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Exhibition
June 2022

MFA Art 2022 Thesis Exhibitions

USC Roski School of Art and Design

Erin Eleniak, “Journey to the End of the Cul-de-sac,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

Erin Eleniak, “Journey to the End of the Cul-de-sac,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

Erin Eleniak, Excavatio Unicornus, 2022. Porcelain, glaze, free-source earth, clay, Portland cement, cellulose insulation, and free-source plywood, 40 × 49 × 17”.

Erin Eleniak, Ode to Bedroom Dancing, 2021. Clay, free-source earth, graphite, ceramic pigment on canvas, fired ceramic, and digital video with audio, dimensions variable.

Erin Eleniak, The Paradox of Infinite Potential, 2022. Fired earthenware, colored slip, glaze, earthenware made from free-source earth, and free-source glass, 60 × 36 × 18”.

Erin Eleniak, Dirt Cheap, 2022. Two-color Risograph diptych edition, 27 × 17”.

Erin Eleniak, Mutant Variations (Untitled Horse with Flamingos for Arms), 2022. Porcelain, glaze, gold luster, sand, and free dirt, 11 × 6 × 4”.

Erin Eleniak, “Journey to the End of the Cul-de-sac,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

Erin Eleniak, “Journey to the End of the Cul-de-sac,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

Franchesca Flores, “ma-terials,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

Franchesca Flores, Live Mycelium Mold, 2022. Coffee grounds, rye seeds sugar, and blue oyster spores, 8 × 8 × 8”. Photo: Ryan Miller, Capture Imaging.

Franchesca Flores, Untitled (Forever in my Heart), 2022. Spinach anthotype on cotton paper, seven-hour sun exposure, 40 × 56”.

Franchesca Flores, Untitled (Diptych), 2022. Handmade paper, spinach dye, and beet dye, 39 × 20”.

Franchesca Flores, Earth’s Veins, 2022. Handmade paper, coffee grounds, rye seeds, blue oyster spores, and sugar, 34 × 28”.

Franchesca Flores, Alyssum, 2021. Handmade paper, raspberry dye, turmeric dye, avocado dye, and gelatin powder, 38 × 29”.

Franchesca Flores, Mycelium Stool, 2021. Plywood, sterilized straw, sugar, rye seeds, coffee grounds, blue oyster spores, chair legs, plaster, and hair, 20 × 15”.

Franchesca Flores, “ma-terials,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

Franchesca Flores, Painting in Motion, 2021. Video depicting mycelium under microscope, dimensions variable.

Lainey Racah, “Internal Violet,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

Lainey Racah, Porous We (Caravaggio, dir. Derek Jarman 1986), 2022. Video projection on hand-primed camouflage netting, dimensions variable.

Lainey Racah, flesh / bone / sinew / nerve (after Sappho) (detail), 2022. Bioplastic (agar, glycerin, cornstarch, vinegar, and homemade beetroot dye), pressed and sun-bleached bougainvillea, pressed geraniums, dried violets, image transfer, wooden vitrine, and metal sawhorses, 120 × 39 × 29 ½”.

Lainey Racah, Porous We (Caravaggio, dir. Derek Jarman 1986), 2022. Video projection on hand-primed camouflage netting, dimensions variable.

Lainey Racah, Porous We (Caravaggio, dir. Derek Jarman 1986), 2022. Video projection on hand-primed camouflage netting, dimensions variable.

Lainey Racah, flesh / bone / sinew / nerve (after Sappho), 2022. Bioplastic (agar, glycerin, cornstarch, vinegar, and homemade beetroot dye), pressed and sun-bleached bougainvillea, pressed geraniums, dried violets, image transfer, wooden vitrine, and metal sawhorses, 120 × 39 × 29 ½”.

Lainey Racah, Net Echo, 2021. Acrylic paint and plastic scraps from studio floor, 48 × 36”.

Lainey Racah, Camo Cuts 1, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 72 × 60”.

Lainey Racah, Camo Cuts (double vision) (detail), 2021.

Sophia Alana Stevenson, Sweetbitter, 2022. HD video with sound, 10 minutes 39 seconds. Videographer: Saul Singleton; voice-over: Lainey Racah; captions: My Ex. Quotes from Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet (1986); Jessie Dumont, I Prefer Girls (1963); Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt (1952); Jenn Shapland, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (2020); Sophia Alana Stevenson, Looking to the Past: Closeted Feelings of Queer Desire and Longing (2022).

Sophia Alana Stevenson, Sweetbitter, 2022. HD video with sound, 10 minutes 39 seconds. Videographer: Saul Singleton; voice-over: Lainey Racah; captions: My Ex. Quotes from Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet (1986); Jessie Dumont, I Prefer Girls (1963); Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt (1952); Jenn Shapland, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (2020); Sophia Alana Stevenson, Looking to the Past: Closeted Feelings of Queer Desire and Longing (2022).

Sophia Alana Stevenson, Sweetbitter, 2022. HD video with sound, 10 minutes 39 seconds. Videographer: Saul Singleton; voice-over: Lainey Racah; captions: My Ex. Quotes from Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet (1986); Jessie Dumont, I Prefer Girls (1963); Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt (1952); Jenn Shapland, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (2020); Sophia Alana Stevenson, Looking to the Past: Closeted Feelings of Queer Desire and Longing (2022).

Sophia Alana Stevenson, Sweetbitter, 2022. HD video with sound, 10 minutes 39 seconds. Videographer: Saul Singleton; voice-over: Lainey Racah; captions: My Ex. Quotes from Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet (1986); Jessie Dumont, I Prefer Girls (1963); Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt (1952); Jenn Shapland, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (2020); Sophia Alana Stevenson, Looking to the Past: Closeted Feelings of Queer Desire and Longing (2022).

Sophia Alana Stevenson, Monument for Edith, (Lot’s Wife), 2022. Installation with single-channel video projection, salt, polystyrene, and 1400 pounds of salt, dimensions variable.

Sophia Alana Stevenson, Monument for Edith, (Lot’s Wife), 2022. Installation with single-channel video projection, salt, polystyrene, and 1400 pounds of salt, dimensions variable; I want you to imagine me there to greet you, 2022. HD video, 13 minutes, 34 seconds. Videographer: Saul Singleton.

Sophia Alana Stevenson, Ball Gag and Babygirl, 2022. Crystalized salt, heart ball gag, silicone, faux leather straps, metal, and broken gold filled “Babygirl” necklace.

Sophia Alana Stevenson, Crystal Room (detail), 2022. Video installation with three projectors, three videos, and glass crystal prisms, dimensions variable.

Sophia Alana Stevenson, Crystal Room, 2022. Video installation with three projectors, three videos, and glass crystal prisms, dimensions variable.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, “Present Myth, Future Fantasy,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, P. Uninhabitable Fantasy, 2022. Oil on canvas, 70 × 53”.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, A Kind of Touchstone of Reality, 2022. Oil on canvas, 30 × 24”.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, Present Myth, Future Fantasy, 2022. Oil on canvas, 59 × 34 ½”.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, Equinox, 2022. Oil on canvas, 30 × 24”.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, from the series Futility (floods and flames), 2022. Oil on canvas, 30 × 24”.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, Ecology IV: Horizon of Manic Striving and Photogenic Decline, 2022.  Salvaged BMW E30 bumper, paint, canvas, image transfer, flowers grown in Whittier, California, projection-mapped video, and sound, 68 × 23 × 26”.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, “Present Myth, Future Fantasy,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, “Present Myth, Future Fantasy,” installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, USC Roski School of Art and Design, 2022.

A ceramic unicorn skeleton, salt and queer desire, mycelium growth, the politics of shade in paint, and poetry on camouflage netting. All conjure the USC Roski School of Art and Design MFA in Art 2022 graduates: Jessica Taylor Bellamy, Erin Eleniak, Franchesca Flores, Lainey Racah, and Sophia Alana Stephenson. Despite spending part of graduate school in various degrees of social isolation, the group became a close-knit and determined cohort. Their exhibitions have strong connections to ecological theories and fluidity, which the artists work through with humor, the uncanny, fantasy, poetry, camp, personal and historical narratives, and material inventiveness.

While the artists’ use of materials—eco-handmade plastics, spinach, scavenged car parts, “free dirt” found on Craigslist, encrusted salt—is foregrounded by their physical presence, equally present are personal narratives, collected texts made into poetry, literary and filmic references, and archives in the form of newspapers and images. This group works across many mediums at once: from painting to video, from sculpture to ceramics, from printmaking to installation, with performance often present in recorded form. USC Roski couldn’t be more thrilled to share their MFA thesis exhibitions.

USC Roski MFA Thesis Exhibitions at the USC Roski Graduate Gallery, Los Angeles:
Erin Eleniak, “Journey to the End of the Cul-de-sac,” March 4 –11, 2022
Franchesca Flores, “mater-ials,” March 25–April 1, 2022
Lainey Racah, “Internal Violet,” April 8–16, 2022
Sophia Alana Stevenson, “…a perpetual sunrise,” April 22–30, 2022
Jessica Taylor Bellamy, “Present Myth, Future Fantasy,” May 5–14, 2022

Photos: Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging.

Participating Artists

Jessica Taylor Bellamy
Erin Eleniak
Franchesca Flores
Lainey Racah
Sophia Alana Stevenson

The Master of Fine Arts in Art program at the USC Roski School of Art and Design is a two-year, full-time, studio-based program located in the center of Los Angeles, home to a vital local art community and international gallery and museum scene. With a select cohort enrolled each year, the program provides a unique experience that focuses on interdisciplinary and wide-ranging experimental, creative, and intellectual exploration. Students work closely with USC Roski’s internationally acclaimed faculty, as well as an expanded community of leading professional artists, critics, and curators who participate in the weekly Visiting Artist and Scholar Seminar and the Resident Artists and Scholars Program.

The USC Roski MFA Art is designed to maximize each student’s individual studio experience, and its instructional model is focused on critical dialogue as provided by regular studio visits with faculty and guest artists and scholars, and group critiques with student peers. Students also take courses with USC Roski’s renowned Critical Studies faculty that emphasize tracing intellectual and artistic histories, understanding the complexities of theories applied to the visual arts, and addressing global art practices. Program electives provide a broader platform for experimentation and encourage students to explore the expansive possibilities for complementary fields of research at the University of Southern California, one of the world’s leading research universities.

 

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