Department of Art and Art History News

Ezra Masch to exhibit at Mattress Factory

Fri. September 9, 2016

Ezra Masch, "Mind the Gap", 2016
Ezra Masch, "Mind the Gap", 2016

 

After a summer as one of the Mattress Factory’s artists-in-residence, Ezra Masch (M.F.A. Studio Art, 2012) will exhibit all new installation work on September 30, 2016. The Mattress Factory is renowned as a leader in site-specific, contemporary art and continues its tradition of unparalleled support of its resident artists.

Masch will exhibit a multi-channel video installation comprised of footage shot in the NYC subway system. Masch has synchronized and arranged cell phone footage collected from passersby in Pittsburgh who were asked to shoot video with their own cell phones simultaneously out of different windows of a moving train. Together they create an unfolded view of the tunnels, platforms and people underground.

“When I moved to NYC last year, I began to document my surroundings by making drawings and video sketches,” writes Masch. “In part, the shift from sculpture to drawing/video was out of necessity (I couldn't afford a studio space in New York, and I had to find a way to sustain a creative practice in this challenging environment), but the sketches have turned into a catalyst for exploring new territory in my work. I'm excited about using video in a sculptural way.”

Twelve videos in all, six on each side, the exhibit is intended to be an immersive audio-visual experience.
 

Laurel Shear Presents Work at Solo Show in Los Angeles

Fri. September 9, 2016

painting inspired by flora of Los Angeles
 

Laurel Shear (M.F.A. in Studio Art, 2015) presents work in show entitled Where Dreams Come True and Go To Die at Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Los Angeles. The exhibition will be on view from September 10 - October 1, 2016. 

Visual Art Studies students visit The Floating Piers during Learning Tuscany study abroad program in Italy

Thu. September 8, 2016

“Once we set foot on the dock, we were greeted by hundreds of people fighting their way to leave and to start their journey upon the water.”

 

three students on fabric of Christo's Floating Piers project
 

 

For four Visual Art Studies students, traveling to Tuscany through the Study in Italy program turned out to be incredibly more than what they bargained for. During the Learning Tuscany program, students and faculty are based in a small town in Eastern Tuscany. In this location they are uniquely positioned to visit and take in the rich cultural sites of many of the great art cities in central Italy. Michelle Zhou, Elysium Gonzales, Anabell Horton and Anamarie Delgado joined the program excited to tour the famous museums and historical sights, while putting their educational practice into a greater art historical context. And they did! But they also were given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Floating Piers.

The Floating Piers is a large-scale public art project conceived by internationally known artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Thirty years in the making, and the first project from Christo since Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009, The Floating Piers spans a three-kilometer walkway across Lake Iseo and the two and a half kilometers of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. For many of the students, this was beyond compare, “As a girl whose family has never stepped foot on international waters, this one-of-a-kind experience of traveling to Italy and seeing The Floating Piers has given me a special kind of privilege,” writes Elysium Gonzales. “Knowing that this unique exhibition was temporary, and that we had arrived on only the second day of its opening was something I never would have dreamed of doing.”

The four students spent long hours of traveling and waiting to experience The Floating Piers, but ultimately found the experience worthwhile. “Being fortunate to see The Floating Piers and Studying Abroad in Italy has made be believe that I am capable of doing anything,” one of the students, Anamarie Delgado, writes while reflecting on the experience. “I had always seen studying abroad as a possibility, but never thought that I would actually be able to have the experience. But I am so glad that I let those worries go and just let myself experience the opportunity. This is what I hope to teach my future students. I want them to know that they should not limit themselves on what they think they can and cannot do. They should just take an opportunity that comes in their life and pursue it.”


To read more about their trip to The Floating Piers, visit the Learning Tuscany blog.
 

Elizabeth McClellan honored with this year’s UMLAUF Prize and exhibition

Wed. September 7, 2016

EchindaLabs woman with skin modifications
EchindaLabs

EchindaLabs, performance-based installation work of Elizabeth McClellan (M.F.A. Studio Art, 2016) will be featured with previous UMLAUF prizewinners in the UMLAUF 25th anniversary retrospective exhibition November 4, 2016 – January 29, 2017.

Don Bacigalupi, founding president of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and juror of the 2016 UMLAUF Prize, selected M.F.A. graduate Elizabeth McClellan as this year’s winner. In Bacigalupi’s statement, he remarked, EchindaLabs is a complex, multi-faceted Gesamtkunstwerk by Elizabeth McClellan that reflects the extraordinary boundary-breaking creativity seen in some of today’s most advanced and cross-disciplinary art practices.” He adds, “the work operates in the nexus of art and medical science, a fertile territory staked out previously by artists as diverse as ORLAN and Virgil Wong. Complex ethical issues abound in the real world of rapidly advancing genome-editing technologies, and McClellan capably invites us in for consideration.”

When museum visitors walk onto the set of EchindaLabs, they will learn about genetic skin modifications and explore the possibilities of using viral biomes to decorate the skin through a series of videos, brochures, photographs and human interaction with the “EchindaLabs receptionist”. McClellan created the experience based on the recent innovations in gene editing technology and her fascination with its implications on politics, science and the future of our bodies.


Exhibition Opening is Friday, November 4 from 5–7pm.
 

Review of Susan Rather's The American School published in Critical Inquiry

Tue. September 6, 2016

Susan Rather's book cover for The American School
 

Bryan J. Wolf, Professor Emeritus of American Art and Culture for Stanford University, reviewed Susan Rather's The American School: Artists and Status in the Late Colonial and Early National Era for Critical Inquiry. Critical Inquiry is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the best critical thought in the arts and humanities.