KCAD to Celebrate 2017 Graduates with Commencement, Annual Student Exhibition
West Michigan’s brightest emerging artists and designers are set to take center stage during Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD) Annual Student Exhibition, running from May 2-6, 2017. Students from each of the college’s undergraduate and graduate programs will showcase their best work in four concurrent exhibitions spanning all floors of both the 17 Fountain St. NW Building and the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building at 17 Pearl St. NW.
An exhibition in The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, located inside the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building, will feature work from the 16 students who have been named KCAD’s 2017 Excellence Award winners. Given annually to students who exhibit a rare level of mastery and accomplishment within their chosen field of study, the Excellence Awards represent the pinnacle of KCAD undergraduate student achievement.
"Down the Drain" by Ashley Bryant, 2017 valedictorian and Illustration Excellence Award winner (image courtesy of the artist)
Also housed in The Fed Galleries, the Masters Thesis Exhibition will spotlight the fully developed work of the 12 students who have completed their graduate studies. These students have spent their time at KCAD broadening both their technical abilities and their understanding of their respective disciplines, and this exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the process, methodology, and passion that went into the compilation of their final thesis projects.
The rest of the campus will be transformed into one massive gallery. Each program will have a unique section of the campus to display the best work from the 2016-2017 academic year.
(above): "Visitation" by Chakila Hoskins, a 2017 graduate of the MFA program; (below): work by Bradley Shiel, a 2017 graduate of the Master of Architecture program (images courtesy of the artists)
Among the members of KCAD’s 2017 graduating class is Emily Merrill, the first student to graduate from KCAD’s Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies program.
"The Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies program was created in response to a growing need in our society for individuals who can use theory to analyze images and understand the impact that visual culture has on us. Emily’s master’s thesis does just that. She studied the development of ‘ruin porn’ in the representations of twentieth-first century Detroit, by examining the ‘Detroit Disassembled’ photographs of Andrew Moore,” said Associate Professor Karen Carter, who teaches in the Master of Arts in Visual and Critical Studies program and the Art History program. “As the program’s first graduate, Emily has set an exemplary standard, one which we hope continues to foster a high level of intellectual exchange and debate. In earning this degree, she has the foundation necessary to pursue doctoral studies and engage in an academic career."
“This is our favorite time of year here at KCAD, a time of celebrating our graduating seniors and all that they and their fellow KCAD students have accomplished over the past year,” said KCAD President Leslie Bellavance. “We look forward to opening our campus to the community and giving them an opportunity to explore the exceptional art and design on display.”
A campus-wide opening reception for all three exhibitions will be held on May 2 from 4-7pm, and is free and open to the public. The Annual Student Exhibition will be on display May 2-5 from 9am-9pm and May 6 from 9am-2pm. The Excellence Award and Masters Thesis Exhibitions will be on display from May 2-18 during normal operating hours for The Fed Galleries, found here. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.
The college’s commencement will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Fountain Street Church. Tickets are required.