Every year, graduating seniors at the Cleveland Institute of Art spend months working with faculty to develop and execute their BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) Exhibitions as their capstone projects required for graduation. After years of intense studies, these young artists’ BFA projects showcase the students’ growth, skills, creativity and potential before they graduate and enter their professional fields later this month. On view throughout CIA’s beautiful, recently remodeled campus in University Circle’s Uptown district, each student is responsible for converting a portion of the building into a suitable exhibition space.
Following a week of faculty-reviewed oral presentations, known as BFA thesis defenses, the exhibitions open to the public for the weekend. The BFA Exhibition features the thesis projects of 112 BFA candidates in all 15 of CIA’s disciplines: Painting, Drawing, Sculpture + Expanded Media, Jewelry + Metals, Ceramics, Printmaking, Glass, Photography + Video, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Graphic Design, Game Design, Illustration, Animation and Biomedical Illustration.
The BFA Exhibitions open with a free, public reception and awards ceremony this Friday, May 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. At 8 p.m., CIA president and CEO Grafton Nunes will announce the winners of this year’s President’s Traveling Scholarships. Every year, students submit formal proposals to pursue special, post-baccalaureate projects. Selected graduates will receive cash awards to supplement their education and jumpstart their careers.
“BFA week here represents the pinnacle of a year of artistic and intellectual inquiry on the part of our graduating seniors,” says Christopher Whittey, senior vice president of faculty affairs and chief academic officer. “But one could also say that it is the culmination of four years of hard work in a CIA education, the first four of a lifetime of creativity. The BFA works are typically self-directed projects, rigorously researched and presented with attention to excellence in vision, craft and thought. Internally, the whole week is an exhilarating experience, because our community gets to see what these remarkable artists have absorbed and made of their years here. And we love that the larger world gets to experience some of that through the public exhibition on Friday night and Saturday.”
The BFA Exhibitions remain on view Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Select work from this year’s BFA Exhibitions will be on view this summer in CIA’s Reinberger Gallery.
(Cleveland Institute of Art) 11610 Euclid Ave, 216-421-7000, cia.edu.