MAY 1–29, 2016
2016 MFA Exhibition
The MFA Exhibition features work in a wide range of media—painting, photography, sculpture, installation, and video—created by the emerging artists of the Mills College MFA in Studio Art Program. Students showcase a final body of work produced as the culmination of their graduate experience. This year’s presenting artists are Alexandra Bailliere, Elizabeth Bennett, Eryka Fiedler, Joel Frank, Nico Harriman, Jacqueline Sherlock Norheim, Holden Schultz, Jingwei Qiu, and Leila Weefur.
Alexandra Bailliere’s work explores the body’s relationship to space. Through plaster mounted on wood panel and metal and paper sculptures, she investigates the symbiotic relationship between a body and its surroundings. By examining both impressions and reflections, Bailliere is considering the palimpsest, how a body leaves a memory of itself and how a body creates a unique memory based on perception.
Elizabeth Bennett’s work spans various media—including drawing and public interventions—playing with the rules governing everyday spaces: her studio, a gallery, a commute, and the distances in relationships. Bennett uses humor and the power of text in response to her microcosm of society at large.
Mining a personal iconography, Eryka Fiedler’s paintings are process-driven constructs of thought and physicality. The specificities have gone through a dis-assembly in which traces of dreams, memories, and the everyday are transformed into an integration of felt color, form and line.
Joel Frank explores the intersection between nature and artificiality in our lives. Through painting, drawing, and ceramic based sculptures, he looks at how the biological and instinctual parts of us interface on a daily basis with the synthetic objects we use and the constructed spaces we inhabit.
Nico Harriman’s work is autobiographical in nature. Using ink and watercolors, he follows meticulous, banal steps to create huge panoramic paintings. He paints like this to reflect the feelings he has about working his day job. He believes work is a necessary and bittersweet part of human life.
Jacqueline Sherlock Norheim creates installations and paintings that visually collapse layers of images and materials. Photographs of stones, sky, dirt, friends, and the landscape are playfully collaged between gestural paint strokes and fabric. These create magical intersections between seemingly disparate materials, hinting at a new version of the world.
Jingwei Qiu is interested in multiple issues and phenomena that occur due to the rapid pace of globalization and technological innovation. He uses sculpture, painting, photography, and video to investigate how ideologies are reshaped by mass media and digital society, and how hyper-reality influences our understanding and interpretation of our senses.
Holden Schultz is intrigued by the technological evolution of imaging devices. He photographs using a custom camera fabricated by joining a flatbed scanner to a large format lens. Resulting images render movement and highlight the passage of time in an unfamiliar way, revealing new dimensions of the human condition.
Leila Weefur uses video and installation to investigate structural racism through the language of color, order, and division. Tomatoes, crayons and other elemental objects are personified to represent human bodies. Through grotesque bodily transformations, her work questions the violent and polarizing nature of race and color labels.