Alex Ebstein on the MICA MFA Fine Arts Thesis Exhibits Hosted Off-Campus
MICA’s fine arts MFA exhibitions, curated this year by the indefatigable Doreen Bolger, occupied both the exhibition spaces on MICA’s campus and expanded into satellite locations. This year participating venues included North Avenue’s Space Camp, City Art’s Gallery CA, and the Copy Cat’s Penthouse Gallery. Organized into thematic groupings, however loosely associated and realized by the end of the semester, the division of the work into smaller group exhibitions allowed each graduate student ample space to present their thesis projects and the real-world experience of working closely with a curator and peers.
In Gallery CA, three artists, Joyce Anitagrace, Chad Fisher and Li Zhang, presented work that dealt directly and more abstractly with the figure.
Joyce Anitagrace’s installations included sticks and abstract works made with clothes and familiar fibers:
Sculptor Chad Fisher included bronze torsos and figurative sketches:
And photographer Li Zhang’s photo series of reclining nude women:
Around the corner, the works at Penthouse sprawled dramatically to fill the massive floor of the Copy Cat. Pieces by Selina Doroshenko, Ryan Severance, and Simone Kearney each took up separate walls and corners of the gallery, presented more as three solo projects than a cohesive group show:
Installation view Ryan & Selina:
Space Camp’s winding exhibition space included works by 5 artists and was darkly lit with spot lighting for the various installations. Artists here worked in a variety of media, shifting in exciting ways from the small and intimate to the large and site-specific. While the array of work was interesting, each of these artists could tackle a large-scale solo show:
Kyle Kogut worked in the most diverse set of media, including video, works on paper, and sculpture both large and small. His work included some of my favorites:
Kei Ito’s video piece was made into a room-scale installation: projected image, process and supporting materials all merging into an elegant, kinetic, enormous sculpture:
Cheeny Celebrado-Royer’s installation presented textures and impressions of Naga City, through miniaturized cinder blocks and distressed paint and building materials:
Michael Benevenia included a series of mixed-media sculptures precariously perched:
Opposite the sculptures, large-scale paintings by Taha Heydari counterbalanced the narrower palette of Benevenia’s sculptures.
MICA’s satellite spaces included more intimate groupings of work than the campus spaces in less formal settings.
MICA Grad Show Recaps are written in conjunction with MICA’s Graduate Studies Office by Alex Ebstein.