MAR 27–APR 15, 2018


Mills College Art Museum is pleased to announce Variable Dimensions, the 2018 Mills College Senior Thesis Exhibition on view from March 27-April 15, 2018. An annual exhibition featuring the work of graduating Studio Art majors, the senior thesis exhibition provides a unique opportunity for these young artists—their first exhibition in a professional art museum. This year’s presenting artists are Verónica Yazmín Allen, Jodie Barbin, Isabel Cardiff, Carolyn Dorwin, Lily Drabkin, Amy Farrow, Roxana Farmer, Alexandra Goodenough, Selena Guido, Imani Karpowich-Smith, Gladis Munguia, Karla Navarro, Nicole Rose, Hart Rosenberg, Nai Saeyang, Maya Tillo, Dani Toriumi, and Emily Weiss.

Experimenting with a range of forms and media from painting and installation to video and ceramics, the artists in Variable Dimensions navigate their final moments as undergrads with both anticipation and uncertainty. For these 18 (!) artists, the exhibition is an exciting demonstration of their artistic potential and the creative possibilities within their work.

Jo Barbin, Many Hands (Light Work), silicone, 2017.
Jo Barbin, Many Hands (Light Work), silicone, 2017.

Jo Barbin

Many Hands (Light Work), 2017

The Artists

Verónica Yazmín Allen expresses her and others’ immigrant experiences through sculpture and photography. In conjunction with her Nest sculptures, she photographs her very diverse community with a 4x5 film camera to remind viewers of the fact that this country was built by immigrants.

Jodie Barbin takes familiar forms—those of the human body—and twists them into playful shapes through surreal silicone molds. Her sculptures imagine our physical selves in new environments to tell strange stories and inspire odd ideas.

Isabel Cardiff is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of books and video. Her practice explores the tangibility of memory and experience through the juxtaposition of digital and physical forms.

Carolyn Dorwin's photographs and sculptural installations pay homage to her sense of home in the natural world. Her work honors her predecessors—naturalists, environmentalists, and land based artists—as well as the contemporary community of activists and peers with whom she collaborates. Her intention is to inspire reflection upon the building blocks of nature and community.

Lily Drabkin engages elements of social and institutional critique in her work. Her experiences living in Manhattan and working at an esteemed art gallery inform her work.

Roxana Farmer draws heavily from their personal experiences with clinical depression and anxiety. Their work is made with the intention of helping people effected by mental disorders whether they struggle with their own disorder or know someone who does. As a future art therapist, Roxana looks to help people through exposure to lesser known therapies.

Amy Farrow employs a range of media from painting to drawing and sculpture to explore narratives of body positivity and mental health. She recreates standard wooden drawing mannequins with a diverse range of body shapes and sizes to illustrate that there is not one right way to draw a body.

Charity Ellis, Study Number 2, 2016.
Charity Ellis, Study Number 2, 2016.

Selena Guido


Alex Goodenough presents a series of ceramic objects which are familiar, but not certain. The resulting tools may appear to serve a vague function but the exact purpose is obscured leaving the viewer to imagine every possible use for the object.

Selena Guido paints and is exploring installation work. Her current work relates to her identity as queer and Latina and how to express that identity by way of celebration.

Imani Karpowich-Smith is an interdisciplinary artist raised on old Hollywood and stories about her grandparents from Mississippi. She continues to cultivate work inspired by her life experiences to explore Multiracialism, Blackness, ancestry, and memory.

Gladis Munguia creates a tactile and physical experience for the viewer through interactive sculpture. Using materials like glass and ceramics, Munguia strives to distort the notion that these materials cannot be tactile. These installations often require engagement with the viewer in order to complete the work.

Karla Xitlalli Navarro’s experience as an undocumented Mexican woman has led her to work with grass-roots organizations which has influenced the concepts in her artwork. Her work is both about the self and the collective community. She expresses herself through intention and meditative practices.

Nicole Rose’s large scale paintings explore the intuitive nature of movement and energetic intention to create an abstract landscape of marks created through movement. These works set out to give permanence to ballet’s transient nature while honoring its unedited and unfiltered qualities.

Hart Rosenberg wishes to invoke surprise from viewers by creating spontaneous sculptures with the ordinary in random outdoor areas. She finds an area that resonates with her and gathers materials within the space that normally go unnoticed, to create structures for passersby to view.

Maya Tillo’s sculptural installations are inspired by a family history of embroidery and fabric making. Tillo presents atmospheric installations, infused with a human touch, that explore the way body and space interact through the lens of personal history.

Nai Saeyang is a child of immigrants and a first-generation college student. Born and raised in the East Bay, she identifies with the underrepresented Southeast Asian community known as Iu Mien. Saeyang believes that as Iu Mien people continue to assimilate to American society, their culture and traditions will disappear. Saeyang’s videowork illustrate this phenomenon of time displacement and the eradication of her own ethnic culture over the generations.

Dani Toriumi depicts stories of trauma from her family’s history as interned Japanese Americans following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Through sculpture, her work constructs abstract visual narratives that show the tension between an identity that is on one hand celebrated for its cultural aesthetics, while on the other hand it was once seen as a threat to the country she calls home.

Emily Weiss works at a large scale to imbue the relationship between infrastructure, physicality, and patience. This is achieved through minimalist sculptures that invite the viewer to engage bodily with the work, as well as connect with it aesthetically.