Student Biennial 2020

January 13–February 9, 2020
Harrison and Rosedale Galleries


Installation view, Student Biennial, 2020, photo: Sam Fritch

Arcadia Exhibitions is pleased to announce the opening of “Student Biennial 2020”, on display in the Harrison and Rosedale Galleries through February 9, 2020.This exhibition is the eighth in a series of student exhibitions at Arcadia juried by an outside curator. This year’s show was juried by Melissa Maddonni Haims, an independent curator and artist based in Philadelphia.

After attending a long list of East Coast art schools and spending a semester at sea on a wooden boat, Haims received a BFA in painting and a BA in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. Her current artistic practice involves the production of knit graffiti, soft sculpture, and large-scale installations using knitted and crocheted yarns. Additionally, she creates unconventional quilts using vintage fabrics and subversive text. The majority of her work is produced using recycled, reclaimed, and rescued textile materials.

Haims has presented her work locally at venues such as The Morris Arboretum, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, The Painted Bride Art Center, and The Woodmere Art Museum. She has also been invited to participate in a number of nationally recognized contemporary art fairs including the Verge and Spectrum fairs in Miami, Florida, as well as The Pulse Contemporary Art Fair and Spring/Break Art Show in New York City.

Her curatorial credits include exhibitions for, Mt. Airy Contemporary, and most recently the shows she has produced for the Barbara Crawford Gallery at the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia.

Haims selected 49 entries from a pool of 156 submissions by 56 Arcadia first-years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The works selected include photographs; oil and acrylic paintings; collages, a linoleum block print, several rings, (including one utilizing the wings and legs from a Spotted Lanternfly), ceramics, artist books, two sculptures utilizing found materials, and drawings completed in colored pencil, pastel and carbon dust, ink, as well as a number of digital illustrations.

Haims will present a lecture on January 27, 2020 at 4:30 PM, followed immediately afterward by a reception in the galleries to celebrate the exhibiting artists. Five individual prizes, voted on by the Department of Art and Design faculty, will be presented to the winning students at this reception.

Johanna Schrecengost ‘20, String of Pearls, 2019, porcelain, 16” x 6” x 3/4”

According to Exhibitions Coordinator Matthew Borgen, “Haims went about the jurying process with a sincere joy and enthusiasm for examining student work, and I think that attitude of positivity and excitement is reflected in her selections. The mood of the works in the show runs the gambit from dark and somber to playful and eccentric, but all share a quirky sensibility emblematic of our community within the Department of Art and Design. Additionally, the exhibition contains creative approaches, which, at times, demonstrate an understanding and respect for traditional art making techniques, while at others presents a willingness to embrace more contemporary themes and materials.”

Prior to 2006, Department of Art and Design faculty selected works for this biennial exhibition. The current practice of inviting an outside juror began that year when independent curator Julie Courtney was invited to make the selections for the exhibition. Subsequent jurors included Elyse Gonzalez, Assistant Curator, ICA, Philadelphia in 2008; Sue Spaid, Independent Curator, Philadelphia in 2010; Charles Ritchie, Artist/Associate Curator, Department of Modern Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. in 2012; Judith Tannenbaum, Curator, RISD Museum (Rhode Island School of Design in 2014; Andrea Wohl Keefe and Colin Keefe, Co-Directors, Mount Airy Contemporary, Philadelphia; and Carrie Robbins, Curator of Art and Artifacts, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 2018. As in 2018, the Biennial will be hosted in both the Harrison and Rosedale Galleries. This exhibition has been mounted in the University Commons since the building’s opening in 2012.

The artists in the current exhibition include: Joanne Allen, Osaama Awan, Sidney Babilonia, Alexandria Chippa, Madison Cline, Emma Deesing, Sage Forte, Charity Frye, Katherine Hagen, Maura Janoski, Maria Klos, Sarah Mazza, Ireland McGuigan-Good, Alyssa McNece, Rebecca Miller, Rachael Piotte, Emily Pitcairn, Lexie Puls, Chris Reistle, Aimee Rouff, Elexa Sauls, Ellie Schnell, Johanna Schrecengost, Elyssa Sculthorpe, Brit Shor, Ibrahim Sillah, Eleanor Simpson, Emily Simpson, Charlie Smirga, Antonio Solari, Anil Sooknanan, Dallas Steere, Colleen Weiman, Jordyn Willis, Brian Wolf-Jensen, and Hanna Wu.

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