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Leftovers: 2021 MFA Thesis Exhibition
November 19-December 19, 2021

The University Art Museum (UAM) is proud to present Leftovers: 2021 MFA Thesis Exhibition, featuring the work of MFA candidates Maggie Day, Alex Nipper, and Donovan Noelle Swann. Leftovers examines how each artist exposes facades to question their own narrative through the use of materials, process, and objects as they relate to specific times and places. Leftovers forces you to confront the people, places, and things in the world around you and analyze the dreams and emotions attached to objects. NMSU Assistant Professor Bree Lamb interprets, “Each artist exercises a keen awareness of the expectations and materialization of social constructs, the performances that exist within various communities, and the related impacts on the development of personal and collective identity.”

Day’s installations, a combination of ceramic and domestic objects, expose the complicated and overwhelming ideas of societal structures within the domestic space. Day states, “Disguising ‘faults’ to keep up appearances for both the outside world and one’s children can leave a mother feeling trapped, exposed, and overwhelmed.” The use of performative personality traits, inherited from places of societal structure and the subconscious adaptation of the traits of those around us and in the media, leads Day to investigate the definition of success in an artificial society.

Nipper’s work manifests a daydream, a place of complex experiences that replace the facade of mundane daily activity with simulated entertainment, creating a land that truly satiates his appetite for happiness. As someone with a vivid imagination and dry sense of humor, Nipper mimics and ridicules the current interest and processes used in plans to colonize and control the universe beyond our atmosphere. Using various materials such as plaster, clay and sand, Nipper critiques the expectations of life on other planets through a blurred lens of reality and his own daydreams of the future, science fiction, influencers, and pop culture.

Swann’s work presents a combination of archiving, rearranging, and reimagining, where she creates dynamic narratives utilizing vernacular images to challenge the traditional American domestic landscape. Her familial identity has largely been shaped by a legacy of mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and absentee parents. These factors, coupled with her experience of being raised primarily by her grandfather, have greatly influenced her artistic endeavors. With a focus on the complications of memory, forced nostalgia, and perpetual forms of loss, her works unearth hidden domestic truths while simultaneously weaving discoveries into an idealized, false narrative. 

Lamb goes on to say,Collectively, the work maintains great tension between celebration and critique of each of these larger systems, and all three artists create dynamic narratives by exploiting familiar environments, objects, and materials in unconventional ways.”

Join us for the opening reception of Leftovers: 2021 MFA Thesis Exhibition on Friday, November 19, 2021. 5:30p.m – 7:30p.m.  A web-based, virtual tour will be made available for those unable to make the opening the following week. All receptions are free and open to the public.

Programming for this exhibition includes a joint Artist Talk on Thursday, December 2nd at 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the UAM. The exhibition will run Friday, November 19th – Saturday, December 18, 2021. For more information about this and other free, community-wide events, visit the UAM’s website Visit our timed-ticket website to register for free tickets to this exhibition