This week marks the final week of the School of Art’s master’s of fine arts exhibition, which presents the work of the class of 2018.
The MFA first-year exhibition is currently on display in the Yale School of Art on Chapel Street and is free to the general public. The annual exhibition is open to submissions from the School of Art’s entire first-year class, and presents the work of graphic design, sculpture, painting, printmaking and photography students. In total, the first-year class is composed of 60 graduate students, so the show takes up all three floors of the School of Art’s main gallery.
“Essentially, the concept of the show is that you’ve been here a few months and here’s a chance to show what you’ve been working on, or what you were working on when you got here,” said Elliot Briery ’18, who is taking a class at the School of Art.
The exhibition opened a week before a Nov. 17 reception for the exhibition and capped off the School of Art’s Visitor Day, where graduate applicants are able to tour the school’s studios and speak with School of Art faculty.
Sarah Stevens-Morling, director of digital technology for the School of Art, praised the exhibition’s flexibility, noting how the work displayed is dependent on the artists themselves. Since the event is meant to showcase first-year work, many students take advantage of the opportunity to put their best foot forward, she said. Some students, she recalled, were still deciding what piece to display on the day the show went up.
“It was wonderful for the School of Art’s prospective applicants to get a sense of the breadth of work offered here,” said Stevens-Morling.
Dustin Tong ART ’18 described the exhibition as a chance for incoming students to showcase their work. A first year himself, Tong said that he had the opportunity to submit work, but chose not to.
Ernest Bryant ART ’18, on the other hand, chose to answer the call for submissions. Participating in the exhibition is technically optional, but optional “with a wink and a nod,” Bryant said. He added that students were allowed to submit a single large piece or several smaller ones to the exhibition. Bryant’s mixed-media work, located on the third level, concerns the use of time travel to remove famous protagonists from their commonly known narratives.
“The show is exciting and I invite everyone to come check it out,” said Tavia Nyong’o GRD ’03, professor of African American studies, American studies and theater studies.
Utilizing a range of mediums, works in the exhibition dealt with themes ranging from personal reflection to social criticism. One video installation featured a recording of the artist playing a viola concerto while running on a treadmill. Another was composed of 800 meters of speaker wire combined with wood and hardware.
Across the room from Bryant’s work is a piece that is actually the result of a collaboration between two first-year students — Brian Dario ART ’18 and Valentina Zamfirescu ART ’18. The sculpture, titled “An Ongoing Survey on Diligence” is an ongoing work, changing throughout the duration of the show. Dario said that the sculpture’s multiple iterations will speak to the differences between his studio practice and Zamfirescu’s.
The exhibition will be on display until Sunday.