Georgia Southern students curate MFA student show at Augusta University
The Georgia Southern University Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art recently collaborated with the Augusta University Department of Art to present a student juried and curated exhibition at Augusta University’s Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art.
On display now through July 29, “Trifecta” features a variety of work from Master of Fine Arts students within the state. Juried and curated by Georgia Southern M.F.A. students Jessamy McManus and Courtney Ryan, the exhibition includes photography, ceramics, painting, sculpture and more. A public reception for the show will be held July 29 from 5-7 p.m. at the gallery.
“The best part of Trifecta is the extreme variation in both medium and content of the artwork,” said McManus. “From broom handles to oil paint, each artwork is so starkly different from the next and every piece has its own unique voice, reflecting the uniqueness of the artist who made it.”
When Scott Thorp, Chair of the Art Department at Augusta University first approached the BFSDoArt to offer summer gallery space he was looking for a way to create a sense of collaboration among other institutions.
“The most impressive thing to me was that (McManus and Ryan) took collaboration to the next level,” he said. “I would bet there has never been a collaboration like this before among departments in this state.”
Artists featured in this exhibition currently are enrolled in M.F.A. programs at Georgia Southern, Georgia State University and the University of Georgia.
“They curated a cohesive exhibition containing a playful and exploratory aesthetic. The show includes a range of approaches to making art while maintaining a high degree of technical sophistication. It runs the gamut while maintaining a common visual that holds it together,” said Thorp. “Our students have really enjoyed seeing this work. Plus, it demonstrates to them what graduate-level work is like, and our students are seeing they are competitive. Before this, they really had no gauge to tell.”
For McManus and Ryan, coordinating the exhibition offered valuable real-world experience.
“When we were given this opportunity, Jessamy and I really wanted to give it 100 percent,” said Ryan. “This is where I want to be when I graduate, working on the ‘real art world’ and Jessamy wants to be a gallery owner and curator–so this opportunity was extremely beneficial to both of us.”
“It was stressful and exciting,” Ryan added, “but ultimately the final product is a dynamite show of M.F.A. work from across the state. We’ve got so many artists doing so many different things, and it’s amazing how well this came together.”
The featured artists from Georgia Southern, Georgia State University, and the University of Georgia are: Rachel Ballard, Reid Brechner, Amelia Carley, Kelli Couch, Ellie Dent, Cyndy Epps, Larkin Ford, Michelle Laxalt, Ben B. Lee, Nuni Lee, Atena Masoudi, Katherine Miller, Usman Oladeinde, Trevor Reese, and Dan Smith.