College of the Arts Exhibits Works by 2014 Graduates of MFA and MA Studio Art Programs

MFA Exhibition at Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, from June 6-21, and MA Exhibition at the MFA Gallery, Finley Hall, from May 20-30

The College of the Arts and Department of Art and Design are proud to present two culminating exhibitions featuring works produced by students graduating from the Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Studio programs.


MFA Studio Arts Show

Students graduating from the master's in fine arts (MFA) program will present their works in the MFA in Studio Arts Thesis Exhibition off campus at the Magnan Metz Gallery, 521 West 26th St., N.Y., from June 6-21.  An Opening Reception will take place on June 5, from 6-8 p.m..

Entitled "Stratatorium," the exhibition is curated by Eleanor Heartney, the MFA program's 2013-14 visiting critic, and feature the following artists:

The exhibition will showcase works that are the product of intensive research, reflection and making in a dynamic and creative environment. 

“Contemporary art has moved far from the narrowly focused reaction/expansion model of the modernist era," explained Heartney. "Today, artists draw from every aspect of human knowledge and experience, adopting these as raw materials from which to create new ways of looking at the world.

"For this year’s graduating class, installation and performance are often the preferred modes for expressing ideas, which touch on everything from ecology, theology, oriental philosophy, and familial and social relations, to semiotics, architecture and science," she added.

As the current visiting critic, Heartney said it has been her pleasure and privilege to witness the students' evolution and she eagerly awaits seeing their work in the future. 

"Taken together, this cadre of graduates reveals a lively engagement with realities outside the studio," she said. "As they move on to the next phase of their lives, I wish them well and look forward to seeing how they continue to grapple with the complexities of the world around them.”

Program Director Prof. Andrew Atkinson agreed.

"We are all very proud of the tremendous progress and rich works that the students have made in the transformative process of the MFA," added Atkinson. "Each is well prepared for the next stage in their artistic careers, and we look forward to following them in the years to come."

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About the MFA in Studio Art Program

The Montclair State University MFA in Studio Art is a rigorous two-year interdisciplinary program designed to offer artists a critical, conceptual and intellectual framework to experiment and develop their practice. Offering a wide array of comprehensive and individualized training in art theory, history, criticism and practice, the program provides students with vital skills to pursue their artistic vision and work across a diversity of mediums. Throughout the program, students are immersed in a dynamic environment of creative dialogue with leading faculty and one-on-one mentoring with visiting artists and critics.

Over the years, the program has invited an exceptional group of artists, curators and visiting critics, such as Nichols, to the program to engage with students in in-depth capacities. Other notables have included Eleanor Heartney, Roberta Smith, James Rosenquist, Philip Pearlstein, William Wegman, Shirin Neshat and Dana Schutz. Further information about the MFA program may be obtained by contacting program assistant Louise Davies, or its director Dr. Andrew Atkinson, or by calling (973) 655-4074.


MA in Fine Arts/Studio Exhibition

The Master of Arts (MA) in Fine Arts/Studio graduates present “Interfuse,” an exhibit of their culminating works on campus, in the MFA Gallery, Finley Hall, from May 20-30; opening is May 20 at 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The show will feature works by the following students graduating from the program: Mujahid Iqbal Khan, Julie Lee, Kirstin Rigby, and Gisela Simons-Dixon. The exhibition is curated by the Department of Art and Design's Prof. Julie A. Heffernan.

"These students provide a wide scope of viewpoints on art and aesthetics," said Heffernan, "from the finely wrought portraits of Kenyan people by Mujahid Iqbal Khan with the variety of political back stories he engages within the paintings, to the abstractions by Julie Lee that come out of her almost photorealistic landscape paintings but represent a courageous departure from the known to the free-wheeling; Kirsten Rigby's abstractions come out of an insouciant love of paint and inventive form while Gisela Simons-Dixon's work is inspired by her neighborhood, family and friends."

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About the MA in Fine Arts/Studio Program

The Master of Arts in Fine Arts/Studio is a 33-credit program that may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis and tailored to suit a variety of needs. Through the MA program, students have the opportunity to advance existing and emerging skills in studio art, develop a personal aesthetic voice, or explore a studio area that has never before been tried. (Further information regarding the MA program may be obtained by contacting program director Dr. Dorothy Heard.)