Student art shows on the UW-Madison campus can be frustratingly hard to catch—often they’re up for a week or less in the Humanities Building or the Art Lofts. It’s well worth going out of your way, but unless you’re tapped into the campus art world you might not even hear about a lot of it. To make matters worse, public events in Madison came to a standstill just as a whole cohort of graduate art students were preparing to host their MFA shows. Seeing artwork on a screen is a poor substitute for seeing it in person, but these bodies of work are worth exploring. The UW-Madison Art Department is hosting a digital show for some of the artists, and others have made the best of a lousy situation by re-framing their works in a digital context.
Quite a few of the artists shared samples of their work and accompanying statements. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve discovered so far from this crop of lost MFA shows. A lucky few got their shows in just under the wire, including Ashley Lusietto, who was kind enough to connect me with most of the other artists featured here. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but a look at the work I’ve been able to spend time with so far.
Deanna Antony, How To Cover Your Dark Eye Circles
Deanna Antony writes in her artist statement that the paintings in this show emerged from a “cycle of grief.” They draw on the overstimulated color palette that many kids soaked up from their TVs during the late ’80s and early ’90s (Antony cites the influences of shows included Care Bears and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse), but Antony uses those colors to evoke the rattling disorientation that comes with any trauma, depicting people in the painted equivalent of a double exposure.