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Opening Hands: 2023 Senior Thesis Exhibition

Not on view
3/14/2023 - 4/2/2023
Organizing institution: Mills College Art Museum

Opening Hands, the 2023 Senior Thesis Exhibition at Mills College at Northeastern University, features the work of graduating studio art majors, the senior thesis exhibition provides a unique opportunity for these artists to present their work in a professional art museum.

Presenting artists include Eloni Bickham, Kamryn Chadwick, Emma Doven, inin, Madeline Hsu, Kundavi Kannan, Lily Koch, Ava Lynch, Zoila Márquez, Sarah Phenix, and Julie Ana Williams. Experimenting with a range of forms and media from painting to sculpture and video, the artists in Opening Hands present work to help us imagine a path through trauma, find transformation in memory and nostalgia, and consider our place in the natural world.


Eloni Bickham unravels aspects of her identity as a queer black woman through acrylic, graphite, watercolor, and mixed-media pieces. She combines elements of storytelling, fantasy, and self- portraiture to create works that illustrate her internal dialogue and place her into roles that embody power and possibility.

Kamryn Chadwick uses painting and sculpture to navigate mental illness and trauma. She celebrates healing, learning, and growth, using her body physically in her art to work through emotions, PTSD, and depressive episodes.

Emma Doven works with wood, wool, and textiles to create sensually immersive sculptures that explore tension, primal energy, and the relationship between structure and softness. Using traditional, slow-paced craft techniques, her work blurs the distinction between functionality and art.

Madeline Hsu is a visual artist from Oakland, California who works with fabric and a camera to explore her place in the natural world, memories of childhood, and visceral joy.

inin is a multimedia artist who works primarily in traditional and digital painting and in photography. Her artwork externalizes her inner yearning for a sense of nostalgia and the appreciation of transformation.

Kundavi Kannan’s experimental work takes the form of projected digital art. Using inspiration from pop culture, she creates short animations and videos that are played in a continuous loop.

Lily Koch works primarily in ceramics to address loss, identity, growth, and memory. Her artwork act as self-portraiture realized through visual streams of consciousness.

Through painting and sculpture Ava Lynch explores identity, nostalgia, and how emotion can be preserved through objects of sentiment. Using motifs such as the human figure and iterating shapes, she constructs conceptual dreamscapes composed of saturated colors and bodily charm.

Zoila Márquez works across mediums—from ceramics to painting and textiles—to examine desire, sexuality, longing, touch, and the body as a site of memory. Employing autobiographical elements, and driven by a desire to reframe and re-examine intimate moments, Márquez imagines a path toward inhabiting a body shaped by trauma.

Sarah Phenix creates a world of her own through film, photography, ceramics, and painting. With the concept of devotion as a connecting thread, she shares thoughts on familial symbolism, loss, attachment, and hair.

Julie Ana Williams employs kozo paper and aluminum wire to create ethereal foundations for large sculptural lanterns that reflect the beauty, pattern, and philosophies of nature. The sculptures are lit internally and decorated with dyes, paint, and natural materials.


Opening Reception
Saturday, March 18, 2023
5:00-7:00pm, Art Museum

Meet the Studio Art Senior
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
12:00-2:00pm, Adams Plaza
Drop by Adams Plaza to meet some of our exhibiting senior studio art majors while they’re busy at work creating new art projects. See them work across painting, ceramics, photography, and sculpture.

Exhibition Images (81)

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