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MFA Thesis Shows: "We Bring Our Lares With Us" by Kristy Childress and "Meat Space" by Nick Criscuolo

Meatspace promo image.

The Herter Art Gallery presents MFA Thesis shows by 3rd year graduate students in the Department of Art
Opening Reception: Wednesdaym April 3rd, 5 – 7 p.m. 

We Bring Our Lares With Us: The works in We Bring Our Lares With Us illustrate the connections between time, place, and memory, and, through our embodied experiences with each, we can then perceive a merging of past, present, future. The title of this exhibition has multiple connotations. Lares in ancient Rome, were the household deities or ancestor spirits that were worshipped for protection and to ensure the continuation of the family line. These existed alongside penates, which were the spirits of household objects. More recently, the phrase lares and penates came to simply mean one's physical possessions. When spoken aloud, lares may be heard as lairs or layers. The former brings to mind dwelling places, secret dens, and, in the case of my practice, the home. The latter impresses upon the viewer the many layers of history that exists within us and and which inform our identity and view of the world. In a sense, we bring the impressions and memories of every space that we have inhabited to new ones when we move, and these impressions compound upon one another so densely layered that it becomes difficult to distinguish between them.

Meat Space: The title “MeatSpace” is a term popularized in the early 90s. It refers to real life, as in contrast to Cyberspace. This body of work has to do with Artificial Intelligence and simulated environments, how they are being constructed, how A.I. sees and understands the real world, and how we judge it as a reflection of ourselves. This is explored through the manipulation of photogrammetry, volumetric video capture, procedural music generation, hand drawn animations made in virtual reality and a podcast which showcases conversations with ChatBots. Nick Criscuolo sees these as acts of collaboration and play with the digital world and it’s developing tools and inhabitants. These processes thread in and out of randomness and control, between meat space and the uncanny valley.

The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public as well as to all Five College students, faculty, and staff. Please join us on the opening night to meet and celebrate the artists and the curator.

The oldest exhibition space on campus, Herter Art Gallery is a significant landmark in the University’s commitment to public education as well as the cultural history of the region. It supports the teaching mission of the Department of Art, to which it belongs, by supporting, pioneering, and redefining contemporary art.

For further questions, please email, at

Department of Art Herter Art Gallery 125-A Herter Hall I University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003 I (413) 545-0976 Herter Gallery's regular hours are: Mon - Fri : 11A.M. – 4 P.M. and Sun: 1- 4 P.M. (closed Saturdays and state holidays)