Curatorial Statement

by Rebecca Werntz, BFA Integrated Design Class of 2021

Very few things in life are guaranteed the way we can rely on each new day bringing with it another sunrise. We depend on the life-giving rays to pierce the skyline each morning and without fail, they do. With the world’s current health crisis, it sometimes feels as though we’ve been left in the unexpected darkness of a total eclipse. Four years ago, in August of 2017, as many of us first began our journey at Parsons, we experienced an incredible solar eclipse. It served as a reminder of our own corporeality, like catching your reflection on a window. Something is changing in the world now, and its effects can be witnessed rippled and reflected across every individual life in our global community. As this great loss casts a shadow on the future, it’s become a collective challenge to make the best of what we have. As students, artists, designers, and thinkers, we’ve had many crucial things missing from our typical processes, but we’ve also been given the chance to re-discover, experiment, and innovate. There is hope that the sun is just behind it’s breaking point, and will emerge even brighter than it once was. It’s within our nature as creatives to want to be a part of that change. 

As we witness this global tidal shift we must consider the cause as well as the damage. From the individual to the collective, the need for healing is eminent. This need is something we find mirrored in each other despite diversity. With such variety in backgrounds both culturally and in methodology, we are a class with many perspectives to share. It is this need for healing which has undeniably connected us. Some are here to aid in the need of their communities, and some are sharing their own personal journeys. You’ll find everything from wearable art and fashion, digital awareness campaigns, educational workshops, to spatial design pieces in this collection. These works explore artful methods of thought, therapy, collaboration, communication, resourcefulness, documentation, empowerment, and much more.  

This class has accomplished something uniquely demanding, by managing to rise through the prolonged darkness. The challenge of working remotely for the entirety of our most important showcase and all of its development has amplified the need for adaptability, cooperation, and compassion. Many works have had to adjust to the circumstances, and others have persevered despite an incompatible platform. We have created an experience, both physical and virtual, which aims to connect us all through a universal verity. Though our perspectives may vary, we see the same sun. Consider this juncture as both a by-product of the time, and a triumph of it. We hope to serve as a reminder of resilience, just as the sun will always return despite nature’s obstacles.