Current Work by VCU Department of Craft/Material Studies Graduates
February 4 – March 11, 2011

Tacit: Current Work by VCU Department of Craft/Material Studies Graduates features artists Megan Biddle, Jackie Brown, Andrea Donnelly, Younseal Eum, Cari Freno, Katie Hudnall, Jason Hackett, Aaron McIntosh, Sarah Mizer, Debbie Quick, Meg Roberts, Caitie Sellers, Sayaka Suzuki, Adam Whitney and Erin Williams.

Megan Biddle works in several different media, including drawing, sculpture, and video. She received her M.F.A. from VCU in 2005, and earned her undergraduate degree at the Rhode Island School of Design. At RISD, she participated in the school’s Exchange Program, which sent her to the Academy of the Arts in Prague, Czech Republic. Megan’s work has been exhibited in Richmond and across America. The Museum of American Glass and the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Latvia, own her pieces as part of their permanent collections.

Jackie Brown’s installation-based work consists of hyper-organic forms that imply growth, movement and expansion. She uses viscous, porous surfaces to provide a sense that the work is alive, and aims for each installation to seem to float in space and move seamlessly from floor to ceiling. She received her M.F.A. from VCU in 2008. She has served as an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City and has been an instructor and lecturer at various institutions, including the Wuhan University of Technology in China.

Andrea Donnelly investigates the psychological space of her interior world by weaving by hand. Through passage of time and rhythm of repetition, the actions of weaving are captured and layered in the buildup of thread upon thread. Andrea studied Psychology at North Carolina State University for her undergraduate degree and subsequently obtained her M.F.A. in Fibers from VCU in 2010. Her craft has taken her across the world; she has studied in Mexico and Ghana as well as across the United States.

Younseal Eum’s work is both kinetic and sculptural. Her pieces have been featured at Connor Contemporary Art in Washington, D.C. and Reynolds Gallery in Richmond. She has served as an instructor during VCUarts’ Summer Intensive Weekend Art Adventures.

Cari Freno’s videos are a kind of self-surveillance fostering absurd behavior when she is alone, in front of a camera. By documenting personal experiences in a public park environment, she opens up an experiential relationship with the landscape and the life forms found within. Cari obtained her M.F.A. from VCU in 2009. Her work has been exhibited in galleries across America.

Katie Hudnall received her M.F.A in Woodworking and Furniture Design from VCU in 2005. Since then, her pieces have been exhibited all over the country, and her work has been featured in various exhibition catalogs, books, and magazines. In addition to many other honors, Katie received a fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 2007, and she was named Best of Show at Gallery 5’s Sleight of Hand exhibition in 2008. Katie is currently an assistant professor at Murray State University.

Jason Hackett’s work attempts to alter meaning and content of objects in their context. By combining disparate forms alongside one another, hopes and fears can take form as psychological works, acting as both mysterious reminders and predictive elements in search of meaning. Representation, symbolism, reproduction, abstraction, and the use of found items influence his creative process. Jason received his M.F.A. from VCU in 2005, and he is currently a full-time faculty member and technician for the university. His work has been exhibited throughout the country since 1997.

Aaron McIntosh’s saturated works question our larger social constructions of normality and abnormality, pleasure and disturbance, high and low culture, as they pertain to ideas of love, romance, and sexuality. He extracts miscellaneous and ambiguous bits of sexual language and symbolism from print materials and pieces together drawings and textile objects that subvert the original messages and context.

Sarah Mizer, inspired by the ocean and focusing acutely on her feet (with an amplified lens), pays attention to their transitions when first stepping into the water. The artist says that, in that impossibly short time frame, she has never known a complete thought to run through her mind. Sarah obtained her M.F.A. from VCU in 2007; her area of specialty was Glass. She has completed commissioned pieces for the Brooklyn Art Library, Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., and the Wethersby Guild in Richmond, in addition to several private collectors. Sarah is currently an Assisting Coordinator and Adjunct Instructor for VCU’s Art Foundations Program.

Debbie Quick holds the idiom “A picture is worth a thousand words” close to her heart. She is a visual storyteller; she constructs stories which speak of emotional interactions and reactions experienced during intense social exchanges. Just as social interactions are layered, having a number of interpretations, visual information leads to a multitude of possible understandings. Debbie received her M.F.A. from VCU in 2006, and she currently serves as an Assistant Professor and Administrative Director for the university’s Department of Craft and Material Studies.

Meg Roberts’ work includes both large-scale sculptures and delicate jewelry. Her sculpture series is a reflection of pleasant childhood experiences like hiding in small nooks, playing in cardboard boxes and constructing blanket forts. By providing personal shelter within a public space, she provides comfort and security for each individual user. Meg graduated summa cum laude with a B.F.A. in Craft and Material Studies from VCU in 2009. In 2008, she won the VCUarts Dean’s Scholarship. Her crafts have been displayed in various group and solo exhibitions since 2006.

Caitie Sellers’ art is a comment on how she interacts with the world. Every piece is autobiographical, referring to a location and how it affects her both externally and internally. Textile work expresses emotional comfort, while her jewelry refers to matters of external location or physical security. Her art is influenced by the three places she has lived: Richmond, Montana, and Guatemala. Caitie obtained her B.F.A. in Craft/Material Studies, concentrating on textiles and metals/jewelry, from VCU in 2007. For four months in 2008, she taught art and coordinated the opening of a fair trade jewelry store in Xela, Guatemala.

Sayaka Suzuki views each piece as a theatrical space, an experience that is created for personal discoveries. At times her work is commemorative, at other times it reflects urgency, and often times it provides a reflective moment—all of which transforms a space or an object into a moment of discovery. Through using materials that reflect the sensibility and sensitivity of human hands, such as hand worked glass, fabric, and recycled items, she hopes to give concrete proof of our existence. Sayaka obtained her M.F.A. from VCU in 2005 and has served as an adjunct faculty member for the school since then. She has instructed classes in hot glass, flameworking, and glass casting across the country.

Adam Whitney specializes in sculptural metalwork. In 2008, he was one of several VCU students selected to display their works at the American Craft Council Conference in Baltimore. Adam is currently the Metals Coordinator at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C.

Erin Williams graduated from VCU with an M.F.A in Metalsmithing in 2007. She previously studied at the London College of Fashion and Syracuse University. Erin has had solo exhibitions at the Arlington Arts Center, the Anderson Gallery in Richmond, and Coyne Gallery in Syracuse, N.Y., in addition to a variety of group exhibitions. In 2008, Erin won the Kari Beams Sculpture Award for Best in Show at the Marlboro County Juried Sculpture Exhibition in Largo, Maryland. She has also received a Juror’s Award from the Visual Art Society of Texas.

Support for the exhibition is provided in part by Altria Group.