Illustration MFA Thesis Shows at MICA by A.F. Oehmke

Grad Show II is currently on view and features work by students in the Post Baccalaureate Fine Arts and Graphic Design programs, and the Master of Fine Arts in Illustration Practice and Graphic Design Programs. Each of these programs has a different exhibition, in one of 3 locations, that come together to constitute Grad Show II. The Illustration Practice exhibition is located at MICA’s Lazarus Center on North Avenue.

I am always very skeptical of going to illustration exhibitions. All too often it can be a book on a pedestal or postcard on the wall with little consideration as to how the object exists in space, or how one might typically encounter it in the world. The Illustration Practice program, directed by Whitney Sherman, does the exact opposite of this. Each student’s space is meticulously crafted to give context to their illustrations. Sometimes the space is the room of a skateboarder erected in the middle of the floor, and others it is a simple wooden bench in a closed of the area in the gallery to watch an animation. When I spoke to Sherman about this she said “I ask the students to imagine what their work would be like if it were a theatre set.” Moving between the projects feels like moving between microworlds, and all of the projects require viewers to sift through the artifacts of their world.

 

Hui Yang, Phoebe’s Fashion Shop

 

Gabriella Santiago-Vancak, Ruins

 

Shruti Sharma, What Are You Looking For?

 

Darian Nichols, sugarcoat//subversive 

 

Charlotte Fu, One

 

Kaixin Wang, Land of Kaixin*

 

Hayley Powers Thornton-Kennedy, Luck New & Grocery

 

Olivia Fu, Unlabeled

 

Ryan Cho, Roll Thru

 

Yifan Wu, The Metamorphosis

 

Alicia M. Corman, Flat Maps

 

Alexandria Wang, Pink Head

 

Diana H. Chu, Nowhere

 

The Illustration Practice exhibition of Grad Show II will be up through April 8th at the Lazarus Center. Click here more information about the exhibition and the other Shows.