Sacred Wasteland: Selected Works by the MFA Class of 2019

19 April 2019 - 26 May 2019

Sacred Wasteland: Selected Works by the MFA Class of 2019

19 April – 26 May 2019

Public Celebration: Thursday, April 25, 5 – 8 PM
Family & Friends Sunday: Sunday, April 28, 2-5 PM
Performance Event: when they become us. Friday, May 10, 6:30 PM
Curator Q&A: Friday, May 10, 7:30 PM

Sacred Wasteland presents work by the nine studio artists of the 2019 Master of Fine Arts graduating class and celebrates the blending of traditional and non-traditional approaches, as well as the thoughtful repurposing of materials to reveal layers of each artist’s idiosyncratic curiosities. Each of the candidates mines the rich and complicated realities of our world using objects, techniques, and subjects that might typically be discarded or overlooked in their original contexts. In many cases, the artists’ personal narratives are directly intertwined with their material choices, and their constructions and aesthetic interventions illuminate the public value of private artifacts. Their work inspires important questions about humanity’s proficiency at isolating, elevating, destroying, and memorializing people and resources over the course of a single lifespan. As these artists investigate the perception of cultural and material wastelands, they imbue what they find there with all the care and attention we reserve for the sacred.

Participating artists include Jonh Blanco, Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo, John DeKemper II, Peter Hoffman, Michael Keaveney, Jasper Lee, Laura Little, Reuben Mabry, and Chieko Murasugi.

During the 2nd Friday ArtWalk on May 10, Sacred Wasteland artist Jonh Blanco, ShaLeigh Dance Works, and the Ackland present when they become us., a collaborative, socially-engaged performance event. See our online calendar for more information.

Sacred Wasteland is curated by William Paul Thomas. Thomas is a 2013 alumnus of the MFA program in Studio Art at UNC-Chapel Hill and is the artist in residence at Duke University’s Rubenstein Art Center from January until March 2019.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Seymour and Carol Cole Levin.

Image: Sarah Elizabeth Cornejo, American, born 1993: Halfies, Pt. 1 (detail), 2019. Earth, saw dust, steel, wood glue, coral, alligator garfish scales, oyster shells, rocks, cement, volcanic rock, sharks’ teeth, pig intestines, epoxy, lichen, barnacles, acrylic paint, and windshield glass. Courtesy of the artist.