Although the University of Oregon has one of the oldest MFA programs in the country, this is the first time in its almost 100-year history that graduating students have not been able to present their work in a public exhibition. Certainly, this is not the way any of us imagined the year would go. Following executive orders in March to shelter in place due to COVID-19, our students were abruptly displaced from their studios, as well as their close-knit community of fellow artists. With the thesis show just weeks away, completing the work required multiple kinds of collaboration, solving unexpected logistical challenges, and working in the absence of their peers during the crucial final weeks. While navigating the dizzying pace of events that followed, this group of artists not only persevered, but they also triumphed.
We are proud to present the thesis work of the 2020 MFA class in the pages that follow. Through deep introspection, hours of independent research and faculty critique, and an inspiring commitment to their studio work, each of these artists has developed a rich and complex project. While we cannot all be together in person to celebrate these accomplishments, we are proud to share and honor their projects here, from a distance.
Interim Department Head, Ann Swindells Chair, Professor