Congratulations Class of 2020!

It is an honor and a pleasure to congratulate the seniors whose final semester and senior thesis exhibition were so suddenly interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, they and their professors persevered, and it is clear from the work featured in this catalogue that their hard work paid off.

To watch our students develop their skills and ideas, refining and adjusting, sometimes discarding, moving through experimentation and discouragement to self-discovery, is wondrously rewarding. We watch them fill their quivers with the knowledge and confidence to build upon as artists and send them off to change minds, change hearts, change the world – in large and small ways.

The exceptional work in the 2020 Senior Thesis Catalogue explores personal and sometimes painful subject matter. The works use symbolism, allegory, and metaphor to question reality and memory as well as the complicated topics of disassociation, grief, and motherhood. I encourage everyone to watch the provocative videos the students created to discuss their work, and I thank them for sharing such thoughtful and self-revelatory reflections.

Paula Owen
Southwest School of Art


2020 Senior Thesis Exhibition Catalogue

As students of Southwest School of Art’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Program complete their rigorous studio education and prepare for graduation, the Senior Thesis Exhibition marks a point of transition. The exhibition, which presents a collection of works made across disciplines, represents not only the completion of a major educational accomplishment but also the beginning of the students’ independent creative practices moving their work from the familiarity of the classroom to the visibility of the public sphere.

Works by Ebony Coleman, Yenifer Gaviña-Franco, and Joey Rivera are featured.

Ebony Coleman 

For the last five years, Southwest School of Art has been my home and my family. It has been one of the hardest and most rewarding chapters in my life. I feel a great joy and sadness knowing that this is the end of my time as a student, but I am elated to think of what my future holds.

After graduation I plan to continue to explore furniture as both a medium and a household piece of art.

Yenifer Gaviña-Franco 

My time at Southwest School of Art has been an invaluable experience. The support and feedback from my peers, professors, and staff has not only provided me with greater understanding and skills, but a sense of family and community that I will always cherish. Words cannot express the gratitude to everyone that has made this journey possible.

In the unique circumstances that the class of 2020 is graduating under, I feel like now is a great time to spend some quality time with my family and in the studio. As soon as the circumstances allow, I plan on expanding my studio space and continue working on my art.

Joey Rivera 

My time at SSA has taught me to continue to explore ceramic techniques and history to learn and grow in my own work.

My plans after graduation are to get a teaching certificate and continue my studio practice.