|Kaleena Stasiak, eternal return, 2018|
The Georgia Museum of Art will soon host the annual Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates exit show. The exhibition will display the creative works of 16 students slated to graduate from the Lamar Dodd School of the Art in May. This week, we continue to spotlight a few of these unique artists with information on Kaleena Stasiak.
Kaleena Stasiak grew up near Niagara Falls before moving to Toronto, where she received her bachelor’s degree in printmaking from the Ontario College of Art and Design. She then found herself drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of the master of fine arts program at the University of Georgia. She continued her studies in printmaking and book arts, but has recently ventured into more three-dimensional works made of ceramics, wood and foam. Her works in the upcoming MFA Degree Candidates exit show will mainly feature the latter two categories.
Through her work, Stasiak responds to the history of the South and how that history is represented today. Southern architecture and domestic objects tell the story of “us,” a fact readily seen in her art. From hand turning spindles to carving foam, Stasiak’s works evidence a beautiful and intriguing foray into Southern material culture. Her own adventure, a perpetual learning experience, takes viewers into the world of the South, turning truths the audience might take for granted on their heads.
Stasiak is “curious about exploring . . . how tourism is marketed in the South,” and, as she recognizes her own tendency to romanticise the South, she “also wants to subvert then call into question things that are glossed over.”
As she plays with key architectural and material tropes, she leads the viewer to appreciate and simultaneously question southern romanticism. Viewers will certainly leave her portion of the exit show considering familiar local buildings and heirloom furniture in a new light.
To see Stasiak’s work, along with that of all the other MFA candidates, you can visit the exit show, on view April 7 – May 20, 2018.
Intern, Department of Communications