Master of Fine Arts

Pivot: the word is everywhere right now. In the throes of COVID-19, we are all of us pivoting, it seems—to different modes of delivery or supply streams or perspectives or ways of using what’s available to us. The business-tinged command to “pivot” calls us to keep a central point anchored but to rapidly whirl towards a new approach to get after it.

In a way, I suppose, this online exhibition of the work of the 2020 CCAD MFA Visual Arts graduates is a pivot. The months of exploration and discovery and refinement that constitute this work—our anchor—must be seen to be complete, and this pivot in format is our best way, at this moment, to make that witnessing possible.

Still, for me, this online exhibition is less a pivot and more a glimpse at the edges of what is yet still in the process of becoming. It’s not a shift; it’s a step. I’m thinking of it as a metonym, standing in place of the not-yet-realized 2020 MFA Thesis Exhibition full stop, with no “virtual” modifier to delimit it.

I am proud of the work this cohort created and grateful that I got to stand up close to it in real-time and real space as it evolved. I am longing to savor it when it is installed in the beautiful Beeler Gallery—which CCAD is committed to achieving as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow.

But I am also longing to witness the witnesses to this work, to breathe together in one space as we grapple with the complex and tender and vital and playful works created by this group of humans.

My deepest thanks to professors Kelly Malec-Kosak (Chair, MFA Visual Arts) and Tim Rietenbach (Chair, BFA Fine Arts) for their extraordinary work leading the thesis process. Their commitment to the students and to the work is inspiring.

Dr. Jennifer Schlueter
Dean of Graduate Studies