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Eight of Fifteen: The Annual MFA Thesis Expo

By Bendik Sorensen
Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor

An exhibition of great variety is currently on display in the Stein- berg Museum in Hillwood Commons. The annual MFA senior show, consisting of the work of eight students, is called Eight of Fifteen. The exhibit, under direction of Professor and Director of the Art graduate program, Seung Lee, had its reception on Wednesday, April 8 and will run through May 8.

Photo by Alyssa Seidman
Photo by Alyssa Seidman

Lee, who said the MFA students have a relatively long leash on what they can do in the show, has worked with the students since early fall to prepare for the showcase. “It’s a part of their thesis,” he said, a required part of their graduate degree. The show itself sees mixed use of media, inspirations, and imagery. “We have students from Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S.,” Lee said, explaining the diversity of the MFA students and the exhibition itself. “It’s their choice what to do for the show.”

The MFA program is 60 credits, focusing more on research than actually going to classes. Lee explained the program is designed in a way that it’s more like a doctorate, where the individual student chooses what to research and learn.

The show consists of works ranging from traditional photo to ce- ramics and patchwork. It’s a dynamic exhibition, and the students were obviously inspired by each other during their progress.

Several, for example, used light as both inspiration and as a part of their work. Miro Kang, one of the students in the show, used clear vinyl stretched on a frame – her idea was to work with light. In earlier works, she has used the same concept in sculptures, with light and shade as the main thought.

“We treat them as artists,” Lee said. “That’s what they are.” He emphasized the program’s approach to students, and that they’re differ- ent from each other. “It’s fun to see them evolve. I follow them from the interview process up until this show,” Lee added.

Lee also uses his contacts as a working artist for the students’ benefits. “I bring some of their smaller pieces to a gallery in Chelsea, where they can get picked up by galleries and go to art fairs,” Lee said. “One student got three solo shows and several group shows within a year after graduation!”

The exhibition in Chelsea is held at Space In Arts New York, or SIA NY. It will run from April 15 – April 22, with the reception on April 16 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. The show in the city will have the same overall theme; however, the works in it are not the same. According to Miro Kang, it will be more like an excerpt of the main show in the Steinberg Museum, and will feature smaller works from the artists.

For more information about the exhibit and museum hours, visit

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