Since 2012, master’s degree students in Tyler’s studio arts and Art History programs have come together to publish a collaborative catalog, Intersections, that showcases the ambitious work of the graduating MFA class.
Under the guidance of graduate catalog coordinator Kati Gegenheimer, Associate Director of Academic Enrichment Programs and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Painting, and faculty editors Mariola Alvarez, Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art, and Philip Glahn, Program Head of Painting, students from both programs are encouraged to get to know each other’s practices in order to better understand how a historian’s observations can uncover truths and illuminate an artist’s work with the hope of cultivating a long-lasting dialogue.
Intersections, in which essays precede images of the MFA students’ artwork, is a practice in real-world experience for both the artists and authors, and an opportunity for Tyler students to engage with each other in critical discourse about art. Charlotte Greene (MFA ‘21), a student representative who assisted with the catalog, spoke to their time spent on this year’s project: “It was great to be part of the team for the catalog. I really value how Tyler provides leadership opportunities for graduates to bolster our professional development. As an artist, I enjoyed having a conversation with a PhD who was working in a completely different field - Renaissance art. Because of our shared interest in artifacts - mine digital, his Medieval - we connected in ways that were unexpected, which produced a fruitful conversation and really added a dimension to the analysis of my work that I feel was quite valuable. It's great practice for having future conversations with critics and academics.”
Glahn hopes that Intersections emphasizes a deep partnership between programs, a defining facet of the Tyler experience. “The writers aren’t writing on behalf of the artists on their work. It’s a collaborative process. The writing doesn’t necessarily have to describe the work; it can be an interview or an essay with questions inspired by the work. I think an artist is still thought of very much in the traditional, individual sense as being a single producer. This is a good example of the sharing of skills and opening up of expertise to make a collective project.”
Alvarez, who has been a faculty editor for five years, credits this seamless forming of relationships to Gegenheimer’s leadership and organizational skills. “Every year, the work gets better and better, and Kati makes sure that the catalog follows a clear schedule, which encourages a level of continuity for the year. Students know that this is happening, and they’re able to organize amongst themselves and form these relationships in advance. That helps enrich the texts that are being written about the work, and it really benefits the catalog’s workflow.”
Tyler graphic and interactive design alum Matt Bouloutian (BFA ‘99), CEO of the Philadelphia-based firm Modern Good, was hired to design the catalog for the third year in a row. Gegenheimer spoke about his work, saying that “as an alum, he understands the vibrancy of the [Tyler] community.” Gegenheimer says the theme "Intersections" is evident in both the collaborative nature of the project as well as the book’s design. Bouloutian’s graphics feature grids, overlapping designs, and complementary color schemes.
The 2021 Intersections catalog is available to view online above, as well as in the Charles Library Special Collections section.