Playing For Keeps: The University of Delaware MFA Thesis Exhibition

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Playing For Keeps: The University of Delaware MFA Thesis Exhibition

May 1, 2020 - May 27, 2020

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The Delaware Contemporary is pleased to announce Playing for Keeps, an exhibition of the 2020 University of Delaware Master of Fine Arts candidates. Showcasing the work of Jason Austin, Ken Beidler, Jacob Cage, Cody Graham, Sarah Hunter, Robert Lesher, Anna Marciniak, Arnaud Perret, and Caleb Weiss, this exhibition represents the capstone to their two years of studies. Originating from the classic game of Marbles, the expression “playing for keeps” refers to the players keeping the marbles they win instead of turning them in at the end of the game. Emerging from a studio program that highly encourages interdisciplinary experimentation, this exhibition honors all that these artists gained “for keeps” through sharing and risk-taking within the supportive structure of the graduate school. Working in a variety of mediums, these artists present work that draws on their individual research and embodies their unique perspectives.

Opening Reception:
Friday, May 1, 2020
5 – 9 PM during Art Loop
Artist talks in the gallery starting at 5:30
Applying charcoal, oil pastels, and acrylic to large sheets of paper, Jason Austin creates richly colored narratives based on his daily experiences and routines. Austin seeks to capture the essence of his subjects through depicting details other than facial expressions, illustrating how visual cues help develop the stories we share to connect with one another. 
Inspired by his surroundings in “post-industrial” Philadelphia, Ken Beidler uses accumulation and repetition in his mixed-media sculpture as tools for addressing the interconnected systems of the natural world and human culture. Everyday material objects, both found and made, are smushed, layered, and piled up to evoke landfills, geological layers, and archaeological sites.
Jacob Cage explores sensory indulgences through dimensional painting installations that utilize color, rhythm, and illusion to capture moments of contemplation. Cage’s work confronts viewers with microscopic imaging and basic geometries to explore how universal systems are reflected in anatomical, cerebral, and digital experiences.
Cody Graham uses the sun to burn imagery onto tactile surfaces such as cotton or denim. Through alternative photographic processes, he creates objects that memorialize intimacy and sexuality and their relationship to memory. 
Sarah Hunter manipulates oil paint into surrealist inspired landscapes using source imagery collected from her daily travels. Hunter pushes chromatic and tonal relationships to evoke unsettled feelings while questioning the mystery and strangeness of an evolving, or perhaps collapsing, world.
Robert Lesher questions the connection between humanity, loss, and despair through the construction of clay forms that are often hollowed and unfired, causing them to be vulnerable to transformation with long-term exposure to water and air. 
Creating sculptures that harness the power of shadows, Anna Marciniak uses light as a tool for blurring the line between the intangible and the physical when composing her own story in welded forms. She utilizes her background in experimental theater to help her guide viewers in an alternative interaction with space.
As an intermedia artist working predominantly in photography, Arnaud Perret thinks of his work as a form of visual poetry that evokes feelings and expresses what cannot otherwise be explained. He seeks to use self-exploration as a way of tapping into universal experiences and themes.
Caleb Weiss’ collage paintings simultaneously work as image fragments, or as a whole, so that viewing up close presents a different effect than at a distance. Through the use of multiple images within one painting, new connections between imagery emerge that may otherwise never be seen in relation to one another


This exhibition is coordinated by Sam Whalen, The University of Delaware’s 2019 – 2020 Curatorial Fellow.


May 1, 2020
May 27, 2020
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Deleware Contemporary
(302) 656-6466
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The Deleware Contemporary
200 South Madison Street
Wilmington, DE 19801 United States
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(302) 656-6466
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