Syracuse art exhibit celebrates canceled plans

Syracuse art exhibit celebrates canceled plans

Student artists present work speaking on the re-examination of the self at the Schafer Art building.
Published: April 29, 2019
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What happens to a canceled plan? In the words of the famous poet Langston Hughes, “Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore—And then run?” At least in college, canceled plans may turn into a nap or Netflix session, and the chances of canceling plans last minute are often high. In general, millennials have a reputation for bailing last minute, usually to hide behind a screen. But it’s not always a bad thing.

Syracuse’s MFA art students delved into this concept and produced an immense body of thought-provoking work, which will be on display at the Schafer Art Building Masters of Fine Art exhibition until May 12. The exhibit celebrates canceled plans as an opportunity for personal growth and self-examination while also shedding light on a larger political moment and internet culture.

“Canceled plans are opportunities for new ones to be made, ones that better fit the situation we currently find ourselves in,” says the exhibit curator Scott Campbell. “And let’s face it, as we all get older, we learn that sometimes, canceled plans are the best ones.”



One of the artists, studio art graduate student Rebecca Forstater, deconstructs internet culture with her installation “There’s Enough for Everybody!” She uses five video monitors and other mixed media to depict the current digital experience in a way that is both strange and familiar. In what looks like a selfie video of a blonde, FaceTune-botched influencer flashing on the screen, she talks in a way that could be either personal or promotional. “I’m telling you, as long as it’s a bird you can cook it. In 20 minutes or less. In your toaster,” the voice says. Forstater plays with the uncanny idea of being stuck in a loop between your technology and brand corporations, and all the other “made up bull—- as they circulate through the digital space,” she explains in her artist statement.



The exhibit also features painting and sculpture graduate student Mark Zbikowski Jr., whose contemporary visual artwork is developed by digital manipulation. His vibrant work practically begs to be shared on Snapchat, but even if it was, viewers wouldn’t be able to see the many nuanced layers of spray-painted designs evident when looked at up close. The body of work, called “Snap, swipe, send…” invites the viewer to view the digital from the physical world.

The final weeks on campus are often filled with reflection and rumination for students. ‘Plans Are Canceled’ encourages students to keep examining themselves, their choices, and their place in the world.




Gallery hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday until 8 p.m.; closed Monday. Free student admission 

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Contact: 315.443.4097 or

Participating artists: E. Garret Bryan, Perry Burlingame, Jason Cheney, Taylor Clock, Samantha Corbett, Jialun Deng, Rebecca Forstater, Rene Gortat, Leticia Hernandez, Adam Hutchinson, Megan King, Hollie Lyko, Salome Kokoladze, Sylvie Prendergast-Corvo, Jestenia Southerland, Jeremy Tarr, Louise Thompson, Jie Wang, Haotian Wu, Yilu Yang, Seok Wun Au Yong, Mark Zbikowski