The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Edwin W. Zoller Gallery hosts Waiting for GPS Signal MFA Thesis Exhibition and Public Reception

Nouf Alhamdan

The Penn State School of Visual Arts’ (SoVA) Edwin W. Zoller Gallery is hosting Nouf Alhamdan’s MFA thesis exhibition, Waiting for GPS Signal, capturing Alhamdan’s journey from Saudi Arabia to the United States, and issues that she encountered along the way, including, identity, positionality, and global, as well as social and political. The exhibition will be on display Monday, March 24 through Friday, March 28, 2014. We invite you to attend the public reception Monday, March 24 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the gallery. Click here for a complete listing of Zoller Gallery events.

Alhamdan, originally from Saudi Arabia, will receive her Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in New Media from the Penn State School of Visual Arts. Receiving her undergraduate degree in Special Education, Alhamdan always had a passion for the visual arts, most especially New Media and filmmaking. “I attended the MFA program without any previous knowledge in Art, my bachelors was in Special Education, and this was one of the biggest challenges in my life,” said Alhamdan. Upon graduation, she plans to return to Saudi Arabia to teach at the collegiate level, and to one day earn her Ph. D.

The Master of Fine Arts degree is the terminal degree in the field and thus, the MFA Thesis Exhibition is the culmination of each student's creative research completed during their graduate studies. Students work closely with their faculty committee to develop a body of work that they exhibit in Zoller Gallery. Each MFA students also presents a public artist talk as part of the exhibition.

The Edwin W. Zoller Gallery is a non-profit exhibition space dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts and is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. during Fall and Spring semesters. Zoller Gallery was founded in 1971 and is located in the Visual Arts Building off Curtin Road adjoining the Palmer Museum of Art on the University Park campus. Public programming at Zoller includes artist lectures, visual art performances, artist residencies and interdisciplinary events. This facility was named for Edwin W. Zoller in recognition of his dedicated career as an artist and teacher.

Photo Caption: Positionality

Nouf Alhamdan: In this piece, I used text written by me to form a self portrait. The process of writing this text titled " where am I? " was one of the most emotional moments in my life. I recalled a lot of valuable memories, and it took me a lot of effort to decide what parts should I reveal in this story and what parts should remain private. Although the story was short, and simple, it had a huge impact on me. Being given the privilege to unclutter my thoughts by writing was a way that helped me overcome some communication issues, not only with people in the United States but with family and friends back home as well. This text turned out to be a metaphor that opened up new possibilities in talking about the issues that I am interested in, such as positionality, culture, gender, and globalization. And how those topics unfold other specific issues including but not limited to race and stereotype.