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About the Exhibition

Unearthing Traces


Priya Dave, Flor De Maria Delgadillo, Juyon Lee, Emily McDonald, Jana Purington, Camila Alexzandra Sánchez-Longo, Nikki Silva and Zuofu Wang

On Unearthing Traces

Unearthing Traces is a group exhibition composed of a select group of first year graduate students pursuing a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Approaching with diverse practices, participating artists came together in an intimate space of Sanctuary UCC, creating an environment for converging ideas and relations. Unearthing Traces is a site of connecting explorations that fuel individual artist’s research. From works that explore experiences of absence and displacement to pieces literally composed of traces and marks of drawing, this exhibition invites the community of Sanctuary UCC and Boston to ponder upon what it means to discover, observe, and bring light to the things that remain.


Priya Dave

Title: Transmutation

Medium: Mixed media on Paper

Dimensions (inch): 30 X 21

Dream sequences tend to influence my themes giving my paintings a surrealistic character and begun to paint states of mind. Having a science background I started to relate my art with science. Through referential micro level imagery of brain, I have tried to depict states during different situations, events and day-to-day life. Also, my personal life is one of the reasons ; I am producing such art to make the techno-world aware about the importance of those tiny waves affecting one’s’ mental health.

My current project, “cell” is a series of oil paintings and watercolour paintings that focus more on red blood cells which change colours in every painting.


Flor De Maria Delgadillo

I have always been inspired by color, my interest in the brain comes from my very own experience with neurological issues growing up. There are few of a series of experimental prints done on vellum and a woodcut. Using both tempera and acrylic paint combining multiple materials using a single wooden brain cutout. Each print is unique despite the single wood stencil. I created a process book along with the series to display the colorful research done when I was designing the series.


Juyon Lee

Title: Drawing with a Mylar emergency blanket hung from 4 elastic strings, 2 doors, 2 windows, a work light, wood, drywall

Medium: Pigment Ink on paper

Dimensions (inch): 24.5 inch x 16.5 inch (framed)

Through spatial, temporal drawings constructed by interactive unorthodox drawing materials, like light, Mylar emergency blankets and metronomes, I explore the relationship between the ephemerality of human presence and the potential of human agency. My work examines, questions and challenges the indexical quality of the materials. Participants have the agency to activate the work, which has a structure fully exposed to reveal the process of creation. Their immediate experience, generated by the communication between the human body, the physical object, and light, becomes an ephemeral mark that also enhances the experience of it within the transient nature of time and the sense of impermanence.


Emily A. McDonald

Title: Pointed

Medium: Mixed media on paper

Dimensions (inch): 21×30

I am interested in studying how the manipulation of materials, media and space can alter perception and shift the relationship between artist, work and viewer. In my work I’m addressing these concerns through the balance of formal elements and intuitive experimentation with materials. The imagery conveyed in these pieces features a visual study of forms that elicit the harmony present in the union of natural and geometric figures and evoke a sense of ambiguity found in the tension between these dualities.


Jana Purington

Title: Minx

Medium: Collage

Dimensions (inch): 16×16

I am a textile and collage art currently pursuing my MFA at the SMFA. Consumption, femininity, the body, and language are consistent themes in my work; my collages especially focus on the female image, food, and word play. These pieces from my Pottery Barn collection use cuttings from old ceramics books and reproductions of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches to form wry reconfigurations of masterworks; they are studies in composition, made with love and levity.


Camila Alexzandra Sánchez-Longo Dávila

Title:  “Most Valuable Player” (“I’m the best thing that has ever happened to Puerto Rico)

Medium: Mixed-Media

Dimensions (inch): Paper Towels, 11″ x 6″

This interactive installation responds to an illustration made in 2017, just a few weeks after Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico. During his “response visit” Donald Trump, not only undermined the catastrophic event but made a mockery of people’s needs by throwing paper towels and canned foods to the crowd gathering to receive aid. This interactive piece is aimed to have its participants print the Portrait of that deplorable moment, using the weight of their own bodies and stomping in order to create individual prints. Each participant will be able to take his/hers/their own prints home and dispose [or keep] of it how ever they find suitable.

Sidewalk Sleeping

Nikki Silva

Title: Sidewalk Sleeping

Medium: Inkjet Print

Dimensions (inch): 44 in. x 30 in.

I am heavily inspired by Michel Foucault and the study of social theory. Relative truths and normalization is really important to my work and the way I study the societies in which I inhabit. The three pieces being shown, which can collectively be called “Inside, Outside”, explore this idea of relative truths and normalization on an individual basis through human expression. Human expression to me does not need to be through speech, writing, or even creative means through the arts. These “rejected” items that are photographed, to me, say more about the people throwing them out, than what the assumed new replacements would try to attempt to do. The normalization of a capitalist society reinforces that when something is old or seen as invaluable, you replace it by means of wealth. According to some theorists, this display of wealth, whether it is accurate or not (most times not), are essential to continue running the capital machine and thus forcing us to continue to be a part of it. These pieces attempt to display this observation. For me, in general, my artwork very much is my way of creatively working through the theorists I hold dearly.


Zuofu Wang

Title: Unfortunate Furtune

Medium: Book

Dimensions (inch): 13*9.5*0.5

Generally conceived as a Chinese thing, to me, the fortune cookie is the perfect object of understanding American history and culture. As a Chinese foreigner in the US, I am fascinated by how a non-Chinese snack was considered Chinese. Even stranger is the fact that fortune cookie was most likely originated from Japanese. Further searching into that history let me discover the hidden correlations between fortune cookies and the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. Standing as an outside observer, I intend to use the archives, diaries, records, photograms and photocopies to present three stories – the story of Asian immigration, fortune cookies and the tragedy of Internment of Japanese American-in one visual narrative, to reveal and present the delicate connections to the viewer.

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