MFA Online Exhibition Showcases Artwork of 2020 Graduating Class

PLEASE NOTE: The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum currently is closed in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, the MSU Broad has not determined a reopening date, but will continue to communicate updates as they become available. (Photo Credit: Charles Benoit)

As the culmination of a three-year program through the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, Master of Fine Arts candidates traditionally have their work displayed at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum as part of the annual Master of Fine Arts Exhibition.

Due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and with regard for the health and safety of the public, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum currently is closed, but the work of this year’s MFA candidates can be viewed online through the 2020 MFA Exhibition PDF and the 2020 MFA Exhibition Brochure

The MFA Exhibition PDF and Brochure showcases the creative research of the MFA candidates as evidence of their achievements through the MFA program, which encourages artists to explore their creative practice under the supervision of a faculty guidance committee. Extensive study in a medium or area of concentration, combined with coursework in the history of art and related fields, helps each artist situate their work within the broad field of contemporary art and design practices.

This year’s four MFA candidates are Hector Acuna, Rebecca Casement, Marcos Serafim, and Emily Somoskey. And this year’s guest juror was Courtenay Finn, Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland.

The MFA Exhibition is organized by the MSU Department of Art, Art History, and Design and the MSU Broad, with curatorial oversight provided by Steven L. Bridges, Associate Curator. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Graduate School at MSU and the John and Susan Berding Family Endowment.

Hector Acuna (painting)
portrait of a person with dark hair wearing a blue button up shirt
Hector Acuna
(Photo by Charles Benoit)

Hector Acuna is an artist whose work aims to confront notions of belonging, alienation, and humility to better understand the social nuances of membership in the United States today. His work explores recurring themes of a conflicted relation to his imprisoned Mexican father, his rural United States upbringing, and the human body as a social and cultural signifier. By using a variety of media, he creates imagery and objects that are uncanny combinations of fact and fiction. 

Acuna received his BFA in 2D Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and his work has been displayed at the Baton Rouge Gallery in Louisiana and the 440 Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. He also has collaborated on the Life is a Groovy Opportunity mural in East Lansing, Michigan.   ​​​​​​

Rebecca Casement (ceramics)
portrait of a women wearing a black long sleeve with short light brown hair with art work in the background
Rebecca Casement
(Photo by Charles Benoit)

Rebecca Casement is a visual artist and educator whose work focuses on ceramics and sculpture. Her creative research is focused on the physiological and psychological impact that occurs when the human body is altered by adverse natural occurrences like disease, or external forces like assault or abuse. She strives to create an intimate look at emotions and experiences that are often considered private, with the goal of giving voice back to those who have experienced adversity. 

Casement received her BFA in Studio Art from MSU and was the Glen Arbor Arts Center Artist in Residence in 2019. Her work has been showcased in Tangent Gallery in Detroit, as well as the Buckham Gallery in Flint, Michigan.

Marcos Serafim (sculpture and video)
portrait of a man with short dark hair wearing glasses and a black shirt
Marcos Serafim
(Photo by Charles Benoit)

Marcos Serafim is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist working with video and sound across theatrical exhibition, installation, and performance to explore a wide range of subjects, including religion, queerness, and technology. 

Serafim has exhibited work at the 5th Ghetto Bienalle in Haiti, Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Brazil, and the Queens Museum in New York. His videography work has been screened in film festivals including Cine Esquema Novo Film Festival, Israel’s Horn Festival for Experimental Films, Northampton Film Festival in Massachusetts, and Faito Doc Festival in Italy. He has a BA in Film and Video from Parana State University in Brazil, and an MA in Studio Art from Eastern Illinois University.

Emily Somoskey (painting)
full body portrait of a girl with brown hair wearing jeans, a pink tank top and a blue button up shirt standing in front of a painting
Emily Somoskey
(Photo by Charles Benoit)

Emily Somoskey is a visual artist and educator who uses paint, collage, and mixed media to explore the ways we interface with material culture in our everyday lives, specifically the relationships formed between objects and individuals within the constructed domestic living space. 

Somoskey received a BA in Art Education with a minor in Painting from the University of Akron’s Mary Schiller Myers School of Art in Akron, Ohio. Her work has been featured at ARC Gallery in Chicago; Site: Brooklyn in Brooklyn, New York; and Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Written by Annie Dubois