FAU Exhibition Features Graduates from the Department of Visual Arts and Art History in the “2021 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition”

Boca Raton, FL – Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters presents the “2021 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition” featuring works by two graduating Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) candidates, Katie Prock and Kaila Rutherford. The exhibition will be presented in the Schmidt Center Gallery, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus from Thursday, April 22 through Thursday, May 27. The exhibition will continue until Tuesday, Friday, July 30, but will be available by appointment only by calling the University Galleries Office at 561-297-2661. The exhibition is free and open to the public. FAU requires that visitors to campus wear face coverings at all times and physical distancing must be observed at all indoor and outdoor events and gatherings. The number of visitors allowed in the gallery at any one time will be limited to a maximum of 10 people.

The MFA degree in studio art at FAU is a terminal degree that requires three years of full-time attendance. The MFA is required for most university teaching positions and is offered at hundreds of universities throughout the United States. 

 Rutherford will exhibit several works from “Deconstructing Cartography,” a series of mixed media collages combining maps, colored inks, and thin laser cut wood. Her use of cartography and mapping structures investigates memories and human relationships with place and location. All of the works employ collaged or dissected maps as a base upon which the artist adds abstract and free flowing ink pours that suggest a contrast between the physical and natural environment and the regulated and precise details of maps. Rutherford deconstructs classical modes of representation through cartography by placing an emphasis on personal experiences, narratives and storytelling.

For the exhibition, Rutherford will present a new work involving a laser-cut roadway image with projected light casting a shadow into a corner of the gallery. Rutherford’s works explore and question human attempts to navigate or make sense of the natural and built world through diverse mapping structures contrasted by her abstraction and embellishment of topography, waterways, shadows and roadmaps.

Prock will present several works from “Yesterday We Were Girls,” an ongoing project that explores her past within a strict Mennonite family and community. Prock combines photographs from her family albums with current images she creates of the women and domestic environments of her childhood memories. In this intimate body of work, Prock alters her photographs by adding and removing visual and written information. Through fragmenting, tearing and sewing back together, she reveals the disjointed sensations and selectivity of memory. These interventions serve as prompts for poetic prose that she handwrites on the collaged works. Focusing on mother-daughter relationships and ancestral female bonds, these hybrid works invite reexamination of the cheerful veneer depicted in traditional images of girls, families and domestic life. Simultaneously, the works express the isolation and grief that exist beneath the performed perfection of the artist’s family photographs, allowing Prock to rewrite her story and encouraging viewers to reclaim their own internal narratives.

FAU’s University Galleries are open Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. School and group tours can be scheduled by appointment by contacting Ashley Utley at UGMuseumEd@fau.edu. The Schmidt Center Gallery is located in the Performing Arts building (building #51), near the Living Room Theaters. Daytime visitors must obtain a temporary one-day parking pass online for $5 at http://parking.fau.edu to park in Parking Garage 2 for Schmidt Center Gallery. There are also parkmobile mobile app meters in the parking lot just north of the entrance to Parking Garage 2 that only accept credit or debit card payment.

University Galleries exhibitions and programs are supported by the Isadore and Kelly Friedman University Galleries Fund; Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs and Florida Council on the Arts; and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Museum Education programs are made possible in part by the Kaye Arts Integration Endowment.

For more information, call 561-297-2661, email galleries@fau.edu or visit


About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across six campuses located along the southeast Florida coast. In recent years, the University has doubled its research expenditures and outpaced its peers in student achievement rates. Through the coexistence of access and excellence, FAU embodies an innovative model where traditional achievement gaps vanish. FAU is designated a Hispanic-serving institution, ranked as a top public university by U.S. News & World Report and a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

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