Bates Senior Thesis Online Exhibition 2020

The Bates College Museum of Art provides a platform for graduating art students

Nick Eaton, Striper 1, 2019, digital print on Luster paper, 9" x 13"
Celia Feal-Staub, Untitled, 2019, reduction-fired stoneware, various dimensions
Mayele Alognon, Untitled, 2019, gouache on cardboard, 23" x 35"
Ariel Abonizio, Unicorn Dreams, 2019, inkjet print, 29" x 36"
Mike Jones, Aftermath, 2020, sumi ink and pencil, 12" x 9"
Madeline Schapiro, Untitled, 2020, earthenware, 4" x 4"
Philip Wu, Upsurge, 2020, ink, 14" x 17"

As the COVID pandemic began to spread, museums around the world shuttered indefinitely; many remain closed, with uncertain futures. While the Bates College Museum of Art followed suit and closed its doors to the public starting in March, the museum is following through on its yearly collaboration with Bates’s department of art and visual culture. Together, they are creating Bates’s first online senior thesis exhibition. To showcase visual art in a virtual setting may prove difficult, but associate professor Pamela Johnson is optimistic: in a letter to the seniors, she writes, “I hope that in this virtual format, your artwork will reach the larger audience it deserves.”

Senior Thesis Online Exhibition 2020 features selected works from graduating seniors who majored in studio art with each student pursuing his or her medium of interest. Media range from photography and painting to sculpture and pottery. In her paintings, artist Mayele Alognon explores the notion of identity in her paintings and asks, “Is there one authentic version of self, or are there multiple—even infinite—versions that are all equally authentic?” Her works examine the concept of wholeness in relation to parts that are unseen, hidden, and fragmented. Artist Celia Feal-Staub used to create functional pottery, but in her senior thesis she explores distortion and the emotive response that can be evoked by each new vessel she creates. “Every touch, indent, or deflation I make represents a specific moment in time,” she says. But most intriguing to her are the narratives and meanings assigned by others to each piece. See the full exhibition here.