After a busy semester dedicated to time in the studio, students in the MFA in Visual Studies program are excited to present a group exhibition at Springfield Art Museum. The MFA in Visual Studies Exhibition showcases the work of Thesis Candidate Haley Biere, along with recent works by fellow MFA students. The exhibition is on view May 7–21, with an opening reception on May 6 from 5:30–7 PM.
Haley’s thesis project explores their story as a transgender person living in rural Missouri through a variety of reclaimed objects and textiles. While reflecting on their time at Missouri State, Haley points out that even graduate students should leave room for instruction, “One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned during my time here is that it’s okay to ask for help. Coming into a master’s program, it is hard to admit there is a lot you still don’t know, and I am thankful for all the help I have received in this program.” After graduation, Haley plans to pursue a career in gallery preparatory work. “In my undergraduate and graduate schools I’ve had the opportunity to work at their galleries and it has been something I have come to really enjoy,” Haley adds.
The exhibition will also feature the work of the following MFA students:
Dana Bridges, Rick Briggenhorst, Mara Cressey, Tawn Dickison, Adana Garrote, Nadia Issa, Meidi Karampourdashti, Teddy Osei, Anton Pleshka, Erin Sedra, Shauna Smith, Shelby Theis, and Jean Paul Vivas.
For many of the students involved, exhibiting at the Springfield Art Museum will be a first-time experience and professional milestone. “As part of my career trajectory as an artist, one of the ultimate goals is to get my art works collected and shown in as many museums [as possible] both locally and internationally. I believe this is a great starting point for such happenings,” shares MFA student Teddy Osei.
Shelby Theis, an MFA student completing her first year in the program, shares what exhibiting in a larger gallery space means to her:
Participating in this exhibition feels like a dream come true. I had the opportunity to visit the Springfield Art Museum for the first time several years ago and I wondered if there would ever be a day when I could show my work in a museum like this one. Now I get the opportunity to see my humble curiosity come to fruition, and it feels like the first big step in a long road of art making and showing ahead of me . . . There are many people in the community who love art and want to see the students here succeed, and I am very grateful to be a part of this community.
Springfield Art Museum is located at 1111 E Brookside Dr, Springfield, MO 65807. For questions about the event, call the Department of Art and Design office, 417-837-2330.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.