Carnegie Mellon University
March 28, 2016

"What's a Steak"

Annual Exhibition of New Work by Carnegie Mellon First- and Second-Year MFA Students Opens April 1

By Lauren Goshinski, School of Art / 412-268-1533 /

Carnegie Mellon University Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students will present new work in “What’s A Steak,” an annual exhibition of new work by rising 2017 and 2018 candidates in the School of Art. Taking over a vacant storefront at 5112 Penn Avenue between April 1-17, the exhibition’s opening reception will be from 6-10 p.m., Friday, April 1, as part of Pittsburgh’s monthly Unblurred Gallery Crawl.

MFA Steak

“Each piece in this exhibition typifies currents running throughout the contemporary art world today,” said Adam Welch, local curator, Carnegie Mellon adjunct associate professor of art and adviser of the MFA’s exhibition.

“These works navigate forms and materials as components to larger theoretical, personal or socio-political structures. The artists’ strategies seem to say that established, ‘understood’ ideas exist in a state of flux, prompting the thought that ‘knowing’ is itself a state of questioning. Enjoy your dinner, although it might not be what you have determined it to be," Welch said.

About the Artists:

Shobun Baile explores the role that design, manufacturing and the exchange of goods play in the construction of cultural identity.

Kevin Brophy uses mystical tools of the social as a means to exaggerate mundane forms of communication in satirical and self-implicating ways. So they say: read we whole. Eat us. Mediation is like a knife and no one is safe.

Brittany De Nigris knows that some of these things could last a very long time, others won’t last very long; in this party (some already lasted only a day). Regardless, all of it is here now.

Hannah Epstein’s work responds to the horrific stereotype of the American: one held by those abroad and confirmed by the actions of many Americans themselves.

Alex Lukas examines vernacular markings and their place within the American landscape.

Adam Milner collects physical and digital detritus accrued while reaching out for some connection, and finds that longing permeates every day.

Katie Rose Pipkin makes drawings on paper, in language and collaboratively with machines. Here is a series of symbols that looks like a field of flowers ↾⌠❦ᵳ≀〴❧❀१✾឴〳ノ〳 .

Joy Poulard fuses pop cultural, Afro-Caribbean and Western mythologies and iconography, using multi-ethnic identity to cultivate unity between the familiar and unfamiliar in a rapidly converging world.

Gray Swartzel’s practice, documentation of mother/child exchange, involves collaboration with a woman found by placing an ad on craigslist while searching for someone to claim as their son.

Lee Webster fingers the gap; traces topographies with attention to the points where the personal and public crash.

Moses Williams endeavors to create spaces that consider what lies beyond language and logic through performance and object-making.

Media Contact:
Pam Wigley / 412-268-1047 /