Growing Pains: 2023 VCUarts Undergraduate Juried Exhibition

Reception: Thursday, November 16, 5–8pm*
Exhibition on view: November 16–December 9

The Anderson and VCUarts are pleased to present Growing Pains, the 2023 VCUarts Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, November 11–December 9, juried by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY.

The annual Undergraduate Juried Exhibition is open to undergraduate students from all VCUarts Departments, working in any media or discipline–or combination thereof! This year’s UJE features the artworks of 35 students representing 9 VCUarts departments.

*Please join us for the Exhibition Opening Reception events:

5–6:30pm Juror Lecture & Awards Ceremony (including the Dean’s award, Juror’s award, and department-specific recognitions)
6:30–8pm Exhibition Reception

Molly Blasdell (Kinetic Imaging)
Louisa Bodor (Painting & Printmaking)
Justin Cockrell (Craft & Material Studies)
Eric Couture (Graphic Design)
Isa Dray  (Sculpture & Extended Media Studies)
Nicolette Edmonds (Craft & Material Studies)
Ewura Esi Eghan (Interior Design)
Ella Floyd (Photography & Film)
Erin Grau (Craft & Material Studies)
Aimee Harrison (Craft & Material Studies)
Nathan Hosmer (Painting & Printmaking)
Chloe Johnson (Photography & Film)
Fletcher Johnson  (Sculpture & Extended Media Studies)
Ethan Jordan (Photography & Film)
Rosalind Koons (Sculpture & Extended Media Studies)
Anna Kovina (Sculpture & Extended Media Studies)
Ranna Liu (Pieran Liu) (Craft & Material Studies)
Isaiah Mamo (Philosophy & Political Science)
Alexandra McGowan (Painting & Printmaking)
Eileen Morley (Craft & Material Studies)
Nadia Msalek (Painting & Printmaking)
Oliver Mukherjee (Photography & Film)
Jangmi Paik (Graphic Design)
Jaeuun Park (Sculpture & Extended Media Studies)
Lilly Parker (Photography & Film)
Pixsi (Zariah Parker) (Sculpture & Extended Media Studies)
Mya Paz (Craft & Material Studies)
Sirena Pearl (Painting & Printmaking)
Jayden Stanley (Sculpture & Extended Media Studies)
Aaron Tran (Communication Arts)
Selene Ulfers (Craft & Material Studies)
Lindsey Voelsing (Craft & Material Studies)
Lana Waters (Art Foundation Program)
Riley Westbrook (Photography & Film)
Grace Zagora (Painting & Printmaking)

Growing Pains
Students were asked to consider the following prompt crafted by Garcia-Maestas when submitting their artworks to be considered for the 2023 Undergraduate Juried Exhibition: “Growing pains,” a term dating back to the early nineteenth century, refers to physical discomfort during periods of rapid growth, typically in early childhood or adolescence. In literature, this term is used to metaphorically describe the challenges and difficulties that characters face as they undergo personal development or go through significant changes in their lives. These painful experiences, while difficult in the moment, can later become a source of nostalgia, evoking a sense of longing for the simpler times of our youth. This prompt invites artists to delve into and expand upon personal, political, and social facets of “growing pains.” Consider the ongoing and conflicting cultural reckonings in our nation. What lessons should we carry forward from our past, and what should remain in the annals of history? Recent studies indicate that a significant number of Americans yearn for the nostalgic vision of 1950s America. However, as author Zadie Smith astutely observes, “Time travel is a discretionary art: a pleasure trip for some and a horror story for others.” In an era marked by a growing divergence in perspectives on history and, indeed, on reality itself, how can artists act as catalysts in the process of recontextualizing and creating new understandings among the cultures of the past, present, and future?

A number of scholarship awards including the Dean’s Award and department-specific recognitions were awarded by the juror to the artists listed below.

Best in Show: Nathan Hosmer (Painting & Printmaking)
Painting & Printmaking: Sirena Pearl
Kinetic Imaging: Molly Blasdell
Craft/Material Studies: Nicolette Edmonds
Art Foundation (AFO): Lana Waters
Sculpture & Extended Media Studies: Jayden Stanley
Photo + Film: Ella Floyd
Communication Arts: Aaron Tran
Graphic Design: Jangmi Paik
Interior Design: Ewura Esi Eghan

Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas is the Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, NY. Born and raised in New Mexico, her research and curatorial interests have primarily explored themes of decolonial resistance, displacement, and cultural heritage in the United States and the Americas. For over a decade, she has been devoted to the advocacy and realization of site-specific, architectural interventions by BIPOC and emerging artists. Previously, Garcia-Maestas was Acting Curator of Visual Arts at the Momentary, the contemporary satellite space of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR. While at the Momentary she oversaw the artist-in-residency program and organized over a dozen exhibitions and outdoor installations, including site-specific projects by Martine Gutierrez, Matthew Barney, Nicholas Galanin, Xaviera Simmons, and Rashawn Griffin. Notable exhibitions include Diana Al-Hadid: Ash in the Trade WindsIn Some Form or Fashion, A Divided LandscapeYvette Mayorga: What a Time to Be, and Mary Mattingly: Ebb of a Spring Tide. Prior to the Momentary, she held curatorial positions at the Denver Art Museum, the Biennial of the Americas, and MCA Denver.

Formerly known as the Anderson Gallery, the Anderson reopened its doors in 2017 as VCUarts’s student-centric exhibition facility. Focusing on creative engagement and discovery, the Anderson is a laboratory where students can experiment with conceptual and practical strategies of art making and display.

Please note that the Undergraduate Juried Exhibition will be located on the first and second floors and the building is not equipped with an elevator. The Juror Awards will be held on the second floor.

Tues.–Fri. 12–6pm
Sat. 12–5pm
Closed Sunday & Monday

*The Anderson will be closed Nov. 19–27 for Fall Break.