Steve Turner is pleased to present Alone Together, an online exhibition featuring new work by twenty-four members of the Columbia University MFA Class of 2020. On March 15th, all MFA students at Columbia were given 48 hours to vacate their studios. For the class of 2020, this was especially traumatic because it meant that each student was also losing the opportunity to have a thesis exhibition. After being displaced, the artists went their separate ways and started working from their apartments or temporary homes. Many stayed in their New York apartments, while those that could, fled the city for temporary lodging upstate or in Massachusetts, Maryland, California, New Mexico, Missouri, and British Columbia.
Aika Akhmetova (born 1995, Almaty, Kazakhstan) is a New York-based artist. Akhmetova studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design and is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University. Their work is in the Public Collection of Art of Kazakhstan. Since the studio building closure at their school they have been working from their apartment in New York City, filming videos and making sculptures with what's around.
Henry Gabriel Anker (born 1995, Fayetteville, Arkansas) is an American landscape painter. He grew up in Northern California where the natural topography and environmental crisis shaped his perception of the world around him. He moved to Los Angeles in 2013 where he received his BA in Visual Art at UCLA. In 2018 he moved to New York to pursue his MFA at Columbia University. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis he returned to Northern California where he takes daily walks and draws the almond trees from a lawn chair in his yard.
Roni Aviv (born 1992, Tel Aviv) is a 2020 MFA Visual arts candidate at Columbia University. She earned her BFA in Photography from Bezalel Academy (2017) and has also studied at Cooper Union, New York (2015). She had a dual exhibition at Indie Gallery, Tel Aviv (2018). Recent group exhibitions include The Jewish Museum, New York (2019); Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York (2019); LeRoy Neiman Gallery, New York (2020) and Binyamin Gallery, Tel Aviv (2017). Since she vacated her studio at Columbia, she has been working out of her shared apartment in Washington Heights, New York.
Patrick Bayly (born 1994, Charleston, West Virginia) earned a BFA at West Virginia University in 2018 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture that same year. He then started the MFA program at Columbia University in New York marking the first time he lived outside West VIrginia. Since the university's studios were shut down in mid-March, Bayly has been painting in his apartment in New York.
Eric Brittain (born 1984, Louisville, Kentucky) is an MFA Candidate at Columbia University (2020). He is a multidisciplinary artist, living and working in New York. Since vacating his studio at Columbia, he has been working in a spare bedroom in his East Harlem apartment.
Fontaine Capel (born 1990, New York) studied at Columbia University (2020). She has used performance, video, monumental drawing, sculpture, installation and speculative proposals to consider our present roles and to imagine our possible futures. Capel has performed and exhibited works at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2015), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (2017) and the Jewish Museum (2019); has attended residencies at Residencia Corazón Argentina, ACRE and the Chicago Artist Coalition; and has been awarded fellowships at Socrates Sculpture Park and the Tu Cuba foundation. Capel lives in New York and is currently working out of her one-bedroom Manhattan apartment.
Susan MB Chen (born 1992, Hong Kong), a first-generation Asian American, paints portraits of her racial community to investigate the psychology of race, and the varying viewpoints her sitters have on ideas of home, immigration, prejudice, identity, family, longing, love and loss. She usually finds her sitters, who are strangers, on various community social media groups on the Internet. She received her BA from Brown University (2015) and currently is an MFA Painting candidate at Columbia University (2020). In 2019, she was a finalist for the AXA Art Prize. Since vacating her studio at Columbia, she is sheltering in her New York apartment and painting in her 9 by 12 foot living room.
Joanna Cortez (born 1990, Escondido, California) studied at Columbia University and the Rhode Island School of Design. She works in printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. Since vacating her studio at Columbia, she has been working in her brothers' old room in Escondido, California which is now used for storage and the cats.
Baris Gokturk (born 1982, Ankara, Turkey) is a Turkish artist living and working in Brooklyn. He is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University. He has shown his work internationally in the US, Germany, Spain, France, Korea, Turkey and Puerto Rico. Recent exhibitions include Pera Museum in Istanbul and SPRING/BREAK Art Show in New York. Gokturk was recently an ApexArt fellow, the artist-in-resident at YADDO, LMCC, and Millay Colony as well as a participant in SOMA Mexico and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.
Jenn Hassin (born 1986, Houston, Texas) served in the United States Air Force before receiving a BA from Saint Edward’s University. She currently is an MFA candidate at Columbia University (2020) and has had solo exhibitions at the United States Military Academy (2018-2020), Texas A&M University (2018), Long Island University (2018), Elisabet Ney Museum (2016-2018) and The Pentagon (2015-2018). Since leaving her studio at Columbia University due to Covid-19, she has been working out of a family home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Yifan Jiang (born 1994, Tianjin, China) is an MFA candidate at Columbia University (2020) and holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She is a project based artist who works in animation, installation, painting and performance. Her recent exhibitions include, M.I.O.K at Leroy Neiman Gallery, New York and Shadow tongue at Duplex, Vancouver. Since vacating her studio at Columbia, Jiang has been working out of her bedroom at her parents’ house in Vancouver.
Clare Koury (born 1993, Richmond, Kentucky) received her BA at the University of Chicago (2015) and currently is a visual arts MFA candidate at Columbia University. She works in sculpture and video and resides in New York. Since Columbia's studio evacuation she has been working from her apartment in Harlem.
Yushan Liu (born 1987, Rizhao, China) received a BA from Tsinghua University in Beijing (2011). She is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University (2020). Her work has been shown in Lenfest Art Center, New York (2019); Zhuzhong Art Museum, Beijing (2018); The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2015) and Tsinghua University Art Museum, Beijing (2015). Since vacating her studio at Columbia, she has been working from her studio apartment in Harlem.
Cara Lynch (born 1990, Manhasset, New York) studied at Columbia University (MFA 2020) and Adelphi University (BFA 2012). She works in sculpture, installation and print. Recent exhibitions include shows at UrbanGlass, Morris Jumel Mansion Museum and IPCNY. In addition to her studio work, Lynch has created large scale public projects, including a permanent installation for the NYC MTA. Since being forced out of her studio at Columbia, she has been working from her kitchen table.
Erica Mao (born 1994, Columbia, Maryland) received a BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York (2016). She has shown in group exhibitions at International Print Center New York (2017) and Madison Park Gallery, New York (2018). She is currently a candidate for her MFA in Visual Arts at Columbia University. Since being forced out of her studio at Columbia University, she has been working out of her parents’ basement in Clarksville, Maryland.
James J.A. Mercer (born 1984, Boston, Massachusetts) is a New York based artist working in painting, drawing and video. He received a bachelor’s degree in Printmaking from RISD and is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University. In 2014 he was a resident at Clocktower Productions and has exhibited at Pioneer Works and the Drawing Center. His animated videos were featured in the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation in 2018. On the occasion of the pandemic James has relocated to suburban Massachusetts, working above his parents’ garage.
Kathryn Ann Miller (born 1988, Knoxville, Tennessee) studied at the University of Tennessee where she received her BA in Anthropology (2013) and her BFA in painting, drawing and ceramics (2017). Everyday objects and household ingredients can be found embedded and transformed into her paintings, drawings, sculptures, large-scale installations and video works. In pursuit of her MFA at Columbia University (2020) and a career as a working artist, she now resides in New York and is happy to be working in her Harlem apartment.
Bradley Pitts (born 1978, New York) studied at MIT, the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (Netherlands) and Columbia University. Primarily working in sculpture, Pitts has shown at the Netherlands Institute for Media Art, Kunsthalle Bern (Switzerland); UC Riverside and Pioneer Works, among other venues. Since Columbia Visual Arts shut down on March 17th he has been living with his wife and 2 year old son in Livingston, New York.
Stipan Tadic (born 1986, Zagreb, Croatia) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb and works primarily in painting and producing comic books. He currently resides in New York and is a 2020 MFA Candidate at the Columbia University Graduate program. Since he left his studio at Columbia due to the virus he has been working in his student dorm in New York.
Kiyomi Quinn Taylor (born 1995, South Orange, New Jersey) received a BFA from New York University (2017) and will receive an MFA from Columbia University (2020). She is a mixed media artist—working in drawing, painting, collage, installation, video and performance. Taylor currently resides in New York—where she has presented work in group exhibitions since 2016. Since vacating her studio at Columbia, she has been working out of her parents’ house in West Orange, New Jersey.
Meredith Pence Wilson (born 1992, Jefferson City, Missouri) received a BFA from Pratt Institute in 2014. She worked on the crew of City Museum in St. Louis and had a solo show at Grease 3 Gallery in 2018. She is pursuing her MFA at Columbia University and is currently working from her parents' house in Missouri.
Mark Yang (born 1994, Seoul, South Korea) immigrated to Los Angeles with his family when he was nine years old. He earned his BFA from Art Center College of Design (2017) and currently is a MFA candidate at Columbia University (2020). Recent group exhibitions include Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York (2020); CP Projects Space, New York (2019) and Ki Smith Gallery, New York (2019). Since being forced out of his studio at Columbia, Yang has been working out of his parents’ garage in Los Angeles.
Yi Sa-Ra (born 1988, Seoul, South Korea) is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University School of the Arts. She received a BFA with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design (2011) and attended the Yale Summer School of Art and Music in Norfolk (2010). Addressing both intimate and societal issues, including family dissolution, immigration, and discrimination, Yi produces videos that straddles the line between documentary and fiction. Her work has been exhibited and screened in venues including Wallach Art Gallery, Lenfest Center for the Arts, New York (2019); Insa Art Space, Seoul (2017), Weekend, Seoul (2017); CHAPTER II, Seoul (2016); Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, Tokamachi, Japan (2015); Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul (2013) and Roger Williams National Memorial, Providence (2011). With Columbia University’s doors temporarily closed due to COVID-19, Yi is currently living and working in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts.
Aika Akhmetova. Puppy Pampering, 2020, Edition 1 of 2 + 1 AP Video, 03:17
Fontaine Capel. In These Uncertain Times, 2020. Edition 1 of 2 + 1 AP, Video 08:12
Yifan Jiang. 57 26, 2020. Edition 1 of 3 + 1 AP, Video 04:50
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