The annual exhibition of work by recipients of the prestigious Traveling Scholarship Awards—three Museum School alumni and three Fifth Year students—is always an intriguing selection of challenging, original work by emerging contemporary artists. Modes of communication, intersection of opposing forces, ecological concerns, pop culture, and the human body are among the themes in this year’s work. The medium of choice ranges from painting (Laurel Sparks and Leslie Hall) and photography (Bill Durgin), to gigantic drawings (Elizabeth Wallace), installations (Mathew Freeman and Will Pappenheimer), and performance (Leslie Hall).
Scholars in this year’s group traveled to Europe and to Australia, India, and within the United States. Their travels, in some cases, inform their work (Will Pappenheimer’s study of Australian birds, Laurel Sparks's study of Venetian glass chandeliers), while in others, they remain internalized. As a whole, “SMFA Traveling Scholars,” on view in the Foster Gallery, well represents the Museum School’s philosophy of nurturing individual development as it encourages artists to explore new paths and engage new audiences.