Duke Gallery of Fine Art hosting JMU MFA thesis exhibitions
Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art at James Madison University will showcase the culminating work of graduating students in the School of Art, Design and Art History’s internationally renowned Master of Fine Arts program.
The three participating students, Haden King, Camillia Elci and Anikó Sáfrán, explore themes of ecology, transformation, and the double burden that women face as they spend twice as much time on household work as men and four times as much time on care work.
SADAH’s annual M.F.A. Thesis Exhibitions highlight the breadth of artistic possibilities in its graduate program as well as the intersectionality of studio practice and education for which JMU is known. According to DHGFA gallery director Beth Hinderliter, King, Elci and Sáfrán exhibit “a breathtaking attention to the detail of their craft that is anchored in conceptual and research-driven work.”
King describes his work as an investigation of our “relationship with the natural world, uncovering our similarities, our dependence upon it and our growing separation for it.” King’s exhibit More Than Just Food includes large scale paintings that reflect on the commercialization of nature by the industrial food system in this country.
Elci’s work Nest focuses on transforming found objects into a compelling and encompassing space. She says, “This installation is meant for the viewer to enter and become part of the piece as they interact with it.”
Sáfrán’s Spinning Plates investigates the strain that the invisibility and diminution of care labor puts on women. “I am forever multitasking, being pulled in different directions, saying ‘yes’ more often than I ought to, and it feels like spinning plates,” she says. Her performative videos offer a satirical yet explosive take on gender expectations.