Julia_Jo_Untitled Purple_oil and flashe on canvas_72x60
12_time for a cicada
17_ Insruction
20_Two Yards of Delhi

We are proud to present Beneath Them Was Forever, an exhibition featuring the thesis work of the 2019 Parsons Fine Arts MFA graduates. 

The decision to attend a graduate program in fine arts is to stand for 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. The Thesis exhibition is an important threshold –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 hepatic, the unconscious of their eyes and the hunch that sets each artwork in motion. They have also practiced stepping back and questioning and reflecting 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, the ideas that suddenly opened their eyes to new possibilities. Further, to reflect and act on 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 diverse 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. 

The class of 2019 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 continue to create and enrich communities beyond this one. 

My thanks to our brilliant curator Kathleen Forde, and also to the dedicated faculty and staff who have stood in unswerving support of the students. 

It has been a great privilege to work with this group of emerging artists. 

The end is the beginning. 



Simone Douglas, Associate Professor 

MFA Fine Arts Program Director