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Contents

Foreword
Executive Summary

This publication accompanies the exhibition Strategic Plan 2025, on view from May 15
through May 19, 2015, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This catalogue
is an open edition, with an original run of eighty.
Editor: Chase Carter

A304

SaraMarie Bottaro
Chase Carter
Anthony Deng
Megan Donnelly
Cleo Murphy-Guerette
Simon Remiszewski

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James Dunbar
Olexandra Sharaya
Topher Lineberry

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Hannah Luckower
Natalia Miller
Sophia Lucia Rose

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Madeleine Kobold
Natasha Morris
Kristin Reeder

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Duaa Alhammadi
Emily Stewart
Loi Tran

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Alex Austin
Laura Hasanen
Sam Waxman

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Shannon May Mackenzie
Laura Vargas
Kushala Vora

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Catalog Design: Alex Austin, Chase Carter, Madeleine Kobold, Marie Lopez, and Simon
Remiszewski
Cover Design: Simon Remiszewski
3D Scans provided by Marie Lopez and Simon Remiszewski
3D Architectural Model contributed by Nate Grossman
Foreword: Andy Graydon
Executive Summary: William D Ferguson and Christopher Lineberry
Thank You: Chase Carter and Dennissa Young
Printing and Distribution: LighntingSource, La Vergne, TN, USA
© 2015 by Students and Faculty of the 2015 Senior Thesis Program at the School of the
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without
permission. All images are © the artists, reproduced with the kind permission of the artists
and/or their representatives.

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Terminal A

Sarai Hines

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Bianca Broxton
Evan Gilbert
Max Goodknight
Kaitlyn Paston

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William D Ferguson
Audrey Hsia
Charlotte Wampold
Dennissa Young

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Claudia Batista
Marie Lopez
Will Russack
Victoria Wheeler

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Thank You

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ISBN 978-0-692-43929-6

Foreword
I know that it is traditional on the occasion of a
graduation to impart a tiny pearl of wisdom to
the graduating class. But with this year’s Senior
Thesis Program exhibition entertaining the notion
of the Strategic Plan, a certain rumination on
speculation and method seems in order. And so
in that spirit I offer this:
Things have a way of taking shape.
Well. Perhaps you are not immediately
overwhelmed. But behind the platitude I believe
is a statement worth unpacking in the context of
our year together in the Senior Thesis Program.
Because what appears at first to be a nondeclaration on the order of “it is what it is” also
contains a germ of what is so vital and slippery,
treacherously straddling the obvious and the tacit,
about learning to work independently as an artist.
Let us begin then with the Things. We began our
year of studio work with dreams of a clean slate.
Newly refurbished floors ready for a new footprint,
a fresh start. And likewise many students arrived
with a sense of their past work, so very recent, as
in some ways already an historical category out
of which a new, genuine and original form of the
Work would emerge thanks to the clarion lens and
elevated platform of the studio space. But a clean
slate? No, not really. Things were complicated from
the beginning: floors already were full of structures
and infrastructures and competing ideas. And
they were in need of immediate transformation
through retrofitting, accommodation, alteration,
rehabilitation, compromise and, well, waiting.
Likewise, each of you arrived with your own
Thing in tow: your ideals and expectations,
developing habits and reflexive responses. In

many cases you didn’t know it was your Thing
yet; it needed discovering before it could be
handled directly. But there it was when you arrived
in the studio every day, just as often an obstacle
to be overcome as it was a guiding compass or
comforting continuity. Both Things, the external
space of the studio, and the internal space of
each artist, demanded a progress that would
only occur through questioning, reconsideration
and metamorphosis. It would not happen from
scratch.
And so began a process of building, not from
the ground up, but from the whatever up, or you
might say building from the given up. The open
secret is that this is the path of all discovery,
all transformation, all progress: it begins in the
middle, often of nowhere, and proceeds with
what is at hand toward a goal unknown. You as
artists insert yourselves into the whatever and
you return form; you return meaningful shape to
your viewer, your audience, to your world, and
most curiously to your self.
This process begins and ends in mess: doubt,
un-clarity, dissimulation, more doubt, a maelstrom
of ‘whatever’. But in walking that path from the
given to the form you are manufacturing, there
is a skein of sense, of purpose, of belonging and
coherence in the world. It is, along this momentary
path, a World, a cosmos.
And this then is the Shape I refer to above: the
shape of your time, your action and intention, as
it conducts through the fabric of your life, and as
it etches new grooves into the surface of reality,
changing it subtly but substantially. To borrow
vocabulary from the writings of Erin Manning
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Executive Summary
and Brian Massumi, you, your work and your
environment are co-composing. In this mode
of mutual formation, your action in the studio
becomes “a thinking-feeling that occurs in a
relational field, across works in the making. […]
It vibrates. It is not figure or form […] it resonates
with all it touches. But it cannot quite be seen.”
It is a speculative shape, but a shape none the
less. Like a line of inflection or a path worn only
by repeated walking. (Manning and Massumi,
“Thought in the Act”, 2014, p.64)

anxiety; and spaces where the everyday and the
overlooked become truly redemptive of existence.
There are reaches where death walks entwined
with life; where disgust and desire, consuming
and rejecting, perpetually dance with and excite
one another. There are regions that can only
function from unknowing, from a refusal to predict
the way and a careful cultivation of the reflexive
moment; and spaces where memory struggles to
find its reality in the present, as trauma, as story,
as warning, as promise, or as wish.

For each of you individually there is a necessary
path to walk, and you have just walked it. It seems
messy, undisciplined, haphazard, risky, ill-advised,
or blindly led, but it is in fact the way of things.
This inefficiency is a product of the fertile territory
you negotiate: the knowledge not-yet-known, the
fields of experience which have not been named,
the spaces of culture which have no proper fit,
market, or advocate. Yet.

Let us pass then finally to the Way. Forward. Not
straight, or answered, never resolved, but ever
opening further into the shape of the future, like
the speculative spaces and the Strategic Plans
you invent. This way you might call your practice,
your method, your habit, or your work. Indeed it
is your art. And I am so proud to have had the
chance to share this part of it with you.

Some of these myriad spaces are reflected
directly in the work you have produced over
the year and are present in this exhibition.
There is the crypto-forest, and the ‘window to a
gayer space’; the geopageant, and the domain
of radical hospitality. There are spaces where
science fiction is overwhelmed by the terror of
the mundane; where opposites of cultural and
personal identification are brought into productive
friction, blended without losing their difference.
There is the suspended moment of objects-inprocess, of trying to apprehend things both in
bud and in decay. There are the onrushing vectors
of the future already embedded in the material
of the present. There are spaces in which only
absurdity can counteract the forces of existential
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On behalf of myself and all of the faculty and fellows
of the Senior Thesis Program, congratulations and
best wishes.
Andy Graydon
Boston, April 22, 2015

Strategic Plan 2025 showcases diverse and
plentiful access points, a multitude of possibilities
for how artists connect to a landscape of
contemporary art, and the world at large. Strategic
Plan 2025 encapsulates the time students spent
at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, subject
to a curriculum which promotes these plural ways
of thinking and making. However, Strategic Plan
2025 also speaks to a method of institutional
framing, borrowing language from the school’s
own “Strategic Plan” - a series of goals to be
met over time in order to reach a broader longterm vision. As the first students to experience
its direct effects, the class of 2015 is one such
defining benchmark for the school’s “Strategic
Plan.” Strategic Plan 2025 addresses imminent
institutional realities, as well as the long-term goals
of the artists themselves: it represents a perpetual
negotiation between creative ambition, personal
agency, institution, and time. Projecting 10 years
into the future, Strategic Plan 2025 marks the
artist’s transition from incubated students to
hatched cultural producers, the first “official”
phase of their career.

studios form a physical labyrinth, echoing the
students’ relationship to the school as a puzzle
with multiple solutions.
Key points of the exhibition’s own strategic
plan match each space to a specific objective.
Using varied combinations of aesthetics and
concepts, each individual’s work is incorporated
into a holistic schema. Strategic Plan 2025
exemplifies the idiom “different ways to skin a
cat”, evidenced by a plethora of mediums and
academic positions, that are simultaneous to each
artist and the collective 2015 Senior Thesis class
of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Strategic Plan 2025 is a launch pad built by
students in Senior Thesis, who were required to
explore their practice from multiple platforms of
academic research and material investigation.
The results exemplify a foundation for sustained
creative practice, individual to each artist’s
approach to cultural production. A unique function
of the exhibition is the transformation of working
studios and classrooms into exhibition space,
furthering the conversation for how the academy
influences bodies of work, and the people who
produce them. Internal architectures of the
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SaraMarie Bottaro

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Bio
Originally from San Diego, California, SaraMarie Bottaro is completing a Peace
and Justice Studies BA at Tufts University, and a BFA at the School of the
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is also currently launching a publication
house centered on social justice advocacy, Dancing Rabbits Publications.
Selected past exhibitions include This Into That: Found Object Art, Assemblage,
and Other Transformed Work at Nave Gallery Annex in Somerville, Mostra 1 at
Erbaluce in Boston, Altered: Collages, Altered Books, and Mixed Media Works,
curated by Jesseca Ferguson at the MFA Boston’s WM Hunt Memorial Library.
Artist Statement
Sexual violence is often perceived as a “Women’s
Issue,” as if it were something gender specific and
easily corralled into one type of lived experience.
Instead, it really is a societal issue – everyone’s
issue. From the departure point of the ancient
myth of vagina dentata present in many cultures,
my drawings explore the relationship between
the represented/depicted vagina and how it is
conceptualized as apart from (instead of a part
of) the body as a whole.

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Within the text of the vagina dentata myth,
the vagina is first pathologised as an intensely
dangerous space, due to the presence of teeth,
and then subjugated to torturous extraction of
those teeth through either phallically induced
destruction or plier based ripping out. I see this
myth, in all of its forms, as an attempt to justify
the violent oppression of women. Through taking
away the female body’s power, by ripping out its
teeth, there is an excuse to treat the remaining
woman as weak. It is my aim in this work to add
to the conversation questioning expectations of
women’s sexual behavior in society, especially
in terms of combatting the acceptance of abuse
as normative.

Personal memories of violence are hugely
motivational in the work and are buttressed by
anecdotal disclosures from both close friends
and strangers who have shared stories of their
trauma with me. Issues of representation in
medical literature and practice are brought up in
the context of knowledge control and distribution.
There is often a confrontational line between
the medically relevant and the culturally taboo
that directly affects women’s health choices and
experiences. This manifestation of oppression is
reducible to the restrictive cultural attitude that
continues to prevail.
Reincorporating teeth into the female genitalia is a
way of representing the reclamation of offensive,
defensive, and expressive potential that the
mythical ripping and knocking out had erased.
Discussing issues of sexual violence is difficult,
especially in a country founded on puritanical
worldviews, but when it is discussed instead of
silenced, the issue can begin to be addressed. If
more people talked about it, soon no one would
have to.
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Bio
Chase Carter is an artist and activist in his final undergraduate year at the School
of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University. His research-based
practice resides within the contexts of institutional critique, social practice, and
socially engaged art. With his work, he tries to build platforms and structures
for dialogue in spaces and places where there is a lack of opportunity for
open discourse. His thesis aims to better understand a series of questions
concerning Jewish identity, myth-making, memory, and nationalism.

chasecarter.nu

Chase Carter

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Artist Statement
Inspired by the aesthetics, procedures, and
engagement of political activism, my practice
has settled somewhere between activism and
art. While art is not always the best method for
facilitating social change, I am a true believer in
the political potential of art.
My first year in art school, I spent equal time
considering my developments as an activist and
artist. Besides causing several identity crises,
this reflection led me to decide to make art that
is: inclusive to more than just the publics of the
gallery and museum; within a social, relational,
and dialogical framework; participatory; and
ultimately striving to be democratic.

Following my enduring interest in the intersection
of politics and art, my latest project focuses on
Jewish identity and Israel-Palestine. Drawing from
theories related to national identity formation and
memory studies, this work will primarily materialize
as both an artist book and an academic thesis.
This project is in fact not so different from my other
work – I hope to create a platform or structure to
encourage open discussion about an issue that
is consistently ignored within a community that
all too often “won’t go there.”

Most of the time my work manifests itself through
a relational practice within my community, but
I also create books, zines, leaflets, and other
forms of text with the same purpose in mind. For
the past four years, I have been mostly working
to develop public dialogues at the Museum
School through the use of publications, posters,
organized conversations, and other interventions.

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Bio
Anthony Deng was born in the United States on June 20th on the Gemini/
Cancer cusp. His Myers-Briggs type is INTP, and he is an Enneagram type
Four. He loves his dog Pepper very much.

eightyeight.org

Anthony Deng

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Artist Statement
I say no to the commercialization of pedagogy.
I say no to the fictions of nostalgia that prevent
meaningful change, no to the attenuation of
criticality, no to self-sufficiency. I say no to eating
meat. No to the importance or necessity of art.
No to my own ego, desire, and impulse. Only
yes to magnanimity and benevolence, the ends
of wisdom.

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Megan Donnelly

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Bio
My name is Megan Donnelly and I am currently a 5th year Senior at the
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts studying Fine Arts and
Anthropology. I am a twenty-three year old artist, traveler, writer, and athlete.
I have traveled throughout my life. My father’s job as a U.S. Diplomat meant
that our family would relocate to various parts of the world every few years.
Throughout my travels I have not only grown as a human in the world but also
as an artist, writer and athlete in the world.

Artist Statement
Two strangers go to a bar. They sit next to each
other. Order drinks separately. Within a few
moments the two engage in conversation; sharing
information about their lives with a person whose
existence was unknown just moments before. It
is these interactions that led my research. Why,
as humans, do we have this desire to connect
with other humans? Why do we sit at a bar and
tell someone we don’t know about our life?

view the telling and re-telling of these stories as
a ritual. Someone tells me their story, through
them telling that story to me we create our own
story, and then as a final act of storytelling I write
the story of our stories and complete the ritual
by putting it out in the world.
I believe that people telling stories is the closest
one can get to seeing the world through another’s’
eyes.

Through a series of third person narratives, I
explore moments of the human condition as they
are lived in everyday life. My work deals with the
themes of the human condition, language and
storytelling. It takes on the underlying connection
between all members of humanity and pins those
connections and desires for connections to and
in storytelling. These stories also rely heavily on
language and its inevitable failure.
The stories I write are my personal encounters
in the world. Moments I do not consciously seek
out yet always find myself in. They are peoples
and stories that have been given to me. They
are fractions of lives and beings that have been
sacrificed in the interest of human connection. I
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Bio
Cleo Murphy-Guerette is a photographer and writer, soon to receive her BFA
from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University.
While majoring in Women’s Studies, International Relations, and Photography,
Cleo’s art practice has combined imagery and writing to explore alternative
methods of story telling. Her work, ranging from documentary photography in
Boston, to ethnographic research in Rwanda, follows an attempt to understand
the complexity of the human experience. Her most recent projects deal with
political silencing, personal narrative, and the reconciling of differing truths in
post-genocide Rwanda.

cleomurphyguerette.virb.com

Cleo Murphy-Guerette

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Artist Statement
How does one connect human attributes to a
word as overwhelming as “genocide”? Does our
mind allow us the space to consider complexity,
emotion – something as seemingly microscopic
as the impact of parenthood? When we think of
how humans act in conflict, do we think about the
humans, or the conflict? Are there geographical,
political, or cultural boundaries around that which
we feel we can relate to? Could a story change
your ability to relate to the world? Could it change
your life? And ultimately, whom do you trust to
tell you these stories? Who do we consider apt
to represent the world?
Borrowed Knowing combines personal narrative
with a collection of oral histories gathered in
Rwanda. Through an entanglement of internal
reflection and storytelling, the book attempts
to explore the depths of the shared human
experience of what it takes to reconcile with the
world around you. Intimate tales of identity and
survival develop a framework of subjectivity and
growth that set the stage for a critical examination
of how we see others, how we see ourselves,
and what it means to tell a story.
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Bio
Simon Remiszewski’s work investigates experience mediated by technologies
past, present, and future. His recent work engages 3D scanning within art
institutions, the NSA and Greek mythology, and the false promises of big data.
Simon grew up in central Massachusetts, and received his BFA from the School
of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. He currently resides in Boston.

simonremiszewski.com

Simon Remiszewski

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Artist Statement
I am interested in experience.
In the mediation of experience through technological
process.
In the metaphors and myths used to construct and
direct these technologies.
In promises and ideals, and their associated realities.
I am interested in methods of appropriation and
subversion.
In repetition and recontextualization.
I am interested in truth, and in faith.
In the algorithmic and infrastructural processes that
inform living in the world.
In recognition of histories, presents, and futures
other than my own.

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James Dunbar

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Bio
James Dunbar is an American artist born in Long Island, New York. Raised in
a Catholic family, James questioned the traditions and ideologies with which
he grew up. James realized he could express his frustrations through art,
which lead to the extensive body of art that he is working on today. His work
focuses on the things he most fears. Whether it be loneliness, early death,
rejection etc., what matters to him most is getting those feelings into art form.

Artist Statement
In a society where prescription drugs can change
the way you feel in the blink of an eye, and fast
food can be delivered to your door, it’s easy to
be gluttonous, but is that wrong? Would I eat
salad every day if I knew I would live longer? I’m
not totally sure. I do know though, that humans
are fueled by desire, and our desires shape
us into what we are. Although we may desire
something, fear may prevent us from pursuing
what we desire most. This struggle is what I
convey in my art.
Most recently, my work has been focused on the
fear of death through unhealthy lifestyles and the
desire to do unhealthy things even with the risks.
I wonder if I was destined to believe what I believe
or if I have free will. I feel that people should
question everything and learn from mistakes. We
should realize who we are through living and it’s
ok to think what we think. It’s ok to say it’s ok. If
we don’t, we will be perpetually cursed into never
being satisfied. If there is anything to be learned
from my art, it is that expressing how shitty you
feel can make you feel better.
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Olexandra Sharaya

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Bio
Olexandra Sharaya was born in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine in 1994 and moved
to the U.S. in 2003 at eight years of age. There she attended Westwood JR/
SR High School. She graduated early from high school in 2011 to pursue a
degree in the arts. She currently studies at the School of the Museum of Fine
Arts, Boston and Tufts University and is on course to receive her Bachelor
of Fine Arts in 2015.

Artist Statement
I know nothing, do nothing, think nothing. There
lives a passive anxiety, confusion and doubt in
me. Satisfaction is nonexistent because no effort
is good enough – there’s always room for more:
better, faster, smarter. There is a force pushing
me and I know I cannot refuse it. As it pushes
me (hard) to pursue greatness (whatever that
means to you) it also pushes me to forget that
it exists at all, it whispers, “things are what they
are (period).” It teaches me that the relief from
anxiety, depression, loneliness lies in all the things
I love doing: listening to music, watching TV,
putting pictures on Instagram, drinking, mingling
with friends, drawing (almost any everyday
indulgence). That is why I love doing those things.
I am constantly looking for happiness in these
things, subconsciously trying (hard) to pacify
this unsettled, anxious feeling to no avail. I used
to think there was no reason for these feelings
other than my thought process that was probably
flawed, but recently I’ve noticed you (just about
all of us) feel this too. Depression is not innate,
but it has become a commonality among all
people and I cannot imagine an escape from
it (not even winning the lottery). These issues
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and the emotions they elicit have become my
source material and my drawings have become
my most effective vice. Through them, I reveal
my frustrations as well as my unsettled, anxious
state of mind.

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Christopher Lineberry

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Bio
Born and raised in Greensboro, NC, Christopher Lineberry will receive a BFA
from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He
has shown work nationally, internationally, and on the internet. He has taught at
the North Carolina Governor’s School, worked with the Education Department
at the National Toy and Miniature Museum, completed residencies with the
Brunswick Rd. Artist Residency, The New York Studio Residency Program,
produced work for the Elsewhere Museum, and conducted research for
Kulturpark, Berlin and Sissel Tolaas. Lineberry also plays washtub bass in
heels as a drag singer for the band, Pleasure Drone.
Artist Statement
Christopher Lineberry is a multidisciplinary
research­based artist, informed by the geopageant:​
surfaces of mass public demonstrations, events,
sites, and practices in which the cultural imaginary
of the global is engineered. His work aspires to
reveal how and where this pageant becomes
differentiated, localized, retained, and performed
from imperial conditioning. As a specific
performance of globalism, however, geopageants
are mythically reified from festivity ­controlled
political and social disruption, a simultaneous
release and regulator. Geopageants are fortified
by structures of amusement, pleasure, leisure,
and entertainment as expansions of empire.
Lineberry points to the geopageant in cultural
histories like comic books, toys, disco, pleasure
gardens, amusement parks, olympic games,
and world’s fairs, to name a few. Many of these
forms are nationalized entries or contributions to
a veneer of the supranational.

US cultural contingencies suspect contributions
to the country’s own projection onto global
identity construction are spaces to which he
is constantly returning. He studies the ruptures
and underlying operations for how individuals
and communities relate to culture in the service
of nation­-b​uilding and hegemonic alliance.
Ultimately, his work examines how myths of the
nation­​state are performed for a fallible global
gaze, and how it might be exposed. Disturbances
within this amalgam of cultural­​-state­-s​ervice are
the most successful failures, and call for unifying
alternatives. Lineberry questions personal agency
as a complicit performer, empowered producer,
and hopeful ideological disruptor. Much of his
recent work concerns the geopageant in regards
to homonationalism, strategies of the bootleg, and
a corporate ethics of s​uperhumanism.

Lineberry’s own body has been nationalized in a
cultural landscape of the US, situating the primary
site of his practice in the intersection of research,
experience, and psychic decolonization. Internal
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Hannah Luckower

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Bio
Hannah Luckower was born in New York on March 21st. Her art practice is
very process oriented, driven by cathartic self-reflection. Trying to find a voice
for where words fall flat. Hannah has found her art practice helpful in trying
to reclaim strength and a sense of stability through a visual voice. Although
ceramics is her a passion, she finds it too confining to only work in one
medium. Her most recent work deals with human disconnection, distortion
and social media. She is currently living in Boston in pursuit of a BFA from
SMFA and Tufts.
Artist Statement
Hannah Luckower is an artist who works in a
myriad of mediums and finds inspiration from
trauma to triumph. She is intrigued by how
relationships are formed and experienced in our
modern age of over-connection, over-exposure
and over-stimulation. She wonders if being so
“connected” actually disconnects and skews how
we view, experience, and exercise relationships.
Social media has created many different roles in
people’s lives. For some, it is a way to connect,
catch up, or meet. For others, it has become a
way to control how we let people view us. And for
others still, it is just a means of procrastination.
Technology will always be morphing into
something newer, faster, and better, leaving many
with the sentiment, “How did we live before this
or that?” But the attitude that technology distorts
and changes how we live our lives has yet to be
dated. Hannah’s inspiration for creating art stems
from trying to understand and make sense of her
surroundings and those who inhabit them. She
finds it important to acknowledge the connection
one has with a medium and what it means to
connect to something that is not digital.
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Natalia Miller

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Bio
Natalia Miller is both an artist and a gamer who works in programs such as
Adobe Photoshop to create digital paintings. She was adopted from Paraguay
and currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. She graduated from the
Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge in 2011 and is a senior
at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Artist Statement
At a glance, my work resembles something out
of a fantasy world. I have always been inspired
by the worlds created in video games as well as
all the artwork that is produced after a game’s
inception. When I create each piece, I first think
of a feeling or emotion I want to give the viewer
whether it be loneliness, happiness, or fear. After
this is established, I then create a character, give
that character some sort of story, and place them
in an environment or frame that can best portray
what I intended to get across. For most of my
life, I felt as though my interest in games was
unacceptable. My friends, and even my significant
others, would label me as a “nerd” or a “freak,”
titles that I had never seen as derogatory until
they were used to put me down and invalidate
me as a respectable young woman. Because I
felt such a disconnection from the real world, I
began to dive deeper and deeper into the world
of games. In these virtual worlds I was strong,
confident, and nearly invincible. Eventually, I chose
to embrace my love for games and let it inspire
my artwork.

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Sophia Lucia Rose

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Bio
Sophia Lucia Rose is a multimedia artist raised in southern Arizona. Born 1992,
she traveled extensively around the southwestern states before moving to
the East Coast in 2011. While achieving her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Boston,
MA, Sophia began establishing her art in Los Angeles, California. In the fall of
2013, Sophia created her first collection and launched her West Coast based
brand ROSE. Currently Sophia is living bi-coastal, running ROSE while helping
with various design, marketing, and publicity work for various other brands.

Artist Statement
Throughout my art career, I discovered that my
outside appearance changed as frequently as
the paintings and drawings I made of myself.
Eventually I came to realize, my search for my
own identity was the motivation behind my work.
I bring my creations to life by using my body as
a canvas, transforming into the portraits from
my imagination.

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Bio
Madeleine Kobold is a Cape Cod based artist with a focus in painting and
video. Her art practice has combined these two mediums to explore a narrative
that her work revolves around — death. With a consistent palette, mourning
and loss have been constant themes across the board. Her work ranges from
embroidered photographs, to videos children running through graveyards, to
fleshy portraits, all in an attempt to force the viewer to question the role of
death. Her pieces are meditative and quiet, with a turbulence underneath.
Her most recent projects are exploring concepts of decay, loss and women’s
work while investigating her place in the world.

madeleinekobold.com

Madeleine Kobold

A310

Artist Statement
Memories crumble, people come and go.
I learned at a young age that loss and death
were a common human experience, but was
left in a state of constant confusion because it
was an experience I had yet to know. My view
of the world around me developed with the
possibility of loss cast over my relationships.
My work is an exploration of my own mortality,
through oil portraits of my sister and me. They
serve as a portal to a discussion about transient
relationships. With faces obscured, I use the
panel as a locus for feelings of fear and grief.
The figures aren’t fully realized, disintegrating into
their surroundings like an ocean of dark water.
The moments I captured are quiet, yet a sense of
anxiety pervades. I search to share an ephemeral
experience with my audience.

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Natasha Morris

A310

Bio
Natasha Morris is a Metalsmith who will receive her BFA from the School of
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Born in Miami, Florida, she designs and creates
jewelry and body adornment founded on ideas of preciousness and irony. Her
recent projects are greatly inspired by archetypes of jewelry and Cabinets of
Curiosities, and incorporate coral as one of the elements in their execution.

Artist Statement
There are expectations about the term “jewelry.”
The term brings to mind images of pearl necklaces,
engagement rings, mother’s earrings, and
grandmother’s brooches. I seek to deconstruct
and challenge the traditional notions of ‘jewelry.’
Recently, through the use of humor, my art plays on
irony with traditional themes and the exploration of
materials. I look to push boundaries of traditional
jewelry in order to open up the possibilities of what
it could be. I create my work to be different in size
and material so that it is more engaging with the
body. I want it to open up discussion about the
conscious decisions made when choosing what
we adorn ourselves with, the social standards, and
the creation of the individual we want to become.

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Bio
Kristin Reeder was born in Los Angeles, California in 1993. She moved to
Boston in 2011 to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of the Museum
of Fine Arts, Boston. In the spring of 2014, she studied abroad at AKI-ARTez
Academy, in Enschede, Netherlands. She will receive her Bachelor of Fine
Arts from Tufts University and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

cargocollective.com/kristinreeder

Kristin Reeder

A310

Artist Statement
I think of my work as the result of everyone’s
leftovers: bits and pieces that are discarded daily.
Restaurant dumpsters, backyard compost, and
animal entrails are sources for my work. Although
my subjects are edible, they are unappetizing and
grotesque due to the decomposition process.
Through my process of painting, I have created
forms by exaggerating color and shape to offer a
more fantastical image. Through childlike colors
and the use of expressive line, I’m abstracting
these ordinary foods into something uncanny.

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Duaa AlHammadi

A312

Bio
Duaa AlHammadi was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1991. Duaa will receive her
BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University in
2015. Her work is predominantly oil on canvas, expressive of her experiences
growing up in Iraq. She currently lives in Concord, NH.

Artist Statement
I was born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1991. The war
of 2003 in Iraq greatly impacted my life and my
art practice. My work is about the relationship
between violence and beauty and how
powerful these are in shaping my own reality. I
primarily work in oil on canvas. My most recent
work deals with self identity and the breaking
away from tradition, both figuratively and
metaphorically through non-traditional painting
techniques and non-traditional subject matter. I
use poems I have written in Arabic as a way of
creating visual patterns and allowing language
and material to convey how we reveal or
unreveal our own emotions.

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Bio
Emily Stewart is a multidisciplinary artist working in drawing, painting,
printmaking, film, and animation. She is from Queensbury, New York and
currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She will receive her BFA from
Northeastern University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
in 2015. Her work consists of dreamlike drawings, composed of strange,
flowing imagery derived mainly from the subconscious.

emilystewart93.wix.com/arts

Emily Stewart

A312

Artist Statement
I see my artistic process as synonymous with my
experience of life – it is something mysterious
and indecipherable, yet present, and endlessly
fascinating. I feel that there are many, many more
ways of looking at the world than the ways we
have been taught to view it, and I see this work
as an exploration of that.
My work is a process-oriented, exploratory
journey. I do not set out to create anything in
particular; instead my mind is almost entirely
blank. I begin working in the abstract, with ink,
gouache, or line drawings, and pick out images
as they appear to me. The work finishes in a
completely different place from where it starts – it
is a slow building of subconscious imagery that
appears out of tangled lines and brush strokes.
It’s about living without being able to grasp the full
picture, but still trusting that in the end, everything
will work out okay.

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A312

Loi Tran
Bio
Loi Tran, working in sculpture, drawing, and painting, will receive his Bachelor
of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2015. Loi
was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and received his Associates of Arts at
Mount Wachusett Community College in 2012. His work looks at personal
anxieties and global fears about environmental issues, many that have not
progressed significantly. The work then proposes unrealistic solutions achieved
with unlikely materials. Loi’s work is inspired by the aesthetic designs of
futuristic armor within video games.
Artist Statement
My work mainly consists of media such as
cardboard, glue, paper, and the layering of
translucent paper onto detailed drawings based
on functional designs. They translate from
combinations of simple geometric shapes into
3D renderings of the human form. My text work
attempts to map and analyze aspects of the
human condition as well as the artist’s personal
psychology.

a number of universal issues, which include: fear,
uncertainty, instability, insecurity, struggle, survival,
and their opposites.

The work is focused on the task of making sense
of our current world issues and the temporary
solutions which are often our means of addressing
global issues. It is obvious that there is always
something bad happening somewhere within the
world. My work approaches my obsession with
seemingly unobtainable desires: my personal
ambitions of striving for a sense of security. The
work then attempts unorthodox solutions to
unsolvable problems.
My work encompasses numerous personal issues
that are a result of the status of our current world.
By focusing on environmental issues, I am able
to translate my process of coping with what is
happening in our world into pieces that deal with
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A314

Alex Austin
Bio
Alex Austin is a visual artist living in Brookline, MA, originally from the greater
New York area. Her work focuses on the uncanny within representations of
the human figure. She will receive her BFA from the School of the Museum
of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University in 2015. She will enter graduate
school at Tufts University in 2015 to pursue a Masters of Arts in Teaching
with a focus in Art Education.

Artist Statement
My drawings are the products of obsessive and
repetitive mark making. I render small figures
that reference Kewpie Dolls, an iconic plastic
doll dating back to the early 20th century and a
favorite childhood toy.
In my experience with dissection back in my high
school anatomy and physiology class, I found
myself both extremely intrigued and repulsed
by the organs of the animals I examined. The
organs held profound beauty in their lost ability to
sustain life. The body and its organs both sustain
life and present its demise with their inevitable
failure. The inorganic Kewpie Dolls reference life
without experiencing the fear of mortality. These
childhood objects of our amusement do not age
as we do, but become marked with time by our
nostalgic association of them with our youth.
Their smooth, breathless, stiff bodies are at once
innocent and loaded with mortal dread.

Their nostalgic familiarity is violated as their bodies
break apart and the coloring of their plastic skin
shifts into that of human bodily decay. The work
operates at the intersection of the uncanny and
the abject, aiming to combine and conflate
the organic and the inorganic, to animate the
inanimate, and to freeze and preserve that which
will inevitably decay.

In my work, identical Kewpie figures are layered
on top of each other until they form swarms that
evoke imagery of organs in various states of
decay, decontextualized over the white space of
the canvas as objects of a surreal arrangement.
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Bio
Laura Hasanen is a mixed media artist who will graduate with her BFA from
the School of The Museum of Fine Art in 2015. She was born in Finland
and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. Laura studied printmaking,
drawing, and papermaking during her years as an undergraduate. She is
currently making sculptural works out of paper and found materials, all of
which relate to the body.

laurahasanen.com

Laura Hasanen

A314

Artist Statement
My sculptures are moments of bodily
transgressions. Exploring and challenging the
spaces of inner and the outer. I strive to show
these moments as intimate experiences —
something personal, and yet universal. Life, death,
memory, loss, intimacy, and connection all play a
part in my narrative. Through the use of skin-like
paper and found objects relating to the body, I
create a feeling of simultaneous seduction and
disgust. The forms are strange, but also contain
a human familiarity.

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Sam Waxman

A314

Bio
Sam Waxman was born and raised in Portland, Maine. Growing up, he practiced
analog processes in photography and also took an interest in multimedia and
graphic design. During his first semester at SMFA, he discovered an affinity for
welding and metalworking while taking an introductory class. Since then, his
practice has been split mainly between photography and sculpture, exploring
a myriad of themes both personal and universal, which manifest themselves
in recurring imagery such as hand-hammered body fragments, repurposed
machinery, human figure, and animal remains, to name a few.
Artist Statement
some days wide awake
some days lost
some days alone and perfect
some days lonely and unseeing
some days in touch with Timing
some days clinging to the broken raft in high seas
some days brilliant beyond having ever imagined possible
some days a neglected child spinning in irrational misunderstanding some days remembering
some days able to let go
some days awash in the energetic experience of Unity
some days better than others
some days able to slow down, finally accepting the darker days, allowing it all to unfold peacefully
something that moves within
something that is accessed
something in translation
something in transition
something universal
something eternal
something that only exists because someone happened to be there listening for it
taking it in
taking it down

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Bio
Shannon May Mackenzie is an interdisciplinary artist that began studying at the
University of North Carolina School of the Arts at the age of 16. She received
her High School Diploma from UNCSA with a concentration in Visual Arts.
She is currently a 2015 BFA candidate at the School of the Museum of Fine
Arts, Boston and Tufts University in Medford, MA. Working with ceramics,
drawing, and interactive performance, she explores themes of posttraumatic
growth and vulnerability through the practice of mark-making.

shannonmackenzie.wix.com/cura

Shannon May Mackenzie

A316

Artist Statement
When is it okay to use art making as a coping
mechanism? This question may pass by with a
quick assumption that it is always okay to work
through turbulent emotions and experiences
of trauma in the process and practice of art
making. Upon further investigation, story telling
is one of the biggest elements of working through
trauma and a powerful part of understanding
one’s purpose in life. Posttraumatic growth and
art making are distinct processes; a person who
experiences one may not necessarily experience
the other. Through drawing, performance, and
installation, my work revolves around themes of
posttraumatic growth and the laborious tasks
of overcoming trauma. I choose to take on the
task of leading awareness by subtly allowing it to
open through sharing discourse and illustrating
my own vulnerabilities.

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Bio
Born in 1990 in Bogota Colombia, Laura Vargas moved to Miami at the age
of nine. She will graduate in 2015 from Tufts University/School of the Museum
of Fine Arts with a dual degree in Fine Arts and International Relations. Her
work deals with issues of femininity, politics in Latin America, Latino/a identity,
and race, combining photographic and painting techniques.

lauracvargas.com

Laura Vargas

A316

Artist Statement
The patriarchal values in Latin America, deeply
informed by religious traditions, have constructed
an image of femininity which undermines women’s
role in society and strips away their innate female
power. The dichotomy between Virgin Mary
iconography and the stereotypical voluptuous
sexy “Latina” places Latin American women
in a specific set of roles ranging from passive
motherhood to sexual object.
I was born into a family of six women in which a
multi-generational experience of abandonment by
fathers, grandfathers, and husbands demonstrate
the deeply rooted public reality of gender inequality
and injustice towards women in Latin America.
Using liquid light photo transfer techniques and
oil painting, and using my family as the central
focus, I construct images that humanize femininity
and contain the complicated nuances of being a
woman in Latin America today.

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Bio

kushala.in

Kushala Vora

A316

Kushala Vora’s work contemplates and acknowledges the nature of time and
reality. Her sculptures and photographs are informed by a constant questioning
of the idea of transformation, construction and degradation. Recently, she was
awarded the Ali Pratt Grant to travel across India to understand its contemporary
art and culture. During the first year of her undergraduate studies she won a
competition to make collaborative work for the “Master of Japanese Painting”
exhibition at the Nagoya Museum of Fine Arts, Japan.

Artist Statement
In our attempt to standardize time, we conceive
it as a constant and stable factor. However, time
is exponentially more complex than a ticking
clock or a sundial. As Sanford Kwinter states,
“Time always presents itself by producing or more
precisely by drawing matter into a process of
becoming-ever-different.” This series juxtaposes
our attempt to standardize time with the product
of time itself.
The surfaces in the photographs are of Jantar
Mantar observatory; a group of structures
constructed in the early 1700’s to calculate the
inclination of the sun, the position of celestial
bodies, the altitude of the sun and other complex
functions. The scales on these instruments are
shown in relation to its eroded surface. While
the markings symbolize the regulation of time;
the structure cracks, breaks, crumbles and
undergoes transformation, not degradation,
showing the true nature of time.

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Terminal A

Sarai Hines
Bio
Sarai Hines was born and raised on the island of Bermuda and now attends
the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University where
she will graduate in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in
Child Development. Although versed in many forms of art, she prefers the
medium of watercolor. She is inspired by the freedom of expressing feelings
and emotions through her art, allowing the audience to relate to the message
being portrayed. Sarai loves to let the details speak for themselves.

Artist Statement
Home is a place one grows to cherish. As a
citizen of Bermuda, I have become so grateful
for my island because there is no place just like it.
At first glance the place where someone is from
goes beyond the obvious cultural or stereotypical
signifiers, whether through various standards of
living or region it all adds up to create one’s overall
moral character. Art has always been the mouth
of the little voice that is deep down inside of me.
It helps me to create the captured moment or
memory the only way it can be expressed, visually,
as words simply just aren’t enough. Painting
and drawing have always been my art forms,
nonetheless the medium of choice for this project
is watercolor. The flow and layering of watercolor
allows me to show my country in the light that I
see, a form of truth.

of this meant to me. Through my development
of history to the now, I started to realize how
the reason for the unknown truth, the center of
stereotypes, came from the power of posters.
The way a country has to uphold their image
relates to the “knowledge” that people think
they have of a place. Therefore, my artwork is
deconstructing the stereotypes by counteracting
the advertisements’ original functions. It uses
contradiction, historical evidence, and humor to
create awareness, mimicking the stereotypes
about Bermuda to combat it with the truth.

During my studies here in America, my eyes were
opened to the many types of encounters that I
never believed could be true. This motivated me
to look deeper into the meaning of home. I started
to list ideas, capture photos at every moment,
whilst talking to other Bermudians along the
way, I was keeping a record on hand of what all
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Bianca Broxton

B305

Bio
Bianca Broxton was born and raised in Medford, Massachusetts. She’s from
a small family of mainly women, and grew up wanting to be an Egyptologist.
When she was a teenager, she fell in love with hip-hop and graffiti, which
propelled her to go to art school. She cites Wangechi Mutu, Azar Nafisi, and
El-P as her influences. She resides in the Boston area with her cat Ophelia
and her love of Vodka and Vodka accessories.

Artist Statement
My work is a physical vessel for my thoughts, fears,
and views. The phantasmagorical have served
as a place of confrontation, but confrontation
that explicitly understands the principles of the
sublime. My work is primarily figural and I enjoy
the figure’s possibility to perform narratives in a
way that creates a base for ubiquity. My work
tends to distort the figure and produce abstract
forms that can be categorized as grotesque. I am
fascinated with ghost imagery simply because
it represents uncertainties and humanity in a
simplistic form; even that smallest signifier can
represent a person’s history.
The indistinctness of ghost imagery also plays into
my interest in identity. Hillel Steiner’s writing on
exploitation categorizes the process as those who
are exploited, those who exploit, and the rights
taken away by the exploiter. Individualism and a
sense of identity can easily be eradicated in the
process of exploitation. The conquest of capturing
identity is such an aggressive act, and it’s an
act we seem to casually accept. The concept
of gentrification for example, is the takeover of
a location and then the eventual dissolution of
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the location’s identity to make room for shallow
pursuits.
The absence of identity and the act of melding
a populace is a violent act. It’s something that
I’ve explored in my work via abstract forms,
because the performative nature of abstraction
allows me to critique society. My work is just
an embellished expression of what has already
been manifested in our society. The grotesque
nature of these abstracts act as a commentary
on societal ideals, as well as generational selfdegradation. Hopefully, this allows people to
stand away from their egos or, preconceived
notions of societal standards. The viewer can
physically participate in a commentary about
humanity in a way that slowly unveils human
fallacies through the principles of the sublime
as a catalyst.

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Evan Gilbert

B305

Bio
Evan Gilbert is a multidisciplinary artist born in Miami, Florida. He will receive
a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2015 from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts,
Boston. With the use of dark absurdist humor, he creates bizarre microcosms
depicting the pitfalls of humanity’s social, spiritual and political structures.
Heavily influenced by artists such as Oyvind Fahlstrom and Mike Kelley, his
work ranges from abstraction and illustration to sculpture and installation.
Utilizing narrative, diagrams, symbols and interactive environments he hopes
to convey the universes incomplete and meaningless nature, and humanity’s
ability to provide meaning to the meaningless.
Artist Statement
My work is an exploration into the absurdity
of the mundane and cosmic. I strive to depict
humankind’s urge to imply meaning and
structure to an endlessly changing and potentially
meaningless universe. While we may live in an
infinitely shifting cosmos that never reaches a
final form of completion, we still have the ability
to assign our own meaning and importance to
this amorphous landscape. Our collective urge to
destroy ourselves allows us to constantly rebuild
from the rubble of failure. Occasionally we may
find moments of autonomy in the dismantling
of past systems possibly sparking a personal
resurgence of purpose. We live in a universe
defined by fabricated systems of perception, their
only purpose in being built is to be torn down
and rebuilt. We can stumble ignorantly through
the chaos or take transcendent leaps into life’s
grand monotony.
With the use of absurd indecipherable schematics
paired with grotesque cartoon forms I hope to
construct a functionless codex of humanity’s
attempts at finding order in a universe that’s
structure is based in chaos.
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Maxwell Goodknight

B305

Bio
Maxwell Goodknight received his Associates Degree in Science, with a
concentration in Fine Arts, from Hudson Valley Community College in Troy,
NY, in 2012. He is currently a candidate for a BFA in Fine Arts from the School
of The Museum of Fine Arts with a minor in philosophy from Tufts University.
His work consists of a variety of materials and objects of the everyday which
shape the world around us.

Artist Statement
My current work relies on intuitions, by the use
of specific materials, in the exploration of the
ruin. I am concerned with the sedimentation of
ideal structures, meanings, and forms which
we place onto ourselves that are based in the
everyday occurrences of these materials. The
use of the natural processes in the materials,
and their relationship with one another, is a way
to investigate the language(s) that occur within
the work.

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Kaitlyn Paston

B305

Bio
Kaitlyn Paston is a multimedia artist pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the
School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and a Bachelor of Arts in German and
Visual Studies from Tufts University. Primarily working in sound and video, her
work is about experiences and performances of language.

Artist Statement
My work investigates the relationship between
bodies and language where grammatical
structures fail. I am interested in the ways that
language is seen and felt in the body. The
performative works relate the sensory experience
of language to the structures of narrative. Sounds
organized to communicate meaning are brought
into tension with musically constructed rhythms.
Inarticulate speech is a source of visual and aural
phenomena generated by attempts of a body to
communicate outside of the semiotic system of
language.

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Bio
William D Ferguson is a multidisciplinary artist from the American Southwest.
His fascinations with cats and futurity allow him to work through problems
with Utopias. William uses photography, sculpture and performance to create
forms of visual storytelling. His installations and sculptures investigate ideas
of queerness, aesthetic meaning, and the coded object.

Artist Statement

cargocollective.com/williamferguson

William D Ferguson

B307

I think of my work as reflections on contemporary
dispositions. My photographs act as windows
into fictional sites and places. Objects work like
stage props awaiting activation or participation,
although the rules are not apparent to the viewer.
My work is rooted in romanticized ideas about
communities and utopias, focusing on the
relationships between queer bodies and their
relationship to a fictitious utopian society, which
directly points back to contemporary conversations
about gender, sexuality, government, academia
and queerness.
The installation for the exhibition works to set a
stage for reflection. The over-worked room as well
as the photographs, put the viewer into a place
where they can contemplate their relationship
to: the epic anti-narratives they are presented
with and their relationship to the environment,
and the connection between the people who
occupy the position of aesthetic maker and ideas
of good taste.

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Bio
Audrey Hsia was born in Connecticut, but raised in Taiwan and Singapore.
She will be receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northeastern University
and the School of Museum of Fine Arts in 2015. Currently, she lives and works
out of Boston. Her works are a combination of drawing, painting, printmaking,
and digital collage.

audreyhsia.com

Audrey Hsia

B307

Artist Statement
As a primarily process-based artist, my work
is constantly in a state of flux. Right now, I am
currently exploring the fictional environments we
create for ourselves based upon non-fictional
habitats. Using different methods and mediums,
I recontextualize imagery from science fiction
movies, vintage postcards, and 80s to 90s
interior decoration magazines. The work aims
to create new, confusing environments inhabited
in unfamiliar ways.

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Charlotte Wampold

B307

Bio
Charlotte Wampold makes work of and about pig fat, and other cuts of meat
that are often thrown away, in order to facilitate a dialogue examining disgust
and desire in the contemporary world. Wampold creates detailed oil paintings
of scrap meat, which are then included in larger installations of spaces where
fat is actually prepared and consumed. Wampold was raised in New Jersey.
She spent a year working as a ceramicist’s assistant before moving to her
current home in Boston. She will receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University.
Artist Statement
My work embodies the coexistence of many
opposites. It does not reside in a a doorway
between two rooms, rather it is simultaneously at
the far ends of both rooms-- alluring and repulsive,
nostalgic and totally unfamiliar, rooted in the past
with a focus on the present.

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Today, the kitchen and dining space are often
contained in the same room, but throughout much
of history they were located in completely different
sections of the home. The dining room, designed
to impress and entertain, was the residence of the
upper class while the servant class was relegated
to the kitchen. In British culture, this divide was
described in terms of “upstairs and downstairs.”
Even as recently as the 60s, the beloved chef Julia
Child would famously excuse her sloppiness with
the line, “And as long as it stays in the kitchen,
who’s to know,” sending the clear message that the
kitchen is a space that is private from the outside
world, where messy mistakes are made. On the
other hand, the dining room represents the carefully
made-up face that you present to the public. As
far as the world at large is concerned, the lovely
roast that you place on the table is the only version
of that hunk of meat that has ever existed.

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Bio
Dennissa Young was born in Las Cruces, NM in 1993, but moved every three
to four years while growing up. She learned to adapt to changing environments
and develop an ability to connect with others quickly and reconcile relationships.
Her work uses interpersonal environments, installation, video, performance
and all forms of conversational connection. Dennissa’s spiritual journey and
relationship with God has fueled her love for other people. Dennissa hopes
to be a catalyst for social change through interconnected, deep, vulnerable
relationships.

dennissayoung.com

Dennissa Young

B307

Artist Statement
My hope is to be a catalyst. I want my creative
art practice to be a platform that is activated
by people. By curating personal, intimate
spaces I have invited others in to participate
in performative, interactive happenings that let
the viewer take on the art and change it due
to how they connect with it. My art creates
a time and a space for honesty, questioning
and vulnerability. Encouraging dialogue and
interpersonal interaction is vital to my practice.
The love for interpersonal connection comes from
knowing and following Jesus. Jesus, through
relationship, shared his life and listened and asked
questions of others. Through video performance
and relational experiences, I have created work
that involves my personal spiritual journey yet
invites the audience to insert themselves into
the space of the piece. My work has key points
and crafted ambiguity. My goal is to open up
dialogue about life, spirituality, and connection
between people. I want my art practice to cultivate
connection, whether it happens within the context
of the actual art or outside of it. People coming
together is the most important part. Through
photography, video, installation, and performative
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action, my work speaks openly about valuing
deep relationships and letting art be a platform
for real friendship to form.

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Claudia Batista

B309

Bio
Claudia Batista creates paper and wood cut assemblages of organic and
unique shapes based on her photographs of natural environments. She will
graduate with a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in
May 2015. She currently works as an intern at Danger!Awesome, a team-based
organization that works with different creative disciplines and technologies
to make customized products. Her current work includes laser-cut wooden
shapes, painted and installed as floating forms. She is from San Juan, Puerto
Rico and was born on July 5th, 1993. Batista currently lives in Medford, MA.
Artist Statement
My work is based on colored shapes. I use
photography that I have taken from the natural
environment as source material and focus on one
section in each photo. Using an intuitive formal
logic, I find individual shapes within sections. I
then alter the form by simplifying its edges. In the
final version of my pieces, the natural forms are
distorted to become new and reshaped. These
forms are then used to construct an installation
with paper cut outs and wood sculpture that
allow the viewer to inhabit a new place. With
the use of earth tone colors, I paint the wooden
sculptures to portray a natural sense of place
within the installation, created by positive and
negative space produced by the shapes and
their shadows.

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This assemblage of forms helps me determine
interrelationships between spaces, suggesting
fluidity, movement, harmony and growth. What
matters in my work are moments in a natural
environment, composition, and connections
between lines and edges. I draw marks and
develop spatial relationships between them in
order to locate harmony as well as to uncover
new spaces where edges are properly defined.

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Bio
My name is Marie Lopez. I went to art school in Boston, Massachusetts. So
I live here, now. I’m originally from Miami, Florida.
Everyone from Florida who left will tell you how glad they are that they left.
I have worked many odd jobs but I’m a jack of no trade. But I wear many
hats (only figuratively). I write, read things out loud, self-publish, book-make,
perform, long for a pet and stability. I’m a person, a person of color too above
all, but maybe now I’m an artist too?, an untrained (?) writer and everything
that involves the aforementioned.
Everything i do is queer and absurd.

featcore.de

Marie Lopez

B309

Artist Statement
I have an ever-growing enthrallment
with relationships between sound, performance and video.
I have declined
decorative
attractiveness
and have sought aesthetics in
parallel to the process and whatever is
functional.
Realizing
That imagery stops in time and sound does not has exciting
uncharted nuances.
I’m interested in
site specificity, being referential.
I have ideas about public intervetion and identity politics.
I’m
okay
with not always knowing the outcome of my work
.
My goals are to be intentional and
self-aware
I’m not afraid
of underlying humor.
I am okay with everything mundane and minimal gestures

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Bio
Will Russack is a photographer based in Somerville, Massachusetts, currently
finishing his BS in Environmental Studies from Tufts University and his BFA in
Photography from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Drawing
on this cross-disciplinary approach, Will examines mankind’s relationship with
the natural world. He draws attention to the ways in which we attempt to
balance our urge to be close to nature with our impulse to control it. Will was
selected to be in Undergraduate Photography Now as part of Flash Forward
Festival, and has exhibited throughout Boston.

willrussack.com

Will Russack

B309

Artist Statement
My photographs illustrate mankind’s paradoxical
relationship with the natural world. Western
society often places humankind outside of nature,
drawing a distinction between the natural world
and ourselves as if we do not occupy the same
space. In my images I draw attention to the
conflict that arises as a result of this perceived
separation. Both individuals and cultures are
constantly trying to balance the fundamental
urge to be close to nature with the impulse to
control and contain it. I photograph places where
this struggle is being played out: on the edges of
wilderness regions, the sidewalks of cities, even
our front yards. With my work I depict the tension
and irony that emerges in these spaces where
we attempt to cultivate a connection with nature.

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Bio
Victoria Wheeler is from Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. She will graduate
from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in association with Tufts
University in Medford, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the
spring of 2015. She has a background in papermaking, jewelry making, and
printmaking. Her current work, inspired by the natural landscape of Hawaii,
uses paper as sculpture in a large-scale installation. Victoria is interested in
the struggle between nature and the artificial by reproducing nature using
other materials, creating an “artificial” nature.

victoriaewheeler.com

Victoria Wheeler

B309

Artist Statement
I am interested in the tension between natural
environments and artificially created environments,
and the way the artificial can easily overtake the
“natural.” In Hawaii, where I am from, nature is
integrated into our lifestyle. Growing up, I was
surrounded by tropical plants and many types of
vegetation. However, I have also been exposed
to the tourist-driven, high-consumer society
that partially defines the Hawaiian Islands. A
fundamental part of the Island culture is the lei,
or the tradition of flowers behind the ear. This is
just one of the many Hawaiian cultural indicators
that has helped fuel my interest of flowers and
nature. Hawaii has seen many transitions from
the natural to the artificial. For example, the way
the tourism industry churns out endless souvenirs
based on the natural ecosystem, but represent
an artificial imitation of nature.

me to convey the tension between nature and
its artificial representation by reproducing nature
artificially.

I look to explore the struggle between organic and
inorganic and the imitation of natural material with
artificial material through my large–scale paperbased installation. Mass-produced or artificial
materials, such as glitter and weed wacking wire
against handmade paper flowers and plants help
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Thank You
Now that we are approaching the final stage of our Senior
Thesis experience, we would like to thank everyone who
has helped us along the way. First, we would like to take
this time to thank our Senior Thesis Program faculty.
Jonathan Calm, Andy Graydon, Samara Pearlstein,
Allison Cekala, and Kurt Ralkse collectively have been
an essential supportive, critical, and guiding force for
all of us. Each one of them has brought something
different and inspiring to our exhibition, Strategic Plan
2025. We all know this last semester was not easy with
the worst recorded winter in Boston’s history, but we
deeply appreciate their determination to schedule and
reschedule after every snowstorm. From the bottom
of our hearts, we express our gratitude for all their
hard work throughout the program – thanks for not
giving up on us! Throughout our time here, we have
also developed meaningful conversations with faculty
across all areas of the school. They have encouraged
us, challenged our ideas, and moved us along in our
research. They have always been by our side, working
through lunch periods and outside of class time. Our
amazing instructors and professors truly give this school
the character and reputation we are known for. Our staff
at are the backbone of our school, from assisting us
with financial aid issues to guiding us through the city’s
largest collection of art books. The caring hand you’ve
lent us over the years warms our hearts. Last, but not
least, our fellow peers have stuck with us through the
thick and thin of our time here. Together, we have shared
intensive critiques and endless overnights. If it weren’t
for each other, and the community we’ve developed,
none of us would be where we are today.

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