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Memos from Moore: Gabrielle Lavin Suzenski on Moore’s First-ever Online Thesis Exhibition

Kenyssa Evans '20, BFA Photography & Digital Arts,
Kenyssa Evans '20, BFA Photography & Digital Arts, "Else/Where," 2019-2020, photography, mixed media sculpture, plastered objects, digital print on mesh-screen, double-sided 30" x 80" door, dimensions variable.

To the Moore community:  

During this moment of considerable challenges, the work that we do in The Galleries at Moore to support our students, faculty and public has not diminished—we continue to shift and adapt to provide the highest quality of service, scholarship and artistic excellence to our community. While in-person attendance has become a temporary impossibility and the question of “How can a gallery serve its purpose?” has been at the front of our minds, we have discovered new meaning in the work that we do.  

While our walls remain empty, it is difficult to replace the feelings of reward and satisfaction that come out of working one-on-one with our art and design students to realize a fabulous installation. The culminating exhibitions that celebrate the end of a student’s time at Moore represent a significant moment in their creative career; they are critical to each student’s individual path to success as they venture out into their professional field. Therefore, it has been imperative to rethink our programming to present the work of the Class of 2020 creatively in the virtual world, which has been an exciting process with a heavy lift. Not long after the campus closure was announced, I began to work on alternative forms of presentation with a fabulous group of colleagues that included key personnel from Moore’s Locks Career Center, Office of Advancement, Marketing & Communications department and Academic Dean’s office. We had been following the rapidly changing museum landscape and realized that we would be remiss not to get out ahead of the shift to digitally based programming. 

Together and swiftly, we concluded that building an entire website from scratch was the best solution to 1) formally highlight the work of our talented students in a way that allows for the highest level of visual excellence, 2) furnish a well-designed platform for each individual graduate to put themselves out into the world—effectively creating an online “calling card” and 3) recreate, in a virtual manner, the interactive marketplace that our culminating exhibitions provide for our students and for the hundreds of people who typically attend and purchase work.    Behind the scenes, our team of art handlers and installers is hard at work, connecting directly with students to ensure their materials are presented digitally in the best light. Everyone on The Galleries’ team is a professionally trained artist, and their capacity to remain nimble and shift gears to provide the same level of service to our students in the virtual realm has been truly extraordinary! I am ever grateful for their uplifting enthusiasm and commitment to the ongoing work that we do to serve our students and broader community, even during unusual times.

Moorethesis.com will go live on Friday, May 8. It will feature a virtual exhibition that promotes the outstanding work of Moore's Class of 2020, providing a digital platform for both BFA and MFA/MA students in all majors and programs to showcase their thesis projects to the world.  Visitors to the site will be able to purchase student artwork, as they would during a traditional in-person exhibition, through The Art Shop at Moore’s online portal. I am pleased to say that we have treated this virtual experience as we would any in-person exhibition, with the same expectations around presenting only the highest visual and interactive quality of work and writing for our visitors, this time through an online venue. We are also so proud of our participating students, a serious and talented cohort of designers and artists, who are demonstrating their resilience and determination to take their place in the creative world.

This is a very exciting project for The Galleries and for Moore College of Art & Design, and I am ecstatic to have led the charge along with my dedicated team and colleagues, to honor and present our Class of 2020. Stay tuned for our Friday launch—I hope you'll enjoy what you see!

Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.  —Mahatma Gandhi

Gabrielle Lavin Suzenski
Rochelle F. Levy Director, The Galleries at Moore

Published on May 4th, 2020