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Hi5: The Annual First-Year MFA Exhibition

February 7, 2017 to March 24, 2017


The Department of Art & Art History at Stanford University presents Hi5: The Annual First-Year MFA Exhibition, on view in the Coulter Gallery from February 7 through March 24, with a reception on Thursday, February 9, 2017, from 4-6 PM.  This annual group exhibition introduces the five first-year MFA students in Art Practice: Joe Ferriso, Sean Howe, Amber Imrie-Situnayake, Natani Notah, and Victor Yanez.

Faculty curator Jonathan Calm states: “I am excited to celebrate the way in which these exceptionally talented artists have pulled together such a diverse body of work to showcase the culmination of their studio practice over the past few months. Their commitment and accomplishment do our program and the arts at Stanford proud.”

Joe Ferriso a native of Long Island, NY, and a graduate of Cooper Union, moved to San Francisco in 2009 and started a collaborative furniture business, Anzfer Farms, which focused on merging traditional woodworking practices with minimalist and painterly influences. More recently, Joe has worked as an independent artist channeling the aesthetic motifs and symbolism of urban and suburban architecture. Using building materials like plywood and house paint, he creates imaginary extrusions configured as transformed fragments from the built environment.

Sean Howe engages in reworking everyday objects and common materials into new landscapes. Raised in Washington State and a graduate of the University of Washington, he has always drawn inspiration from the dramatic geological phenomena of his native region. Sean's diverse influences further include folk art, food forestry and permaculture. He combines traditional materials like paint, clay, and wood with random discarded objects, embracing humor and absurdity to fuel new associations between object, material and self, and to stimulate deeper relationships between human, nature and the built environment.

Amber Imrie-Situnayake's work reveals a vested interest in the culture and politics of rural living. Based on ethnographic research into the Ozark Mountains region of Northwest Arkansas, where she grew up, her treatment of craft-based materials and domestic goods explores the tension and connection between natural surroundings and the space of the home. A Studio Art graduate from UC Berkeley, Amber has had several solo exhibitions, and is the founder of Venison Magazine, an online contemporary art publication, as well as Art Camp, an open source art professionalism residency based in California.

Natani Notah is an interdisciplinary artist, poet, and graphic designer. Her work is born from a desire to raise the profile and visibility of contemporary Native American experiences. Through sculpture, sound, video and painting, she creates spaces for indigenous bodies and voices, with a specific focus on the agency of women, to exist without shame or apology. Her research interests include indigenous feminism, environmental justice and the effects of historical trauma. A graduate from Cornell University, Natani is the recipient of several awards, and her work has been featured in various publications.

Victor Yañez uses sculpture, performance, and installation to investigate the various intersections of his identity as a second-generation Mexican-American. Formerly an art teacher in Chicago, and a graduate of Columbia College, he sources first-hand experiences, oral histories, language, and popular culture to address perceptions of race and ethnicity. Through repetition and ambiguity, his work proposes a richly poetic treatment of the unspoken traumas that often lie at the heart of the immigrant experience, and allows the legacy of these scars to find expression across the surface of assimilation narratives.

Department of Art & Art History
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