November 5, 2015

Yearbook exhibits Bard and Penn MFAs School Watch reports from Richmond and Zurich

Art & Education
(1) Performance by Savannah Knoop, Sculpture + Extended Media student. Photo: Matt King. (2) Nora Mapp, Spring: spring, 2015. (3) Natalie Labriola, Cleanroom for Psychic Protection, 2015. (4) MFA ateliers in the Toni-Areal. Photo: Romain Mader. © ZHdK. (5) Ava Hassinger, Let’s Make a Deal, 2015.

art&education features Yearbook, a platform for schools to present student work from MFA shows, open-studio presentations, and other annual student exhibitions.

Yearbook exhibitions currently on view:

University of Pennsylvania
PennMFA 2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition
The Master of Fine Arts program of the University of Pennsylvania presented the 2015 thesis exhibition in Brussels, Belgium. The exhibition was the culmination of a six-month exchange between the graduate students and curator Agata Jastrząbek. This year’s edition questioned the power of globalization and cultural relativism by enhancing and paying tribute to particular characteristics inherent to North American culture. It was titled Down to Earth. Visit the gallery here.

Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College
Bard MFA Class of 2016 Thesis Exhibition
Founded in 1981 as the first of its kind, Bard MFA is a nontraditional school for visual, written and time-based arts. At Bard, the MFA community itself is the primary resource for the student—serving as audience, teacher, and peer group in an ongoing dialogue. The Master’s Project culminates during the student’s last summer in residence with a presentation for the greater community as an integral part of it. This year’s thesis exhibition took place in Bard’s off-campus gallery in nearby Red Hook, New York. Visit the gallery here.


School Watch reports from VCUarts in Richmond and ZHdK in Zurich:

VCUarts: Training for the Global Art World
By Owen Duffy
“I’m broke as fuck and have been homeless for four months.” Tinged with desperation and saturated with reality, this is how Clifford Owens prefaced his recent artist’s lecture cum performance at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts (VCUarts). Visiting faculty in the Sculpture + Extended Media department, Owens would seem to embody post-MFA success: a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program, a steady track record of important museum shows, and a much publicized and controversial solo performance at MoMA PS1. While some who know Owens’s work might dismiss his blunt words as hyperbole, or at the very least suggest we take them with a grain of salt, they are imbued with empathy and resonance, particularly for the ears of those about to graduate from a program like VCUarts. More often than not, artists will finish graduate school and find themselves in situations that come close to the one Owens describes: underemployed, a burden of financial debt, with the added pressure to move to and show in New York. [read more]

Inside the Creative Factory: The MFA at the Zurich School of the Arts (ZHdK)
By Aoife Rosenmeyer
The Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK, Zurich School of the Arts) is to be found within a monolith on an arterial road heading northwest from Zurich city. This imposing structure is called the Toni-Areal, and when the ZHdK moved in last year it became what is known as the “biggest creative factory in Switzerland.” The school’s various departments date back to the nineteenth century; today it trains students in design, film, music, dance, drama, art and design education, and transdisciplinary endeavors—there’s even a master’s in Transdisciplinary Studies—as well as fine art. Within the institution, about 2,500 students come to learn; it is the largest school of the arts in the country. The building itself has always been about superlatives, whatever went on there; when first opened in 1977 it was regarded as the largest and most advanced dairy processing plant in Europe, with an impressively long vehicle ramp coiling around one end that was reminiscent of the erstwhile Fiat factory in Lingotto, Turin. [read more] 

School Watch presents distilled perspectives on degree programs in the arts, with interviews, critical texts and editorial exposés on MFAs, Masters, Doctorates and certificate programs in fine arts, art history, curatorial, cultural and film studies, and other related areas of specialty.

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