Free Punch & Pie AU Studio Art MFA Thesis Exhibition, 2021 Graduates

This exhibition was featured in our Museum@Home series during COVID restrictions.

Read an essay about the exhibition by Jessica Tackes, 2nd-year MA student in Art History

Just as we settle into the challenging intimacies and critical demands of graduate school, we find ourselves leaving this cocooned community and entering a world forever changed by 2020. The global pandemonium profoundly altered our lives and transformed our studio practices. The world needs time to change and reveal itself. Let’s relish the idea that art does not stop, celebrate our work, and share some Free Punch & Pie.

View video productions featuring each artist below, published throughout May 2021. Videos are produced for the Studio MFA Program and AU Museum by Fernando Rocha as part of our Artist Studio Series.

Free Punch & Pie

Graphic by Chelsey Anderson.

Pixie Alexander, New Death Gardens

Pixie Alexander, New Death Gardens, 2021. Acrylic, spray paint and glitter on canvas, 72 x 48 in. Courtesy of the artist.

"Free Punch & Pie" MFA Artist Feature: Pixie Alexander

Inspired by her origins in the Southern United States and research into her own ancestry, graduating MFA artist Pixie Alexander explores the bodies we occupy and the performative roles we play in society. Her thesis “Dresses and Dwellings” reflects on how women's bodies inhabit these opposing structures, and conversely how they exert pressure on women's bodies.

Chelsey A. Anderson, Failed Fermentation

Chelsey A. Anderson, Failed Fermentation, 2021. Acrylic ink and oil on stretched canvas, 32 x 40 in. Courtesy of the artist.

"Free Punch & Pie" MFA Artist Feature: Chelsey A. Anderson

Chelsey A. Anderson is an oil painter and expansive visual artist creating images and objects that explore how systems impact each other through metaphor and signifiers. Through her practice, she seeks to inspire a more equitable world.

Amber Cruz, Cake Pan / The Sacred Heart of Mary / Moon Magic Makeup

Amber Cruz, Cake Pan / The Sacred Heart of Mary / Moon Magic Makeup (detail), 2021. Graphite on paper, 37 x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Jonathan Ege.

"Free Punch & Pie" MFA Artist Feature: Amber Cruz

Amber Cruz uses everyday objects to prompt viewers to reflect on their own experiences. By leveraging the innate utility and purposes of domestic objects and food, Cruz explores complex relationships and familial rituals.

Jonathan Ege, Ego

Jonathan Ege, Ego (detail), 2021. Oil on linen, gold leaf, wood, epoxy resin, 230 x 54 in. Courtesy of the artist.

"Free Punch & Pie" MFA Artist Feature: Jonathan Ege

Jonathan Ege’s oil paintings appropriate the subjects of canonical paintings to critique the modern world. He repurposes ornate frames and covers them in branches, expanding the physical boundaries of painting.

Installation with iron and sheet

Kiki McGrath, Family Linens "Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America" series, 2021. Digital print on archival paper 17 x 13 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photo courtesy of Matthew Russo.

“Free Punch & Pie” MFA Artist Feature: Kiki McGrath

Artist Kiki McGrath explores unrecognized labor and domestic work through installation and performance. Curator in the Luce Center for Art & Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary, McGrath is attuned to art’s spiritual possibilities.

Allyssa Ray Yamaguchi-Juárez, Step In or Step Out but Don't Fall Down (detail), 2021

Allyssa Ray Yamaguchi-Juárez, Step In or Step Out but Don't Fall Down (detail), 2021. Oil on canvas, LED lights, detail of tryptic, 3 canvases, 40 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Allyssa Ray Yamaguichi-Juárez

Artist Allyssa Ray Yamaguichi-Juárez explores fantasy worlds through painting. Throughout her practice, she employs fractured spaces inspired by photography.

Featuring artists