MFA Thesis Exhibition: Age of Consent

Alsdorf Gallery

In a majority of contemporary societies, the age of consent is the legally mandated age at which a person can autonomously participate in consensual sexual activity. Arriving at the age of consent generally coincides with arriving at the age of criminal responsibility as well as the age of majority, at which time an individual is held fully accountable for their actions and decisions. The five artists in this exhibition, Age of Consent, take full responsibility for their actions and decisions. An exhibition catalogue is available for sale.

This exhibition and associated events and publications are the culmination of the course of study leading to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Candidates engage in intensive research during their tenure in the Department of Art Theory and Practice as they develop their individual art-making practices in a climate of rigorous critical thinking. The MFA Thesis Exhibition is the place in which they turn their research, as manifest in the works of art they have made, over to the public.

Image: Laura McGinn

MFA Thesis Exhibition Opening
Thursday, April 30, 5pm

Join Northwestern’s Art Theory & Practice graduates as they celebrate the opening of their MFA thesis exhibition, Age of Consent. This exhibition features the work of Angela Lopez, Laura McGinn, Emily Cruz Nowell, William Schweigert, and Rambod Vala. It is the culmination of the course of study leading to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree at Northwestern. The students will be on hand to discuss their work and artistic practice. Visitors are invited to bring a bouquet of flowers (ideally tulips) in exchange for an artwork by William Schweigert.

About the Artists

Angela Lopez

The prince of darkness, night, the black death, shadows, black cats, the devil’s beast, nightmares, etc. The eye’s pupil is a black hole that recedes directly into the brain.  Fear of losing the eye ignites a “violent obscure emotion.” The familiarity and confoundedness inherent in the mysteries of darkness, black animals, black plagues, and that which disrupt what you thought you knew, is how reality is tested, and phenomena is possible.  Scratching satisfies, while increasing the desire to scratch more.   The body senses and interprets this information beyond that which we are consciously aware of.  There is a lack of physical and political control over our own bodies.  They operate beyond our will, affected internally by what happens externally and vice versa. 

Laura McGinn

Laura McGinn’s work embodies protective forms of withdrawal and non-participation. She makes darkness visible through fluorescence. Her installations and paintings utilize physical and chemical properties of paint and phenomenological effects of light to explore the boundaries between our bodies and the environments we inhabit.

Emily Cruz Nowell

Cruz Nowell employs architecture and musicology to make scores for sound installations.

Through demonstrations that subversively punctuate the relevance of public aesthetics and its causal relationships to desire, formality, identity, and normativity; she investigates how our intersections with built environments, music, and other folkloristics are veritable to our experience of life.

Into this mix Cruz Nowell interposes vocal music, often using her own voice, in full recognition that it is through our personal involvements with expressive elements of culture that we may experience immediate linkages to what humanity craves or fears the most.

William Schweigert

William Schweigert is an artist working in various visual medias. Throughout the run of the exhibition William will be participating in a gift exchange. Visitors are invited to bring a bouquet of flowers (ideally tulips) in exchange for an artwork.

Rambod Vala 

“I walk through thoughts and stories. I move from one spot to the other in order to remove and replace thoughts from mind to a time-based media file. I move from one country to the other in search for love. I share too much information. Since my eyes transferred some data to my mind and stored them as memories, I remember that there has always been a conversation about going abroad in my family. I wonder why?” -- Rambod

This exhibition is co-organized by the Department of Art Theory and Practice and the Block Museum at Northwestern University. Support for the MFA Thesis Exhibition is provided by The Myers Foundations; The Cary Lane Art Supply Fund courtesy of Dr. Madeleine Wing Adler; Norton S. Walbridge Fund; The Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund, The Alsdorf Endowment.