The exhibition is a collaboration between the art museum and the Department of Art and Design at Missouri State University, featuring thesis work of five MFA students.
This is the fourth year that the art museum has hosted the exhibition. This year, MSU graduate students Jennifer Wolken, Tristan Miller, Casaundra Beard, Neal Polallis and Vladan Djordjevic present their works in a box of chocolates in various styles and mediums.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 exhibition was cancelled, which would have originally featured works by Pollallis and Djordjevic. As a result, this year they were both invited to participate in the exhibition.
“It’s really great to have this opportunity to come back and participate in the exhibition,” said Pollallis. “It’s such a great opportunity and really, who wouldn’t want their work featured?”
According to Polallis, her work is inspired by her family’s struggles with schizophrenia, a disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel and behave clearly.
“I had this family member who could have conversations with one person while having a completely different one with someone who doesn’t exist,” Pollallis said. “My work aims to portray these issues in a way that others can understand.”
Beard said the museum’s participation in the exhibit was crucial.
“The Springfield Art Museum has been amazing throughout this experience and we really appreciate all of their help and willingness to host our MFA thesis exhibit,” Beard said. “There are some great photos they posted on their Facebook and Instagram pages to promote us as well.”
In a post about her instagramfeaturing her and the other four performers, Beard said, “Grad school was a wild ride, and I’m glad I got to share it with you crazy people.”
For the museum, the MFA exhibition is also important. The exhibit fills a month-long gap between two of what the museum called in a press release their most-visited exhibits: the annual “All School Exhibition” and “Watercolor USA.”
According to an April 26 press release from the museum, the MFA exhibit is an opportunity for the museum to showcase local artists while extending recognition to student artists from the area.
The exhibition is free, face masks are mandatory and social distancing will be enforced.
The exhibit will be open to the public through May 23 at the Springfield Art Museum’s Weisel and Kelly Galleries during regular business hours: Sunday 1-5 p.m. and Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The exhibition is sponsored by Howard and Nadia Cavner.
Follow Todd Dearing on Twitter, @mtodddearing
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