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Whistling in the Dark: UGA MFA at the Athenaeum

Alan Flurry

The Lamar Dodd School of Art presents the annual MFA Thesis Exhibition, displaying works by students graduating with their Master of Fine Arts Degree. The exhibition Whistling in the Dark runs from April 12 through May 15 and premieres the University’s newest contemporary art space, the Athenaeum, located at 287 West Broad Street.

Whistling in the Dark features the work of seven MFA students working in a variety of media from video to installation, painting, photography, and sculpture. The exhibition takes its name from the artist Allan Kaprow’s seminal 1958 essay “Notes on the Creation of a Total Art.” Kaprow suggests that the only way to thrive is to change. Throughout the three years of their studies, these students have continually reinvented and re-examined their practice. Changing and then changing again, never more so than in this past year marked by a global pandemic and uprisings due to racial injustice. Responding to and growing from these struggles, the artists' works explore themes related to memory, the banality of everyday life, visual representation, questions of power and who wields it, and legacies of the American South. Above all, the exhibition is a testament to the growth of these students as they refuse a fixed position, choosing to endure. 

Artists in the exhibition include: Mac Balentine, Matthew J. Brown, Caitlin Adair Daglis, Alex McClay, Katharine Miele, Ciel Rodriguez, and Kelsey Wishik

The Athenaeum, as in ancient Greece, is a sanctuary dedicated to learning -- a place where people gather and engage leading artists and scholars in pursuit of goals once associated with Athena, goddess not only of art and civilization, but also the many noble goals that art can serve: wisdom, courage, and justice. This new contemporary art space will begin its full programming in the Fall of 2021 with a solo exhibition by Trevor Paglen. 

The galleries are open Thursday - Saturday, 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM.

Congratulations to the exiting graduate students on this tremendous accomplishment, and kudos to the School of Art on the launch of this new exhibition space in downtown Athens. The MFA Exit Show is an annual treat for town and gown, so make plans to come out and enjoy student work that is a culmination of their training and check out the new space. 

Image: Mac Balentine, Hall of the Eye, 2020, 3D modeled fluid dynamics simulation, 35 seconds (looped)

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