Student artists gathered at the Delaware Contemporary last week to show off their masterpieces. Held in the back corner of Dupont Gallery, there were several paintings and sculptures on display.
From photography, to printmaking and sculptures, there was a variety of creativity on display. The exhibit, entitled FAREWELL, and contains artwork from master of fine arts (MFA) students that will be graduating this year.
These artists consist of Stevie Lee Tanner, Joseph Coniff, Ryan Craycraft, David W. Jones, Phil McGaughy, Daniel Giordano, Tara Booth, Morgan Joseph Hamilton, Charlotte Thurman and Peter Hocking.
Charlotte Thurman shared what led her to pursue art.
“There were two things,” Thurman says. “My grandfather was the chair of the art department at UD, and my parents encouraged me in art. I went to school at the College of New Mexico, and was exposed to art and learned performative art is more than traditional media.”
Thurman has had solo performances besides the FAREWELL exhibit. She had one recently with her fiancé as a live performance using live projection. This happened to be more significant to her. But she says the FAREWELL exhibit is significant in the sense that it is the end of graduate school.
After graduating, Thurman says she hopes to move to New Mexico where she will be open and receptive to any opportunities that come her way.
“I want to continue teaching and expand practicing by traveling,” Thurman says. “Traveling and being in motion is important to me.”
Daniel Giordano wanted to be part of a community of makers and thinkers. He wanted to devote two years to focus on his work.
“I’ve got to make stuff,” he says in an email message. “I want to make whatever I want with full access to facilities.”
Giordano says he loves to “crank it out” when it comes to artwork. Meaning he creates all sorts of artwork such as sculpture, drawings, paintings, film, writing, dance and more. He does it all.
“I currently am in a show called ‘Sherry’ with fellow artist Samuel Boehm at the Chris White Gallery also in Wilmington, and have shown work previously in New York, and elsewhere,” Giordano says.
After graduating, Giordano says he wants to continue putting out the coolest stuff possible. He loves to dance and needs space to do it, with people that want to seriously work at it with him. He wants to form a solid “tribe”.
Abigail Donovan, professor and director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art and Design says there were at least 300 people that attended Friday’s opening reception, which exceeded their expectations.
“The MFA students do have other shows during the program,” Donovan says in an email message. “In October the first years exhibited here on campus, the second-years exhibited in Berlin in February, and there’s a show up at gallery Metropolitan 250 in Philadelphia that includes UD MFA’s right now. But FAREWELL is their thesis exhibition and is the really big event, a culmination of two years of studio work.”
Morgan Hamilton has done quite a few shows, but he says FAREWELL is one of the shows he likes in particular. He had spent two years with the other grad students and they got to relate with one another during those years. He also feels the gallery rooms were grouped well.
Hamilton has done a variety of styles of artwork.
“It’s difficult to choose a certain style,” he says about preference in style. “I’m kind of figuring out what I like. I like installation, and surrounding by piece. That’s what I kind of went for this time.”
One of his pieces, called “Nastroism,” started over the winter and was a continuing progress throughout the semester. He came up with the idea of having NASA as a religion in the future after looking through a friend’s booklet. He even created a website for this particular artwork.
Once Hamilton has graduated, he is set with a curating assisting program at the Delaware Contemporary in the Curatorial Department, helping with exhibition preparation and handling office work.
“I will also be curating my own show next year,” Hamilton says. “Then I will go to the west coast and am open to anything that comes my way.”
Phil McGaughy says he felt an inclination to go into art at a young age, and it felt like a natural progression.
One of his works is called “fossilized remains of a green screen dragon,” and it is a work in progress and he had no idea what it would look like in the end.
“The name talks about the times we are living in,” McGaughy says.
He feels like the FAREWELL exhibit is not much different than other art shows. It’s different in the aspect that there is a group of artists that resonate with one another, and that it can affect each other’s work.
McGaughy says he knows what he wants to do after graduating.
“I want to make a dent in the art scene,” he says. “I want to be part of conversations, do art shows and residencies, and show what times we’re living in.”
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