Director’s Note


We are proud to present Second Nature, an exhibition featuring the thesis work of the 2017 Parsons Fine Arts MFA graduates.

The decision to attend a graduate program in fine arts is to stand for the knowledge that creative action is fundamental to our future. It is a commitment to be an artist and to embark on a life in pursuit of questions that are urgent, personal and political. Finding form for these questions is a lifelong task that will be both challenging and stimulating for our graduating artists. Their time in the Parsons Fine Arts MFA program has given them tools to help them make this journey, and a community who will continue to support them long after their graduation. Their Thesis exhibition is an important threshold–a door that they throw open as they step out into the world as professionals in their field. The impressive quality of the artwork in this exhibition, and the communality that has supported each moment of its making are a testament to many great things yet to come.

Over the last two years these artists have learned to trust the haptic, the unconscious of their eyes and the hunch that sets each artwork in motion. They have also practiced stepping back to question and reflect on why they do what they do and then if needed, how they can do things differently–indeed, how they can reimagine the world around them. This combination of honestly following one’s heart while criticality reflecting on one’s relation to the world, will continue to guide each of them through their individual yet deeply imbricated paths. As they cross the threshold into their professional lives and step forward into their varied journeys, we ask them to take the many late-night fevered conversations in their studios, the fundamental questions that stopped them in their tracks and the ideas that suddenly opened their eyes to new possibilities. We ask them to take both the inspirations and the provocations that have shaped their time at Parsons and will continue to shape them as artists.

Graduating from Parsons they will not find themselves alone. They will join the vibrant community of prior generations of Parsons Fine Arts MFA alumni, and will enrich the many generations yet to come, who in turn will look up to them for support and advice. They are part of a legacy always in the making. While we are confident that each of them will make their own way, they will always remain a part of our family!

The class of 2017 has risen to many challenges with determination, conviviality and friendship. These rare qualities will stand them in good stead and carry them forward, helping them to continue creating and enriching communities beyond this one.

It has been a privilege to work with this group of twenty-two students. While we will surely miss them it is with great pride and anticipation that we see them graduate!

The end is the beginning.

Simone Douglas, Associate Professor
MFA Fine Arts Program Director

For and on behalf of the Parsons Fine Arts Faculty.