Lush photographs of African American hairstyles, a tiny handmade book of maps, an old-school pay phone embedded with a video loop, and a sleeping bag fashioned like a hand grenade are just some of the works Mason alumni displayed at the REMIX Mason Alumni Exhibit. The show, one of the many events of Alumni Weekend, was displayed in four galleries across three campuses through December 1.
This is the first time Mason’s School of Art has held an alumni exhibit. Forty-three School of Art alumni participated in the show, featuring recent graduates to as far back as 1978.
Suzanne DeSaix, BA Sociology ’78, MFA Art and Visual Technology ’12, presented her sculpture “Click to Delete.” The smooth block of wood with a carved computer mouse on top is, DeSaix says, “a visual reflection on human interventions into, and manipulations of, our environments—and the unintended consequences.”
University curator Don Russell, who curated the show, says a personal favorite piece was “World Table” by Morgan Kennedy, BA Arts ’97. It featured a long picnic bench as a gathering place to share tomatoes grown and harvested by a network of the artists’ friends around the world. Russell explained that, at the end of the exhibit, gallery visitors were invited to share in a tomato soup lunch to celebrate the collective harvest.
School of Art communications and outreach specialist Natasha Boddie, MA Arts Management ’09, has cultivated a group of alumni artists for monthly meetings, and says alumni were not only enthusiastic about participating in the exhibit, but wanted to support the university’s comprehensive fundraising effort, the Faster Farther Campaign, as well.
“All entry fees for the exhibition were donated to our student scholarship fund,” Boddie says. “It was their way of giving back to the students.”
“Being part of the alumni show is an important way to stay connected with the School of Art,” says DeSaix. “I appreciate being part of this community and find inspiration in the thoughtful, well-crafted work and spirit of the Mason artists.”