5 art school graduates to watch for 2021

SMFA / Tufts

Harris uses paint – and canvas, photography, and video – to collaborate with animals, weather, and sites such as Mount Greylock, Mount Washington, and the woods behind his home in Worcester.

“I like to paint on the ground. I love to feel the textures of the rocks under my feet, ”she said. “I don’t really look at the view when I’m painting. It’s more about what’s in the air, what’s out there that we can’t see, that I can smell and put on the canvas.

An outdoor canvas by Anne HarrisAnne Harris

It goes beyond painting. In his performances camouflaging himself in the woods with paints (and subsequently tarps and mylar), Harris harmonizes and expresses the spirit of the sites. “I’m not going there to do a good painting,” she said. “I’m going there to capture the experience, and I hope I know this place, and this place gets to know me.”

Videos of his performances show giant paintings traveling through the wilderness. She leaves webs in the woods and photographs bobcats and foxes interacting with them. The porcupine has become a particular obsession.

“The paintings have become much more than paintings. The performance has become so much more, ”she said. “Everything is interconnected, just as I like to think of myself as being with the environment. “

Find more: annebharris.com, instagram.com/anne_b_harris, vimeo.com/annebharris

Mosheh Tucker, 25


Boston university

Tucker’s mother is of Haitian descent and his father’s family is from Mississippi. He grew up in Boston, not knowing what ethnic group his African ancestors belonged to.

His paintings explore the vast gray areas generated by the slave trade. He designed pictographic scripts using v̩v̩s Рsymbols of Haitian voodoo spirits Рrooted in an ancient West African graphic written language.

“Untitled (the poem)”, full of pictograms, translates Tucker’s poem about a mother and child who jump from a slave ship and drown. A tear in the middle reveals a black backing.

“It’s a pervasive black identity,” Tucker said. “Once I’m outside of the spaces where I’m known, I’m that general thing, Black.”

Mosheh tucker's
“Untitled (The Poem) by Mosheh Tucker”.Mosheh tucker

The pictograms invoke gods, stories and bodies. In voodoo rituals, vévés are drawn on the ground and erased by dance. With paint, Tucker makes them permanent.

“The Vévés are portals. They allow the spirit to enter your space. Dancing clears the space. I open but do not close the portal, ”he said.

He wants to hold the gods responsible.

“I think symbolically of the gods. But through slavery and bondage and torture they just watched, ”Tucker said. “I’m pulling them into this space.”

Find more: moshehtucker.com, instagram.com/the.artist.mosheh

Sebastian Gonzalez Quintero, 28

Video projection and performance artist


Gonzalez Quintero climbed the glaciers of the mountains of his native Colombia.

“They’re melting every day, and they’re getting higher and higher,” he said. “We had to climb a lot to find the glacier.

Last winter, Gonzalez Quintero used snow as the backdrop for his video screening, “Are there glaciers in Colombia?” The answer changes from time to time: yes, there was. Glaciers are thrown onto a snowbank, which an artist destroys. It is overwhelming to watch.

“Our relationship with the land is aggressive. Our actions are violent, ”said Gonzalez Quintero. “I wanted to express this violence.

His series of text projections on the Charles River draws attention to the presence of poisonous blue green algae. We read: “Charles does not want to go green.

A work by Sebastian Gonzalez Quintero
A work by Sebastian Gonzalez QuinteroSebastian Gonzalez Quintero

“I think of Charles as a person. Or as a subject, ”said the artist. “’Person’ seems anthropocentric. “

Together with his classmate Jesus Pizarro, an artist sweeps the dry lagoon bed in the public garden, emptied after a toxin kills waterfowl. Pedestrians cross the bridge, seemingly oblivious to the performance – and the missing water.

“The sweep could express the magnitude of our actions in relation to the whole pond – or the whole environment,” Gonzalez Quintero said. “How futile it is to sweep away, when we are trying to solve a much bigger problem. “

Find more: instagram.com/sego153

Bridget Bailey, 29


Boston university

It’s no surprise that Bailey once taught kindergarten. His pictorial practice echoes the way children discover the world, and themselves, through bodily experience. The works are tactile, soft and funny. They reflect on what it means to be homosexual, choosing not to be categorized.

She works with materials that she likes to touch.

“I’m a physical painter,” said Bailey, a native of Nashville. “You would think it would make me move a lot of oil painting, but I’m interested in focusing on the physicality of non-traditional but relevant materials.”

Bridget bailey's
“Today” by Bridget Bailey.Bridget bailey

This includes children’s crafts such as Sculpey, which she crushes and bakes, then affixes to her canvas. Then chew gum in “Today”, which recalls feminist painter Hannah Wilke’s use of gum. Bailey’s influences also include British painter Tracy Emin and riot grrrl singer Kathleen Hanna. “I love their edgy, angsty girlish vibe,” Bailey said.

But familiarity and idiosyncrasy are stronger in these works than anguish. The sleeve that hangs down from the top edge of “Today” is reminiscent of one of her favorite shirts.

“I see clothes as items of comfort,” Bailey said.

And his painting? “It’s about being comfortable,” she said, “in terms of homosexuality and self-presentation.”

Find more: bridgetmbailey.com

Taylor Hickey, 24


UMasse Dartmouth

When Hickey was a student at McNeese State University in Louisiana, she fell in love with polyhedra, star-shaped shapes that she learned to make in a book-making class.

Studying art history at UMass, she looked at Joseph Cornell and Yayoi Kusama, who had predilections for the study of the universe. One day, while listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “StarTalk” podcast, Hickey overheard theoretical astrophysicist Janna Levin and started reading Levin’s work.

“She’s talking about a universe that could be finished, and it is closing in on itself,” Hickey said. “And it could be, in theory, a polyhedron.”

“I thought it was so cool – and it fits with this thing that I already weirdly love to do because it’s cathartic,” she said.

Hickey’s “Stellated” installation, like Kusama’s “Infinity Mirror Rooms”, evokes the cosmos. She hangs her starry shapes, printed with nebulae, perforated and illuminated from within, in a dark gallery.

“It had to be big and immersive,” she said. “I wanted to be able to withdraw [viewers] of the expected experience of a gallery space, confusing them a little.

Taylor Hickey’s “Stellated” installation.Kate couturier

The effect is indeed cosmological – like stargazing up close.

Its theme? “I see it as the cosmological sublime,” she said, “where scientific pursuit meets the philosophical sense of the wonder we have at the universe.”

Find more: taylorhickeyart.com, instagram.com/taylorhickeyart

Master of Fine Arts Thesis Shows

Due to COVID 19, some thesis shows are not open to the public and the schedule for in-person shows is quite varied. But here’s the big news: This year’s MassArt thesis exhibit opens a new public gallery on Harrison Avenue called MassArt x SoWa.


At MassArt x SoWA, 460 Harrison Ave., until June 6. sowa.massart.edu

WAITING ROOM: 2021 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, Tufts University School of Fine Arts School

At Tufts University Art Galleries. Open only to the Tufts community until May 21. artgalleries.tufts.edu/blog/news/2021/02/18/2021-mfa-thesis-exhibition


At the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, umassd.edu/cvpa/explore/mfa-exhibition-online-2021


Boston University. The in-person exhibit is closed and a virtual exhibit is not yet in place. bu.edu/art/mfa-painting-exhibition

Cate McQuaid can be contacted at [email protected] Follow her on twitter @cmcq.

Kayleen C. Rice