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Master of fine arts (M.F.A.) candidates in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) are presenting the thesis exhibition “Steady/Retcon” two weekends in May at the Syracuse University Governors Island House: May 6-8 and May 20-22.

Curated by Laura Dvorkin ’06, “Steady/Retcon” features the work of 17 M.F.A. candidates from VPA’s School of Art (studio arts and illustration programs), School of Design, and Department of Film and Media Arts. A reception will be held on Saturday, May 7, from 3-6 p.m.

Traditionally a literary and cinematic technique, “retcon” is the abbreviation of “retroactive continuity” and refers to a new piece of information introduced to a story that alters the interpretation of a previously established narrative. “Retcon” is not just employed in a fictional context, read in a book or viewed on a screen but experienced in the world around us. In the current climate, we are absorbing new information constantly (like it or not!), and it is challenging the way we see everything—day to day, hour to hour. Our internal database is developing at record speed. What was recognized as commonplace merely a year ago is being reexamined, and at times, by the entire world in unison.

The artists in this exhibition are evaluating and reframing their personal histories, traditional standards of art-making and history as a whole. While in everyday life, the constant introduction of so-called “facts” and opinions appear erratic; the investigations held within the artworks in the exhibition are much more intentional, slower-paced, steady. They are careful and curious assessments removed from the web of media and into meticulously presented ideas.

titleCaveat Emptor: Etsy in the Art World

Exhibition dates: March 4 through April 3, 2022
Reception: April 11, 5-7 p.m. 

SYRACUSE —  A new exhibit at Sue and Leon Genet Gallery explores the role that the online marketplace Etsy plays (or will play) in the art world through what is considered ‘fine art.’

Caveat Emptor: Etsy in the Art World  aims to present the historical prevalence and popularity of mass-produced objects, as well as how online platforms such as Etsy offer a departure from traditional work made for the masses. Curated by Molly Wight ‘22, a Museum Studies graduate student at Syracuse University, the exhibition is the culmination of independent study and research that showcases several artists including Andy Warhol, Winslow Homer, Japanese woodblock prints and selections from the curator’s personal collection.

The exhibition will be on view at the Sue and Leon Genet Gallery, located on the first floor of the Nancy Cantor Warehouse from March 4th through April 3, 2022. A reception will be held April 11th, at 5-7pm.

‘Caveat Emptor’ examines not only how artists who market their artwork on Etsy interact with the art world, but also the precedent for mass-produced art and how Etsy art shares similarities, but also has differences from types of art like ukiyo-e prints and Alphonse Mucha’s Art Nouveau posters. Artwork that is marketed on Etsy is contemporary art in that it is created by living artists, but it is very different from the kind of contemporary art that most museums collect.