The William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut Presents the Work of the 2016 Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates April 9 through May 8

MFA2016_croppedStorrs, Conn., March 30, 2016 – The William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut at Storrs will be presenting The 2016 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition: Are We All Here? from April 9 through May 8. The public is invited to the students’ thesis presentations on April 20 from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

The MFA candidates participating in this culminating project are Amanda Bulger (Sculpture and Drawing), Don Burton (Video and Installation), Neil Daigle Orians (Printmaking and Sculpture), Kacie Davis (Drawing), and Kamar Thomas (Painting).

In the words of the MFA students, “The question A​re We All Here? speaks to living in the present moment, while being as fully aware as possible. Often, we find ourselves absent, yearning for the future or a nostalgic past, working through daily problems, while indifferent to what’s happening in front of us.”


Amanda Bulger‘s childhood experiences of growing up on her family’s farm in Wisconsin are evident in her artwork, which resonates with the lifework of farming, her connection to cultivated landscapes, and the tools and systems that transform them.

Don Burton incorporates humor and drama into his films to explore the anxiety of loss, decay, and irreversible change. His work has been screened at the Los Angeles International Short Film Fest and other venues. He is co-founder of

Neil Daigle Orians’ work combines printmaking, installation, sculpture, photography, and performance. It concerns itself with the anxiety and pleasure of otherness while it exploits the tension between control and chance.

Kacie Davis’s drawings reflect her intuitive sense of the relationship between making a physical mark with charcoal or graphite and a virtual mark with an Xbox controller. Using concrete visual language, she explores, researches, challenges, and tests complex hypothetical inquiries, posing questions about actual reality.

Kamar Thomas makes large and colorful oil paintings that examine the contradictions, inconsistencies, conventions, and fragility of identity. In Schizophrenic Masculinity, he looks at the contrivance of black masculinity through the tradition of portraiture, while aiming to overwhelm with intimacy but at a safe distance.


Also on exhibition is Guerrilla Girls: Art, Activism, and the F Word (through May 22) and The Best of the Benton (permanent installation.)

The museum is open Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are gratefully accepted.

The William Benton Museum of Art is the official state art museum of Connecticut, located at 245 Glenbrook Road on the University of Connecticut Storrs campus. The museum, which opened in 1967 and was named in honor of William Benton, the Connecticut Senator and University trustee, largely draws from its distinguished collection of 6,500 works to present changing exhibitions. Programs include lectures, discussion panels, gallery talks, and musical performances.

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University of Connecticut, School of Fine Arts

245 Glenbrook Road

Storrs, CT 06269

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