Arts & Humanities Campus News

UGA’s Athenaeum presents ‘re:(de)construction’

AJ Aremu, You Touch the Immortals, 2023 (Submitted photo)

The Athenaeum, the University of Georgia’s contemporary art space in downtown Athens, presents artworks by the spring 2023 MFA class of the Lamar Dodd School of Art in the upcoming thesis exhibition “re:(de)construction.” 

Entering a graduate fine arts program during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, these 11 artists have participated in a deep re-examination of the structures that govern society and material itself. “re:(de)construction” is a call and response on this theme through experiments in video, painting, print, photography, metals, clay and sound.

re:(de)construction” opens April 14 with a free public reception from 6-8 p.m. The exhibition will remain on view through May 11. In addition, exhibiting artists will deliver brief talks on their works during the program MFA Speaks on April 26 at 6 p.m.

“We’re thrilled to host the 2023 MFA exhibition, an annual show that celebrates all we do at the Art School,” said Katie Geha, director of the Athenaeum and curator of “re:(de)construction.” “It is an exciting opportunity for the community to see up close bodies of work that our graduates have elaborated on conceptually and technically over their three years of study.”

Many of the works on display take literally the idea of construction, as several of the artists mine materials in their investigation of the built environment. Others display a commitment to the play involved in taking things apart and putting them back together, just absurdly enough to call it art. Still other artists critique constructed expectations surrounding identity, history, and memory both personal and political.

Artists in the exhibition include AJ Aremu, Mickey Boyd, Zahria Cook, J Taran Diamond, Shaunia Grant, Chad Hayward, Huey Lee, Jason Rafferty, Rachel Seburn, Ethan Snow and Lee Villalobos.