Following a year marked by a global pandemic, remote learning, and other challenges, the PrattMWP College of Art and Design will present works created by the class of 2021 in their Sophomore Exhibition April 17 through May 12 in the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art.
The annual exhibition showcases selected works created throughout the year. This year, however, the students and faculty were faced with challenges never before experienced. Dean of the School of Art Steve Hansen said considering the extraordinary circumstances, the work has exceeded expectations.
“Our students and faculty deserve commendation for the quality and quantity of work presented in this exhibition,” he said.
“I am humbled and grateful for the grit, determination, and results this show represents.”
The exhibition features more than 100 works in drawing, painting, illustration, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and digital imagery. New this year, eight large screens will feature images of works created by students who chose to work remotely.
Hansen said when the now-sophomore class left for spring break 13 months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students and faculty scrambled to find ways to complete the semester meaningfully.
When the fall 2020 semester opened, students were offered a choice between remote and in-person learning. About half of the students returned to campus and enjoyed the use of studios and equipment. The students who chose to study virtually needed to create working spaces in their homes and subscribe to software for their home computers.
Hansen said faculty worked diligently with both sets of students to provide meaningful learning experiences. For the students who chose to remain home, the challenges often involved balancing family responsibilities, siblings, and difficulties finding space to work with the expectations of a demanding curriculum.
“We worked diligently to provide counseling resources, and online community building for our students,” he said.
Students studying virtually were granted as much faculty interaction as possible through Zoom and other video-based learning platforms.
“Faculty have proven their extraordinary care for students in mentoring them, often going above and beyond the normal expectations of course content to provide students with additional educational scaffolding,” said Hansen.
PrattMWP College of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Middle States Association, and New York State Education Department. PrattMWP students spend the first two years of the bachelor of fine arts degree program at the campus in central New York before they complete their studies at Pratt’s main campus in Brooklyn.