Featured Exhibition Image

2024 MFA Thesis

Apr 27 – May 26, 2024


The artists exhibiting in MassArt’s 2024 MFA Thesis are diverse in their interests, media, and methods. Some explore personal narratives while others document journeys, interrogate and create identities, question relationships, and peer into the future.

The paintings and sculptures of Magda Leon, Danielle M. Richard, Zo Watts, and Ava Yikun Xu focus heavily on personal accounts and cultural symbols. A woven tapestry of patterned strips of banana leaves is Magda Leon’s offering to the community. Immigrant customs are shared as Leon navigates two worlds while celebrating her peripheral status. Danielle M. Richard builds assemblages inspired by a rural, butch aesthetic. Deconstructed flea market finds joined with junk yard scraps tell a frank story of materiality and identity. Porcelain armadillo, jackalope, roadrunner, snakes, and other Southwestern fauna stand, perch, and lie amongst glittery cacti and kaleidoscopic colors in Zo Watts’s dioramic display. Merging symbols and artmaking processes from their two backgrounds as a transracial adoptee, Watts reimagines an allegory of assimilation and belonging. Ava Yikun Xu examines the portrayal, stereotyping, and objectification of women through popular culture, language, and food in her large-scale paintings. Body shaming and impossible ideals are referenced through evocative foodstuffs such as a wood ear mushroom.

Natalie Brescia, Faith Baum, and Scott Offen each investigate a landscape, place, or interior world. Documenting her travels in the American west, Natalie Brescia creates her non-manipulated analog photographs through multiple exposures shot upside-down, inviting double takes and word play. The deft paintings and prints of Faith Baum map a familiar environ—the residential neighborhood. Transporting the viewer to the suburbs, Baum calls on us to imagine the varied existence of the individuals within. Scott Offen’s photographs are an excerpt from Dream-Tale, a seven-year exploration of an elusive protagonist who embarks on a fantastical journey, only to arrive home. Was it real or imagined?

Davit Botch, Jane Paris, and Amadeo Gjurra are interested in self-awareness and the context within which people, as individuals, as groups, and as humanity find it. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, the multimedia work of Davit Botch encourages us to pursue knowledge as we attempt to understand our existence. Through rituals and food, Jane Paris explores personal anxieties and the facets of consumption in her sculptural sound and video installations. The performative as a means of release or therapy is also prevalent in Amadeo Gjurra’s activist videos that make visible myriad queer identities.

Yulia Spiridonova, Desdemona Kusi, and Darci Hanna draw our attention to differences and divisions, recognizing where they cause pain, and celebrating when they bring richness and joy. By photographing members of the Russian diaspora in Boston, Yulia Spiridonova reclaims bit by bit the humaneness that was lost when Russia began its “Special Military Operation” (aka war) in Ukraine. The scattershot arrangement her portraits belies the care with which the artist pieces together an exiled community. Investigating womanhood and women’s work, Darci Hanna creates textiles, sculptures, and performances that emphasize female bodily autonomy, and question cultural constructs as well as how the division of labor is valued. Desdemona Kusi pays homage to the Ghanaian American culture in which she was raised. Her joyous experimental film Oba y3 m3 is an ode to new citizens and first generations everywhere, and a call to embrace our differences and origins.  

And finally, Patrick Brennan looks into the uncanny future of the physical world. His sculptures and videos require the viewer to determine where his inscrutable artifacts—products of natural inspiration mixed with AI generation and human ingenuity—will ultimately reside.


Lisa Tung, Executive Director, MassArt Art Museum | April 2024


*A concurrent, student-curated exhibition, Emergence, is on view at MassArt’s Patricia Doran Graduate Gallery April 29 – June 7, 2024. The featured graduates will also present public artist talks on Friday, May 10, 2024, at 1:00pm (EST). Join us at the MassArt Design and Media Center Lecture Hall or via ZOOM. MFA talks are free and open to the public, and will be followed by an on-campus gallery reception and theatrical screening of time-based works. REGISTER HERE.

Exhibition Images

Exhibition Archive

2024 MFA Thesis

Apr 27 – May 26, 2024

border(less) // 2024 Alumni Curatorial Project at MassArt x SoWa // Photo by curator Yana Nosenko


Mar 9 – Apr 21, 2024

Tender Farms at MassArt x SoWa // Spring 2024

Tender Farms

Jan 13 – Mar 3, 2024

2023 Design Biennial

Oct 21 – Nov 19, 2023

MassArt x SoWa // 2023 MFA Summer Thesis Exhibition


Jul 22 – Aug 13, 2023

MassArt x SoWa | In This Body of Mine 2023 | Stephanie

In this body of mine

Jun 10 – Jul 16, 2023

MassArt x SoWa | 2023 MFA Spring Thesis Part II | Installation view | Photo by Rebecca Morrison | Work from Hadis Karami + Kierra LoRayne


May 20 – Jun 4, 2023

2023 MFA Thesis Exhibition (Part I) | MassArt x SoWa


Apr 29 – May 14, 2023

Speculative Futurisms | MassArt x SoWa | Dennis Svoronos

Speculative Futurisms

Mar 11 – Apr 23, 2023

The Hour of Lead | MassArt x SoWa

The Hour of Lead

Jan 14 – Mar 5, 2023

2022 Design Biennial | MassArt x SoWa | Installation View | Meyer + Smillie

2022 Design Biennial

Nov 19 – Jan 8, 2023

The New Drawing Room | MassArt x SoWa | Karmimadeebora McMillan

The New Drawing Room

Aug 20 – Sep 25, 2022

Material Agency | MassArt SoWa | Stephanie Cardon


May 28 – Jul 17, 2022


Apr 23 – May 22, 2022

SOURCE at MassArt x SoWa 2022


Mar 12 – Apr 17, 2022

Triple Oscillation // MassArt x SoWa

Triple Oscillation

Jan 15 – Mar 6, 2022

The Nature of Your Departure

Dec 3 – Jan 9, 2022

Yeah, I'm Doing Great | MassArt x SoWa | Installation Shot

Yeah, I'm Doing Great

Oct 30 – Nov 28, 2021

Zaire Love | MassArt x SoWa Protest and Power

Protest and Power

Sep 24 – Oct 24, 2021

2021 MFA Spring Thesis

May 3 – Jun 6, 2021