“Art is thinking and theorizing manifest; it is a cousin of philosophy and a sibling to science, whose threads have exceeded the body and body politic to confront change through a series of radical proposals that have mapped humankind’s progression from the caves of Lascaux to contemporary
conditions of post-humanism.”
So write Regina and Marlin Miller and Charlie White, the Head of the School of Art, introducing the upcoming 2017 Senior Art Exhibition entitled Roll Call. Its opening reception is on Friday, May 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Miller Gallery and will be on view until May 20. The show features the final work of graduating students with degrees in Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts, Bachelor of Humanities and Arts, and Bachelor of Science and Arts.
When talking about what to expect from Roll Call, White says art has the power to preserve the present in a way that surpasses necessities of product or definition, allowing for the truth of our generation to exist in a space that is appropriately
formless — in this way, art school demonstrates this great power of art to preserve the idea of “now.” Artists in school have the power of youth to speak to this fact, and Roll Call will be an exhibition that shows the ideas of young people at their height of maturity of work. If there is one show during this school year that I recommend seeing, it is this one.
Passion of work and boldness of idea are core values of the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon, and there is no better place to witness them than in the work of our graduating class of young artists. Art is engaging with the world, exulting in the beautiful and the complex, and being socially and politically engaged. Each one of these artists uses the tools of aesthetics and visual culture to share the way they interact with the world and their visions of the future.
As the diversity of thought and hard work of these students will be on display, we will all be able to see the snapshot of our times and the best of the culture on campus concentrated into the pieces on display. We see the variety of ways Carnegie Mellon has helped give rise to new ideas in the range of work that is being pursued. Bachelor of Fine Arts senior Gerald Warhaftig, for instance, uses humor and digital culture in his illustrations to create spaces of self care and love for queer communities. Elizabeth Agyemang, a senior pursuing a Bachelors of Humanities and Arts in art and professional writing, works with her personal experience as a woman of color to explore storytelling through visual motifs, cultural objects, and historical artifacts. Process-based work, focused on skin and touch through paint, defines senior art major Bridget Quirk’s practice.
These are just a few of the impressive artists who will be on display in Friday’s show. Though we are sad to see them move on from the basement of Doherty and the upper floors of CFA, they leave behind the precedent of insight, humor, and compassion in work that defines the best parts of the Carnegie Mellon School of Art. Graduation is always an uncertain time for artists, but I have no doubt in my mind that these individuals will go on to do great things with their creativity, passionate voices, and care for the world.
Artists: Elizabeth Agyemang, Isabella Antolic-Soban, Anna Azzizy, Clare Burdeshaw, Bonnie (Yan) Chan, Clair Chin, John Choi, Becca Epstein, Madeline Finn, Ethan Gladding, Jarel Grant, Autumn Hill, Miranda Jacoby, Amanda Jolley, Maya Kaisth, Sandra Kang, Nat Kent, Janice Kim, Bronwyn Kuehler, Kira Melville, Rachel Moeller, Natalie Moss, Miles Peyton, Bridget Quirk, Gwen Sadler, Caroline Santilli, Kaitlin Schaer, Christine (Zhuoyang) Shen, Charlotte Stiles, Joni Sullivan, Lauren Valley, Gerald Warhaftig, Nicole Yoon, and Chengcheng Zhao.