MFAST ’17 Thesis Exhibition

This summer’s MFAST thesis shows featured the work of Damon Arhos, Natalie Bheekie, Sarah Clough, Ume Hussain, Caryn Martin, Kwaku Osei, David Shurbutt, Susan Striepe and Nancy VanNoppen.

Congratulations to the MFAST Class of 2017!


“Blush”, a two-person exhibit featuring Emily Hoxworth (MFAST ’19), on view at the Mansion at Strathmore

This exhibition traces Hoxworth’s evolution from representation toward abstraction in painting, as well as her new fiber-based sculptural work. Probing internal experiences of sensation and desire and external experiences of movement, Hoxworth explores the human body as a part of nature – a force that’s beyond control or understanding – a fluid force of growth and change.

On view through August 6, 2017.

The Mansion at Strathmore is located at 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD 20852.

For more information click here.

For more on the artist, please visit

Caitlin Albritton (MFAST ’18) on the cover of “New American Paintings”

The gym is a place where everyday antics—sexuality, competitiveness (within and between the sexes), ego, and primal behaviors—are amplified in a stage-like environment where there is a hyper-awareness of bodies in a public space. Engaging the politics of looking through both male and female gazes, we sneak glimpses of others in mirrors and through makeshift windows in gym equipment.

Instead of idealizing the body, I’m interested in exemplifying its strangeness, as well as the peculiarity of certain gym exercises and the awkward, compromising, sometimes sexual positions they put people in.

Most people have entered a gym at least once in their lives, or have goals to promote their own health and live longer, happier lives. Telling gym stories through serious yet comical visual narratives, I hope to bring up conversation about gender issues, body politics and trends, competition, and the propaganda of progress in other spheres of our lives.

-Caitlin Albritton, 2017

For more information, click here.

For more information on the artist, please visit

Emily Harris (MFAST ‘13) discusses her recent work on Yale University Radio

Interview by Brainard Carey, Apr 10, 2017

“Do I dare disturb the universe?” -T.S. Eliot

This perhaps is a question we all must ask ourselves. It is comfortable to stick with the status quo, refusing to rock the boat for fear of capsizing. But a life lived quietly, it can be argued, is a life barely lived. The fear of being wrong or stumbling as we step must not keep us from veering off the path when something interesting beckons from the bramble. In art, and in all things, it is necessary to cultivate the courage to disturb the universe. Otherwise we will spin on in the same circle forever.

Emily Harris recently mounted an exhibition in Montclair, New Jersey. While preparing the space, Harris was warned that it might be so cold she would see her breath. This idea of making the invisible visible (as in seeing one’s breath) has been a theme throughout her work and so she was inspired by this piece of information. Her exhibition, “When Our Breaths Run”, captures exhales in blown glass. Harris sees this as the first in a series of work in which she will make breath visible. She plans to collaborate with Brooklyn-based vocalist Anais Maviel. Harris has a strong interest in creating alternative art spaces. The reason for this is, in part so that the audience “will discover the interrelationship of their part in the space around them.”

“Picture the Wall”, a solo exhibition by Davin Watne (MFAST ’13), on view in Kansas City

Combining the history of oil painting with the visual language of our contemporary lives, Davin Watne’s “Picture the Wall” is an installation of 38 paintings standing ten feet tall and spanning the width of the gallery.

With the upsurge of images being generated by photojournalists and social media outlets alike, “Picture the Wall” combines appropriated images, plein air observational works, and graphic representations of flags to consider contemporary methods of representing nationhood, history, and contemporary American life.

The installation collages these individual representations into an impassable wall; Watne creates a totalizing image from fragments. The combination of these fragments ultimately draws attention to the reality that each painting is an illusion, or construction, and not a transparent or unbiased viewpoint.

“Picture the Wall” is on view through June 24, 2017 at Haw Contemporary, 1600 Liberty, Kansas City, MO 64102

For more information, click here

For more on the artist, visit


Jason M. Stewart (’16) Solo Exhibition “Negotiations of Space” at The Monmouth Museum

Through the physical act of painting, Stewart creates a place that attempts to be familiar, yet will always be distant and beyond reality. His process begins with an awareness of place and the way it is seen, experienced, and remembered. Through photographs and drawings, places of personal significance and transience are examined. These studies are abstracted through the improvisation and vocabulary of paint in a way that honors the locale while becoming something new. Schematic drawings, which represent fact and accuracy, are drawn from memory; memories filled with emotions and inaccurate accounts. The abstractions develop in unknown directions. They are improvised and intuitive, reactionary and resourceful, quick but authentic.

An opening reception will take place on June 2, 2017 at 6pm followed by a gallery talk with the artist on Wednesday, June 21st from 7 – 8 pm.

For more information on the exhibition, click here.

For more information on the artist, visit


“Open Plan”: Todd Keyser’s (MFAST ’11) Solo Exhibition at Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia

Todd Keyser’s use of constructed pictorial space maximizes the expressive potential found within both the self-imposed limitations chosen by the artist and the inherent constraints of working on a rectangular canvas. With his compositions rigorously decided, Keyser finds openness through engagement with the edge of the canvas and the physical space beyond the image. He says that the “intent [of his compositions]…is to suggest that more could be added to each painting…that the space beyond the painting can continue.”

His use of paint treatment, texture, and color vary from painting to painting, but occur within repeating, predetermined geometric structures. Through Keyser’s range of related versions, the viewer is reminded of the richness which can be experienced through variations on a theme which occur frequently in the world of music and, in the visual arts, that harken to Josef Albers’ chromatic painting series: “Homage to the Square.”

Open Plan will be on view from May 3 – 26, 2017 with an opening reception on Friday, May 5 from 5 – 7 pm.

Gross McCleaf Gallery
127 S. Sixteenth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Tel: 215-665-8138
Gallery Hours: Tues.-Sat. 10 – 5