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2021 MFA Thesis Exhibitions Explore Loss & Grief and Self-reflection

Lacey Minor, Roots of Icarus
Sarah Phillips, And All the Things that Grew on the Ground

April 20 – May 8
Online artist talk, April 19 at 6 p.m.

Graduate students Lacey Minor and Sarah Phillips will present their M.F.A. Thesis Exhibitions this month at JMU’s Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art. An M.F.A. exhibition is a significant achievement that capstones the three years of artistic practice and individual inquiry required to earn the Master of Fine Arts degree at JMU. 

In Roots of Icarus, Minor uses potatoes as a metaphor for drug addiction, using their lifecycle to produce photographic prints. As she grows potatoes in vases, Minor notes that to live, a potato must be buried. Minor says, “Using the potato as a symbol of the addicted body, my work is commentary on the magnitude of the opium epidemic and reflection on the grief and guilt that comes with loving/losing someone to addiction.”

Sarah Phillips’ exhibition And All the Things that Grew on the Ground involves self-exploration through personal memoirs, poetry and history. Investigating personal as well as cultural and religious rituals, Phillips’ work is performative and gestural. Washing, cleansing, and other habitual actions are recurring themes in the work. “This work is about memory, preservation and dissonance,” says Phillips.

The exhibition will be online and in person at the gallery, April 20-May 8. There will also be an artist talk on April 19 at 6 p.m. After May 1, visitors will need to make an appointment to view the exhibition.

Lacey Minor, "Roots of Icarus"
Sarah Phillips, "And All the Things that Grew on the Ground"

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