AGREE TO DISAGREE: 2015 Studio Art MFA Thesis Exhibition

April 17 – May 16, 2015

The culmination of an intensive three-year program of work, AGREE TO DISAGREE features artworks made in a variety of media including drawing, painting, print, photography, installation, and video. These seven artists use their work to explore the world around them — to connect, describe, communicate, and question. Their works explore a diversity of themes including awesome scale, the psychology of games, our culture’s secret messages to young girls, a human reinterpretation of the digital, the legibility of abstraction and even…cybernetics.



Peter Abrami (Florida) paints colorful abstract paintings that teeter on the edge of anthropomorphism. A single form—is it emblem or subject?—flips between formalism and character atop each painting’s colorful matte ground.

Georgia Carter (Texas) creates enormous drawings by “impersonating” an inkjet printer, starting at the top left, carefully moving to top right and so on, back and forth down the paper. The resulting image only grudgingly reveals its digital source material, resulting in drawings that are soft and enveloping.

Leah Dyjak (Massachusetts) applies the logic of archaeology against the idiosyncrasies of personality to understand the mysterious actions of an eccentric. The precision of her luscious photographic imagery reveals a depth of beauty that coexists beside the unknowable.

Nick Francel (Missouri) invents stylized cartoony characters that exist in an immersive built environment into which the viewer can step. Upon entering his “game board” room, the viewer encounters game-piece characters, menacing trees and other clues. The game’s past and future narrative are represented in images on the room’s exterior walls.

Aaron Meyers (Pennsylvania) builds an architectural installation in which his to-scale fragment of the French visionary architect, Étienne-Louis Boullée’s Cenotaph for Sir Isaac Newton, creates a mash-up intersection with the VAC. Raised to the same level of grandeur and paired with the fragment is a rodent exercise wheel. His attention to detail allows the viewer, mouse or human, a glimpse of the infinite.

Laurel Shear (California) paints with body-sized gestures a series of abstract and figurative paintings. The figures, gleaned from Disney’s representations of princess/brides, allude to the stream of propaganda manufactured for the exclusive ingestion of little girls. Her combination of beguiling and repulsive images and color make for a rich, complex read.

Ryan White (California) creates a body of work that coincides with auditing sessions he has received at the Church of Scientology. The paintings are abstractions of the reactive mind. The artist makes these paintings before and after his auditing sessions.

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