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Vibrant Matter

15 September to 19 October 2023

Atrium Gallery, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University

co-curated with Lillian Pennypacker, SMFA '24


Vibrant Matter featured work by graduate and undergraduate students at SMFA that explores fundamental questions about how we understand what is alive and what is dead. Taking its title from political theorist Jane Bennett’s eponymous 2010 book, the exhibition included work that examines the energetic vitality in all things.


A meditative methodology weaved itself throughout the works in Vibrant Matter. Unanswered questions of impermanence, physical and emotional intimacy, and place and space permeate the works. Material choices are also central; from the shifting surfaces of handmade paper and ceramic glazes to the physicality of bodies in performance-based work.


The exhibition asked visitors to consider the rich and complex energies that reveal the coexistence of human and non-human forms. To ignite a new worldview, decentered from the human experience. To embrace “thingness,” the energy of non-organic materials that exists in and around us.

Artists: Kiana Beckmen, Kayla Falcone, Megan Hyde, Niko Krivanek, Rachel Lee, Wanjie Li, Olivia Maday, Lillian Pennypacker, Kailey Robinson, Kaylee Rose, William O. Valdes, Seirim Yoon


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