MFA Thesis Exhibition at Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum May 8 to July 27

Features work by 27 master's candidates from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts will present its annual MFA Thesis Exhibition in the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum May 8 to July 27. The exhibition will feature thesis projects by 27 master of fine arts candidates in the Sam Fox School’s Graduate School of Art.

J. Taylor Wallace, *Daydream (Paradigms of Tennessee)*
J. Taylor Wallace, *Daydream (Paradigms of Tennessee),* April 2009. Rocking chair, x-ray films, freshwater mollusk shells, taxidermy fish forms, wood and stainless steel, approx. 84 x 120 x 36″. Courtesy of the artist.

Works will explore a wide range of thematic territory, from formal concerns to social issues, ecological simulations and scientific research. Media include painting, printmaking and sculpture as well as photography, video and site-specific installation.

“We live in an age that represents enormous richness in terms of diversity of perspective and both overlapping and contrasting interests,” says Patricia Olynyk, the Florence and Frank Bush Professor and director of the Graduate School of Art. “The range of issues that confront today’s artists also challenge our artists-in-training.

“It is no surprise that so many of our students are responding to global sociopolitical and economic forces and environmental issues with a sense of urgency,” Olynyk continues. “Public practices are central to their concerns, and they are skilled in navigating emerging technologies while offering playful counterpoints to the all-pervasive influence of digital media.”

For example, Rebecca Potts’ digital prints contemplate the effects of global warming through an almost geological strata of paper, photographs, maps, melting ice and growing plants. Natalie Toney’s politically charged video PTSPEACE (2009) centers on military veterans and draws from psychology, medicine and social services as well as film and the visual arts. Process-oriented sculpture by Amelia Jones explores the reuse of found materials, while Joel Parker wittily conflates college parties and historical painting.

Hye Young Kim, *Awakening Moment I*
Hye Young Kim, *Awakening Moment I,* 2009. Acrylic and yarn on canvas, 54 x 54″. Courtesy of the artist.

“No single medium, narrative direction theoretical stance or sociopolitical position takes precedent over another,” Olynyk observes. “Likewise, our students engage in a broad spectrum of creative methodologies and intellectual frameworks, and are taught to balance ‘making’ with the production of ideas.”

The MFA Thesis Exhibition is curated by Meredith Malone, assistant curator for the Kemper Art Museum. Exhibiting artists are: Stephanie Barenz, Carolyn Dawn Bendel, Jacob Cruzen, Rachel Ann Dennis, Bryan Eaton, Maya Escobar, Meredith Foster, Morgan Gehris, Gina Grafos, Stephen Hoskins, Amelia Jones, Hye Young Kim, Anne Lindberg, Goran Maric, Kelda Martensen, Erica L. Millspaugh, Carianne Noga, Joel Parker, Rebecca C. Potts, Shannon Randol, Elaine Rickles, Michael Kenneth Smith, Dan Solberg, Natalie Toney, Glenn Tramantano, Kathryn Trout and J. Taylor Wallace.


Gina Grafos, *Two Steeples*
Gina Grafos, *Two Steeples,* April 2009. Fiberglass, 240 x 36 x 36″. Courtesy of the artist.

The MFA Thesis Exhibition will open with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 8, and remain on view through July 27. Both the reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. The Kemper Art Museum is located on Washington University’s Danforth Campus, near the intersection of Skinker and Forsyth boulevards. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The museum is closed Tuesdays. For more information, call (314) 935-4523 or visit

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Sam Fox School will sponsor an open house and panel discussion on Saturday, May 9. From 4 to 5 p.m., students will be present in the Kemper Art Museum and available to answer questions about works on view. The panel discussion — which will touch on issues of place, identity, online artistic practice and the artist and society — will begin at 5 p.m. in Steinberg Auditorium, located immediately adjacent to the museum.

Glenn Tramantano, *Autumn Cover*
Glenn Tramantano, *Autumn Cover,* 2008. Acrylic and colored pencil on paper, 15 x 12″. Courtesy of the artist.

In addition, the school will host a satellite exhibition, titled Runneth Over, at the university’s South Campus (formerly Christian Brothers College High School), located in the 6500 block of Clayton Blvd. An opening reception will take place from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 9, and the exhibit will remain on view through May 22. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Sundays through Fridays and by appointment. For more information, call (314) 935-6500 or email


Dating back to 1879, the Sam Fox School’s College and Graduate School of Art represent the first professional, university-affiliated art school in the United States. Today the Graduate School of Art allows students to pursue work in both traditional and cutting-edge media through independent studios supported by the academic resources of the larger university.


WHO: Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

WHAT: Exhibition, MFA Thesis Exhibition

WHEN: May 8 to July 27, 2009. Opening reception 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 8.

WHERE: Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, near the intersection of Forsyth and Skinker boulevards.

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Closed Tuesdays.

COST: Free and open to the public.

INFORMATION: (314) 935-4523 or