The Senior Art Exhibition is a cornerstone of the studio art major at Scripps College. Each year, the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery shows artworks by graduating seniors that constitute their thesis projects. In addition to making the works on view, the seniors conceptualize the exhibition, install their pieces, draft artist statements and wall texts, and publicize the event. However, due to unprecedented times, the global pandemic of COVID-19 has disrupted this tradition. The gallery space lies empty, on an empty campus, with abandoned studio spaces, paint still left uncovered.
This year’s iteration, A part / Apart, features artworks by Huize Huang SCR ’20, Miriam Bankier SCR ’20, Emily Zhao HMC ’20 , Allegra Mojdehi SCR ’20, Alexi Butts SCR ’20, Tori Smith SCR ’20, Julia Read HMC ’20, Sabrina Drescher SCR ’20, and Eleanor Schiffler SCR ’20. It showcases these remarkable artists as they creatively redirected their work to fit with a virtual exhibition in the matter of a month. Take this moment to consider this new virtual space, and how the work is connected in collective experience despite sudden fragmentation, because regardless, it is collective fragmentation.
Certainly a global pandemic was not on the list of anyone’s plans for graduating. The past 4 years have not followed traditional predictability, and have only proven that the only certainty is uncertainty, and that we are built for adaptation, resourcefulness, and responsiveness. This group of seniors are no exception. Ranging across mediums from virtual reality, video installation, sculpture and 2D work, focusing on the individual and collective identity. Artificiality and limitations of the body pulsate through this show. As these four years come to a close, what lies ahead is truly unknown.
We present to you the first virtual exhibition for Scripps Studio Art majors.
The 2020 Scripps Senior Art Exhibition is the culmination of a year-long Capstone experience. Beginning with a written thesis and visual art project in the fall Senior Project and Seminar in Art course (Art 192) that are then expanded in the spring’s Advanced Senior Project in Art (Art 193), seniors work with their faculty mentors and fellow students to produce the final exhibition on view in this virtual gallery.
As the faculty of record, the privilege has been mine to work with these extraordinary artists on their yearlong journey. I would like to thank the pioneering seniors in A part/ Apart who persevered, despite steep challenges amidst an international crisis, to not only launch the first ever virtual exhibition in the Scripps Art Department, but, through their work, to also give us hope and the light to deepen our understanding of the world, to appreciate how art can help us process thoughts and emotions, and, thereby, to soothe and solve in doing so.
I would also like to thank the dedicated Art faculty who have mentored each of the seniors throughout the year:
Tia Blassigame, Assistant Professor of Art and Director, Scripps College Press
Adam Davis, Associate Professor of Art
Ken Gonzales-Day, Professor of Art, Fletcher Jones Chair in Art
Kasper Kovitz, Assistant Professor of Art
Nancy Macko, Professor of Art, Mary W. Johnson Professorship in Teaching
Melanie Nakaue, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art
Amy Santoferraro, Lincoln Visiting Professor in Ceramics
Additional support was provided by the Fine Arts Foundation.
Special thanks to Kirk Delman, Collections Manager and Registrar, Williamson Gallery and Brigitte Garney, Administrative Assistant to the Art Department for supporting the seniors.