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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Shepard

Studio Art Thesis Exhibition

Hello! I am thrilled to share my recent art journey with you. This past semester, I had the opportunity to showcase my first installed art piece, Nyan_is_the_Glitch (2023). It is a multichannel video experience that takes a fresh approach to reworking internet-sourced media, exploring the overwhelming volume of online content and challenging the confines of screen frames. Through the integration of Glitch Nyan Cat, pop culture references, and a redefined notion of the Glitch as a digital space for marginalized populations, I aim to visually depict the collapsing of time, space, and perspectives inherent in the internet experience.

Nyan_is_the_Glitch was created as part of my Studio Art Major 4th Year Thesis Exhibition. It was an exciting opportunity to present my artistic vision and delve into the complex relationship between technology and humanity. The piece captured the essence of the overwhelming online landscape and the impact it has on marginalized communities, shedding light on the exploitation of emotions within the digital realm.

I am thrilled to share that Nyan_is_the_Glitch has been selected for another exhibition titled "Playing with Syn·tax." This exhibition features works by Studio Art graduates and Aunspaugh fellows, providing an avenue to reconsider rules and order through combination and disorder. The exhibited artworks challenge traditional syntax by manipulating technology, embracing glitch aesthetics, and creating new meanings through reconnection and rearrangement. It is a thought-provoking exploration of the boundaries and standards that surround us, urging viewers to question and rethink their significance.

The "Playing with Syn·tax" exhibition will take place at Ruffin Hall, located at 179 Culbreth Rd, Charlottesville, VA. The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, from 12:30-1:30 pm, coinciding with Finals Weekend. The exhibition will be on view from May 22 to June 23, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. This showcase is curated by Jennifer Marine and Stephanie Polos, both Ph.D. candidates in Art and Architectural History and Mediterranean Art and Archaeology, respectively.

As I reflect on my artistic journey and the creation of Nyan_is_the_Glitch, I am immensely grateful for the support and opportunities provided by the Studio Art program at the University of Virginia. The upcoming "Playing with Syn·tax" exhibition is a significant milestone, and I am excited to be a part of it. I invite you to join me in exploring the collapsing digital realms depicted in my artwork and engage in the thought-provoking conversations it aims to spark.

Thank you for reading again! This summer I am looking forward to conducting research for two call-for-papers being ran by the Transformative Works and Culture Journal, as well as creating ideas for my master's thesis.

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