2008 All-Senior Exhibition
In May 2008, the Corcoran showcased work by the next generation of America’s artists. The individual Senior Thesis Exhibitions culminated in the annual All-Senior Exhibition. Presented in the Rotunda and several upstairs galleries of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the exhibition provided a unique opportunity for seniors at the Corcoran College of Art + Design to show their work in a major museum setting. It also provided a fitting partner to the Corcoran’s exhibition, The American Evolution: A History through Art, on view at the time, by showing a glimpse of the future of American art.
The exhibition represented all disciplines and featured work by every student graduating from the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program. It was a celebration of the accomplishments of our graduating seniors, as well as an indication of the high quality of the Corcoran’s undergraduate program.
Each department approached their selections for the All-Senior Exhibition differently.
The seniors in the Photography department worked on long-term projects of their choice, beginning in the Fall semester and culminating with the Senior Thesis Exhibition in the early Spring semester. The projects represented a thoroughly developed idea and required the students to have finely tuned their craft and to present their work in a professional manner.
Photojournalism faculty worked with their students to carefully select a small representation of the work in their thesis shows for inclusion in the All-Senior Exhibition. The students worked with the narrative documentary tradition, drawing from specific circumstances to address social, cultural, and political issues. This year’s projects included essays on animal therapy, a young female boxer, and the African American Muslim community in Washington, D.C.
Fine Art Photography invited an outside curator to make a small selection from the thesis shows to be displayed in the All-Senior Exhibition. This year, the curator was Andy Grundberg, the administrative chair of the Photography department and an internationally recognized critic. The content and form of the projects created by the Fine Art Photography students was varied and embodied a wide range of imagery relative to contemporary practice. It included color and black and white photograms, color abstraction, portraits, women’s health issues, and directorial work, to name a few.
Delving into a variety of media, the Fine Arts seniors’ graduating work featured in the All-Senior show was the outcome of a process of experimentation that began in their third year. The students explored the range of practices that can be found in contemporary art: painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, installation, video, performance, and the digital arts. Through a series of installations and critiques of the students’ work throughout the last two years of the program, they have been led to find the most suitable material expression for their ideas. The concerns included narratives of everyday life investigated in paint, video, or ceramic sculpture; commentaries on how mainstream film and TV culture mediate our perception; critiques of suburban culture, corporate capitalism, and a society of waste; investigations of the construction of identity through found and manipulated objects or text; and explorations of the role of fantasy in our visual culture, from low-budget horror films to children’s story books.
The Graphic Design and Digital Media Design senior work included interactive media, publications, posters, three-dimensional exhibits, animation, and digital video. The projects were diverse, and included a wayfinding system for a college campus, a prototype for dispensing medicine to senior citizens, a design campaign for an environmentally conscious fashion line, a series of experimental books, and manga. Some students had chosen to examine the past—studying the use of nostalgia and kitsch, branding and advertising. Others are looking to the future—addressing issues of sustainability, new directions for print and digital media, and interface design.
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