2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition 

The 2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition included work from MFA students Laura Blair Bodden, Audra Christie, Stratton McCrady, Brandon Pierce, Alena Shaughnessy, Aaron Smith, and Matthew Tanzi. The MFA program granted students an interdisciplinary approach that encourages them to think across traditional academic boundaries and challenge their art practice and intellectual curiosity.


Laura Blair Bodden

The photographs and projection work in Laura Blair Bodden's series Thresholds exaggerates the time and space of twilight. In this body of work the liminal is explored as a space between spaces, as space of waiting. Bodden uses constructed sets to produce images that embrace the nature
of the shadow landscape.

Audra Christie:  Audra Christie has a hybrid art practice that utilizes process, encounter, engagement, community, and her experience living in rural Maine. Her social design practice and specifically the Tiny House Studio
project seeks to stimulate interaction and foster a communal experience. Christie's work connects the viewer with the moment and acts as a reminder of the interconnectedness of humanity. The Tiny House Studio can be seen at MECA&D's green space, just down the street from the ICA.

Stratton McCrady: Following in the path of artists such as Diane Arbus and Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec, McCrady's project Acting Out: Performances, Debaucheries and Lies grew from the desire to study and to illuminate the fringes of local society and specifically the Burlesque community in the Portland area.  
He portrays the humor, sexuality, generosity, the curiosity and the beauty of his subjects.

Brandon Pierce: Brandon Pierce is a conceptual artist using elements of performance, self-experimentation, and drawing to explore the limits  of rationality in the understanding of the self and its place in society. His current
work is two-fold. In his performance work he is cataloging and exploring the nature of the barriers he imposes between himself and his identity as an artist. In his sculptural work he is exploring the physical and social effect that aesthetics, essentially his output as an artist, plays in the speciation and maintenance of social structures, particularly class.

Alena Shaughnessy: Alena Shaughnessy's work brings the outside world inside and makes the internal world visible.  Her work is made of visual fragments of life to include outdoor pieces like skies, indoor pieces like carpet and in between pieces like doors. Time and space are altered. Shaughnessy's installations are domestic spaces that become universes.

Aaron Smith: Aaron Smith is a photographer and installation artist who makes phenomena visible by creating relationships between light, space object and the viewer. His Synergy project consists of small simple machines that manipulate light in order to change the way objects and space are perceived. The meditative state evoked by his work present viewers with realities that lie outside of their immediate physical grasp and can be accessed through their imaginations.

Matthew Tanzi: Matthew Tanzi's animations ask the question 'what dictates reality'— and specifically what are the differences between the invented realities put forth through the medium of film and our perceived realities in the physical world. His animation The Witlessly Automated Adventures of the Extra Ordinary Hectkor uses social satire and humor to allow the audience to consider these questions for themselves.