April 13, 2018

2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis

View of Kari Varner's The Missouri River 38.81408088787352, -90.12370347726687 and 38.815604433618454, -90.12407945049151, 2017. Water, 10,000 prints on organic paper, two glass tanks, archival pigment print on acrylic, resin, and single-channel video, 30 minutes. Tanks: 12 x 12 x 72 inches; print: 72 x 12 inches. 2017 MFA Thesis Exhibition, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

Photo: James Byard/WUSTL.

Featuring thesis projects by the eighteen students in the graduating class of Washington University’s Graduate School of Art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the 2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition reflects a variety of media, including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, combined media, installation, and video.

The 2018 MFA candidates are Jenn Brown, Sloan Brunner, Samuel Carpenter, Xinyue Deng, Yuxuan Ding, Harley Lafarrah Eaves, Cecily Fergeson, Kim JinHee, Jacopo Mazzoni, Andrew McIlvaine, Brent Nakamoto, Charis Schneider Norell, Song Park, Sara Weininger, Riley Millar Williams, Taylor Yocom, Jon Young, and Ron E. Young.

The 2018 MFA Thesis Exhibition is organized by Allison Unruh, associate curator, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. Support is provided by the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and members of the Kemper Art Museum.

An opening reception will be held from 7–9pm Friday, May 4. Member preview at 6pm. Patricia Olynyk, the Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art and Director of the Graduate School of Art, will deliver a gallery talk about the exhibition at 5pm Wednesday, May 16.

Students embrace a variety of innovative practices that challenge the conventional and habitual in a program that generates a diversity of ideas, methods of production, and strategies of distribution. The themes explored in this year’s show include the politics of race, the role of gender, the poetics of the everyday, and utopian/dystopian futures. The exhibition also reveals the impacts of study abroad—the elements of space, time, history, memory, and the very notion of the urban experience—on studio practice. The Sam Fox School is proud to celebrate this year’s graduating MFA students.

Learn more about the MFA program through the work of our students.

View publications highlighting studio practice and student exhibitions here.

MFA in Visual Art at the Sam Fox School
The Graduate School of Art is located in a vibrant arts community and ranked 12th among the top MFA programs by U.S. News and World Report. The school offers a two-year studio practice program with myriad opportunities for collaboration, cross-disciplinary work, and research. It is an open landscape for the emerging artist—one that reflects the dynamic cultural shifts, global perspectives, and evolving technologies that shape today’s complex art world. While learning to articulate their place within broader social and political contexts, students challenge traditional hierarchies and embrace new forms of aesthetic thinking that range from embodied environments and site-responsive work to DIY projects and post-studio forms of production. Graduate seminars provide a rigorous investigation of various contexts for art making, while the thesis seminar supports students in the exploration of their formal, conceptual, and theoretical concerns.

Graduate Studios: Each individual studio is approximately 180 square feet and supports work across media; students have access to facilities that support collaboration, disciplinary-specific work, and expanded practices.

Financial Aid: A variety of financial aid options are available, including named scholarships, which are awarded on a competitive basis. Each MFA student is also offered a minimum of two teaching or research assistantships as part of their financial aid support and practical training.

Study Abroad: The Graduate School of Art offers opportunities for study abroad, including a Sommerakademie program in Berlin and Venice. Sommerakademie primarily explores the international contemporary art center of Berlin through lectures and discussions with artists, curators, and scholars.

Recent Distinguished Visitors, Critics, and Fellows: Shimon Attie, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Jennifer Bornstein, Mark Dion, Henrik Drescher, James Elkins, Karen Finley, Hal Foster, Coco Fusco, Ivan Gaskell, Mariam Ghani, Michelle Grabner, Ann Hamilton, Sam Durant & Candice Hopkins, Alfredo Jaar, Nina Katchadourian, Chelsea Knight, Ellen K. Levy, Won Ju Lim, Steven Henry Madoff, Lydia Matthews, Christopher Michlig, Danny Orendorff, Trevor Paglen, Andrea Stanislav, Renata Stih & Frieder Schnock, Jan Tumlir, Victoria Vesna, Carrie Mae Weems, Eric Wesley, and Pae White.

For more information about the Graduate School of Art, part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, please contact Patricia Olynyk, Florence and Frank Bush Professor of Art and Director of the Graduate School of Art.

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