Senior Artists Explore Being Apart, Staying Together in Virtual Exhibition

This story is part of our “Celebrate the Class of 2020” series. Click here for more!

The annual senior art exhibition is the capstone of Scripps’ studio art major. Seniors conceptualize an exhibition, install their pieces, draft artist statements and wall texts, and publicize the event as part of their senior theses. Usually on display at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, this tradition has necessarily been disrupted; but that’s not stopping these artists from showing their work.

“Certainly, a global pandemic was not on the list of anyone’s plans for graduating,” the nine graduating seniors wrote in a joint press release. “The past four years have not followed traditional predictability and have only proven that the only certainty is uncertainty and that we are built for adaptation, resourcefulness, and responsiveness.”

Away from campus but still intent on showcasing their work, the seniors quickly pivoted to a virtual exhibition, which will be on view at through December 2020.

This year’s exhibition, A part/Apart, features artworks by Huize Huang ’20, Miriam Bankier ’20, Emily Zhao HMC ’20, Allegra Mojdehi ’20, Alexi Butts ’20, Tori Smith ’20, Julia Read HMC ’20, Sabrina Drescher ’20, and Eleanor Schiffler ’20.

“We ask audiences to consider this new virtual space and how the work is connected in collective experience despite sudden fragmentation, because regardless, it is collective fragmentation,” the graduating artists wrote.

The pieces span media from virtual reality, video installation, sculpture, and 2D work. “These extraordinary artists present their sustained and thoughtful work addressing topics such as interrogating one’s body, collaborations with machines and algorithms, interactions between nature and the built environment, the impact of memory or lack thereof, and daily rituals,” says Kim-Trang Tran, professor of art and chair of the Department of Media Studies. “In this unprecedented moment in history, the pioneering senior art majors of the Class of 2020 give us hope and the light to deepen our understanding of the world, to appreciate how art can help us process thoughts and emotions, and thereby to soothe and solve in doing so.”

[unitegallery 2020SeniorArtExhibition]