by Kate Iverson
This past Thursday we hit up the MCAD Art Sale, an annual tradition that showcases the work of students and alumni of the renowned art school. Collectors clamor to snap up the best pieces, deal-seekers stock their bags with a plethora of prints, looky-lous meander and admire the seemingly endless corridors of artwork. Of course, from a collector’s perspective, student work is perhaps less about the context and more about the potential and/or less about the polish and more about the heart. While it’s impossible to “review” such a thing, we decided to do the next best thing: list a few of our favorite emerging artist discoveries…
Coincidentally, Kayleigh Fichten’s work hit our radar a couple of weeks ago in a completely different context, so it was a nice surprise to see it IRL at the sale. From what we can glean from her website, Kayleigh received her BFA from MCAD just this year and has been making the local rounds, showing during Art-A-Whirl and at Stevens Square Center for the Arts, among others. We were initially drawn to Kayleigh’s paintings due to the muted color schemes and designerly, minimal compositions, but upon further inspection we discovered that she’s also an extremely strong installation artist. Like many young creatives, perhaps Kayleigh is still finding her most comfortable niche, but so far, we definitely like what we see. Click HERE for more work from Kayleigh Fichten.
MCAD senior Nich Thomas stole the show in the photography corridor of the art sale. So much so, my companion even bought one of his pieces! Thomas’s works are very distinctly his, a compliment that is often impossible to offer a student photographer. What is even more interesting about this young artist, is that his content is extremely mundane–a tree, a road, a rabbit–but Thomas manages to capture these objects in unique compositions that play very naturally with light, shape and symmetry. But overall, the truth is that Thomas has a great eye–something that simply cannot be taught, but can surely be evolved. Definitely one to watch! Click HERE to see more of Nich Thomas’s work.
We only saw one singular piece at the MCAD Art Sale by Tessa Binder, but that one piece was good enough to pique our interest. As expected, our post-art sale Google stalking of Ms. Binder definitely paid off. While no artist statement or much personal information was gleaned (not unusual for a student still defining themselves), we did find a well-updated Cargo site, a follow-worthy tumblr and plenty of interesting artwork ranging from paintings to drawings to mixed media works on paper. We’re most attracted to the natural, painterly quality of Binder’s oil portraits, which are very contemporary but still retain a lot of the character and emotion that is often lost on younger artists. Click HERE for more work by Tessa Binder.