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2021

MFA


Robert Robbins, Chair and Professor Studio Faculty Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art: Miami University Master of Fine Arts students in the Studio Art program at Miami University focus on their artistic methods, personal goals, and the development of their work. Though students have home areas and studios in a range of two-dimensional and three–dimensional disciplines including, metals, ceramics, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and painting, they frequently overlap methods and materials as they pursue their studio practice. Analog and digital processes are incorporated throughout the program to greater or lesser degree depending upon a student’s needs. Each student must learn to develop their own goals and methods, finding their potential to create a professional body of work which contributes to contemporary dialog. The student-centered culture of the program reinforces the need to develop a working practice as an artist, while balancing studio and conceptual horizons. The student’s creative development is a common goal that encourages individual approaches to making and thinking. For more information about the program please contact Director of Graduate Studies in Studio Art : Dana Saulnier, saulnid@MiamiOH.edu.

Andrew Au Joomi Chung Larry Collins Tracy Featherstone Rod Northcutt Jennifer Purdum Geoff Riggle Dana Saulnier Michael Stillion

Hiestand Galleries Considered visual laboratories, the programs of Hiestand Galleries exhibit artworks that highlight timely, enlightening, and challenging exhibitions that consider the ever-changing world of contemporary visual expression. With over twenty exhibitions per year, the galleries feature artworks by national and international artists and designers, as well as work by undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Art. A vital Visiting Artist and Scholars program aligns with the exhibition programs, and connects students to the professional artist and critics in these capacities, including studio visits, lectures, and off-campus events. The Young Painters and Young Sculptors Competitions are national competitions developed through a generous gift from William (Class of 1936) and Dorothy Yeck, of Dayton, Ohio. Both competitions feature artists aged 25 - 35, who demonstrate excellence. Winners are awarded the $10,000 William and Dorothy Yeck Award and the artwork becomes a part of the permanent collection at Miami.

Ann Taulbee Dennis Tobin Roscoe Wilson Jon Yamashiro

Miami University Department of Art 400 South Patterson Avenue Oxford, Ohio 45056 MiamiOH.edu/art


Hannah Fox

is native of Oxford, Ohio, receiving both her BFA and MFA from Miami University. She uses her lifelong passion in photography to create portraits inspired by those close to her and her conventional upbringing in mid-west culture. Her natural eye for composition and interest in traditional photographic techniques influence the structure of all her work. She holds the narrative quality of photography close and its power to draw others together through memory and universal experiences.


Mother(ing) Mother is a noun that labels the relationship between a parent and her child. Samuel was born March 2020, one week after the shutdowns began in the United States due to the coronavirus. As a first-time mother, my sense of self was immediately and totally subsumed by my newborn’s every need. I felt like a secondary presence to Samuel, existing only as a being created for him. The life I led previously was no longer intact. My life shifted with Samuel’s arrival; changes were intensified by the shelter in place order. As an essential worker, my husband worked through the long months of the public health crisis. I stayed at home. My thoughts, activities, and commitments, the things that had defined me, were gone. I stood in a new place. I was a mother. Gradually, motherhood expanded an identity into a role, an action, a verb. I learned how to take care of Samuel out of sheer necessity. By caring for my son, I was feeling my way into motherhood. By photographing, I was not only understanding him, but discovering who I am now. My affection grew and our bond was cemented. Samuel is already nine months old. As time passes, I am returning to my former self, but one that has been transformed. I exist alongside him instead of solely for him. This body of work is a visual response to the situations that occur daily in our home. While he learns and grows, the fleeting moments of childhood are stopped briefly to examine what would otherwise be a forgotten instance. Part of my responsibility is to cultivate a safe environment for Samuel to develop. With the state mandate to stay inside, aspects of the outside world appear subtly in the photographs. These elements allude to the external forces that challenge a mother’s ability to protect. The perpetual uncertainties of the present, multiplied by global pandemic, extend to our future. Each day arrives with new challenges to explore together. First Tooth 30 x 20 inches Framed 36 x 24 inches 2020


Opposite Left First Night 10.7” x 16” (each) Framed 16” x 20” (each) 2020 Opposite Right No Bumper 30” x 20” Framed 36” x 24” 2020

4 a.m. 20” x 30” Framed 24” x 36” 2020


Nate Jeffery is from Fairview, Pennsylvania, and

graduated magna cum laude from Edinboro University in 2018, receiving a BFA in studio art with a concentration in painting. Currently residing in Oxford, Ohio he is an MFA candidate in painting at Miami University. As a non-traditional student, Nate spent two decades working in manufacturing prior to graduate school. His figurative work, through realism, drawing, and obscuration, explores ideas of the self, and temporality, within intimate environments both literal and figurative; displaying actual spaces where individuals are engaged both with each other and, sometimes, the viewer.

Artist Statement

Using intimate environments as a metaphor for human headspace, with all it’s clutter and competing perspectives, I create compositions that are both literal and figurative; displaying actual spaces where individuals are engaged both with each other and, sometimes, the viewer. The liminal space, use of light, and areas of obscuration and pentimenti can be partially seen as aspects of temporality, but they are also a representation of the complexities and contradictions that each of us carry within. In this way, the visual and pictorial tensions between obscure space and the figure(s) illustrate the complex dichotomies that are inherent in being human. Isolation 40”x30” Oil on Canvas 2020

*Slight crop for full bleed print


Threshold 28” x 22” Oil on Canvas 2020

Interrupt 28” x 22” Oil on Canvas 2020

Allusion 28” x 22” Oil on Canvas 2020

Windows 9” x 12” Pencil on toned paper 2020

*Slight crop for full bleed print


Erin McGuire (b. 1989, Pensacola, Florida; MFA, 2021, Miami University Oxford, OH; resides, Cincinnati, OH)

Artist Statement

I use fabric as a means to create sculptural and functional pieces. The fabric is made from natural fibers such as cotton or linen and scrap material, either from my own works or found fabrics. I paint dye directly on the fabric or use wax to block out an area before painting on the dye. After the fabric is painted I sew it into a form by following a pattern or piecing many scraps together. I also use machine stitching to add pattern and texture to completed pieces. The swirling patten used throughout many pieces is inspired by oil spills and the whirling spirals of color slowly spreading into the sea. I am curious to see what will become of this delicate ecosystem we depend on yet care so little about. The painted and sewn imagery forefronts some of the diverse species that could be lost without prioritizing care for the environment. Obsessively using every scrap reflects my anxiety about our throw-away, consumer culture and its devastating effect on the natural world.


Slug Scrap Tail 21” x 72” Thread, scrap cotton, scrap stuffing 2021

Textile waste slows us down. It contributes millions of tons of waste per year and the numbers are not slowing. Within Slug Scrap Trail one can see pieces of Erin McGuire’s three years spent in the MFA program at Miami University. Starting from projects that did not work out, to scraps left from larger works, and everything left over from so many material constructions, these scraps have been transformed into slugs. The slugs are also stuffed with scraps, then sewn together with machine stitching for texture, and finally woven together to form a group. Some slugs trail behind but the group moves forward, and will continually be added to as more scraps are available. This piece is a look at what is left over, and an attempt to turn waste into a usable object.


For this series of wearable garments Erin McGuire is inspired by organisms easily impacted by changes in the environment. These puffer coats are made with painted wax to form an outline, followed by dye. The wax is removed and the image remains. The swirling patten created by machine stitching on silk is inspired by oil spills and the whirling spirals of color slowly spreading into the sea. The googly eyes make things a little less serious, just like the world is not taking human-made environmental decay seriously. McGuire uses bright colors and sometimes cute or funny images to lighten the mood of a situation for which she feels there is not much hope. *These works are a look at creating garments with little waste, and all scraps that could not be used are saved for other projects.

Puffer Snake 41” x 78” cotton, silk, painted dye, machine stitching, cotton scrap stuffing 2020


Upper Left Bleaching Corals Cotton, painted dye 18” x 61” 2020 Lower Left Nudibranch Silk, painted dye, maching stitching, cotton stuffing 21” x 62” 2020 Upper Right Electric Ray Cotton, silk, painted dye, maching stitching, cotton stuffing 41” x 72” 2021


Natalie Miczikus is a mixed media artist who specializes in patterning, interiors, and figurative works. Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Miczikus received her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Currently residing in Oxford, Ohio she is a MFA candidate at Miami University of Ohio. Miczikus’ practice is focused on the fluidity of gender. Through collage, painting, and various materials reflecting domesticity she creates a narrative that both explores femininity and societal expectations that are projected onto women.

Artist Statement

Settling for traditional gender norms denounces other identities. Through my work, I reflect on expectations rooted from my upbringing and question the parameters that are valued within gender roles. Utilizing family photography and thematic decorum of the mid- 20th century I search for coded conventions. Through disjunctive interiors, I contrast my lived experiences with the predetermined sociocultural ideations of womanhood. I emphasize notions of femininity, boundaries, pressure, and play through bold, aggressive color, mixed media, and pattern. My work generates a new space that transcends binaries and boundaries and exists separate from societal pressures. An Apple A Day 46” x 31” Mixed media on panel 2020


Glitter Baby 64” x 44” Mixed media on panel 2020

Deadweight 58.5” x 42” Acrylic and panel 2020

Messy Spaces 45” x 37” Mixed media on panel 2020


Ladylike 39” x 48.5” Mixed media on panel 2020


Maggie Myers was born on February 10, 1995, just north

of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art with a concentration in Painting from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2017.

Artist Statement

From a sociological perspective, bedroom culture has become a tool used to understand the specific ways in which girls organize their lives. Around the turn of the millennium, the young girl’s exploration of identity shifted out of the sacred and private bedroom space and into virtual worlds like MySpace and Tumblr. With my work, I seek to preserve the intimacy and materiality of girly bedroom culture akin to Y2K aesthetics. The subject matter of my work includes appropriated memes and outdated popular culture associated with the self-expression of young girls in the 1990s and 2000s. My persistent, ongoing and chaotic collection of memes and screencaps from this era is linked to a search for myself within nostalgic imagery. I think about my personal experiences in relation to these images which are coded with dark innuendos, sexual overtones and gender stereotypes. As a call back to my adolescence, I embrace craft and handwork, weaving fibers into my painting practice. Strands of yarn function as units forming the whole–similar to the way pixels operate–and give digital images a newfound tactility.


realize 50” x 60” Acrylic paint and yarn on embroidered blanket 2020


You Hurt Me (triptych) You 20” x 20”/Hurt 20’ x 25’/Me 20” x 20” Acrylic yarn on monk’s cloth 2020 s(he’s) br(ok)en 20” x 25” Acrylic yarn on monk’s cloth 2020

s(he) be(lie)ve(d) 40” x 50” Acrylic yarn on monk’s cloth 2020


u are destruction 30” x 40” Fabric paint and acrylic yarn on monk’s cloth 2020


Karina Serapio-Rendon is currently in her final

semester as an MFA Candidate in Painting at Miami University. Karina is from Oaxaca, Mexico and received her BA from the University of Saint Francis Fort Wayne in 2018. As an artist he has had pieces exhibited across the country including at Root Division Gallery San Francisco, California and Site: Brooklyn Gallery New York.

Artist Statement

I have been labeled as “The Other” in the U.S. due to my Mexican ethnicity despite living here for most of my life. I explore the process of assemblage and printmaking to reflect the experience of displacement between the two countries I call home. Though I adopted the United States’ culture I will always be “The Other”. I am influenced by my family’s history and culture to explore the complex migrant experience and the Mexican diaspora living within the U.S. as a Mexican immigrant who grew up in the U.S., I focus on my own visual culture to reclaim my identity. The images’ surface emulates the tradition of dressmaking practiced by my foremothers. The act of creating a new garment out of the old material was out of necessity, however the lesson of making the most of what is available has been practiced throughout generations of my family. I express this lesson by building upon the surfaces with hand printing and stitching. Labor is a very important value to my culture, my foremothers, and the migrant experience. My identity may exist within the two countries I call home by honoring the labor of my ancestors.


To Mother We Flock 24” x 36” 2020


Grandmother of Hummingbirds 36” x 42” 2020

Once on the Other Side 24” x 36” 2019


El Heredero (Hummingbird Series no.2) 24” x 36” 2020

Migratoria (Hummingbird series no.1) 24” x 36” 2020


Kyla Robinson was raised in a small town in rural Indiana. She received her BFA from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana, and her MFA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her studio practice is influenced by her large collection of kitsch objects, antiques, and vintage keepsakes, which inspire her work both visually and narratively. She currently lives and works in Indiana.

Artist Statement

I’m fascinated by the notion of a staged surreality; one in which a curative approach and filtered lens are applied in order to present an idealized reality. Through introspection, my work parallels the aims of psychoanalysis through bringing conflicts of the (sub) unconscious into the conscious mind. This exploration of my own personal convictions and reoccurring anxieties coincides with the analysis of Christianity’s “battle for the soul,” both in a personal and broader sociocultural context. As such, my work utilizes coded and symbolic imagery to explore my relationships and personal experiences concerning veiled themes of guilt, indulgence, sin, and the flesh. My work explores spiritual and existential concerns through supernatural interactions set in psychic dreamscapes. These dreamscapes are loaded with both personal symbolism and kitsch or pop cultural references and motifs, which are utilized as coded vehicles for expression as they are immersed within these narratives. Building upon the visual language of kitsch and personally found objects, my work also explores themes of excess and indulgence through decoration, ornamentation, and overall sugary sweetness. Upon peering through this veil of sweetness, however, one is confronted with the sinister, the mysterious, and the melancholiac.


Who Says? 17.75” x 15.25” Oil on panel 2020


Roadkill 48” x 36” Oil on canvas 2020

No Takebacks 27” x 21” Acrylic on panel 2020


Depravity 24” x 18” Graphite on paper 2020


Miami University Department of Art 400 South Patterson Avenue Oxford, Ohio 45056 MiamiOH.edu/art

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Miami University MFA Catalog 2021  

The College of Creative Arts at Miami University presents the 2021 MFA exhibition.

Miami University MFA Catalog 2021  

The College of Creative Arts at Miami University presents the 2021 MFA exhibition.