BU2020_Catalogue_ForEvan_April28_Pages

julian.parikh





PAINTING



SCULPTURE

ANIA GARCIA LLORENTE

JENNIFER KILBURN

CHANG WU


DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE

This catalogue, the visual identity of the Boston University College of Fine Arts

School of Visual Arts MFA second year Thesis work, represents forty individual

students and the interconnectivity between our three graduate programs in Painting,

Sculpture, and Graphic Design. As you will read and see in these pages, each

graduate program provides a distinct voice, ethos, and educational framework for

its community. Throughout this past year, particular projects, courses, and collaborations

across media—as well as social events—brought students together with

each other and with larger arts communities. This includes the Tuesday Night MFA

Lecture Series and other visits by important artists and designers. Visitors and faculty

alike have modeled the significance of creative work in this complex era. As

last year’s Venice Biennale offered to viewers, “May You Live in Interesting Times.”

One of the Venice Biennale curators, Ralph Rugoff, wrote, “In contrast to journalism

or historical reportage, art articulates a difference from the texture of facts”

through an “assertion of form.” The material and conceptual decisions in creative

work carry the potential for surprising readings that keep us looking and thinking

beyond facts to the heart of the matter. As Chair of MFA Painting Josephine

Halvorson said at her recent exhibition in New York, “Painting teaches us to

think about complex things in complex ways.” The collected work in this catalogue

assert many forms in complex but clear, meaningful, and intentional ways that

open up feelings, questions, and new frames of mind. The works of artists and

designers are often at their most powerful when they contain paradox, oppositions

that should not function together but do, and in the holding together

transform habitual ways of seeing and thinking. There is a tenuous but powerful

holding together of presence and absence, near and far in our current time. The

works and students represented in this catalogue are reframed by a larger cultural

space beyond the typical context of studio and gallery. 2020 is a time of great flux.

As David Snyder, Chair of MFA Sculpture notes in his program introduction, “it

will be up to us to help nourish the culture, to offer the visionary possibility of

hope and humor, and to be critically incisive in the face of apathy. Above all, it is

the work of artists to ask the world to face and to recognize what is complex,

difficult, painful, and willfully overlooked.”


In closing, I want to recognize and sincerely thank CFA leadership, SVA faculty

and staff, and above all the MFA students for demonstrating an incredible commitment

to carrying on our vital work. The Graphic Design branding team who

designed this catalogue embodies this commitment to vision and communication.

Thank you to Julian Parikh, Krystyn Wypasek, Winnie Chen, and Farinaz Valamanesh,

working with the thoughtful leadership of Evan Smith, Media Coordinator.

The work in the catalogue reflects the high level of dedication, teaching, and artistic

mentorship by the professional artists and designers on the SVA faculty. My sincere

thanks to professors Josephine Halvorson, David Snyder, and Kristen Coogan, as

well as faculty Lucy Kim, Jaya Howey, Richard Ryan, Hugh O’Donnell, Marc Schepens,

Won Ju Lim, Joshua Fischer, James Grady, Nick Rock, Yael Ort-Dinoor, Mary Yang,

Christopher Field, Jessie Rubinstein, and Daniel Harding for their work with the

graduate students. Thanks to Boston University Art Galleries Artistic Director Lynne

Cooney and Managing Director Lissa Cramer who have helped prepare

our students professionally. It has been inspiring to envision the form of future

exhibitions and this catalogue with SVA staff who bring attention to detail to all

that they do, including Gus Wheeler, Suzanne Hemmat, Brandon Cohen, Logen

Zimmerman, and Jessica Caccamo. On behalf of the School of Visual Arts, I sincerely

congratulate these graduating students and share my gratitude for the particular

ways that each of you have transformed our community by your work and presence.

Dana Clancy

Director, School of Visual Arts



06

INTRODUCTION

30

ASHWINI ASHOK PATIL

08

IBRAHIM ALAZZA

32

JULIAN PARIKH

10

ANA BENFIELD

34

MARIANA RAMÍREZ

12

WEI YUN CHEN

NAVARRETE

14

XIQIAO CHEN

36

FARINAZ VALAMANESH

16

BAYLEE KIMBAR

38

WENQING WANG

18

ERDIAN GAO

40

YIZHEN WANG

20

YINGHSUAN LEE

42

KRYSTYN WYPASEK

22

SOPHIE SHUOFEI LI

44

XIWEN XU

24

JIAQIN LIAN

46

WEIQIAN ZHANG

26

ANISSA MARTÍNEZ

48

YILIN ZHANG

28

KELLY NICOLE NOLAN

50

SIZHI ZOU (CARA)


INTRODUCTION

2020 Thesis Schedule *subject to change*

Little did we know the portent of this statement vis-à-vis the thesis schedule shared

with students in early January.

The MFA class of 2020 entered their final semester with guns blazing thanks to their

spirited ambitions and fearless interrogations. Students built on an incredible fall

semester of dedicated research and by early February articulated thesis statements

incorporating rich theoretical contexts supported by personally driven visual and

analytical methods. Only execution remained.

And execute they did. Witty, experimental, intuitive, coded, political, interactive,

human-natured, human-centered, hand-made, metaphysical, existential, random,

healing, activist, protective, empowering, place-making, humorous, meditative,

unbearably light, mindful, improvisational, and emotionally expressive concepts

reflected the promise under development.

Then, the germ bulged from our periphery squarely into focus.

Undergraduate, graduate, and BU Academy classes…will not meet in-person. We

strongly advise that students who are not presently on campus do not return to

campus…The University will not hold any non-academic gatherings or meetings.

What began as an incredibly rich thesis discourse became a Sisyphean effort to put

one foot in front of the other when all felt defenseless and uncertain. The latter half of

the semester challenged students and faculty in ways no one could have anticipated.

6 Graphic Design


This catalogue presents each student’s creative outcome. But more importantly, and

what can’t be captured with ink or paper, is a process driven by massive perseverance,

resilience, devotedness, encouragement and conviction.

These theses not only demonstrate a student's ability to contribute to and expand the

discipline within the institution and in myriad professional settings; but, what

shines persistently and indelibly, however, are the unbelievable designers comprising

the MFA Class of 2020.

Farinaz, Ibrahim, Julian, Krystyn, Mariana, Weiqian, Wenqing, Winnie, Yilin,

Yinghsuan, Yizhen, Kim, Ana, Anissa, Ashwini, Baylee, Erdian, Kelly, Shuofei,

Sizhi, Xiqiao, Xiwen,

With an overwhelmingly whole heart, I applaud each and every one of you. You did it.

Kristen Coogan

Associate Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Graphic Design


IBRAHIM ALAZZA

Red as Hope, 2019. Installation.

Continues Quest, 2019. Publication. 6 × 8 in.

8 Graphic Design


Footsteps (Tiles Book ), 2019. Publication. 5.9 × 5.9 in.

Curating the Palestinian narrative by exploring

the collective memory of Palestine over the last

100 years.

How have decades of conflict shaped the Palestinian collective memory, a story

handed down from generation to generation? There are two Palestines: a war-torn,

conflict-ridden country, and the Palestine I grew up in. This thesis explores the

internal and external conflict’s impact on the Palestinian identity. By focusing on

the experiences of Palestinians not captured in historical facts, I want to reveal a

culture that represents struggle, resilience, and hope. Through symbolism, I relate

historical moments and memorable artifacts cherished by Palestinians. Additionally,

other creative expressions of the Palestinian narrative, such as the novella

Returning to Haifa by Ghassan Kanafani, provide inspiration and depict a memory

visualized through imagination.


We’ve Hit a Wall, 2019. Installation, eco-design.

ANA BENFIELD

Design for social impact is the practice of finding

opportunities for change that give voice to those

who have been marginalized by design.

10 Graphic Design


"One voice gets lost in the multitude, but a thousand voices

can travel through time."

I am giving a voice to those who need it most.

My thesis demands attention—it speaks loudly to those who

would otherwise look away. For my thesis project I decided

to find a problem in the community of Boston with the purpose

of finding a solution. I partnered with the Friends of

Boston Homeless to help activate change and give agency to

the homeless community. In collaboration with the nonprofit

organization, I created interactive platforms focused

on support and self-awareness towards this matter.

Through this series of small actions, I aspire to make a big

difference. I am adding my voice to the many others that

have inspired me, hoping others will join me.

Design activates voices. Design creates a space for opinions.

Design shapes perspectives. Design provides a platform to

cultivate change.

What action will you take?

Mother Nature Crimes, 2018. Catalogue and broadside.


WEI YUN CHEN

If paper could represent who you are,

what would it look like?

Smallest, 2018. Silkscreen. 2 × 3 in.

Persona Mask, 2019. Publication. 5.5 × 8.5 in.

12 Graphic Design


I love paper.

I love publications.

I love books.

I think those things are the most powerful and meaningful thing in this world.

Based on my personality and background, I always have difficulty expressing

what I actually want to say and feel. Therefore, paper becomes the medium

to carry the message to help me to communicate with others—either through

handwriting or design. I use paper as a material to hold another layer of language,

varying textures, colors, and thickness to provide a physical experience

for my audience.

Historically, paper used to be a medium meant to hold and deliver information

from place to place; however, its application expanded—forcing me to rethink

paper’s potential. Deft communication through people’s feelings provides

information that people’s brains translate into thoughts and emotions. I used

this idea to build up my own language system on paper.

A Light in the Moon, 2019. Stop motion. 8.5 × 11 in.


XIQIAO CHEN

Design Taxonomy, 2019. Paper, wood, music box, glue, and tape. 3.5 × 15 × 1 in.

14 Graphic Design


Identity Poster, 2018. Paper, tape. 24 × 36 in.

Make Anything You Want Project, 2019. Paper, PLA, glue, and tape. 4 × 2.5 × 2 in.

Chaos, meaningless, interrupted...

I use my thesis to seek out a way to

disrupt the inertia behavior.

I am surrounded by chaos inside order—especially at my

desk. I prefer to keep my desk clean and tidy. Organizing

items and classifying books helps me focus. When working,

my table is messy. But once I finish, I restore my table and

bookshelf to its original tidy condition. This habit parallels

my graphic design practice—chaos represents experimentation.

Within that chaos is order, agency and control. Like jazz

music composers, chaos becomes an avenue for improvisation

and invention. Relying on a high musical standard, this

source of innovation transcends all musical genres.

I ask: ‘is jazz dying? Is graphic design dying?’ NO. My thesis

explores chaos within a controlled system as a vehicle for

innovation. We create and destroy disorder performatively

until we reach creative fulfillment.


BAYLEE KIMBAR

Music Streaming Data Tracker, 2019. UX Design.

Iconography Stamps, 2020. Wood. 2 × 2 in.

16 Graphic Design


Biography Poster, 2018. Paper. 64 × 44 in.

How can graphic design instill a sense of place

in the face of dramatic flux?

Change is difficult to navigate, especially in places we hold dearest. I lived in the

same house, on the same street, in the same town, with the same people nearly my

entire life. Growing up, West Boylston, Massachusetts felt like home because I was

so well-acquainted with every detail in its seemingly unchanging landscape, but

recently, moving away to a new city gave me a new perspective: whenever I return,

I’m surprised to see the small town I knew and loved is changing—whether I want

it to or not.

Over the next decade, Allston, a neighborhood of Boston, will be subject to incredible

change as Harvard expands and the Mass Pike is remodeled. Though these

construction efforts will benefit Allston long-term, the lengthy and unsightly transition

period destabilizes the community. As tensions rise between the past and

the future of the neighborhood, I wonder how I, as a designer, can help the Allston

community accept substantial change outside of their control. How can graphic

design instill a sense of place in face of dramatic flux?


Taco Clutch, 2017. Fabric. 6 × 11 in.

ERDIAN GAO

Attractiveness means a genuine personality.

And when it comes to design, there’s one thing

that helps us convey a personality—humor.

18 Graphic Design


Juxtaposition, 2020. Poster. 4 × 4 in.

Humor—a comic, absurd, or incongruous quality causing amusement.

How can an incongruous quality create delight? Using graphic design as a lens to understand the

mechanics of humor, I demonstrate this phenomenon of universal amusement. My method involves

creating unexpected mixes and matches and visual puns as a vehicle for play.

Design is not only functional but also fun. Synthesizing unexpected elements in surprising ways adds

one more layer of legibility and suspends us cognitively. On one hand, you hear the word humor a lot,

yet philosophers have little to say, and what they have said is largely critical.

Humor challenges the audience to look beyond the juxtapositions to decode a second meaning. When a

visual pun works—specifically, when two distinct entities merge to form one idea—the effect stimulates

thought and sensation. Humor is something that helps us to reflect.


YINGHSUAN LEE

I want to redefine those standards of success,

beauty, and utility accepted by the majority, and

further discover and underline hidden values

that indirectly yet profoundly contribute to our

well-being and happiness.

The Road Not Taken, 2019. Poster. 24 × 35 in.

20 Graphic Design


The Enlightenment, 2019. Catalogue. 7 × 9 in.

Who decrees the standards of success, beauty, and utility?

Existentialist philosophy dictates these norms, motivating me to question the

status quo. Furthermore, Nietzsche said, “God is dead.” How can people discard the

controlling power and discover individualized paths to personal satisfaction—

self-awareness leads to self-fulfillment.

Using graphic design, I want to redefine those standards of success, beauty, and

utility accepted by the majority. I want to discover and underline hidden values

that indirectly yet profoundly contribute to our well-being and happiness. In this

thesis, I use everyday objects as a metaphor symbolizing humans—each of us is

like an ordinary object that people seldom pay attention to. I magnify useless details,

prompting us to reflect on our own personalities to discover latent beauties.

Self Portrait, Playful Me, 2019. Silkscreen. 15 × 19 in.


SOPHIE SHUOFEI LI

Do you choose to bear the lightness of life or the

weight of life? An installation using the crossbody

pouch as a metaphor for emotional burden,

described by its physical weight representing

connection or detachment.

Imperfectly Perfect, 2020. Embroidery. 6 × 4 in.

22 Graphic Design


Rotifer, 2019. 3D Printing.

SIGGRAPH ASIA 2022, 2019. Poster.

When I travel to the United States, I wear a small cross-body pouch—it’s fashionable

and functional, adding an accessorizing layer as well as holding my bank card.

I ask: is it annoying to constantly wear this pouch, even when function no longer

exists? No. But it does add weight to me, like a small emotional burden. Likewise,

there are many invisible burdens on our shoulders in daily life.

I am using this cross-body pouch as a metaphor for emotional burden, described

by its physical weight representing connection or detachment. I am also adding

more coded messages through floral decorations. We all know flowers always represent

positive meanings and convey best wishes, but these eight chosen flowers

imbue negative or heavy feelings, suggesting our life is imperfectly perfect. The

abstract Chinese embroidery patterns evoke myriad emotions, designed to imitate

our surroundings.


JIAQIN LIAN

Be strong but not hard. Be soft but not yielding.

Dream, 2019. AR poster. 24 × 36 in.

24 Graphic Design


Be strong but not hard. Be soft but not yielding.

At one time or another, each of us has experienced verbal abuse, leaving us feeling

attacked, whether on the Internet or in real life. It’s an all too easy offense to wage,

happening time and time again. Rather than changing behavior, we should change

consciousness. Be strong but not hard. Be soft but not yielding.

Empathy = Forgiveness = Peace informs the structure of this thesis.

I use irony to shift perspective on verbal abuse, juxtaposing audio and visual narratives:

we see one story, but hear another. I want my design to deliver a positive

attitude about verbal abuse.

Influence, 2019. Catalogue. 11 × 17 in.

The Respond, 2019. Poster. 24 × 36 in.


The Pandora Icosikaihenagon, 2018. Interactive Media. 22 × 30 in.

ANISSA MARTÍNEZ

Through poetry, I will protect you by constructing

into delicate, counted words everything that you

have been through.

intimacy witnessed

through a conversation,

words so beautiful

and toxic,

that breathe

and whisper

i don’t want to leave,

kisses that deceive

and manipulate our bodies

distort our mind

and split the heart into four,

it’s humans

they are guilty

we are guilty,

we hurt

and we trick,

we need to be protected

absorbed,

someone who helps us

see reality

away from illusion.

26 Graphic Design


Look Mom I Can Fly, 2019. Silkscreen. 15 × 22 in.

This thesis shifts perspectives by immersing the viewer into

a multichannel environment using visual antonyms and

polarity. It explores psychological manipulation in a pure

and obscure way engaging with truth and deceit from a

poetic point of view. By breaking the stigma of vulnerability

through exposure, the goal is for the audience to be able

to relate, allowing them to feel safe and encouraged to rise

using this platform within this time and space.

10-Eye, 2019. Interactive Media. 86 × 94 in.


KELLY NICOLE NOLAN

I am using my thesis to explore how my creative process

can act as protest against the non-stop nature

of our modern day world and as a platform to examine

capitalist and technological pressures that fuel

our 24/7 culture and lead to contemporary mental

health issues such as burnout, malaise, and apathy.

Fueled by technology and capitalism, we’re living in a 24/7 environment that’s in

a constant state of production and consumption, leading to contemporary mental

health issues such as burnout, modern malaise, and apathy.

Some have pointed to sleep as the one human need in complete conflict with

capitalist systems. While sleep can be a strong defensive tactic, as a designer I feel

a responsibility to take an offensive position and use my creative process as

protest against the non-stop nature of our modern day world.

My process involves long durations of time, chance, analog techniques, archiving

and cataloging, collaboration, and the use of found objects. Through my thesis, I

will use my process to hold a mirror up to our around-the-clock culture and explore

the capitalist pressures that compel us to measure our self-worth in productivity

and look to technology for validation and approval.

Prying Open My Third Eye, 2019. Silkscreen. 20 × 9 in.

28 Graphic Design


Design Taxonomy: How A Collection Of Loosely Associated Things Can Lead To A

List Of Design Terms, 2019. Publication. 5.83 × 8.26 in.

All That Matters, 2019. Tracing paper and Smith Corona Typewriter. 120 × 12 in.


ASHWINI ASHOK PATIL

“You never change things by fighting the existing

reality. To change something, build a new model

that makes the existing model obsolete.”

― Buckminster Fuller

#TouchKaroNAA and Cross Stitched Quote, 2020. Knitted yarn and cross stitching on cloth.

30 Graphic Design


Gender equality dominates our social

consciousness. Despite its importance

and ubiquity, some people continue to

turn a blind eye and remain oblivious

to the imbalance between men and

women and the resulting oppression

women suffer. This lack of understanding

and shared perspective creates

chaos. Graphic design can play a

critical role in improving a woman’s

circumstances—my thesis project

aims to create awareness and embolden

women to define necessary boundaries.

The coronavirus pandemic has

massively shaped the work I am doing,

as individuals are urged to socially

distance and to avoid contact with

people and objects for fear of infection.

I coopt this directive to safeguard

and empower women. My messaging

includes a hashtag, "#TouchKaroNaa"

which means "DO NOT TOUCH ME."

Ironically, it sounds strikingly similar

to "corona" and insists that men

should end unwelcome encounters.

#TouchKaroNAA, 2020. Knitted yarn.

In addition to the digital campaign, I

am reaching women through the traditional

medium of knitting. By recontextualizing

the custom into a vehicle

for change and empowerment, I hope

to build a community of strong women,

who can embrace their femininity,

honor their talents, and stand strong.

I want every women to understand

that unwanted and unwarranted touching

is “Not Okay."

Cross Stitched Quote, 2020. Cross stitching on cloth.


Dysphoria/Euphoria (detail), 2019. Publication. 7.25 × 10 in.

JULIAN PARIKH

I approach graphic design from the perspective of a queer and transgender

person. I’ve found the conversations in the design community around “queering”

graphic design to be good starting points for me to think about my own

methodology and intentions.

I’ve recently focused on my own narrative of going through Hormone Replacement

Therapy. Every time that I take testosterone, I am completing an action in

which I am unsure of the outcome, but I continue to do so because of the potential

for positive change. I’ve come to realize that in the context of design, risk and

experimentation is exactly the same. Therefore, why not use variable outcome as

a method for graphic design?

The design community has gained so much from incorporating the queer ideology

into their practice, so I want to use that ideology and way of making to give something

back to the queer community. My thesis uses experimentation in graphic

design to create imperfect vessels for storytelling, in order to support and uplift

transgender communities who are experimenting, medically or not, with gender

identity and expression.

32 Graphic Design


Moments in Movement, 2018. Digital print. 23.4 × 33.1 in.

As a transgender artist, I unapologetically embrace my identity

and let it inform my work because it creates invaluable opportunities

for community building, whether it be through sharing

my own experiences, or the experiences of my community.

Dysphoria/Euphoria (detail), 2019. Publication. 7.25 × 10 in.


Darkness, 2019. Liquid composition. 23.4 × 33.1 in.

MARIANA RAMÍREZ NAVARRETE

Intuition guides us through the most transcendental

questions, deepening our understanding of

the universe and helping us navigate life’s most

difficult processes, including trauma, grief, and

creativity itself.

34 Graphic Design


What does it mean to let go? Through

difficult self-discovery, I asked this

question time and time again. Looking

for solace, I was drawn to the paranormal,

exploring subjects that raised more

wonder than fear. Shrouded by grief,

creativity became my beacon.

We’ve all been in this darkness; that

desolate aftermath when our towers

come crashing down. Slowly, we learn

the way out is through the rubble,

through facing future unknowns and

haunting lapses of the past. We cut

chords. We release our ghosts. We

begin to heal.

Letting Go, 2019. Liquid composition. 23.4 × 33.1 in.

A profound emptiness heightened my

awareness of the universe. I listened to

those voices long suppressed by time.

Like an infant learning to walk, I finally

surrendered to the process.

Intuition guided me through grief

and making, rendering the visceral

forms in this work. Now, I share these

fragments of my process; touching on

what it means to heal and to create.

All That Matters, 2019. Conceptual tarot deck. 4 × 6 in. Set of 26.


FARINAZ VALAMANESH

Talk, 2019. Silkscreen. 21 × 15 in.

36 Graphic Design


Memories, 2018. Poster. 23.4 × 33.1 in.

163 Hours, 2019. Publication. 4 × 5 in.

Can a visual system bring awareness to the lack

of the basic human right, freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech is taken for granted in developed countries. However, I

witnessed and experienced first hand the persecution bestowed on my Iranian

community for merely expressing beliefs perceived as non-conforming to the

norms dictated by the regime.

For centuries, Iranian people often have hidden their true messages in layers

of symbolism and metaphors to overcome the deep-rooted lack of freedom of

speech. Coded languages are wide-spread in literature, art, and everyday

speaking as a way to communicate messages while avoiding the consequences.

I developed a coded visual system based on the abstract forms and traditional

Persian motifs. Through these metaphors, I spotlight this important, enduring,

and mostly ignored issue—one that many people in the world, including people

of my country, are experiencing. My audience is invited to decode the messages,

with the provided key, and help the silenced voices to be heard.


FUniverse_Within Time, 2019.

WENQING WANG

2009, 07, 05. The whole city is in grief, but we are

strong—for this story I will create a design visual

language to convey two sides of perspective: from

an insider to the media.

38 Graphic Design


One Invisible Wall: why are we alone, Urumqi.

The Xinjiang government blocked our internet for a whole year, severing our

connection to the outer world, and every province in China. We couldn't text each

other, we couldn’t go far away or have fun with our friends like we usually did.

The indignation, the sadness—it’s still there after so many years. So many people

saw their friends and family die in an instant. There are people still suffering from

the trauma, still holding it back.

What’s the insight? Why am I scared, why am I angry, why do I still feel scared

today, why do I feel abandoned by my own country?

My thesis uses graphic design as a vehicle exposing this political cover up, to tell

my side of the truth. My work is critical of the media and arguing my side of belief:

I ask "Why is the media trying to cover the news, why are they hiding?"

I illustrate responses from a first-hand account, hoping the resulting narrative

provides a source of comfort and healing to my community. I illustrate this topic

from a more individual perspective, as an insider who has been through it. We

are healing from trauma, we are united and we are strong.

Extreme Scale_Cycle of Subconscious, 2019.

Illustration, 2019. Silkscreen.


YIZHEN WANG

My thesis aims to explore the randomness of

formulation in systematic typeface design.

Randomness occupies the space between control and chaos—poetic, serendipitous,

respected, undiscovered.

My thesis explores how degrees of randomness act on systematic typeface design.

I employed three experimental techniques—nature, implements, and hands—to

generate three corresponding typefaces.

The resulting visual language and documentation reveals the connection and

relationship between human and media. Moreover, the process outweighs

the product, as each typeface reveals stories unique to its evolution and demonstrates

varying degrees of control.

The randomness found in these techniques and in the type designs reflect the

poetry describing the design in our own selves.

50 Iterations, 2019. Bookmarks. 2 × 5 in.

40 Graphic Design


Personal Data, 2018. Poster and animation. 23.4 x 33.1 in.

Face of 808, 2018. Instant photos and cyanotype. 4.25 x 6 in.


Disjointed, Messy, & Loud, 2019. Installation. 36 × 96 × 90 in.

KRYSTYN WYPASEK

42 Graphic Design


We are alive in a world and time where we are simultaneously

over-saturated with the possibilities for

human connection and starving for it—I will use

design to create physical and emotional spaces to

facilitate positive moments of human connection.

Human connection is vital to our existence and happiness comes from feeling

connected to others; people who are willing to be open and vulnerable actually

have a greater sense of love and belonging. But, an over-saturation of possibilities

for connection through technology is actually contributing to a loneliness epidemic,

which has been proven to be just as detrimental as other risk-factors, like

obesity. There is a gray area where technology stops helping us and starts hurting us.

I am using 3D data visualization as a physical exploration of storytelling through

data; data that is coming from asking people how much technology plays into their

closest relationships and how happy they are in those relationships. My audience

will glean more subjective information from data that they can touch and hold

rather than just read from paper. It becomes less about reading as it does about

experiencing the data and connecting the audience to others through that experience.

Disjointed, Messy, & Loud, 2019. Installation.

36 × 96 × 90 in.

Floral Collage #2, 2019. Photography.


Untitled, 2019. Silkscreen. 12 × 19 in.

XIWEN XU

Joy. Love. Fear. Anger. Sadness. Surprise.

When I suffered from depression, I felt nothing but the numbness of self-denial.

Coming out of my depression, I acknowledged the depth of those feelings and

felt alive knowing I had the capacity to experience such a range of deep emotion.

I built an expanded arsenal of empathy and sensitivity. When I feel intensely,

I am living.

Feeling is critical to our existence. My thesis builds on my own experience, and

invites users to acknowledge, capture and reflect their own emotions. My installation

creates the space for an audience to expose and illuminate their interiors—

whether joy, love, fear, anger, sadness, surprise. The interactive nature of my

thesis presents an emotional fingerprint of memory and experience, articulating

how emotional complexity binds us to each other and to ourselves.

These experiences make us human. Accept all the emotions you have, live the

colorful life you are in.

44 Graphic Design


XWX, 2019. Publication. 7 × 7 in.

The interactive nature of my thesis presents an emotional

fingerprint of memory and experience, articulating how

emotional complexity binds us to each other and to ourselves,

every emotion is valuable.

Memory Box, 2019. Installation. 40 × 60 in.


WEIQIAN ZHANG

This thesis is a designed, multi-perspective

narrative frame for audiences to learn and

explore their psychological self-awareness.

Crazy/Taxonomy, 2019. Poster in book. 8.5 × 11 in.

46 Graphic Design


Obedience Experiment, 2019. Publication. 6.2 × 9.5 in.

As a pre-psychology student, I believe that self-awareness is an essential step of personal growth, especially

for my peer audiences. I want to illuminate the importance of individual self-awareness through

an examination of human nature throughout a long history of psychology, from fable to science. In this

thesis, I explore a single theme expressed in multiple design layers: book, video, and interactive design.

Books are the first design layer—most similar to a film revealed as stills, a flip-book or comic book, they

relate detailed fables or scientific studies concerning human nature in psychology. Building on the

books is the video—like a trailer—linking those detailed stories together. Finally, the interaction—the

last layer of design. Based on art therapy and narrative therapy, the interaction provides an authentic

experience in self-awareness.

Blue - Color Story, 2018. Projection on installation poster. 48 × 96 in.


YILIN ZHANG

Filter of Perspective, 2019. Cement. 2 × 2 in.

How one story develops in several different

parallel universes.

48 Graphic Design


The parallel universe theory is a system

about making choices—when choices

are made, the results manifest in parallel

realties, diverging more profoundly

as time passes. Fate, destiny, and agency

set us on an individual path, positioning

us in our own parallel universe alongside

other souls traveling on their

own journey.

What path are you on?

This thesis explores and visualizes

parallel universes. Several stories

are presented, each unified by a common

starting point. Beginning with

a shared reality:

Jack asked Mary accompany him to visit

the 808 studio and he wanted to see if his

hiding place still existed…...

50 Posters, 2019. Book and poster. 4 × 5 in.

50 Questions, 2019. Metal hoops, cotton string, and paper. 12 × 29 in.

Authors were invited to develop their

own conclusions and write stories that

express limitless possible outcomes.

Hidden desires, feelings and perceptions

uncovered, we envision a different

world, a larger world freed from

rational organization. I hope my work

inspires readers to occupy their own

parallel universe.


Bobo meditating at Revere Beach, 2019. Digital image.

SIZHI ZOU (CARA)

Mindfulness Meditation can help us balance our life

and work, reduce stress, and allow us to focus on

more meaningful and positive things. Being mindful,

we do not need to sit cross-legged with a straight

back. My thesis is to encourage my audience to practice

mindful meditation in their daily life.

50 Graphic Design


What If We Have Parallel Worlds, 2018. Poster. 24 × 33 in. each.

A lot of people are led by emotions, giving the body and the spirit a harmful burden. Mindfulness can

help us better manage our emotions, focus our attention, and find ways to deal with stress, allowing

us to learn more about ourselves, let go of self-centeredness, and give the people around us compassion

and empathy. Mindfulness is not to deny or suppress but to feel one's inner physical feelings and to

fully experience current emotions, thus creating a head space and dissolving emotional and physical

pain. Once the mind is empty, it stops analyzing and judging, and we can find our motivations, desires,

thoughts, and preferences in the present moment.

The purpose of my thesis is to encourage more people to integrate mindful meditation into daily life.

It is an exhibition that combines emotion, the five senses, experience design, and dialogue. This project

provides the audience with an immersive mindful experience, including fragmented mindfulness training

and keeping a mood journal.

Furball, 2020. Digital image.



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INTRODUCTION

JANA BENITEZ

ANNA BERLIN

LIZA CLEMENT

HANA YILMA GODINE

YOAV HAINEBACH

KELLEY HARWOOD

MAGGIE KING

JULIAN MACMILLAN

MARJANEH M.

JOSH RICHARDS

MACK SIKORA

ALEX STERN

CHARLES SUGGS

MADISON VANDER ARK

DIANA LAURENCE WALSH


INTRODUCTION

The class of 2020 includes fifteen artists working in the expanded field of painting.

Using oil and acrylic paint, drawing, animation, papermaking, photography,

casting, and even cultivating fungi—to name a handful of their processes—this

group of artists has uniquely reimagined the materiality of painting in the twenty-first

century. Thematically, their collective work also casts a wide net. Some

are storytellers, visualizing histories that have been erased, picturing post-apocalyptic

futures, or alluding to ancient symbols of life and language. Others prioritize

sensation, using the mediumistic quality of painting to trace the edges of our

interior and exterior worlds, rendering them tactile and proximate. A number of

these artists are working in response to real-time events, making sense of rapidly

changing political and social realities. Definitions and re-definitions of globalization,

gender, humor, and health are inscribed on the surfaces of these

artworks, graphically, and in full color.

Painting, like certain other expressive forms, insists on a somewhat contradictory

balance between solitude and sociality. Among fellow practitioners, there

is a complete and unspoken understanding of the importance of “alone time”

in the studio. Each artist has their own identity, their own proclivities and sensibilities,

their own schedules and rhythms, their own ways of making decisions

and not making others. This is what we call a practice, and it more often than

not requires long periods of solitary reflection and experimentation. And yet,

the resulting artwork is almost always meant to be experienced in the flesh.

Indeed, the ethos of this program relies on in-person encounters—of the artwork,

and of one another. This is how knowledge is produced. Students learn

how to better articulate the complexity of art through their own sensory and

intellectual grasp of what they see. And they learn how to communicate it to

others, not through the anonymity of a screen, but face to face.

54 Painting


Through seminars, critiques, and lectures, our students have learned to map their

artistic genealogies and lineages: the interests, ideas, and aesthetic affinities they

share with artists past and present. All the while, the students have put down

roots locally, growing together, invigorating and nurturing each other’s practices,

and stabilizing art in a broader sense. So it is especially peculiar, and even cruel,

to conclude this academic year in isolation. Because of Covid-19 we are separated

from each other, quarantined in domestic spaces. As of this writing, it has been

several weeks since we last saw one another in our beloved 808 studios.

This challenging time is making us think in new ways about community, and

what allows graduate art education, particularly in the expanded field of painting,

to flourish. This time is also defined by the fear we all feel, by the constant waves

of information that saturate our long, unstructured days. What does the future

hold—for us, for those we love? These artists are seeking answers by making

art. They are courageous, inquisitive, and hopeful in their dedication to making

objects and images that bring us into contact with one another. These are qualities

and ambitions that will see us all through.

Josephine Halvorson

Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Painting


JANA BENITEZ

Stay, 2019. Oil on canvas. 73 × 60 in.

gestural abstract painting re-presenting somatic

sensation and inner perception, exploring our

bodies as temples, tuning forks, and portals into

greater wisdom and collective consciousness

56 Painting


Blue Flowers, 2019. Acrylic on canvas. 48 × 30 in.

This body of work stems from my fascination with the human body and its relationship to consciousness.

I investigate painting’s ability to depict different felt experiences and vibrational frequencies.

Worlds within worlds emerge, compressing space and evoking simultaneity. Teetering on the edge of

figuration, forms dwell in liminal states of emergence and transformation. Structure and order are

in a constant state of breaking down and being rebuilt, getting swallowed up and rebirthing. A vertical

line shoots up the center of the painting, doubling as a spine or axis. Like the keel of a vessel or the

eye of a storm, it offers a space for anchoring and orientation. It celebrates our bilateral symmetry and

reveals how the structure of our bodies shape how we experience the world. Like a visual mantra,

the centerline also functions as a metaphor for staying centered: everything returns to the self, the body,

and the moment.

Shen, 2019. Acrylic on canvas. 48 × 30 in.


All Dogs Go To Heaven: Geography Chart, 2019. Mixed media.

ANNA BERLIN

: ) / : ( @nn@ B#rL!N xxx : D //// !

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Painting


From Sea to Shining Sea, 2020. Mixed media on wood.

I often think about how to fall short in a painting. I adorn my paintings with glitter

and ornaments but they also have sticker clouds and tiny thumbprints pressed

into clay. The work shifts between being sweet and cartoon-like to sinister and

irreverent. Astronauts are dying or becoming evil, the devil losing and regaining

power from the astronaut, and my dog Bailey (RIP) somehow God. These things

come from grappling with the news and politics, environmental issues, feminism,

and my personal relationships. The use of my name boldly written on the surface,

interesting in that Anna is a palindrome and Berlin a location, but also trying to

claim ownership and space within the painted object and perhaps beyond it.

Self Portrait (Towel), 2020. Mixed media on towel.


LIZA CLEMENT

The cyclical nature of my practice embodies the

paradox between the enduring timelessness of

art, and ideas of impermanence. It is a constant

negotiation.

Ectosymbiotic Commensalistic Behavior (hybrid), 2019. Recycled plastic, soil,

Miracle-Gro, fertilizer, reindeer moss (Cladina arbuscula), cup lichen (Cladonia

pyxidata), mood moss (Dicranum Scoparium), reindeer lichen Cladonia rangiferina,

bacterial growth, Areca Palm, dirt. 18 × 25 × 7 in.

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Painting


My practice embodies states of transition and impermanence

and explores the relationship humans have with the natural

environment and our desire to control nature. In Darwinian

fashion, my fascination with plant and animal ecosystems

has to do with the utter sophistication of their functionality.

My work deals with the presentation and postulation of the

systems that exist in a biological framework and a fabricated

one, specifically targeted to reveal the parts of these frameworks

that are unseen or not readily revealed to humans.

Through the collection and manipulation of these materials,

my process entails speeding up certain naturally occurring

processes and introducing materials that promote growth.

I then utilize plastic, light, and heat to increase or decrease

these reactions. They become collections of data reflective

of the invisible world. Paintings acting as preservations,

records, exaggerations, and reveries are created through

observing these collections. They postulate the possibility

of hybrid organisms; acting as a framework for interspecies

collaborations and an homage to a fascination with ecological

phenomena as it progresses in the world’s current

Anthropocene state.

FLY GLUE-PIT TRAP (missing: Venus), 2019. Plastic,

flies (Drosophila melanogaster, Muscidae) moth,

silkworm, soil (with fertilizer), Hunter’s Fly

Glue-Pit, echinacea, mold, chicory root, staples,

canvas. 18 × 13 × 2 in.

Slide 2 (Primordial Sludge), 2019. Oil stick and yupo on

panel. 60 × 48 × 1.5 in.


HANA YILMA GODINE

Spaces Within Space, 2020. Oil, acrylic, collage on canvas. 70 × 60 in.

Spaces Within Space, 2019. Oil, acrylic, collage,

charcoal on canvas. 51 × 60 in.

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Painting


Spaces Within Space, 2019. Oil on panel. 28 x 30 in.

The movement of time in spaces and places create

its own novel of time.

As a painter, I pay attention to the commonalities between people and the relationships

they have with their environments. I think about painting as a space that

mediates time and place, bringing together people from a globalized world, and reconciling

the past, present, and future into one unified form. Figures are central to

my compositions. Their colorful, transparent, and collaged surfaces suggest embedded

histories and embodied feelings. My practice has long focused onwomen—

their bodies, as well as their social and societal roles. I use color in a psychological

and symbolic way to describe light as it passes from canvas to canvas and conveys

specific moments and times. Working with a spectrum of transparency and opacity,

I communicate the sensations of an environment such as atmosphere, air, wind,

and speed, all of which evoke the flow and movement of life.


Light, Moon, 2019. Aquatint etching on paper. 6.5 × 9 in.

YOAV HAINEBACH

I work on paper using painting, drawing, and

printmaking to explore the space between reference

and its abstraction.

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Painting


I work on paper using painting, drawing, and printmaking to explore the space

between reference and its abstraction. Using deliberately minimal visual language

and mark-making, my work refers to landscape, yet avoids becoming a specific

site. The non-specificity of my landscapes is tangential to issues of diaspora and

displacement —made apparent through the materialization of compression and

linear/non-linear time theories.

The ground the work is situated on, paper, is mobile in and of itself. In this way, the

work is literally grounded in mobility. The temporality and economy of paper's state

of being serves my personal drive and constriction, both literally and theoretically.

By contending with the history of landscape and place, translation and language, my

use of paper in my practice sits comfortably with its reference to the printed word,

as well as diaspora and mobility.

Two moons, 2020. Etching spray paint and mica powder on paper. 8 × 11 in.

Shesh-besh (Unfinished match), 2020. Charcoal on paper. 30 × 20 in.


KELLEY HARWOOD

Is it possible to draw the past?

I try to observe the unobservable.

I make visible what I perceive, collect, research, and interpret about a specific

place. Currently, my practice employs methods of traditional observational

drawing, and site-responsive strategies such as mining photographs, collecting

oral histories, and researching local sources. After researching and experiencing

a place, I begin a work based on a central idea or image and the impulse to make

a drawing or series of drawings. The observed space then becomes a dreamspace,

a starting place for me to invent and remember. My work foregrounds my

subjectivity—my curiosity about the past in an anthropological sense, my desire

to connect with the recent and distant past in an idiosyncratic way, and my

embodied experience of the physical place. I respond to what is happening in

the place now, what has happened in the past, and where I see the past and

present overlap.

Studio Life 3

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Painting


Studio Life 1

Studio Life 2


MAGGIE KING

Garden Party, 2019. Mixed media on panel. 23.25 × 84 in.

Visual phenomena like space, color, light, and material have endless potential

to translate material sensations into psychological states. I do everything I can in

my studio to harness the inherent vitality of the materiality of painting. I use a

variety of reflective and matte materials: glass beads, interference paint, shiny

stained wood, enamel, pouring medium, homemade gesso, and cellulose paint.

Light activates surfaces and creates shifting color and spatial relationships. This

retinal flux imbues the objects with a kind of otherworldly agency; they act as

thresholds from one space to another space. This kind of material animation can

mirror the spectacle of femininity, the complex performance of gender, and act

as a space to investigate huge questions about perception and what it means to

be human and have a body.

These spaces are feminine spaces. They track my relationship with notions of

mystical femininity and how these notions intersect with fetishized gender

roles. Through the creation of personal codes for fetishized gender roles, I create

new notions of mystical femininity that re-instill the feminine body, and my

body with agency.

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Painting


Through material means and retinal effects, I create

otherworldly spaces and scenes in my paintings that

investigate notions of the mystical feminine.

GameHendge, 2019. Mixed media on panel. 47 × 63 in. Rainbow Room, 2019. Mixed media on panel. 33.5 × 44.5 in.


Tablet (Cursive), 2019. Styrofoam, acrylic, ink. 36 × 24 × 2 in.

JULIAN MACMILLAN

Art is leisure which is really labor, labor which is

pleasure, knowledge which is actually joy and is

not knowledge, is un-knowledge.

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Painting


My practice is a process of learning

through play and production. I am curious

about the sacred and the profane.

My work is physical and pictorial. I move

freely between drawing, photography,

printmaking and sculptural techniques

to complicate the distinctions between

objects and images. I am attracted to the

highly graphic for its relationality to

writing, which I think belies its emphasis

and clarity. I make work which inhabits

multiple temporalities; which locates

its sentience in things long forgotten or

possibilities yet to be discovered; which

renders the contemporary and its preoccupations

strange. I want to work at the

scale of my own body. I want viewers to

be aware of their bodies as they encounter

my work. I have a twin brother.

From this strange state of affairs, new,

relational visualities can materialize.

I am not concerned with what is real.

Somebody show me this real thing.

PsychoPomp, 2020. Gravel, concrete, pigment, aquarium

pebbles. Dimensions variable.

Hot to the Touch (Aft), 2020. Styrofoam, acrylic, ink, photographs, epoxy resin. 70 × 60 × 50 in.


MARJANEH M.

Untitled , 2019. Photography. 11 × 14 in.

Untitled , 2019. Photography. 3 ×3 in.

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Painting


Untitled, 2019. Photography. 8 × 10 in.

Using curvilinear forms, circular spaces and shapes seen in the

natural environment, I create pieces that highlight the organic

complexities within and around us, while translating the results

in and through different media.

Clay records the movement of my hands and the impressions

of my surroundings. I love the way it feels in my hands, how

it is alive, from the earth, thus readily available on all continents

and an ancient medium. I fire my clay pieces, solidifying

their forms, then I capture their shadows in photographic

prints with a process that is as old as photography itself.

The translation that takes place between media is of interest

to me. The impressions left on the photo paper are a result of

contact and proximity, as well as a play of light and chemicals

upon slippery surfaces. In the end, an art piece is created

that represents not only my hand, as the creator, but also the

innate energy and agency of clay upon the final medium that

welcomes and receives it.


JOSH RICHARDS

Influenced by movements such as Supports/Surfaces,

Arte Povera, and Mono-Ha, my work is driven by

process, material, and experimentation. Some pieces

test the physical limitations of paint, some are the

result of process, and others are the tools or remnants

of those processes.

Golden Rod, 2019. Acrylic house paint. 2 × 6 shims, Duct Tape, and screws. 26 × 45 in.

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Painting


Rose Petal (detail), 2019. Acrylic house paint, 2 × 6

shims, painters tape, and screws. 11.5 × 18.5 in.

Rose Petal, 2019. Acrylic house paint. 2 × 6 shims, painters tape, and screws. 11.5 × 18.5 in.

My current work involves pouring paint onto found, discarded, and built surfaces which provide a

barrier for the liquid to solidify and sustain a form that references and reflects the tool used to create it.

Although transformed with slight manipulations, the paint still exists as itself while also providing its

own support, acting as an implied canvas. By using house paint I am also subverting product intentionality

and challenging the purpose or intended use of material. Rather than using the paint to cover the

surface of a wall it becomes the object of observation, thereby elevating the status of the object and the

way viewers perceive it. The works evoke both manufacturing and craft, while the materials used to

construct these objects form an interdependence. The liquid paint once held in place by tape and wood

becomes one; cured and removed from the surface with only the congealed object to consider.


MACK SIKORA

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Painting


It’s Okay, I’ve Compartmentalized U, 2019. Acrylic and Flashe on

board (polyptych). 49 × 75 in.

Fucks at Dusk, 2019. Acrylic and Flashe on board. 22 × 28 in.

So do you love me yet?

My paintings are shallow. They love themselves. They love me more than you ever

could. They’re not interested in giving you space to move around in, nor are they

interested in providing a clear view of what life could be like without the limitations

they represent. Oh they’ll tease you with it though.

My work pokes fun at the shallowness of our own perceptions. While the work

may imply a vastness of pictorial space, from a shifted perspective, their illusion

crumbles. They are just paint on a flat surface. They are a façade of depth, a mask

of complexity, a performance of seduction. They are swiping right on a catfish.

Painting has become a secure yet powerfully vulnerable void for me to whine into

and as such, these paintings are a cry for love. So do you love me yet? Let’s drink a

Hot Toddy and talk about it!

Self Portrait in Blue, 2019. Acrylic, Flashe, canvas, adhesive, wood, and metal

frame. 25 × 33 × 24 in. Pictured in front of, I Told My Grandma About You, 2019.

Acrylic and Flashe on canvas. 5 × 7 ft.


Valence, 2019. Oil on canvas. 79 × 65 in.

ALEX STERN

The cross-examination of art historical content

and contemporary culture by my personal

philosophical perspective yields a resonance of

ideas from varied perspectives. Paintings are a

hybrid plane where psychology and materiality

weave a layered composite.

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Painting


Making paintings is a prayer-like practice, meditating on the unknown known, the

unnamable—a transformative space where the subjective converts to the objective—

All while contributing and participating in a discourse that spans a wider continuum

of time and history. While I approach the work with specific socio-political questions

in mind, my practice includes an openness and freedom to undo or shift my original

intentions. By relinquishing partial control, I allow the media to inform new and

evolving inquiry and, in turn, varied opticality. Self-argument and material-argument

work in unison to reject certainty while arriving at a dynamic yet finished facture.

It is this process, and a disciplined life routine outside of the studio, coupled with a

complex reckoning with personal history, that defines my practice.

Meat Grinder, 2019. Oil on canvas. 111.5 × 66.5 in.

Reward, 2019. Oil, photo-transfer on aluminum

on canvas. 87.5 × 68 in.


CHARLES SUGGS

I leave erasure marks and detritus as an homage

to the erased histories that I study. My goal is

to personalize this style so that it combines my

own learning experience with the discovery of

hidden narratives.

My work is about aspects of history buried away by the power dynamics that were

threatened by them. I find examples of this through various forms, usually a story

written about a different subject entirely, yet a side story within it will capture my

attention. I revisit these erased moments, and compare how they are related to

contemporary events. These different timelines interact with one another, with

the ghost of the past haunting the actions of the present.

I explore this by using various media compiled for output through video. This process

allows me to show multiple forms of information gathering and research that

go into the overall product. I use graphite, oil paint and film, combined with photographs

and other non-animated videos, to obtain various effects and perspectives

for the finished piece.

Caution, frames from "Shadrach," 2020. Pencil drawings, video.

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Painting


Montreal, frame from the video "Shadrach," 2020. Procreate drawings, video.

Ripples, frame from "Shubuta," 2019. Animation.


MADISON VANDER ARK

My paintings and installations attend to my physical

understanding of the world and investigate the

bleak, austere sites I encounter every day, while

inviting the viewer to imagine the possibilities that

lie within.

I am about to go deep-sea diving. They have erected a vast tank of water on land

next to the Mediterranean Sea. I strap oxygen to my back and descend into this

tank. I go all the way to the bottom. Here, there is a cluster of blue lights shining

on the entrance to a tunnel. I enter the tunnel. The tunnel will lead into the

Mediterranean. I swim and swim. At the far end of the tunnel, I see more lights,

white ones. When I have passed through the lights, I come out of the tunnel,

suddenly, into the open sea, which drops away beneath me a full kilometer or

more. There are fish all around and above me, and reefs on all sides. I think I

am flying, over the deep. I forget, for now, that I must be careful not to get lost,

but must find my way back to the mouth of the tunnel. /Lydia Davis /edited

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Painting

Veiled Genie, 2019. Oil on panel. 82 × 104 in.


Candy-cane Façade, 2019. Oil on panel. 72 × 24 in.

Candy-cane Façade (detail), 2019. Oil on

panel. 72 × 24 in.


DIANA LAURENCE WALSH

I work collaboratively as a visual artist to create

process-based installations which employ rituals,

labor and rules to explore the structuring of biopolitical

identities and classes.

Video stills of performance during installation Hier, in collaboration with Corinna D’Schoto, v. Berlin, Germany. Installation and

performance during residency in Prenzlauer Studios, using handmade books, paper, waxed binding thread, pins, and cardboard

bedroom furniture.

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Painting


Artist books, top to bottom: installation

shot of keys for books featured in grisp,

re-reconciliation unlocked with spread parts,

and a locked version of imcomex, 2019.

Single editions of artist books using various

fiber materials, wood, padlocks and keys.

I work across fields of painting, sculpture, and installation,

with a focused investigation of deviant behavior, labor,

class dynamics, and gender identities. I am particularly

invested in papermaking and papercasting as a means

to explore accumulation and ephemera in process-based

practices. I am engaged with how these topics are

informed by differences between individual, familial, and

cultural memory—therefore: folklore and storytelling

are integral parts of this process. Time based media like

bookmaking and projection help direct the use of narrative

in visual outcomes. As I create, obey, disobey, and

inevitably rewrite the parameters of my projects, rituals,

routines, and rules both structure and rupture my practice.

As a result, documentation and ephemera often

play a more crucial role than a final commodity. Collaboration

is a critical way I think through my practice.

Reaching out to interdisciplinary artists and maintaining

long-term collaborations area gro-unding force in how

I identify as a maker within a larger conversation.

Installation shot of sheer[mir]ror, in collaboration with Madison Vander Ark, 2020. PVC piping, sheer

fabric, blackout fabric, safety pins, chicken wire, flora debris from the Charles River, discarded paper,

wheat paste, spray paint, one-way mirrors and discarded wood studs.



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INTRODUCTION

ANIA GARCIA LLORENTE

JENNIFER KILBURN

CHANG WU


INTRODUCTION

This semester, three artists will be graduating with an MFA in Sculpture from BU:

Ania Garcia-Llorente, Jennifer Kilburn, and Chang Wu. These three have contributed

immensely to the evolving conversation at the heart of our curriculum—through

their extraordinary creative work, through their generosity and mutual support,

their wit, and their willingness to offer and accept both criticism and dissent. In

light of all that they have contributed to our program, it is important to acknowledge

the significant challenges they have had to face as a result of our current global

crisis, particularly as artists whose creative process depends so much upon the

conditions of physical space and the materiality of experience.

Yet the work of these three students exemplifies an approach to the practice of art

that is as adaptable as it is sensitive to the conditions of its production. Their

creative concerns are quite distinctive, and yet their work—in all of its varied forms—

asks us to reconsider our context, both as individuals and as active participants

in the formation of the shared space of culture. Ania—who works between installation

(using specific found and constructed objects), performance, video, text, and

image-making— implements rigorous and often absurd organizational systems that

satirize relationships between institutional bureaucracy and alienated labor.

Chang’s inquiry into physical and social phenomena (as wide-ranging as earthquakes,

interactions between light and sound waves, and the nature of written and spoken

language) offers pragmatic, poetic, and humorous points of reflection on subjective

perception and collective experience. Jennifer’s research has led to the construction

of elaborate, sometimes immersive and overwhelming installations that verge on

synesthetic overload. Within these works, she integrates aspects of personal narrative

with a consistent (and somewhat prescient) concern with systemic failure and

man-made disaster.

88 Sculpture


An old, local adage (no doubt inspired by envy) has it that, for art at BU, the “BU”

stands for “big and ugly.” I like to think that this reflects our students’ relative

comfort with mess, their enthusiastic engagement with process, their interest

in working with materials and making real things, their prodigious productivity

and willingness to take risks. Added to this, I think that the immediate challenges

facing us now are both big and ugly, and I believe that our students’ work can

and will confront the realities of this volatile, uncertain time. As artists, so much

of what we do depends on our ability to productively encounter the inevitability

of change. In fact, a substantial part of creative practice entails the provocation of

change, through the sensitive and critical re-evaluation of those forms and ideas

that we most readily take for granted. And as the chaotic terms of our new global

context become apparent, it will be up to us to help nourish the culture, to offer

the visionary possibility of hope and humor, and to be critically incisive in the face

of apathy. Above all, it is the work of artists to ask the world to face and to recognize

what is complex, difficult, painful, and willfully overlooked. For Ania, Chang,

and Jennifer, these priorities are already in practice. May they continue to face

that which is big and ugly.

David Snyder

Assistant Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Sculpture


ANIA GARCIA LLORENTE

Sliding boxes, 2019. Video. 01:56.

Screensavers, 2019. Installation. Variable dimensions.

90 Sculpture


1: i register systems of work that produce satisfaction and

exploitation at the same time

2: i am interested in the collective process in which images

are legitimized by repetition, connective systematization,

translation to different media

loop 1 and 2

1 + 2 = 3 = the logical-unreal

elements of my work:

A: anchoring points

P: points of return

S: successives alternations of activities

A2: Art

? = ?

economy + language = ecolanoguamyge

Finished Product, 2018. Sculpture. 18 × 18 × 8.5 in.

MSMG: manipulation of personal simple mechanized gestures

where the recognition of the material source and the

fabrication process is an important part of them

G: geometry

RAICR: rational alternation of different ideal constructs

of reality

DC: dominant culture

S: survive!

MSMG needs G because of how DC dictates our imagination

what happens in the art-experience as an agent of alternation

between systems of activities?

how does the mind become open to take in a new structure

of reality?

mamilia-groff.com/

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JENNIFER KILBURN

Life is a series of countdowns and the grad school

one just ended.

The next countdown just began. This is one-hundred and fifty words or less

wherein Jennifer Kilburn is going to say something meaningful, and make

connections to the social, political, and contemporary art world that can clearly

be seen in her work. She's going to make a statement that sums up everything

she learned about her artistic practice in grad school. She will make a justification

for being here today and taking up two pages in this catalogue, and two years

in the MFA Sculpture program at Boston University. She's going to think back

on these words in the future and realize, “This was the moment that I finally

figured out what to say about my work.” These words will age incredibly well as

her art career matures. She doesn't even need one-hundred and fifty words. Just

condense that to five. Four is probably enough. How about three? Now two. One.

Still From Muncă, 2019. 2 video projections, 1 audio work,

as many paper cats as necessary. Dimensions variable.

92

Sculpture


Beehive, 2018. 10 television monitors, 4 video works, 6 static feeds. 5 x 5 x 7 ft.

Abduction, 2019. Foam board, polystyrene sheets, wood, paint, dirt,

AstroTurf carpeting, 1 Video projection. Dimensions variable.


CHANG WU

94

Sculpture


Chang Wu's work attempts to explore the boundary

between subjective space and objective space from

the perspective of space perception.

The inscape of space, such as orientation, size, depth, and movement, are usually

regarded as objective existence, but in fact, these elements are "unrealistic" which are

prior to objective things. The texture of space always changes with people's attention,

mood, and other factors. This is particularly evident in the spaces of schizophrenics,

drug users, and dreams.

The world that people perceive is composed of the superposition of subjective-space

and objective-space. The limitation of people's senses leads to this boundary. The

numb non-sensitive senses of humans make the subjective and objective space can

never perfectly coincide.

When we see some unexpected or unfamiliar phenomena, the objective-space based

on reality changes at the same time. The subjective-space, however, is constructed

from humans’ experience, and it cannot respond immediately to these phenomena,

so it remains the same. I classify these moments as the detachment of objective and

subjective space. I'm very interested in these moments of cognitive collapse.


About Boston University

College of Fine Arts

School of Visual Arts

Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts prepares students to think seriously,

to see critically, to make intensely, and to act with creative agency in the contemporary

world. The School of Visual Arts merges the intensive studio education of an art school with

the opportunities of a large urban university, and is committed to educating the eye, hand,

and mind of the artist. With rigorous graduate and undergraduate fine arts programs that

are rooted in studio practice, School of Visual Arts provides highly motivated students with

programs in the bedrock disciplines of the fine arts coupled with a vast array of electives

and liberal arts opportunities.

Established in 1954, Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) is a community of artistscholars

and scholar-artists who are passionate about the fine and performing arts, committed

to diversity and inclusion, and determined to improve the lives of others through art. With

programs in Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts, CFA prepares students for a meaningful creative

life by developing their intellectual capacity to create art, shift perspective, think broadly,

and master relevant 21 st century skills. CFA offers a wide array of undergraduate, graduate,

and doctoral programs, as well as a range of online degrees and certificates. Learn more at

bu.edu/cfa.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher

education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth–largest independent

university in the United States. BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number

of multi- disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching

mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of

62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Learn more at bu.edu.

Printed by Kirkwood

Designed by Wei Yun Chen, Julian Parikh, Farinaz Valamanesh, and Krystyn Wypasek

Set in Fairy (Narrow, Fishy, and Chunky weights), Tisa Pro, and Tisa Sans

© 2020



98 Graphic Design

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