The pandemic has been bad for people from all walks of life. For art students, things have been particularly irksome. The graduates of the 2020 class had to compress their projects into digital files, give presentations online and endure the intrusion of daily life at home. But the biggest disappointment for them must have been the cancellation of MFA shows – exhibitions where art graduates showcased their work. However, Hauser & Wirth swooped in to save their day.
The mega-gallery announced two exhibitions for art graduates of 2020. Over the next four months, the two exhibitions would occur at the gallery’s artist residency studio in Somerset, and the Book & Printed Matter Lab in Los Angeles. Ten graduates, from four universities of England, are already chosen to present their work at the Somerset exhibition titled “In Real Life”. Running between July 29 and August 2, the exhibition will get curatorial, technical and marketing support from the gallery.
The program found contribution from many veteran artists. One of them, Kent-based Anj Smith, said: “Providing support and a platform for artists emerging at this current moment is crucial”. In addition to the artists, the gallery has also partnered with Cal State LA to exhibit works of many other recent art graduates at the Los Angeles exhibition this fall.
The program is part of Hauser & Wirth’s larger philanthropic initiative called “#artforbetter”, which aims to provide education support to art institutions. In a statement, the co-founder of the gallery Manuela Wirth said, “It’s important to us that we remain connected to the wider creative community and artistic energy surrounding each gallery location, enabling new generations of talent to thrive by creating meaningful partnerships and support networks.”
The names of the 10 graduates selected for the Somerset exhibition are Melody Addo, Samantha Davies, Betsy Bond, Kamila Dowgiert, Juliet Duckworth, Lauren Horrell, Lilith Piper, Madeline Rolt, Louise Hall, and Connor Vickery-Gearty.