A first look at Ground Control

Preparations are well under way for this year’s VCS senior thesis show, which will take place at SVA this coming January. After consulting with the students, reviewing their proposals, and carrying out a round of studio visits, VCS faculty member Amy Wilson has put together a selection of works that emphasizes the wide range of interests and technical means pursued by the members of the class of 2011. The students are now working hard to complete their contributions before the show’s installation at the end of the winter break.

Here are a few comments Wilson prepared for the show’s upcoming press release:

“One of the strengths of the VCS department is our very individualized studio program. Students are encouraged to experiment in a whole variety of media over their four years at SVA rather than pinning down their interests within the first year or so. The result is a sprawling show of very diverse work that reflects this openness to the process of art-making, with no one material or medium dominating the show. Instead, what comes through is the underlying desire to communicate with an audience and to transmit information from the artist to viewer. I titled this show Ground Control to reflect this transmission of ideas that is present in all of the works.”

A preview of one of the works in Ground Control: an etching by Shellyne Rodriguez, part of a series of the Seven Deadly Sins.

One thing that makes this year’s thesis show different from last year’s inaugural exhibition is that the class of 2011 is the first group at VCS to have been in the program since their freshman year. Their entire academic experience at SVA has been shaped by the unique approach to art education that Wilson cited above. As a result, Ground Control will contain a lot of very conceptually rich pieces, including things ranging from political statements and feminist critique of personal domestic spaces to one student’s creation of an alternate fantasy universe. The mediums on display will include painting, printmaking, video, sculpture, collage, book art, and installation.

The exhibition will be held at 133/141 West 21 Street, right across the street from the VCS studios. Because the number of works is so large, the show will occupy both the building’s Westside Gallery and much of the surrounding hall space on the first floor. The gallery will feature art by VCS seniors Shannon Broder, Kelly Cabezas, Justin Elm, Sofia Klapischak, Amy Kolenut, Tess Lundgardh, Shellyne Rodriguez, Brooke Tomiello, and Michelle Yun. The hallways will feature works by Joana Fittipaldi, Sara Friedman, Andrew Kazinec, Shannon Kelly, Courtney Linderman, and Olena Shmahalo.

Ground Control will run from January 8th through February 5th, 2011, with a reception to be held on January 11th from 6 to 8 p.m. As the date gets closer, I will provide additional information about the gallery and show times.

Visual & Critical Studies