The Illinois BFA Exhibit celebrates a diversity of styles and themes: Arts: Smile Politely

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I visited the School of Art & Design BFA exhibit at the Krannert Art Museum two days before the campus festivities started. But even then, the bittersweet feeling of endings and beginnings hung in the air. These emerging artists, working in a variety of media including photography, sculpture, painting, studio art, industrial design, new media and graphic design, should be celebrated for the work they have. created. But they must also be recognized for their resilience and their ability to learn and create during a pandemic.





Much of the work featured in this exhibition was deeply personal, showing a commitment to using their talents to create space for more diverse identities, to deal with grief, to give back, and to imagine better ways of doing and being. in the world.

From sculpture by Brendan D. O’Shaunessy, The Consumed Creatureabove, at Josie Danielle Pines’ multimedia installation, Suspended in Time: Family Gatheringsseen below, materials have been used in new ways to tell unique stories.


Photo by Debra Domal.

So many of these young artists came to terms with the uncomfortable truths of the world that shaped them and their art. by Linda Obobaifo houses on firetop right, illustrated with text below, explores themes of destruction, sexism, violence and racial injustice.

A sanitized woman

Even after death
a woman’s body
torn into indecipherable pieces
crystallized dry clay
by brown disease
a blanket of white hands
hold back the screams
cut open stomachs
emptied further into the vagina
opening – withering of the reproductive organs.
A woman’s body
even after death
sanitized in Black.


Photo by Debra Domal.

Photo by Debra Domal.

Photo by Debra Domal.

Grief and loss remained a recurring theme throughout the exhibit. Izzy Zavala’s COVID mask mat, pictured below, alchemizes what has become the iconic image of the pandemic, into a handcrafted everyday household item. by Megan Hann The hardest goodbye one of my favorite concepts on the show, is creating custom books to “teach kids how to deal with the loss of a pet for the first time.”


Photo by Debra Domal.

Photo by Debra Domal.

Photo by Debra Domal.

Photo by Debra Domal.

Photo by Debra Domal.

Photo by Debra Domal.


Photo by Debra Domal.


Photo by Debra Domal.


Photo by Debra Domal.

In case you missed the exhibition, you can still discover much of the work and congratulate those who created it on the School of Art and Design Facebook page.

The exhibition of the school of art and design BFA
Krannert Art Museum
500 Peabody Ave E
Champagne

Top photo by Debra Domal.
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