Courtesy of Cornell BFA

Over 60 pieces created by around 30 students will be featured at the new undergraduate fine arts show.

March 28, 2019

Cornell AAP Students Build Community With New Undergraduate Fine Art Show

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In early April, the Cornell fine art department’s Tjaden Hall will welcome the community into its galleries for an exhibition led entirely by undergraduate art students. This is the first year the show will be held.

Displaying over 60 pieces made by roughly 30 different students, the event, titled “Big F@!&%$# Art Show,” will be held from April 8-12 in Tjaden Gallery and the Experimental Gallery.

Show organizer and curator Angelique Nagovskaya ’22, a dual degree candidate in fine art and the history of art, first had the idea for the show after completing her freshman year without a chance to share her work with the greater Cornell community. Even junior or senior thesis students aren’t guaranteed gallery space, according to Nagovskaya.

“With this show, everyone is accepted,” she told The Sun.

Students applied early in the semester by submitting five to seven of their own pieces for review. The show team then selected favorites for display, assessing which would work best together in a gallery setting.

Because Tjaden Hall is often booked with back-to-back events, the team must install all selected pieces within the final 24 hours before the show, Nagovskaya said.

“Giving people the opportunity to understand how an exhibition is conceived, how it’s managed, and how it’s executed is one of the primary goals for the students participating,” said Prof. Bill Gaskins, fine art and American studies.

The show will display a range of artistic mediums, such as painting, photography and print-making.

In a piece called “The Reverse Turing Test,” artist Sabrina Haertig ’22 will explore the human experience in the technological age, using modern methods in 15th-century printing practices to question perceptions of technology and artificial intelligence. This will be her first-ever art show.

Lucy Plowe ’20, a junior with previous gallery experience, will display a large-scale watercolor painting concerned with “the divine feminine.”

One of the main purposes of the show was to create community within the fine art major, Nagovskaya said. “I think there’s a community within [the architecture major] that’s really strong, so we wanted to do the same thing and bring everyone together.”

Students told the Sun that involvement in the show changed their view of the fine art program, from a place of competition to one of collaboration.

“We are getting really close [to each other] because of it, and hopefully every single year it gets better and better,” said Nagovskaya.

The students hope to make the show an annual event.