A Note from Jamie Walker
It is my pleasure to introduce you to the thesis, project, and dissertation research of our graduate students in Art, Art History, and Design, Class of 2019. These twenty-nine MA, MDes, MFA, and PhD students arrived in Seattle a few years ago from all corners of the world with a myriad of experiences and expectations. The all-consuming focus of their time on campus has centered on the content and conversations generated through their coursework; interactions with faculty, staff, and visitors; and — perhaps most importantly — each other. The relentless pace of taking classes, participating in presentations and critiques, submitting papers, and sharing their knowledge and experience as colleagues and teachers was punctuated with times of individual thought and quiet reflection. Whether in a studio, library, or office, the common graduate experience is one replete with inspiration and exhaustion, doubts and revelations, as well as an endless stream of questions. I encourage you to peruse this online catalog and explore how each graduate student developed a distinct body of research that reflects and addresses the wonder, concern, and joy of the world that we all share.
For our graduate students working in Art and Design, the annual MFA + MDes Thesis Exhibition is the most public manifestation of their research, and once again they have the privilege of presenting their work at the Henry Art Gallery. It is fitting that this newest generation of artists and designers launch their professional careers at the premier contemporary exhibition space in the Northwest. We are grateful to the Director, Sylvia Wolf; Lead Preparator, Jes Gettler; and the rest of the Henry staff for their outstanding support of this exhibition.
We applaud the determination and excellence recognized by the degrees earned by our graduate students. As these artists, scholars, and designers navigate the next stage of their journey, they carry with them a sense of achievement and assurance that will serve them well in their future endeavors.
On behalf of the School of Art + Art History + Design, congratulations to the Class of 2019!
Director, UW School of Art + Art History + Design
Wyckoff Milliman Endowed Chair of Art
A Note from Sylvia Wolf
The Henry Art Gallery was founded as Washington State’s first art museum in 1927 by Seattle entrepreneur Horace C. Henry, on the principle that art stimulates inquiry, fosters knowledge, and builds healthy communities. Today, the Henry is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the research and presentation of contemporary art. We engage artists to consider the museum as a studio or laboratory for creativity, and our exhibitions and programs invite audiences to push the boundaries of traditional thinking. In all that we do, we live our mission: to advance contemporary art, artists, and ideas.
This year, the Henry and the University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design celebrate over 60 years of partnering in presenting the work of graduating master’s degree students. The Henry’s presentation of the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) + Master of Design (MDes) Thesis Exhibition is a hallmark of our commitment to supporting artistic innovation and a culture of creativity campus-wide. We serve as a cultural resource and training ground — opening our doors and resources without charge — for over 65,000 students, faculty, and staff.
The museum actively participates in the academic life of University students by offering jointly developed courses, student internships, practicums, and work-study opportunities, and we collaborate with over 35 academic departments across campus. The Henry encourages access to, and research on, the 28,000 objects in our permanent collection through our Eleanor Henry Reed Collection Study Center, the only facility of its kind in the region, where visitors can study from original works of art.
It is a pleasure and a privilege to celebrate the achievements of this year’s graduates in art and design. For many students, this has been their first experience working with a professional museum staff and crew. Special recognition goes to Jes Gettler, Henry Exhibition Designer and Lead Preparator, who has worked with students throughout the year to develop their installations and realize their visions. Thanks also go to our colleagues at the School of Art + Art History + Design, in particular Jamie Walker, Director, and members of the faculty for partnering in this initiative.
But above all, we thank this year’s graduates for making the art and design that is the subject of this exhibition and for sharing with us this important juncture in their lives. We applaud them for their educational achievements and wish them the very best as they launch their careers.
Congratulations to the 2019 recipients of the School of Art+ Art History + Design’s Master of Fine Arts and Master of Design degrees!
John S. Behnke Director
Henry Art Gallery