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Otis College Launches Virtual Gallery of MFA Fine Arts Thesis Shows

The gallery launched May 1 with the work of eight students whose in-person shows were transitioned online after the Otis campus closure. 

Otis College of Art and Design has launched an online gallery of MFA Fine Arts Thesis Shows at otis.edu/mfa-fine-arts-thesis-shows/2020

Message from Annetta Kapon, Interim Chair:

Congratulations to the MFA class of 2020! As the outgoing Interim Chair of the MFA FA program, this cohort of artists is very close to my heart: We have been through two years together, and they have been through two years with one another: the echo of these experiences will probably reverberate inside us for the rest of our lives. Thank you, and stay in touch! 

Enjoy the work of Kyle Schwingel, Ally Wallace, Nefertiti Jenkins, Chris Stoltz, Christina Rankin, Claire Sun, Miguel Hernandez, and Chuanyuan Song. These are the eight grads that, due the coronavirus pandemic, have not had their physical thesis exhibitions.  Notice their images and notice also their words: they are not only identifying their work as painting, photography, sculpture, performance, or installation, but they also discuss their own practice in terms of labor, order, politics, psychology, music, fiction, the erotic, the everyday, the poetic, popular culture, truth, language, architecture, documentation, and narrative. They are not only producing work that fits into existing practices, they are also generating the discourses necessary for the work to be understood. 

Please also stay tuned for the addition of the rest of the class of 2020 on May 8 to the online gallery. Maria Laura Hendrix, Bria Goodall, Cassia Reynolds, Derek Prado, Mirena Kim, Danny Kadum, Ameera Daaood, Xiaoxiao Wu, and Justin Nunnally were able to install their Thesis Exhibitions in the Bolsky Gallery, before March 2020. I salute the successful installation of your work in actual space.

Congratulations to all of you, and best wishes from the bottom of my heart. 

Below are descriptions and statements from the artists featured in the May 1, 2020 gallery launch:

Miguel Hernandez (Printmaking, paintings, drawings, and tattoos)

“We have been looking through our phones endlessly. Living in a generation where one can spend time with themselves has been known to be a luxury. Now we are being forced to stay home. We have things that we think about due to our systematic and structural desire. Let go of what is stressing you out and enjoy this time to yourself. Let go of the world that we desire and spend time in a new lane. It's time to make it your own.” 

Nefertiti Jenkins (Oil paintings and drawings using mixed dry media)

“Jenkins’ paintings and drawings utilize motifs and spaces intimate and personal to her practice and life. This includes using the body as a visual modality for the landscape with rugs, mugs, and lamps decorating the periphery, and flowers peeking into the frame. Figure blends into the background and objects overlap, one intertwining with the other. Perspectives shift, becoming closed-in and pushed forward, confrontational but unaggressive. The mundane becomes sacred and panoptic with ballooning limbs, sinuous hair, and glittering objects floating outward while beckoning the viewer inward.”

Christina Rankin (Acrylic paintings on canvas and mixed media pieces)

“I create work that is in a pop culture lineage in fine art and music that deals with heavy metal, the macabre, science fiction, gore, and special effects to invent forms which reference these traditions by challenging the clichés of the genres.”

Kyle Schwingel (Digital photography)

“This exhibition utilizes the structure of the website to lead viewers through Schwingel’s images  that are centered on the negotiation between the landscape of daily life and the illusion of an  ever present digital exchange.” 

Chuanyuan Song (Paintings with acrylic, glitter, resin, ink, and mixed media)

“Rainbow colors, round shapes and traditional elements are Chuanyuan’s art language. Chuanyuan’s work is a personal and marvellous art trip that invites you to join in. Most of her art pieces are about life stories among the relationships of family, friends, and love. The content references generation gaps, the distance between friends, and present love conditions. Chuanyuan enjoys combining colorful pigments with various materials, such as art resin, plasticine, glitter, and plastic ornamental spheres.” 

Christopher Stolz (Photography)

“Every human body transfers memories onto images and objects. Using highly staged photos fractured and placed into piles, artist Chirstopher Stoltz invites you to study his past. Images of prior memories of romance, contemplation, catharsis, and sorrow are fractured and placed on the floor. Stoltz’s body of intimate work continually re-evaluates these memories and time and allows for a reexamination of the visual.”

Claire Tianyi Sun (Mixed media collage)

“Sun’s interdisciplinary works invite you to interpret the metaphorical language of painting in an expanded field. She interweaves painting, textiles, calligraphy, embroidery, and written text with the weightless waves and abstract codes of digital technology to explore the connotations embedded within these elements.”

Alexandria Wallace (Paintings, drawings, and collage)

“Through the languages of drawing, painting, and collage, Alexandria Wallace is working as a translator. Her line, linking a series of 12 works on paper like an ellipsis, is a dark sumi ink stroke that is seemingly one with the surface of its paper support.