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Minneapolis, MN—September 6, 2018—MCAD and the Jerome Foundation are pleased to present an exhibition of new work by recipients of the 2017/18 Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists: Alyssa Baguss, Josette Ghiseline, Sarah Kusa, Joshua McGarvey, and Lela Pierce.

The exhibition opens in the MCAD Gallery with an artist reception on Friday, October 5. On Wednesday, October 10, Christina Schmid, essayist for the catalog that accompanies the exhibition, will moderate a round table discussion with the artists.


Exhibition Dates: October 5–November 6, 2018
Location: MCAD Main Gallery, 2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Opening Reception: Friday, October 5, 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion: Wednesday, October 10, 6:30 p.m.; moderated by Christina Schmid


Alyssa Baguss’s work examines how technology influences the way we experience the landscape, how it shapes our expectations of the natural world and how we never have to leave the comfort of our homes to explore the outdoors. In her newest work, she manufactures an experience of the landscape through the manipulation of large-scale photo wallpaper murals. Each three-dimensional drawing is a hands-on exploration of place through the guidance of digital navigation systems and seeing machines.

Josette Ghiseline uses an array of materials and alternative working processes to question what it is to make an abstract painting today in the twenty-first century. By challenging conventional ways of making a painting, her abstract artworks invite the viewer to a dialogue about how we as humans process visual information. In 2017 she began growing bacterial cellulose and mycelium in her studio for use as materials in her art. For this exhibition, Ghiseline presents recent paintings and newly grown constructions.

Sarah Kusa explores precarious relationships between vulnerability and power, searching out intersections where the two coexist. Her sculptures and installations range from abstract bodies to drawings in space that respond to a viewer’s own body or influence its movement. In this exhibition, Kusa examines states of connection and disconnection as a framework for thinking about vulnerability and power. In a spare language of thread and plaster, she presents new three-dimensional work that reconsiders what is fragile and what is strong.

Joshua McGarvey constructs environments and characters to embody his ideas. His video installations immerse the viewer in a space of suspension, often reorienting the information surrounding an object as a mode of analysis or mundane commentary. McGarvey’s most recent installation examines the concept of self-perpetuation using masks of his face to create scenarios of tangled, internal dialogues. 

Lela Pierce’s practice spans across mediums to situate herself as a non-Eurocentric, nonessentialized woman of color art maker. In this exhibition, Pierce’s works on paper inspired by Madhubani painting, map ancestral healing through experienced and imagined confluences of energy in and outside of the corporeal body. Alongside her two-dimensional work, Pierce constructs an installation using buckthorn, an invasive species to Minnesota, to metaphorically address settler colonialism.


Recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to visual arts education, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is home to more than 800 students and offers bachelor of fine arts, and bachelor of science, master of fine arts, and master of fine arts degrees.


The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is honored to have been the administrative home for this fellowship program since its inception in 1981. The 2017/18 fellows were selected out of a pool of 249 applicants by a panel of arts professionals that included Naima Keith, deputy director of the California African American Museum in Los Angeles; Bently Spang, multimedia artist, writer, and curator based in Montana; and Yasufumi Nakamori, curator of photography and new media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Remarking on the jurying process, Bently Spang commented, “It was gratifying to see the strength of the artwork in this part of the country, although it made it difficult to choose the final five. Everyone is a winner for doing such strong, committed and passionate work!”

This competitive fellowship provides $12,000 awards to each recipient for the production of new work. In addition to having their work featured in a group exhibition at MCAD Gallery, the fellows will have the opportunity to meet with visiting critics over the course of the fellowship year, to have an essay written about their work that appears in the exhibition catalog, and to participate in a public panel discussion.

The Jerome Foundation has generously supported this fellowship program since its inception in 1981.


The Jerome Foundation, created by artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill (1905-1972), seeks to contribute to a dynamic and evolving culture by supporting the creation, development, and production of new works by emerging artists. The Foundation makes grants to not-for-profit arts organizations and artists in Minnesota and New York City.

Nurturing exploration and experimentation by emerging artists diversifies the seeds of creativity and leads to rich experiences. Central to the Foundation’s review of each proposal is an assessment of the quality of the artistic work. The Foundation seeks to encourage the potential for excellence.

Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information or accessibility requests, please contact Kerry Morgan, director of gallery and exhibition programs, at 612.874.3667 or gallery@mcad.edu.