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MFA Thesis Exhibition
April 9–April 26, 2009
Tisch and Koppelman Galleries

This exhibition is the second of an ongoing series of MFA thesis exhibitions shown annually at the Tufts University Art Gallery as part of the joint graduate degree program of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

About the artists:

patty adams

“I paint “impossible” paintings where marks and images from different contexts interact in unexpected ways. Active fields of marks on large colorful canvases invite viewers to focus on the painting before them and the logic that drove its creation. The final painting is the result of several iterations of physically applying paint, importing an image of that paint into the computer, altering it, and then reacting with paint again on the final canvas. This process is a way of taking the abstract, ethereal qualities of digital bits into an arena where they can exist side by side with the physical beauty of paint. "

Mary, Mary, oil and acrylic on inkjet, 56 x 68” photo credit: Chuck Cheney 


ashley billingsley

On the Heartbreaking and Beautiful Limits of Vision is a meditation on the nature of sight and its often unsatisfying relationship to meaning. Nine paintings of East Boston show the neighborhood in three directions, four stories up from the curb. The multiple panels of the painted landscape contain areas of compositional overlap and shifting perspectives that allude to the unstable experience of seeing, one that is reliably incomplete and always slipping away too soon."

Untitled, 2009, mixed media on linen (detail), 36 x 60”


lana citowsky

“A sweeping vista, a branch, a palm tree and a line in the sand make up parts of this multifarious body of work. This exhibition features videos and photographs that pay keen attention to the multiple layers of meaning through the examination of language and its structure. The work focuses on the connections between words and their meaning with humor and irony, blurring the line between text and image."

Water, 2008, Video Still [Archival digital print] , 6x10”


robert hernandez

“My thesis project entitled Commercial viability isan investigation into the seemingly limitless production of imagery by the mechanisms of mass culture. I am interested in locating the intersections between fictional and non-fictional elements of politics, entertainment, corporate culture, fashion, military operations and consumer culture. I appropriate images from various media outlets, sources, and genres. The project consists of several drawings in multitudinous styles. The images are layered one on top of another, which create incongruent compositions. Depictions of violence are combined with placid cartoon smiles. My work is a reflection of the passive aggressiveness of advertising and the cynicism of the postmodern condition.

Untitled, detail, 2009, Ink on paper, 7x7 inches


kelli elise thompson

“In my large-scale portraits I use a highly synthetic palette to reformulate the look of the skin of my subjects. I over-describe the surface of the flesh so that every detail remains in focus, removing the image one step further from reality. With this method of painting I am able to experiment with the tension between the attraction and repulsion of viewers when confronted with artificial representations of the human image.

Utilizing the conventions of portraiture, I investigate the connectivity and authenticity of the gaze within a synthetic style of imagery. ”

Lex in Pink, 2008, Oil on Panel, 52 x 64 inches, Photo documentation by Sean Johnson


ollie wagner

“For my thesis work at Tufts University Art Gallery I will be creating a mixed media installation using household objects found in every day life such as wallpaper, furniture etcetera combined with imagery of the weapons and trophies associated with violent acts both foreign and domestic. "

mixed media installation, dimensions variable


cullen washington, jr.

“I present a series of large format collaged drawings. My subject matter is heroic archetypes of pop culture, myth and lore derived from my childhood. The setting is a fantastic urban landscape. The culmination is an imagined world where the hero triumphs over social constraints. The works are titled as pages from my memory."

Page 10, 2008, charcoal dust, acrylic medium, collage, and found objects, 72 x 96”


william whited

“Using kinetic toys to illustrate his ideas, I seek to confront the capriciousness of the universe---whether by creating a device to measure time using the wind, or sharing a poem with extraterrestrials by way of a weather balloon and a laser, or equipping a tiny stick-and-tissue model airplane with a camera so that it may preserve its own failed attempts at greatness. At heart, I am a storyteller, a humanist, whose spirit resides in the interstices between hope and failure. "

Sunrise at 96,500 feet, October 2008, video [still] from weather balloon


ursula ziegler

Guided City Hikes is a performative work that explores the concept of wilderness, distance and connectivity in the urban mind and landscape. The guided hikes will connect the School of the Museum of Fine Art to Tufts University Art Gallery, arriving at the exhibit in form of a site for rest and contemplation of the artistic act: the table, the cairn, the spring and the tree. Please visit:"

Guided City Hikes, April 2009, performance installation, photo credit: Stephen Herbert