Columbus College of Art & Design Presents Before Next There is Now: 2017 New Projects MFA Thesis Exhibition


Columbus College of Art & Design is proud to present Before Next There is Now: 2017 New Projects MFA Thesis Exhibition, featuring the college’s Master of Fine Arts 2017 graduating class.

The exhibition runs April 7 – 30 at Beeler Gallery (60 Cleveland Ave.) and includes installation, video, social practice, design, animation, photography, fashion design, illustration, painting, and digital media. The opening reception for Before Next There is Now will be held Friday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. 

“The work created by this cohort has really focused on empathy and thinking about the society that we live in today,” said Molly Burke, Assistant Director of Graduate Studies at CCAD. “There’s an interesting focus on what’s happening now with our current social and political climate.”

Take MFA candidate Kelsey Joseph’s Empathy + Impact: A Columbus Community Project, which is about encouraging social engagement and includes a 10 foot by 30 foot display and acrylic thumbprints of 24 people in the Columbus community.

“This thesis highlights individuals in the Columbus community to show the moment in which they felt empathy towards an issue and decided to act upon it, in hopes that it will inspire others to do the same,” Joseph said.

MFA candidate Kelli Williams focused on social media in This is Tru, a stop-motion animated web series.

“Social media is the nucleus of modern society,” Williams said. “Conversations on formerly taboo and heavy topics of politics, cultural appropriation, sexuality, and religion are all driven by the influence of social media, regardless of involvement. The narratives I portray through my work walk the line between reality and fiction that are representative of the subconscious or the idea of our ‘virtual selves.’ ”

In addition to Joseph and Williams, the show includes work by the following MFA candidates: William Arnold, Sanwal Deen, Clair Farris, Kat Francis, J He, Yuan Hua, Mingyu Li, Mikayla Liang, Tarek Marouani, Zane Miller, and Tina Speece.



Columbus College of Art & Design teaches undergraduate and graduate students in the midst of a thriving creative community in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1879, CCAD is one of the oldest private art and design colleges in the United States, offering 12 undergraduate majors and two graduate programs in art and design that produce graduates equipped to shape culture and business at the highest level. For more information, visit



CCAD has two graduate programs, including the new Master of Design in Integrative Design program that launches in fall 2017. CCAD’s MFA in Visual Arts: New Projects is a project-based, non-media-specific curriculum that focuses on individual artistic/design growth and creative leadership. 


Jeannie Nuss
Senior Media Relations Specialist 
Columbus College of Art & Design