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A studio is a place where art-making happens. Moments of creative vulnerability flow into private triumphs and failures. Sometimes the results of these labors are dusted off and transported into the public realm, and just as often they don’t make it past the threshold of the studio. For graduate students in the MFA Fine Arts program at the School of Visual Arts, the pace of production, experimentation, and critique can be superfast. Students often find themselves questioning how to present their work at open studios — a time when a large audience is invited to see what they’ve been doing.

Nadine Faraj, a second-year painter in the program, says that she “tried the white cube approach and was disappointed in the results.” After that she decided to leave her source materials and tools where they were, on view alongside the paintings, and felt that it helped viewers contextualize her work. K.C. Tidemand, a sculptor, believes that “you need enough empty space to let the work breathe, and white walls are more conducive for doing that than clutter is. I think one has to construct the space around the work.” For video artist Pik-Shuen Fung, open studios are “a testing ground for new work.”

Workshop, white cube, or testing ground? Come see for yourself.

SVA MFA Fine Arts Open Studios
Friday, December 12, 6–9pm
Saturday, December 13, 1–4pm
School of Visual Arts (133 West 21st Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

For more information call (212) 592-2500, email, or visit


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