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Spotlight on Grad Students' Art

Thesis exhibition spotlights artworks by four MFA students

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Thought-provoking installations, performance art, digital projects, collages and videos by four Northwestern University graduate students soon to earn their MFA degrees will be showcased from May 3 through June 23 at Northwestern University.

The exhibition, “CLOWNFLANEUR: Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition from the Department of Art Theory & Practice,” will take place at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, on the University's Evanston campus. It marks the culmination of study for the four student artists leading to the master of fine arts degree.

An opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2, will feature remarks by guest speaker Wassan Al-Khudhairi, former director of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar. The reception and exhibiton are free and open to the public.

The featured artists are:

• Amanda Elise Bowles is a project-based artist who works in performance, installation and video. In her current project, “My_Space,” Bowles explores digital platforms as an amateur ethnographer, using the constraints of the website Chatroulette, an online chat site that pairs strangers from around the world together for webcam based conversations. 

• Daniel Giles is an artist whose practice negotiates the spaces, tropes and artifacts of black cultural production and addresses the mediation and consumption of racial fantasies. Employing a range of practices, Giles addresses sites of consumer display, public spectacle and the aesthetics of protest.

• Esau McGhee, known as “Blackdynamite,” considers himself a conceptual formalist. His transition from the conventions of urban documentary photography have led him to produce large scale works that frame collage as a panoramic landscape.

• Matt Morris is an artist and writer who uses photography, installation and other interventions to explore queer political subjects. Through tropes of both subtlety and excess, Morris renders visible the complex erotics that underlie social landscapes.

The MFA Thesis Exhibition is co-organized by the department of art theory and practice and Northwestern's Block Museum. It is supported by the Norton W. Walbridge Fund; Cary Lane Graduate Stipend courtesy of Dr. Madeline Wing Adler; Myers Foundations; Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund; and Alsdorf Endowment.

For more information, visit The Block Museum website or the Department of Art Theory and Practice website

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