MFA Students Get Fresh Connections, Major Exposure at National Wet Paint Exhibition in Chicago

Posted May 9, 2018 in MFA Painting, Student, Master of Fine Arts

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) MFA students Angelica Hay, Anna Schierbeek, and Katie Toepp were recently selected from a nation-wide pool of graduate student artists to participate in the 2018 National Wet Paint MFA Biennial in Chicago.

The annual juried exhibition focuses on emerging artists across the United States that are currently MFA candidates and/or recent MFA recipients working in the medium of painting—hence the name “wet paint,” which also refers to the fact that this is a group of young, fresh artists. It’s also an exclusive group, as only 38 paintings were chosen out of over 250 submissions.

“Being included in this year’s Wet Paint MFA Biennial was very rewarding as an emerging artist,” Toepp remarks. “Aside from the honor of having my work shown alongside some fantastic MFA candidates from across the country, the exhibition allowed me to feature my work in Chicago and form some lasting professional connections.”Toepp’s featured piece “Figure B” is one of her set of two paintings that serve as an exploration of an artist’s process of reading an image.

Painting in the abstract style"Figure B" by Katie Toepp (image courtesy of the artist)

Toepp’s featured piece, “Figure B,” is one of her pair of paintings that explore an artist’s process of reading an image.

“While ‘Figure A’ records individual stages—notations of information—derived from an image,” she explains, “it is ‘Figure B’ that produces a singular realized abstraction.”

In this study, Toepp examines and addresses her own logic as an artist in the process of developing an abstraction.

Hay’s piece, “An Emptiness Still Leaves a Space,” speaks to her larger body of work, which focuses on the “affective and biological relationship between identity and reproduction,” using scientific imagery to explore larger patterns of how we view the world and ourselves.

 Painting of a woman sitting on a bed"An Emptiness Still Leaves a Space” by Angelica Hay (image courtesy of the artist)


“I’m really excited to have been included,” Hay added, “The opportunity to meet other MFA students from across the country was invaluable.”

Schierbeek echoed a similar pride: “I am so honored to have been able to show with so many talented artists from across the country,” she says. “It was just a great reminder to keep pushing myself more and more every day.”

Painting in the abstract style"Immanence" by Anna Schierbeek (image courtesy of the artist)

Schierbeek’s piece “Immanence” is an exploration of private versus public experiences, or as Schierbeek describes, “an energy that occurs that we can feel, but cannot see.”

“So much of our lives goes unseen by others, but we can feel it within ourselves,” she elaborates. “I am trying to bring our ineffable experiences, such as thoughts and feelings, into the tangible world through marks and lines.”


All the works included the exhibition are available to view online at

Learn more about KCAD’s MFA Painting program.