Press Release

Parsons Fine Arts 2022 MFA Thesis Exhibition: An Asterism*

May 16 – 27, 2022

Opening Reception: Thursday, May 19, 6 – 8 PM

Closing Event: Friday, May 27, 5 – 8 PM


Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at The New School

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, 2 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011

Gallery hours: May 16-23, 12 – 6 PM; May 25 – 27, 12 – 8 PM

Facebook / instagram / Twitter


* Asterism (noun):

     1. (Astronomy) A prominent pattern or group of stars.

     2. (Typography) A group of three asterisks (⁂), used to separate sections of text.


Parsons School of Design at The New School is delighted to announce the Parsons Fine Arts 2022 MFA Thesis Exhibition, An Asterism* , organized by Alison Burstein and featuring work by Austin Casebolt, carolina muñoz awad, Darian Stewart, Ghazi Sikander Mirza, Kris Peng Siyun, Lily Moebes, Lipika Bhargava, Mauve Martineau, Paula Martin Rivero, Rachel Yeoh, Rengu Zhang, Tianyi Sun, Ye Cheng, Zhiyi Zhang, and Zoë Fitzpatrick Rogers. The exhibition is open to the public and on view in the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center’s Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery, 2 West 13th Street, from May 16 – May 27, 2022.

An Asterism* takes up the titular word as a metaphor to describe the convergence of the fifteen members of Parsons MFA class of 2022 within the gallery. Drawing on the dual meaning of asterism—the astronomical form associated with connectivity, the typographic symbol with delineation—the exhibition embraces a tension that is apparent within the general category of MFA thesis presentations: these culminating events bring together artists from a graduate degree program to show their work as a unified cohort at a moment of transition, just before the group disbands and each individual begins the next phase of their career post graduation. Rather than attempting to cover over or resolve this incompatibility, An Asterism* calls for reflection on the ways that both dimensions inherent to a thesis exhibition are intertwined.

Alison Burstein is a Curator at The Kitchen in New York. She previously served as Program Director at the nonprofit art space Recess and as a member of the education departments at MoMA, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. As an independent curator, Burstein has organized exhibitions and programs for institutions including Tenthaus in Oslo; The Luminary in St. Louis; the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles; and the Knockdown Center and NURTUREart in New York.

IMPORTANT VISITOR INFORMATION: All visitors must wear masks in all indoor university spaces, and those who are not New School members must present proof of being fully vaccinated and boosted to gain entry. To attend the exhibition’s Opening Reception and/or Closing Event,  please pre-register in advance or at the entrance of 2 W. 13th Street. To visit at times other than the Opening/Closing Events, please go to the University Welcome Center at 72 Fifth Ave. to show vaccination/booster status and gain an entry badge. 

Parsons Fine Arts MFA is a dynamic two-year, cross-disciplinary program committed to expanding the formal, intellectual and conceptual dimensions of emerging artists’ work. Studio-based research and scholarship extends the boundaries of contemporary cultural expression, developed through a global understanding of the arts. Parsons Fine Arts is committed to diversity among students and faculty that provides a potent learning community. Housed within both Parsons School of Design and The New School University, the Fine Arts program is uniquely positioned within a progressive educational environment. Our international student body has access to a wide spectrum of activities, ranging from rigorous formal and aesthetic investigations to cross-disciplinary collaborations with design, performing arts and humanities students, to public forums that address pressing social and political concerns. Our Visiting Artist Lecture Series and our Critic and Curator Series features renowned, multidisciplinary artists, curators and critics. Recent visitors have included: Morehshin Allahyari, Yto Barrada, Sadie Barnette, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Anthony Huberman, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Kahlil Robert Irving, Tuan Andrew Nguyen/ The Propeller Group, Sophia Ma, Guadalupe Maravilla, Isin Onöl, Rasheedah Phillips/ Black Quantum Futurism, Brie Ruais, Taylor Trabulus, Abhijan Toto, Hamza Walker, and Leslie Wayne.

About Parsons School of Design: Located on the unceded and occupied ancestral territory of Lenapehoking, Parsons honors the Lenape people’s past, present, and future generations, and continues its commitment to the process of working to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism. Founded in 1896 and integrated into The New School in 1970, Parsons has served as a leader in the field of Art and Design for more than a century. Based in New York and internationally active, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines. Critical thinking, research and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education, which builds on the university’s legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship and pedagogy. Parsons graduates are innovators in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.

In 2022, QS World University Rankings, a London-based higher education organization, named Parsons the #1 College for Art and Design in the United States and #3 worldwide for the fifth year in a row. For more information about the program, please contact the MFA Co-Directors Lan Thao Lam at  and/or Lydia Matthews at

For more information about the program, please visit the website or contact the MFA Co-Directors Lan Thao Lam at and/or Lydia Matthews at