Low-Residency MFA Show at Sullivan Galleries

Earlier this month, the School of the Art Institute's inaugural Low-Residency MFA show opened at Sullivan Galleries. The exhibition, which is on display until July 30, features the work of more than thirty students, many of whom work internationally. The group has convened at SAIC for the past three summers and engaged in an intensive series of workshops, colloquia and studio visits.

The program also brings an impressive roster of visiting artists, including Andrea Fraser, Yvonne Rainer and Glenn Ligon, who present public lectures and meet regularly with students. Many of the visiting artists have returned several times to the program offering a chance for students to continue to engage with them as their work progresses.

Poetry is integral to the program as a whole, and Gregg Bordowitz, the director, starts each lecture with a poem fit for the occasion. For the thesis exhibition, he shared Robert Duncan's poem "Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow," which he saw a cornerstone for his students.

Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow

as if it were a scene made-up by the mind, 
that is not mine, but is a made place,

that is mine, it is so near to the heart, 
an eternal pasture folded in all thought 
so that there is a hall therein

that is a made place, created by light 
wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall.

Wherefrom fall all architectures I am 
I say are likenesses of the First Beloved 
whose flowers are flames lit to the Lady.

She it is Queen Under The Hill
whose hosts are a disturbance of words within words 
that is a field folded.

It is only a dream of the grass blowing 
east against the source of the sun 
in an hour before the sun’s going down

whose secret we see in a children’s game 
of ring a round of roses told.

Often I am permitted to return to a meadow 
as if it were a given property of the mind 
that certain bounds hold against chaos,

that is a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.

Duncan, who taught at Black Mountain College in the 1950s, permits a "made place" in one's mind, a place that holds knowledge within its folds. An apt meditation for students in art school attempting to carve out a space and a state-of-mind to explore and push their boundaries.

The Low-Residency MFA Thesis Exhibition is on display at Sullivan Galleries, July 15-30, 2016.

Featuring work by Fatma Al-Remaihi, Emilio Albertini, Lynn Basa, Peter Beck, Kelli Black, Verónica Casado Hernández, Jennifer Chadwick, Pía Cruzalegui, Stephen Flemister, Julian Gatto, Malika Jackson, Rufino Jimenez, Mohamad Kanaan, Kelly Long, Amy Malcolm, Janice Marin, Ana Morales, Eleanor Neal, Catherine Pach, Jake Platt, Waseem Rahman, Gabriel Rivera, Guadalupe Rosales, Sandrine Schaefer, Kate Schaffer, Nyugen Smith, Renee Valenti, Heath Valentine, Kate Watson-Wallace, Jacqueline Weaver, Caroline Wright, Julie Zappone, Carly Zufelt

Top image:  Eleanor Neal, Untitled #1 (Material as Memory), Untitled #2 (Beyond the Darkness), Untitled #3 (Interwire at a Distance), Untitled #4 (Memory), 2016