MFA 2014 Fall Thesis Exhibition

November 8–20, 2014

Graduate school presents one with a solitary journey of discovery in the company of others. Like the grass-worn lines that crisscross the campus quads, graduate study requires urgent trailblazing. It focuses on questions of identity and history, materiality and form, wherein one attempts to fill in the missing gaps of knowledge, whether personal or cultural, historic or contemporary. In its brief duration for an artist, graduate study also begs one to project the future, or the place you hope to reach.

Each of these artists has negotiated this journey in highly personal and poetic ways, illuminating these desires as the need to make visible the invisible, and by doing so acknowledge the connections we all share, whether they be our need for support in our striving for the ideal (Hebbert), or in examining the unseen distance between those closest to us (Pialtos), or by revealing how social “structures” shape how we participate in public reception and discourse (Watters), or in the tactile nature of our yearnings to nurture and procreate (Guerra), or in how important it is to closely observe and attend to communities that exist in the margins of our societies (Lopez).

All of these artists demonstrate tremendous empathy for their subjects, be it an audience member, a historic figure, an imagined being or participant. That these works embody such fundamental notions of love speaks beautifully to who these artists are and what they have to contribute to the world. We applaud them for bringing to form such a critical, and too often missing, component in the dialogue within the art world and academy. Their paths are worth following.

Kim Dickey, Professor
Department of Art and Art History

Artists featured: Blanca Guerra, Joshua Hebbert, Josiah Lopez, Alia Pialtos, Millie Watters.