March 16, 2015

MFA thesis exhibitions

Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan
Cosmo Whyte, YOU know WE can’t swim, 2014. Photograph, 53 x 34 inches.

Designed for artists whose practice actively engages fields beyond the cultures of art and design, the Stamps MFA program offers unique access to the University of Michigan’s world-renowned researchers and facilities It integrates creative work with academic research, international study with regional community engagement, and theoretical grounding with skills development.

Laura Amtower
Connecting Curriculum
Connecting Curriculum documents a multi-faceted playground redesign by elementary school students in a STEAM school. Project methodologies benefit from work with the School of Education, Social Work, Arts of Citizenship, Center for Engaged Academic Learning, and collaboration with the Northside community.

Mary Ayling
Breathing Room 
A sculptural installation that begins with the weight of an inhale. Fragile forms show their strength and seemingly solid structures buckle in this exploration of negotiating our own private and shared spaces. Mary worked with faculty in Anthropology, Architecture and Dance to examine issues of space, sentiment, affect and emotion.

Mike Bianco
Addressing sustainability and environmental and social justice, HIVE includes a mobile bee house for sleeping with honeybees, a live honey tasting performance, and documentation on honeybee advocacy. Bianco worked with American Culture, Mechanical Engineering, and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Trevor King
A contemplative installation, including ceramics, video, sound, photography, and sculpture, Listener encourages sensory consideration of the human being as a vessel. Referencing the ancient relationship between the clay vessel and the human body, the work creates as a space to discover intersections of materiality and the transcendent.

Math Monahan
Through sculptures, installations, and narratives based on folklore, mythologies and personal memories, Tellings examines how storytelling can negotiate the difference between text, information and myth. Narratives/fables are deconstructed into viewer experiences in visual storytelling that remains congruent with an oral tradition.

Joshua Nierodzinski 
Below Shepherd’s Hill
Enter through the red safelights of a darkroom into a story about an accidental rite of passage for a young boy and his brother. The exhibition features painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography to trigger the forensic imagination.

Nataša Prljević
The House on Four Waters 
Based on a personal narrative addressing the real and imagined sites of memory of two sisters, this installation uses collage, video, and audio to open multiple points of departure and return for the viewer, while mapping the experience of a child’s understanding of territory.

Cameron Van Dyke
Future Cycles
At the intersection of engineering, urban planning, art, and design, the Future Cycles project presents three vehicles that challenge American car culture to consider the use of human power and the resource of time as alternative energy options.

Cosmo Whyte
Wake the Town and Tell the People
An installation exploring postcolonial identity as an identity in constant flux and co-existing in multiple locations. Including drawings, photographs and sound sculptures, the show asks: How has identity, placelessness, or presence been altered by dislocation? The project benefited from work with Sociology and African and African American Studies.


New MDes program
In addition to its MFA program, Stamps has instituted a two-year degree program in design. Emphasizing interdisciplinary and integrative practice, the program centers on a carefully chosen cross-disciplinary cohort mixing graduate student designers and professionals to work on projects that address complex design problems related to critical social issues. The 2015 cohort will be focused on Healthcare.

About the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design
The Stamps School offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in art and design. The school’s unique open curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary study, requires international educational experiences, fosters community engagement, and draws on the resources only available at a top-ten research university.



Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design MFA thesis exhibitions in Michigan

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