January 20, 2021

Kelly Akashi and Shahryar Nashat appointed Core Faculty of Graduate Art

ArtCenter College of Design

Left: Kelly Akashi. Right: Shahryar Nashat.

The Graduate Art MFA program at ArtCenter College of Design is pleased to announce the appointment of Kelly Akashi and Shahryar Nashat to our Core Faculty.

Kelly Akashi (1983, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. Her recent solo exhibitions include Cultivator, Aspen Art Museum (2020–21); a thing among things, ARCH, Athens (2019); Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito (2019); and Long Exposure, SculptureCenter, New York (2017). She has exhibited internationally at institutions and galleries such as Clark Art Institute, Massachusetts; MoCo Montpellier Contemporain, France; Gladstone Gallery, New York; White Cube, London; Antenna Space, Shanghai; Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon; Jewish Museum, New York; David Roberts Art Foundation, London; and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Her works reside in the collections of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Perimeter, London; CC Foundation, Shanghai; X Museum, Beijing; and Sifang Museum, Nanjing. Her practice is represented by François Ghebaly Gallery (Los Angeles) and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (New York).

Shahryar Nashat is a Swiss artist. Recent solo exhibitions include The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2020), Swiss Institute, New York (2019), Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2018). Nashat’s work has been included in the 54th International Venice Biennale, the 8th Berlin Biennale, the 20th Sydney Biennale, and Made in L.A., Hammer Museum.

In March 2020, when pandemic sheltering began, Graduate Art’s core faculty made the decision that to graduate our MFAs with integrity it was crucial that their planned final exhibits happen in the gallery spaces they desired. These final exhibits, as well as the various, related kinds of studio work required, were mapped onto the summer and fall terms.

Working with ArtCenter’s President and Provost, Graduate Art’s graduating and first-year MFAs were able to pilot and research studio use, in a safe, staggered, scheduled manner, for the college as a whole, and they worked in the graduate studios throughout the summer term. The graduating MFAs demonstrated inventiveness and perseverance, and they installed their vibrant final thesis exhibits in our numerous MFA galleries.

This fall brought renewed pandemic strictures, but Graduate Art found alternative ways of working, and our students rose to the challenge. We strongly believe that our MFAs had some of the most dynamic opportunities for pursuing their creative work available on the west coast.

Graduate Art is an interdisciplinary Master of Fine Arts program that encourages divergent ideas and methods. With a core faculty of 10 internationally recognized artists and writers, 14 adjunct faculty (in addition to roughly 20-40 guest artists, writers, and curators brought in for individual studio visits each term), and with a total of 35 students, we have one of the lowest faculty-to-student ratios among comparable MFA programs. The result is an intense work environment where concentrated art making is assured equally concentrated and careful attention, whether within specific disciplines or among them: film, video, photography, painting, sculpture, installation, performance and everything in between.

Fundamental to our program are one-on-one studio visits with faculty and rigorous critical, academic and practical coursework. We extend our reach internationally, inviting artists and writers―famous and infamous―as well as historians and philosophers for weekly seminars and our biannual conference series. As part of a world class design school, our students have access to cutting edge software and hardware technology and the equipment and advanced fabrication shops that go with it. We provide students with individual studios, several gallery spaces, and dedicated computing and moving image production labs. We make our public gallery spaces and project rooms available to all candidates, from the first term through the fourth, when every graduating student mounts a solo final exhibition.

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