Let’s Be Dragons: Serpents Inside
April 4 – May 13, 2017
Opening Reception April 7, 2017
Let’s Be Dragons: Serpents Inside, the annual exhibition of the Master of Fine Art thesis candidates from the College of Visual and Performing Arts, features the artwork of six emerging artists Zhongwen (Lisa) Hu, Courtney Asztalos, Evan Deuitch, Todd Irwin Francis Lauther, Ssu Ya Hsiung, and Chelsea Jones. Through their presentations, a variety of themes and media including painting, photography, ceramics, video art, illustration, and site specific installations, will be explored.
Serpents Inside brings together artists expressing and grappling with existential questions of identity and self-exploration. Each artist reframes the physical and mental, the public and private, and the performance of identity exploration.
Chelsea Jones’s self-portraiture project uses her hair, common hair processing techniques, and cosmetic routines as racial signifiers to come to terms with the implications of being a biracial woman. Courtney Asztalos’ installation focuses on the physical presence of women within an architectural space designed as a utopia to exploit our wildest fantasies where financial victory may be just one slot away. Todd Irwin Francis Lauther’s lyrical photographs capture a young man’s thoughtful response to his desire for fatherhood and a sensitive negotiation of the societal pressure placed upon men to create a family. With painting and performance Ssu Ya Hsiung and Zhongwen Hu use childhood memories, both absurd and surreal, to depict psychological loneliness, vulnerability, and physical isolation from the outside world. Evan Deuitch’s investigation of the online subculture of hybrid human/animal characters known as the furry fandom brings together fantastical imagination with hedonistic pleasure. His character driven self-portraits address identity construction, obsession, and role playing.
Together, Serpents Inside, offers a palpable sense of the vulnerability, self-doubt, pleasure and pain that often accompany an inward searching.
In addition to Serpents Inside at the Point of Contact Gallery, the SUArt Galleries, Community Folk Art Center, and 914 Works will also be presenting venues for the thesis work. Guest curated by DJ Hellerman, curator of art and programs at the Everson Museum of Art, this spring marks the first ever campus and Syracuse city-wide celebration of the arts learned and practiced here at Syracuse University.