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2013 MFA Thesis Exhibition | Department of Art

Singing For the Mute: MFA Thesis - Painting and Drawing

november, mcad mfa painting alum kayla plosz ’12 participated in a group show at the soo visual arts center here in minneapolis. any mfa program tends to evoke a communal identity and atmosphere, two years among the tightly knit, carefully culled group at risd also seems to finely chisel out a certain type of artist: one with a burning work ethic, a deep pride for one’s craft, and an unpretentious respect for the value of thoughtful production. bought is fine, a small showcase of new work by first year mfa illustrator alanna stapleton, opened on february 22, 2017, in the mcad library gallery. as tas, they offered pointed criticism; amid a bfa program that encouraged students to explore conceptual and performance practice (for one classmate’s senior thesis, our entire class played a game of spin the bottle), a graduate ta would often be more likely to contribute nuanced formal suggestions. february 9 and 10, the mfa program hosted the 2017 thesis proposal presentations. the entire exhibit was curated by jehra patrick, an mcad mfa mentor. “i think that really speaks to what we’re looking for—artists who are already into whatever it is they’re into, who don’t need hand-holding in conceiving of a meaningful project that they’re deeply invested in, but who do want help shaping their practices into better investigatory tools … i also think we attract long-haul, slow-burn types, people who know that looking awesome in their thesis show isn’t necessarily the best gauge of how they’re going to be doing in five or fifteen years. month, minneapolis’ altered aesthetics gallery, housed at the southern theater in the downtown neighborhood, selected second-year mfa candidates yijia li and bianca jarvis to participate in their show entitled “monochromatic. syllabus: a peer-led, non-prescriptive postgraduate alternativechris sharrattkunstakademie karlsruhe: a classical education with contemporary artistsaoife rosenmeyerembracing inquiry at the piet zwart institute master of fine arthuib haye van der werfconsidering tradition, and the election, at yale university school of artowen duffynot for sale: the alternative art school fair at pioneer workswendy vogelpractice makes perfect: the mfa at glasgow school of artchris sharrattread more.

Graduate-Program | Painting | Academics | RISD

month, mfa print, paper, book mentor and mcad adjunct faculty jody williams presented a solo show at the form + content gallery in minneapolis. mcad mfa candidates sishir bommakanti ’18 and alanna stapleton ’18; mfa illustration alum niky motekallem ’16; and mfa mentors zach keenen, allegra lockstadt, and james o’brien all exhibited work as part of a local artist feature in the main gallery. these paintings take specific moments of interaction with the naked body, and ask the viewer to interact with the flesh presented to them in […]. she came to our mfa studios and gallery to meet and speak with three of our students in an intimate setting: sherry muyuan he ’18 (graphic design), alanna stapleton ’18 (illustration,) […]. part of a generation whose college years corresponded with the rapid emergence of the internet, and then social media—at thirty-nine, he is perhaps the program’s youngest director yet—zucker uses a variety of multimedia tools and influences in his own painting practice. february, second year mfa candidate jesse r lentz held a solo show in mcad’s gallery 148. painting mfa students are all granted teaching assistantships (one to two per semester ta at brown, risd’s cohabitant on providence’s college hill; the rest will remain in the painting department). he received his bfa from risd in 2000 and his mfa from columbia in 2002. each of the 19 graduate candidates presented their work and research in the program and proposed a thesis direction to the mcad community for consideration and response.

Actions and Responses: MFA Thesis - Painting

mcad mfa program has a long tradition of visiting artists, both as classroom lecturers, studio visitors, and participants in formal critiques. april 3, mfa students had the opportunity to meet with visiting artist carolina borja. december, mfa alums and minneapolis-based installation artists essma imady ’16 and julie benda ’16 were awarded forecast public art grants for 2017. returning to risd, this time to research the mfa program for this piece, i found this observation about the mfa students—and their predilection for a rigorous formal practice—to still be the case. they argued that the figurative representation in león’s paintings resulted in less harmonious compositions than his usual abstractions, suggesting that a here-and-there painterly quality distracted from the overall content. zucker | associate professor + graduate program director“we keep the graduate program in painting open-ended as a reflection the department’s philosophy as a whole. this month, mcad mfa alum preston drum led a workshop at the walker art center for their free first saturdays event.” for example, david frazer, also newly (re)appointed as department head (which presides over the graduate and undergraduate painting programs), previously held the title in the early 2000s. he briefly described the paintings, which depict figurative, dream-like images that he described as symbolic and direct representations—a noted departure from the psychedelic abstractions dominating the majority of his prior other paintings.

Singing For the Mute: MFA Thesis - Painting and Drawing

MFA Thesis — Claire Elliott

october, four of our own mcad mfa comic artists participated in minneapolis fallcon, an all-volunteer event organized by the midwest comic book association. march 31, interdisciplinary artist mark tribe visited to the mfa studios to engage with mfa students about their work.” while the others focus more specifically on mastering a particular craft and skill set, students in painting learn the more (or less, depending on the context) commercial role of the working artist competing within the ever-growing and ever-competitive art business landscape. i am not proposing that i make paintings in which i am completely removed from decision making or control: rather i place myself in a dialogue with materials in real space and time, thus giving experience and movement the upper hand over my mind. each has his or her own style of critique, and professor roger white (who also teaches a thesis writing class for mfa students) astutely describes several in his 2015 book the contemporaries: travels in the 21st-century art world, in a chapter about a prior critique at the risd mfa program: “they function like an ensemble cast. while this approach strikingly contrasts with many other mfa programs that more heavily stress theory, at its core is seemingly an altruistic ethos placing a stern onus on the artist to lift the heaviest intellectual load, creating work that “speaks for itself,” according to recent grad león, who added: “i don’t think it’s necessarily formal. month, 2017 mfa printmaking candidate bianca jarvis exhibited work at her undergraduate alma mater, the university of puget sound. it a group exhibition featuring the work of 13 artists from across north america, including mcad mfa alum jack pavlik. one grad student i spoke with described his experience of the program as one that “really cultivat[es] the maker” (danny ferrell, mfa student, class of 2016).


now in the seventh year, the mfa open studio night has become a beloved tradition—inviting the public into the artist and designers’ studios. in a 2011 interview in bomb, he described the ever-expanding meaning of painting to him amid this landscape: “painting is also a technology for visualizing things that you couldn’t otherwise, whether they’re fact or fiction, abstraction, the properties of materials, poetic idiosyncrasies, utopian plans, dystopian critique of those plans, whatever. for his midterm critique, león showed a series of paintings, sculptural pieces, and a video installation. designarchitectureceramicsdigital + mediaexperimental and foundation studiesfilm/animation/videofurniture designglassgraphic designhistory of art + visual culturehistory, philosophy + the social sciencesillustrationindustrial designinterior architecturejewelry + metalsmithinglandscape architectureliterary arts + studiespaintingphotographyprintmakingsculptureteaching + learning in art + designtextiles.” recent graduate michael león, mfa class of ’15, recalls the guidance he received from dike blair, another longtime professor (and artist in the gagosian stable): “he was really invested, he really cared, and he felt very responsible for [our development].; abstraction; space in art; drawing; works on paper; movement; landscape; research subject categories::humanities and religion::aesthetic subjects::art; painting exhibitions; phenomenology; alethia; heidegger, martin; merleau-ponty, maurice; chance in art., a show of new work by painting alum leslie barlow mfa ’16, opened last weekend at public functionary in minneapolis. september, mcad mfa visual studies alum amanda lovelee hosted her second pop up meeting, an event wherein the artist convenes with the public and collects over 100 surveys over several hours, courting requests for city improvements without the inconvenience of heading all the way to city hall. september, second-year mfa candidates michaela chorn, drawing and painting, and joel terry, sculpture, were selected to display works in the minneapolis tractorworks gallery.

Saving the Maker, Cultivating the Thinker: Painting at RISD's MFA

) painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, photography, film/animation/video, jewelry + metalsmithing, and glass are among the mfa (and bfa) programs lumped under the “fine art” umbrella, but the painting program stands out to me as the only one to embody a broader sense of art-making that dips comfortably into a variety of practices, and could perhaps more accurately be called risd’s “art department. off this year with a bang, three of our mfa illustrators, jacob yeates ’17, sishirprithvi bommakanti ’18 and yuchen zhang ’18, were included in the society of illustrators of los angeles’ 55th annual show, illustration west. all mfa candidates produce a written thesis and participate in the risd graduate thesis exhibition, a large-scale public show held annually. in addition to the required studio critique and graduate seminar courses, first-year painting students must attend a graduate drawing course, as well as a printmaking course in risd’s printmaking department. month, the mcad mfa program was fortunate to earn ourselves a visit from marion bataille, world-renowned graphic designer and book designer based out of paris, france.” while his paintings still incorporate elaborate historical references and stagings, león does believe that the criticism he received at risd had a clarifying effect on his work: “one [piece of] helpful criticism i received was that my work was at first very cryptic and at times difficult to enter, due to its heavy use of symbols and much more abstract quality—not just theoretically, but visually.” it is too soon to tell if or how zucker’s influence will ultimately shape the department during his tenure at its helm, but his appointment as director may nevertheless indicate an intention to reconsider the intellectual focus of the painting program. fall, the mcad mfa program was fortunate to have amos paul kennedy jr. two years in residence at risd, graduate students undertake a serious investigation of the broad range of possibilities and realities presented by contemporary painting.

Graduate-Program | Painting | Academics | RISD

Art + Design - Painting, Sculpture, New Media

, the painting department has historically promoted reverence for painting as a pure art form in itself, professing a gospel that eulogizes craftsmanship, composition, and visual and spatial harmony as both cornerstones to successful art-making and greater goals. of claims that risd’s approach to making is what differentiates the school from other top mfa programs, zucker argues that the school’s identity is as much a product of marketing as it is good teaching: “it seems to me that ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ in these conversations tend to be more about branding and attitude,” he says. frazer has taught in both the undergraduate and graduate painting programs for nearly forty years. final reviews are presided over in mid-may by visiting critics—such as lynne tillman, joe bradley, and martha schwendener, who are assigned to each student and coincide with the exhibition of their work in risd’s school-wide graduate thesis show, which has for the past several years taken over the providence convention center at the end of may. the maker, cultivating the thinker: painting at risd’s mfa programanne prentniekspainting graduate critique. february, mcad mfa painting and drawing alum anna leigh biedenbender ’16 is showing new work in a solo exhibition at the bethany lutheran college ylvisaker fine arts center in mankato, minnesota. i was an undergrad in risd’s painting program in 2006, my ta, a second-year mfa student, insisted that she would never begin a painting until she had applied, sanded, more finely sanded, and reapplied her ground at least fifteen times if not twenty or more, each time sanding the thickening layers of gesso or rabbit skin glue with finer sandpaper until her canvas surface resembled a shellacked whiteboard. worklauren comito mfa 2013 jonathan frioux mfa 2013joe bochynski mfa 2013 rob macinnis mfa 2013 walter dion mfa 2013. february, mfa mentor alexa horochowski presented new works called vortex drawings at the highpoint center for printmaking in minneapolis.

MFA-thesis - Wendy Leach Artist (New Zealand)

april, the mfa community had the honor of engaging with feminist and conceptual artist martha rosler. this past april, risd’s current first- and second-year mfa painting students gathered in the school’s fletcher building for their second full group critique of the 2014–15 academic year. month, mfa candidate chelsea reeck ’17 was selected to exhibit works from her project side effects may include in a solo show at soo visual arts center in minneapolis. electives include special classes within the painting department—such as a curating class currently taught by yasmil raymond that is also open to undergrads—but more often they are an opportunity to attend classes in departments such as ceramics, glass, sculpture, printmaking, film/animation/video, and so on. communitymfa candidates work in dedicated painting studios in close proximity to grad students in other fine arts majors. his recent work explores the relationship between landscape and technology. we knew there were just ten painting grad students each year, compared to the rambling forty-plus headcount of a given undergraduate class in the department; the sheer tightness of the grad student population gave them a rarified quality, the tamaraw water buffalo of the school. month, our mfa students were honored by a series of studio visits and enthralling conversations with visiting artist ann fessler. month, first year mfa candidate zoe cinel curated a group show at mcad’s gallery 148.

2014 Studio Art MFA Thesis Exhibition - Visual Arts Center | The

worlding is “a bold foray into alternative realities that compels us to experience identity and culture, landscape and consumerism; and popular culture and technology with […]. | 2-year programthe mfa program in painting emphasizes critical and artistic growth through the evolution of a rigorous studio practice. three hundred students apply to the painting mfa program each year. mfa painting alum ashely peifer, ’13, is seeing her work come off of the walls. opportunitieseach graduate student in painting is granted a teaching assistantship and has the opportunity to teach a course on his or her own during wintersession of the second year. determining admission to the mfa program, the faculty selection committee in painting looks for evidence of an applicant’s commitment, drive, technical competence and openness to experimentation. while a shared passion for the history and craft of painting binds the department together, professors are committed to assisting each student in developing his or her own vision, supporting an enormous diversity of formal and conceptual approaches, painting styles and interests. my classmates (class of 2009) and i were admiringly familiar with the mfa students: we saw them as rigorously focused and possessing a borderline-obsessive knowledge about the craft of painting—best studio practice, the right ways to use mediums, archival methods, and so on. ferrell, a second-year mfa student, shared this sentiment: “[the mfa program] doesn’t subscribe to the idea that you have to kill the maker to cultivate the thinker.

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