Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm not always enamored of MFA grad survey shows. Because of the AAC's emphasis on emerging artists, we end up showing a lot of recently minted MFAs, anyway (there are four recent grads in our upcoming Fall Solos in October). So for us, doing an academy-type show seems a little redundant.

Besides this, MFA candidates increasingly are working artists, out there showing their stuff before they've earned their grad credentials--I'm thinking specifically of Lily Cox-Richard, who's one of those four artists we've got in the Fall, and whose work I'd already seen all over the place before she'd even finished school.

Having said that, this year it seems like there's been an extraordinarily talented crop of grad students--particularly at MICA, and at my old alma mater, UMCP. I've done a number of grad crits in the area, and seen some uncommonly strong thesis shows produced by those students.

So it seems to me that checking out Convergence at Maryland Art Place could be a good idea. Making your way to Conner's Academy show could also be smart. Of course, since Leigh hasn't opened the doors yet on her soon-to-be-fabulous new space, that show will be housed in temporary digs--Taurus Development, at 1341 H Street NE.

Convergence closes Saturday, July 19; Academy opens Friday, July 11, with a reception from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

Among the list of already familiar names in the latter show is Andrea Chung, an artist from MICA whom you should be watching. And I don't just say that because, like Lily, she'll be at the AAC in the Fall...although obviously I can't help but think that's a good reason, too.

Pictured: Lily Cox-Richard, Spark Gap, 2008, installation view


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