Dirt, rust, and non-girl stuff

Master of Fine Arts Exhibition 2022

April 22 - May 28, 2022
Curator: Victoria Carballo

MFA Graduate Exhibition Webpage Image

Images: Views of the Dirt, Rust, and Non-Girl Stuff exhibition in the Schmidt Center Gallery Space


Dirt, Rust, and Non-Girl Stuff explores identity, mental health, and tradition. Considering the customs of my Cuban heritage, I choose materials and processes that reflect conventions related to gender identity, expression, and craft. These subjects are represented via assemblages that exist as stand-alone sculptures and installations. Each piece is composed of materials and objects chosen based on their physical characteristics and associations to craft or notions of traditional gender norms. The work hints to the viewer through metaphors created by material choice, found object associations and the placement of each element. Each fragment of material represents a part of my identity. The porcelain acts as a metaphor for my body, often breaking, cracking, and shattering. Its fragility requires mending, stitching, and repair to become something or someone else. The crochet elements reference the women’s gender roles and femininity that my parents yearned for me to exhibit. The metal tools and rusted objects are representative of the more masculine roles I took on to fulfill my father’s need for a son. The work often exhibits the precarity, the needed repairs, or additions of femininity to the otherwise masculine materials to turn a too masculine body into a more feminine one. The arrangements are not motivated by order or beauty, but by the tension caused by the divide between who I am and who I am expected to be.

The 2022 annual Masters of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) exhibition features the work of Prock and Rutherford. Both have completed the requirements for the degree in Florida Atlantic University's Department of Visual Arts and Art History. An M.F.A. is the terminal degree in studio art disciplines and is designed to further the conceptual development, aesthetic presentation, technical skill, and career goals of M.F.A. candidates. This exhibition is a collaborative effort of the Department of Visual Arts and Art History and the University Galleries, School of the Arts, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.