ANIA GARCIA LLORENTE
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.
Director, School of Visual Arts
ASHWINI ASHOK PATIL
WEI YUN CHEN
SOPHIE SHUOFEI LI
KELLY NICOLE NOLAN
SIZHI ZOU (CARA)
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.
Associate Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Graphic Design
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Through poetry, I will protect you by constructing
into delicate, counted words everything that you
have been through.
through a conversation,
words so beautiful
i don’t want to leave,
kisses that deceive
and manipulate our bodies
distort our mind
and split the heart into four,
they are guilty
we are guilty,
and we trick,
we need to be protected
someone who helps us
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
My thesis aims to explore the randomness of
formulation in systematic typeface design.
Randomness occupies the space between control and chaos—poetic, serendipitous,
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.
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.
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.
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.
Filter of Perspective, 2019. Cement. 2 × 2 in.
How one story develops in several different
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
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
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.
HANA YILMA GODINE
MADISON VANDER ARK
DIANA LAURENCE WALSH
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.
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.
Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Painting
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
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.
: ) / : ( @nn@ B#rL!N xxx : D //// !
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.
The cyclical nature of my practice embodies the
paradox between the enduring timelessness of
art, and ideas of impermanence. It is a constant
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.
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
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.
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.
I work on paper using painting, drawing, and
printmaking to explore the space between reference
and its abstraction.
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.
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
Studio Life 3
Studio Life 1
Studio Life 2
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.
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.
Art is leisure which is really labor, labor which is
pleasure, knowledge which is actually joy and is
not knowledge, is un-knowledge.
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.
Untitled , 2019. Photography. 11 × 14 in.
Untitled , 2019. Photography. 3 ×3 in.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
ANIA GARCIA LLORENTE
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
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.
Assistant Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in Sculpture
ANIA GARCIA LLORENTE
Sliding boxes, 2019. Video. 01:56.
Screensavers, 2019. Installation. Variable dimensions.
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
? = ?
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
RAICR: rational alternation of different ideal constructs
DC: dominant culture
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
? –> Go back to 1:
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.
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'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
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
98 Graphic Design