampling sounds from the music provided. The result is an intertwining interpretation of sound, energy, and my relationship to my subject. I am doing this to help my audience understand synesthesia, experience the energy of the portrait through color, and also understand how one’s identity can be defined with sound.

JENNIFER “JENN” GUARRACINO

Jennifer Guarracino is a visual artist working in a range of mediums, including animation, papermaking, and ceramic sculpture. She is an avid mushroom enthusiast whose work incorporates psychedelic patterns. She grew up in Jersey City, NJ, spending her childhood surrounded by the fruits and vegetables of her father’s produce business. It was there where she became interested in mushrooms, color, and pattern. Jennifer's artworks engage the viewer in a multi-sensory environment, alluding to a state of altered consciousness. Her work is rooted in ideas surrounding death and the processes of life.

Jennifer received a BFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she expanded her skill by teaching and working as a studio manager in the print/paper area and ceramics area. Her animation, “Eat Me” has been screened at the D.U.M.D Animation Festival, New York in 2014. She has also exhibited handmade paper work in the Print/Paper Area Show in The Well Gallery at SMFA in 2014 and in the Weems Gallery at SMFA in 2016. She completed an internship with InMobi as one of their general creative experts for a prototype of a phone app and did volunteer work on J.R.’s public art piece, Inside Out Project: Faces of Dudley, in Roxbury, MA, which received media attention from the Boston Globe. She currently works and resides in Boston.

There is an unseen connection between mushrooms and humans. Through this connection we may better understand life’s cyclical pattern and our demise. Mycologist, Paul Stamets states, “we (humans) are more closely related to fungi than any other kingdom.” Mycological After Life is heavily rooted in my interests surrounding death, the continuation of matter, fungi and their interconnectedness.

The installation engages the viewer in an environment that represents mushrooms in various forms of its life cycle. Ceramic mushrooms lie on the ground in dirt, representing death. On the walls ceramic mushrooms appear to be growing, reminding the viewer of growth or life. Above the entire space, wire covered in pulp mimic mycelium roots, symbolizing our life force and persistence of life after death
To enforce the nature of life and sensory experiences we have as humans, multisensory elements such as the earthy aroma of dirt and sound are included. Dirt is used in the installation as a reminder of decay and the earth from which we inhabit. Clay is used because of its natural properties that allow it to be recycled, instilling the cyclical process of life that is being explored.

The body of a mushroom is representational of our human body, a temporal vessel of the soul. Once a mushroom’s body expires it returns to mycelium matter, its original form. I believe once we die we return to our original form, a vessel-less being

JENNIFER “JEN” MURPHY

Jennifer Murphy decontextualizes traditional printmaking by exploring different textile and fabric materials by creating installation realms where the environment of the space leads you through the work. Jennifer prints reduction woodcuts on objects that are overtly feminine to speak to the oppression that women have faced over the years that often include sewing and yarn work to over-emphasize society' assumed women’s work. The work addresses the notions and connotations of what it means to be a female and what it means to feel safe and comfortable while evolving through the stages of trauma and recovery. The transparency of the objects used speaks to the delicate nature of the inner stages of this growth and rebirth while also allowing the viewer to interact with the work by being able to see through different aspects of it to the next.

JOHN KERWIN

John Kerwin is a visual artist working primarily in oil painting. He was raised in north Texas and moved to Boston for his undergraduate studies at Northeastern University in conjunction with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. His work is an exploration and appreciation of bodies and flesh, exploring themes such as the overlooked, vulnerability, and disturbance/trauma of the body. John Kerwin is a visual artist working primarily in oil painting. He was raised in north Texas and moved to Boston for his undergraduate studies at Northeastern University in conjunction with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. His work is an exploration and appreciation of bodies and flesh, exploring themes such as the overlooked, vulnerability, and disturbance/trauma of the body.

John Kerwin is a visual artist working primarily in oil painting. He was raised in north Texas and moved to Boston for his undergraduate studies at Northeastern University in conjunction with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. His work is an exploration and appreciation of bodies and flesh, exploring themes such as the overlooked, vulnerability, and disturbance/trauma of the body. This series of paintings is intended to serve as a visual exploration of the vulnerability of the body, using source imagery from various animals’ organs as well as images of the inside of the artist’s own abdominal cavity. By making the internal external and exposing the overlooked, this work aims to highlight both the beauty of the meat that makes up the body as well as its tenderness and fragility.

MARISSA MALIK

Marissa Malik is a Boston based artist working predominantly in the mediums of silkscreen and painting. Through her complex use of patterns and symbols based on Mexican and Pakistani visual culture, she creates commentary on the condition of her biracial/biethnic upbringing. Her work explores the ways we construct what we identify as “American”, how immigration and terror in the past 20 years has affected the American racial majority populations’ treatment of brown bodies, and racial hierarchies.

This piece is deeply rooted in the ambivalent, yet intimate connection I have with upper-middle class suburban Connecticut as a racial and ethnic minority. My father is from Pakistan and mother is Mexican-American. Growing up with my identity as an American repeatedly contested by my peers, in addition to modes of ethnic guilt constantly being imposed upon me via my racial status, the idealized environment of a predominantly white suburban town was counteractive in regards to my own ability to achieve self acceptance. This phenomenon is not uncommon amongst minorities, and yet this specific apex of questioning is often unique to bi-racial and bi-ethnic Americans. In creating my fence segment, I am drawing upon the implications fences have with representing white flight and inherent systematic racism ingrained in suburban communities. Furthermore, it symbolically correlates to issues of Mexican immigration to the United States, as well as the contemporary question of how we address Islamophobia in a post 9/11 society through my use of iconographic signifiers.

MEGHAN CAVENEY

Born, raised and residing in the Greater Boston area, Meghan Caveney is pursuing a BFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as well as a second major in Biology at Tufts University. She has also studied at sea via the Sea Education Association’s Protecting the Phoenix Islands program where students sailed for six weeks through the central Pacific island nation of Kiribati. Her research on Salp population density and distribution in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area has been published at SEA. Cited as a highly influential experience, the expedition has informed not only Caveney’s major in biology, but has motivated her to closely examine her use of material in creating visual art. This preoccupation with material has been supplemented by Caveney’s experience working in SMFA’s woodshop since 2012 and co-building a lightweight amphibious aircraft – Progressive Aerodyne’s Searey. She has shown her work at multiple SMFA area shows as well as at a Live Learn Act benefit in 2014. In the future, Caveney intends to continue riding the fine line between scientific research and fine art making through participating in various expeditions to the Anthropogenic wild.

n. “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry”

This is a definition for one of the greatest developments made by our species. Advances in n. Technology have been directed not only by our interests as a society in the betterment of the quality of human life, but also by a creative and intellectual tendency to push the limits of what we know to be real. As a visual artist I am captivated by and even proud of these advances, but am also critical of their implications.

There is more than ever a reliance on modern technology to extend our capabilities beyond what we can naturally produce. As a society, we heavily invest in efficiency: create more, better, faster – and there is a massive industrial infrastructure to support this model. In the purification of ‘raw’ materials (refined metals, paper, fertilizers, plastics, and so on) that form our consumables, we have as a species inadvertently changed the face of the planet. Advances in technology, it seems, have created a ‘byproduct culture’ that has solidified our movement into the Anthropocene. A core concern of my work, some visible byproducts of our consumerist society are brought front and center as it relates to this newly recognized epoch. To understand my most recent work, it is essential to look deeper into the history of the materials familiar to us. In using simple ready-made products such as computer paper and aluminum cans, I hope to expose the significant journey this material has already undergone. Entering the Anthropocene, critically analyzing these connections will be essential to our survival within a closed system.

MELANEY “MEL” PORTILLO


Melaney Lisha Portillo is a first generation Latina artist with a focus in film and video, born and raised in New York. She is interested in bringing awareness to struggles faced by minority groups, specifically femmes of color and Latinos in the United States. She is one half of MALA Productions, a video production company that she founded in collaboration with Amanda King. Together, they work to create a space for underrepresented identities in media arts.

Sudor, a non-fiction film, is a portrait of Portillo’s immediate family. The artist was motivated to produce this film after realizing how different her life experience as first generation Latina was from most of her peers. It pushed her to create a piece that not only represented a story and experience she was familiar with, but one that marginalized groups could relate to. Narratives about marginalized groups are often made by people who don’t have any connection or ties to the people or culture. The people in this film are not strangers or a culture that caught the artist’s interest, they are her family.
In telling their stories, the film will expose topics of discrimination and inequality immigrants face and the hard work and perseverance that it takes to raise a family in a foreign country.

MIRANDA MAREAN

Born and raised in New York City, Miranda Sonia Marean grew up in a family of artists and teachers. Venturing outside of NYC for the first time, Marean went to Northeastern University in Boston where she received a BFA in Studio Art with a minor in Psychology. Marean has always been interested in the intersection of the arts and sciences; her work often explores memory and dreams through the lens of psychology. Marean’s art uses photography and drawing to create visual narratives. Her two most recent artist’s book projects Dreamer and ...and Dad ran away with his squire. / ...and her cyber boyfriend got a real life girlfriend. will be on display at Gallery 360 and the SMFA respectively. Marean will be moving to Chile in January 2017 for two years as part of an education initiative she is creating that will provide art and English lessons to at-social risk youth.

The artist's book project ...and Dad ran away with his squire. / ...and her cyber boyfriend got a real life girlfriend. houses within one book. The book is bound so that both stories may be read simultaneously, which allows the viewer to establish connections between the disparate stories that might otherwise be overlooked in a traditional book format. ...and Dad ran away with his squire. is the bridge by which I can access my insight into my childhood and the intersection of my parents’ fictive identities and their actual life experiences.

The artist's book project ...and Dad ran away with his squire. / ...and her cyber boyfriend got a real life girlfriend. houses within one book. The book is bound so that both stories may be read simultaneously, which allows the viewer to establish connections between the disparate stories that might otherwise be overlooked in a traditional book format. ...and Dad ran away with his squire. is the bridge by which I can access my insight into my childhood and the intersection of my parents’ fictive identities and their actual life experiences.
...and her cyber boyfriend got a real life girlfriend. operates in the same capacity but uses my adolescence and my relationship with my boyfriend, which developed through online role-playing.

Both stories are told through two narratives—…and Dad ran away with his squire. moves between the stories I have been told and my own memories whereas …and her cyber boyfriend got a real life girlfriend. uses my personal experiences and saved computer content. These dual narratives are often in disagreement with one another, which is why disparate elements are employed to make distinctions between the various versions of events. The content is differentiated by page size, color pallet, and drawing technique; this enables the viewer to distinguish the varying forms of emotional content without directly addressing the differences. ...and Dad ran away with his squire. / ...and her cyber boyfriend got a real life girlfriend. is the intersection of my fondness and derision over past events that operate somewhere between reality and make-believe.

OLIVIA PORTEGELLO

Olivia Portegello is a New Jersey native currently practicing and residing in Boston. Inspired by personal experiences and everyday observations, she now channels her energy into making zines and text-based work after focusing on photography for most of her career. Olivia frequents festivals such as the Boston Hassle Black Market and zine fests from Philadelphia to Boston to sell her work. Olivia is currently focusing on her Senior Thesis exhibition piece titled Fear Me But Never Leave Me. The piece explores the ideas of stream of consciousness writing, observational writing, and writing from memories. Olivia plans to stay in Boston after graduation and continue her art practice.

I’ve been doodling in the margins of my notebooks since the first time I got a notebook. Once I got interested in art, I would fill pages of sketchbooks with quotes, thoughts, drawings, and all of the doodles you can imagine. For my thesis, I am combining five pages of these drawings from my sketchbook into one cohesive piece on a 30x36 mirror. These are memories from the past 7 years of my life, daily observations, stream of consciousness writing, and various doodles and drawings. I chose to do this on a mirror because, as weird as it sounds, I was inspired by a quote from Charles Manson, “Look down at me and you see a fool, look up at me and you see a god, look straight at me and you see yourself.” I thought it would be interesting to do it on a mirror after thinking about that quote because as you are reading this really messed up stuff about my life and my thoughts and observations you are staring at yourself in the mirror. I was also inspired by the Dada movement and punk movement and their usage of collage and text. My goal with this piece is to make people uncomfortable. No matter what way someone may feel uncomfortable, if you feel it in any way then I have succeeded. I am constantly uncomfortable and I think that the chaotic nature of this piece helps get that across.

PERRI FALK

Visionary artist Perri Falk was born in Moscow, Russia and raised in New Jersey after being adopted from Omsk, Russia at age two and a half. There must be a reason she was given a second chance. Since Perri was little, she has taken pleasure in observing what most may consider the obvious and unuttered “details” of physical reality and eventually psychological reality, which came to her fruition that they are too important not to point out. Her internal and external freedom lets her wander through particles creating space engulfed with detail. She uses shape, color and dimensionality in repetitive process to interpret her experiences. Aside from wandering in space, Perri enjoys drawing and building during her creative leisure. Recently she has kept herself grounded through the iPhone application Daily Horoscope, as a helpful day to day inspiration guide... must be legitimate/significant if it accompanies her 24/7...right? One day she hopes to learn what is encoded in the smallest particles and how to decode with the ability to recode them.

A book in bloom! Alexandra Wollins and I are writing and illustrating a complex adventure book that leaks into an art version of the book (with pop ups, translucent pages, mirrors...oh my!) as well as an immersive environment using projections.

REBECCA “BECKY” STILL

Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Becky Still resides in Boston where she is currently working towards a BFA in graphic design through Northeastern University, and a BFA in fine arts in partnership with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her primary media are photography and graphic arts. Her series Neutral Tones will be on view at Northeastern’s Gallery 360 this spring, and her book Photographic Memory will be on view at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts this May.

About a year ago I spent time exploring my family’s archive of snapshot photography, from both my parents’ childhoods as well as my own. In the process of rifling through albums and overflowing shoe boxes I began to notice similarities between photographs of my father as a child and ones of me. Exploring these similarities was the first phase of this project, in which I questioned the ways that we utilize photographs to accentuate, or fully represent, our memories. This project aims to explore the connection between photography and memory, taking the form of an artist book that includes photographic reproductions from these family snapshots in addition to texts detailing the science behind memory, photography as a way to capture a moment, and the theoretical relationship between the two.

SARAH LAPOINTE

Sarah LaPointe was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts. After 12 years of Catholic school, she came to the SMFA to earn her BFA. While attending the Museum School, she has delved into various art practices such as photography, drawing, and printmaking but primarily considers herself to be a mixed media artist. Much of her work is very impulse and emotionally driven; her early work being centered around traumatic experiences and memories of her early childhood in middle school. Her work acts as a therapeutic tool to vent her frustrations or feelings of anxiety. Currently her work focuses on the exploration of materials and a gradual breaking-down of her own personal boundaries. After graduating from SMFA, Sarah hopes to continue her art practice and is dedicated to becoming a published author of fiction. Her work has been shown at the Howard Art Project in Dorchester MA (2012), HI Boston Hostel (2016) and at the SMFA in Boston MA (2015-2016).

Conceived in 2012 and inspired by Dina Goldtstein’s Fallen Princesses series and Thomas Czarnecki’s From Enchantment to Down, the series Once Upon a Time… / … Happily Ever After consists of self-portraits and still-lifes that pull back the veil of enchantment to reveal darker themes within classic fairytales that have now become prevalent issues in modern society.

In the self-portraits, the artist assumes the persona of each fairytale character in a deeply vulnerable and often hyper-sexualized pose to show how these perfectly fantastical characters are in reality deeply flawed. The work also comments on how their stories of personal struggle have been reduced or completely rewritten by Disney to promote a happily ever after fulfilled only through the dependency on others. The princess cannot achieve her happy ending without being rescued by a charming prince. In these portraits, there is no knight in shining armor to rescue the damsel from her cruel fate. The heroine’s “happily ever after” is not guaranteed. By exploiting herself in these images, the artist demonstrates how society exploits women’s innocence and sexuality. The still-lifes feature recognizable symbols from classic fairytales juxtaposed with contemporary objects to reveal deeper themes behind each story.

Overall, the work questions what it truly takes to achieve a happily ever after in the modern world and how far women are willing to go to fulfill that goal. While criticizing society’s pressure to conform to patriarchal standards and traditional gender norms, the work strongly emphasizes a movement toward an encouragement of individuality.

SEBASTIAN “SEBI” HARRIGAN-LABARCA

Born and raised in the District of Columbia, Sebastian Harrigan-Labarca is currently completing his BFA at the SMFA in Boston. Washington DC provided a very diverse and multicultural upbringing where the artist, Harrigan-Labarca was able to experience many perspectives on life and ways of maneuvering the world. As a result, Sebastian isn’t tied down to a specific medium but rather juxtaposes them depending on their purpose. Working throughout a wide range of mediums and forms, he explores the landscape and materiality of the contemporary urban environment, both physically and virtually. As an extension of the artist’s creative process, he also manages artists, organizes events and started his own media company/ artists collective (Cypher League) which has an online/print publication and recently launched a record label.

My thinking and making starts from a place of trying to understand the world around me. In this way, the concepts I work with and objects I make are a synthesis of the external factors that influence me, most specifically being the experiences that take place in the urban environment surrounding reality and identity. I am focusing on the tension between oppositional contexts, from the street to the studio and the perception of space. I am interested in how fashion and fine art share roots in their materiality and social status as well as maneuver functionality and with ambition. The way we express ourselves through the way we dress is significant on an individual level but also in the way this is manifested in and interacts with space. Through combining the vocabulary of photography, fashion design and sculptural painting, I am exploring the relationship and cyclical nature of high end luxury brands and street culture. The form the works take on vary according to their nature and purpose; whether they are functional ‘fashion pieces’ or ‘fine art’ pieces the questions being asked are similar.

STEPHANIE “STEPH” DAVIS

Stephanie Rae Davis is a cross-disciplinary artist. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in association with Tufts. Growing up in her mother’s art studio left her creating work that merges the decorative and the organic. In her practice, she is also interested in abstracting the natural world to draw parallels with the way it intersects with the human touch and material culture. She lives and works in Boston, MA.

This year, I have been working on a series of sculptures and paintings inspired by my environment during daily walks I take. I collect objects that are in the midst of an organic process of decay, receding from usefulness and facing their eventual displacement into the street. No longer serving the purpose they were created for, the objects receive a new function in the system of my work. My project seeks to create schemes where the objects can function again, in which decay becomes growth. In this process, I explore how human life can be defined by accumulating and discarding material and the effect this has on the natural and inner environment.

WILLIAM “BILLY” NICHOLS

William D. Nichols was born in Iowa City, IA, an oasis of culture nestled in a desert of agriculture. Growing up on a horse farm twenty minutes away from where Grant Wood painted his iconic American Gothic had an inexorable and profound effect on the artist and their understanding of the natural. The vast infrastructure of genetically modified corn, stretching as far as the eye can see, left the artist grasping for more. Their work is centered on the concrete forms of human emotion, legal language, cinematography as choreography, research and scrutinizing the natural.

Landscape(ings) is a project which puts ecology under a critical lens. A lens which, through its own poetic vices, is lacking the precise measuring tools of a scientific methodology. This lack defines ecology, the etymology of which is something like, “the study of home.” How do we situate ourselves in the world? Architecture, urban planning, anthropomorphism, Anthropocene and anthropology are all caught in the nexus of ecological thought. If, as philosopher Graham Harman proclaims, “nature was never natural and cannot be naturalized,” then what are we really doing when we buy organic? A Marxist critique colliding with an absurdist system of excavation, as opposed to analysis, have produced this project, which consists of many facets and will never be complete.

YASMINE BATNIJI

Born in 1994 and raised in West Palm Beach Florida, Yasmine Batniji is a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her upbringing as an Arab American in the United States informs her perception as an artist because she creates alternative narratives. She is interested working interdisciplinary to create immersive digital environments. By using sound, video, and 3D animation she develops a world where multifaceted issues and realists can exist simultaneously in space.

The structural logics of accessible technologies and social media have the political potential to subvert social systems and reassert agency. Examples of how this subversion happens are through memes. Their image, text, social relevance and absurdity convey the potential to subvert political realities.

Through my work I aim to use these logics in order to discuss issues of intersectionality. I create environments in digital spaces that discuss gender, race, and international politics. My work seeks to deconstruct hegemonic symbols and monuments of the United States and Middle East. Ultimately, recontextualizing them through the visual vernacular of video games, I construct new spatial, visual, and sonic realities that critique U.S. perception of the Middle East.