On the evening of Feb. 23, graduate students in the intermedia master of fine arts (MFA) program presented in the Black Box performance space of the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization (IMRC) center. The students presented the intermedia pieces that they have been working on so far in their studies. The presentation was hosted to a large audience and was open to the public.
“We want to get the first and second-year students used to giving a public presentation of their work, and all that entails,” Associate Professor of new media and intermedia, Nate Aldrich, said. “We also want the community to have a sense of getting together and making sure everybody knows what everybody else is doing, and hopefully it generates some really good conversations back in their studios about how to proceed.”
The graduate student review was part of the “Tuesdays at the IMRC” series, which has been running since last semester. However, the intermedia program has been bringing in artists to speak for almost 12 years.
“We try to bring in diverse artists from as very far away and very close as well,” Aldrich said. “This term we’re going to have an artist from Maine who works in socially engaged art. We’ve already had an artist from New York. We have faculty presentations coming up as well.”
The series is also looking at other disciplines to highlight this upcoming semester.
“We have musicians, sculptors and other various disciplines,” Aldrich said. “We have a concert too coming up towards the end of the semester. We try to put in a concert every semester possible.”
A majority of the pieces presented were abstract, and spanned across a diverse range of media. Many of the artists looked at various disciplines from outside of the art as influences to their pieces. Some of the pieces reflected influences from literature, history and even physical movement.
“My piece is not a traditional presentation; but then again, I would expect non-traditional presentations from this group,” first-year intermedia MFA student, Alicia Champlin, said.
Each graduate student was allotted a strict 10 minutes in which to present their pieces. The following five minutes were used for a brief question and answer session with participation from the audience.
“Part of this is commencement of their critique classes which all the graduate students have to take,” Aldrich said. “I’m one of the critique class instructors. Students come every week and present work and bad ideas around, and it’s really part of their process.
“Anytime you can increase your articulation and eloquence is a great thing,” Wade Warman, who has been in the intermedia MFA. program for a year and a half, said. “If you can articulate your ideas in an eloquent and concise fashion, your level of professionalism is higher. Being able to show your work leads to other places. It’s a skill that bleeds over to other areas; not just art.”