To Read: MFA Thesis - Art and Education

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts

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Like many other MFA programs in spring 2020, the graduating students at VCUarts were not able to show their work in a final thesis exhibition due to the global pandemic. There have been a wide array of solutions that each student has used to address this challenge, but to approximate a physical thesis exhibition, work by these artists from six VCUarts departments has been gathered here.

The Painting + Printmaking MFA graduates address a wide range of subjects including the slippage of language, queer animism, the wake work of traumatic histories, and diasporic identity as an impossible object.

The Craft/Material Studies MFA graduates explore concepts of identity, sustainability, intimacy, social justice, and material culture. Their work, uniquely positioned at the intersection of craft, performance, and technology, investigates diverse approaches in art-making to develop a unique voice and personal vision.

A group of six powerful artists, the 2020 Sculpture + Extended Media MFA graduates worked through the immense trials at the brink of the Covid era to produce bodies of work that promise to help heal and shine light on ways to move forward.

The photographic works of the 2020 Photography + Film MFA graduates explore concepts of intimacy, spirituality, ritual, landscape, and the ways in which we shape relationships with our world.

The 2020 Graphic Design cohort departs VCU with clear eyes, full hearts, and a sweetness that held their community together through the toughest of times. As these students have said: “maybe the real group show is the friends you make along the way…”

Jared Duesterhaus, a Kinetic Imaging graduating MFA, speaks for their cohort with the following text: “The fastest way I can understand myself is to break the whole thing. We are defined by boundaries and the only way to map that is to reach out. So I reach out. Reach out. Reach out. Reach out. Reach out. Reach out.”

Participating Artists

Painting + Printmaking
Bryan Castro
John Chae
Kyrae Dawaun
GM Keaton
Seren Moran
Luis Vasquez La Roche

Craft/Material Studies
Eric Anthony Berdis
Laura Boban
Min Haeng Kang
Andy Lowrie
Paige Lizbeth Morris

Sculpture and Extended Media
Aaron Estrada
Umico Niwa
Mariana Parisca
Ruben Ulises Rodriguez Montoya
Peat Szilagyi
Kate Turner

Photo + Film
Hannah Altman
Ash Goodwin
Elizabeth McGrady

Graphic Design
Bushra Alsughayer
Yutong Liu
Feixue Mei
Aidan Quinlan
Jason S. Wright

Kinetic Imaging
Jared Duesterhaus
Yonghun Jung

Using Format