This evening, the School of Art will host an opening reception for “Esoteric Rodeo,” its 2017 fall MFA exhibition.
Second-year Master of Fine Arts candidates from all four of the school’s departments — painting and printmaking, photography, sculpture and graphic design — are invited to participate in the exhibit, which showcases works in a variety of media. Bringing together photographs, paintings, posters, videos, textiles, book art and sculpture, “Esoteric Rodeo” presents a varied selection of current work by students in the school, Franziska Virgili ART ’17, a second-year graphic design student, said. According to School of Art Associate Dean Samuel Messer ART ’82, the exhibition, which takes place each fall, marks the “traditional kick-off” to the school’s yearly roster of exhibitions, and will be followed by four thesis shows in the spring.
“It is a great way for the University, public and students to see what … our students are thinking about and making,” Messer said. “None of the work is older than one year, [and] the show is set up to show the visitors what the students of the school did during their time at Yale,” Virgili added.
Like the installation and curation of “Esoteric Rodeo,” its title — the brainchild of Virgili and Isaac Howell ART ’17, an MFA candidate in the painting and printmaking program — is meant as an invitation for visitors to learn more about the work on display, as well as offer their own interpretations.
Purposefully ambiguous, Virgili said, the title was intended to inspire attendees to consider the works on display in a different light.
“We were looking for a term that has this certain ambiguity to it, making it not entirely clear what it means but can be interpreted by everyone for themselves,” she explained.
Shalisa James ’18, who attended last year’s fall MFA exhibition, expressed interest in visiting “Esoteric Rodeo” this year. Echoing Messer’s hopes for the exhibit, and Virgili and Howell’s intentions for its title, James said she was particularly excited about the opportunity to engage with new works from School of Art students, and to offer her own interpretations.
“Esoteric Rodeo” will remain on view in the School of Art’s Green Hall gallery through Oct. 1.