One of my art teachers, Jorge Lucero, once described artists as those who not only research problems, but also create problems and solve them. This idea and those three words above only partially match the words that crossed my mind when I visited the School of Art + Design Master of Fine Arts exhibit at the Krannert Art Museum. This year the exhibition features a group of extremely talented and inventive artists: Siyu Ai, Rishabh Doshi, Kathleen Patricia Durkin, Connor Dyer, Brock Landrum, Lauren Mistilis, Eunmi Moon, Mitchell Oliver, Amanda Shin, Liza Sylvestre and Yunan Wu .
From alternatives to pet cages to an interactive app that teaches you how to cook, there are many other models of inventive objects and apps that could make our lives easier, created by these students. As I walked through the exhibit, what I liked the most was the fact that many of them were very interactive. This contrasts with the usual masterpiece art exhibitions where you can’t touch anything, but here touching things and using the items they provide actually enhance the experience – sometimes even helping you see something. who was not there initially or who was not as notable (clue clue).
For me, the interaction made me feel more involved in their art, instead of just looking at it and thinking like when I’m window shopping. It adds another element to their art, to better understand their point of view or how they want the audience to see. There was a very large room, much like a tetris but with furniture, and you could go into the alcoves and sit on the sofas.
Â© Kathleen Patricia Durkin
Another great thing about these artists is that some of them also teach classes at the School of Art + Design. For example, last semester I took a course called Time Arts taught by none other than Liza Sylvestre who was an amazing and inspiring teacher. She opened my eyes to the availability of our other senses and the many ways we can experience art using more than our eyes. I remember for one particular project she challenged us to create a video that would be accessible to blind and deaf people. She described to us the difficulty of going to the movies and not understanding what was going on sometimes because she couldn’t hear clearly and some theaters didn’t have closed captions. It’s funny because I think she was actually telling us about the project she was working on for this exhibition that was inspired by those experiences. So here is a little additional information. One of the MFA exhibit screenings has a video with sounds and actions. Instead of including captions of the only words the actors were saying, Sylvestre went through this entire video and wrote her own descriptions of what was going on, what she was thinking at those times and how she played it. from what she heard. On the wall next to it is a collection of drawings or a chart of the flow of sounds, music or words that she has heard, then interpreted and transferred these representations to a page. Her pieces create a sense of intimacy because you are left in her thoughts and interpretations of what she hears and feels. It’s a truly unique perspective and such an inventive way to represent and share your experience and voice.
Overall, none of the pieces were the typical artwork one thinks of when thinking of the work of a master’s student on display in an art gallery. Each piece has a connection to the artist, their interpretation of an idea or a solution, and in many ways triggers the thought “oh wow, how did they find that?” This challenges our perception of what art should be, is and in what forms it can manifest. Sometimes it also made me more confused the more I looked at him. Although as a student at the School of Art + Design it was very inspiring to see how I can apply these skills and ideas that I am learning to my life, to my art and to the representation of my own voice. Perhaps you will also find links to these artists and their voices in this exhibition! If you get the chance, I highly recommend stopping by the Krannert Art Museum to take a peek or take a close look at the art created by these talented artists and designers. This exhibit will be up until April 25 and it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss!
2019 Illinois Masters of Fine Arts Exhibition
Now until April 25
Krannert Art Museum
500 E Peabody Drive
MF 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
its 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Open Thursdays during the semester until 9 p.m.
Top photo from Krannert Art Museum website, artwork Â© Connor Dyer. Additional photos by Tianyuan Wu.