SoVA alum Devan Shimoyama (B.F.A., 2011), currently an M.F.A. candidate at Yale University, was selected to be featured in New American Paintings #105, 2013 (the M.F.A. Annual issue). His work is on the cover. Featured artists were selected by Dominic Molon, chief curator, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri. The M.F.A. Annual, one of the most highly anticipated issues, includes artists who have completed their M.F.A. studies within the last year, or are current M.F.A. candidates. More than 100 art schools from all over the country were represented in this competition.
The painting is actually about the transition between my undergraduate experience and graduate school at Yale University. I worked on that painting for an oddly long and drawn-out time until I felt that it was a finished piece, and I made the final move on it here at Yale after working on it off and on throughout the summer while still in State College. Having this painting on the cover is an amazing feeling, as it sort of validates my current studio practice to an extent. That painting launched my work into a completely new and exciting direction, where I have played and experimented with a variety of materials and explored my own conceptual ideas. I'm so thankful to have had such a wonderful undergraduate experience because of the amazing support of the faculty at Penn State. When a student has the drive, the professors at Penn State really make it their goal to guide them in the right direction and ensure that said student is provided with plenty of reading material, artists to research and even studio visits with visiting artists/lecturers. All of this really helped me to grow as a thinker and an artist. The faculty at Penn State truly care about their students. I've kept in touch with most of them and keep them up-to-date about my accomplishments and the progress of my work in the studio.
Recently, I was also the recipient of the Al Held Prize, in which Yale University School of Art selects two students to attend a month-long residency in Rome, Italy, at the American Academy. While there, I'll have the opportunity to attend the Venice Biennale. I'm provided a studio and a suite at the American Academy, a materials allowance, and my flight tickets are paid for, so I'm able to freely travel and explore the city of Rome and really soak in the art as well as the general atmosphere--inevitably this experience will have an effect on my work! I'm extremely honored to have received this prize and I cannot wait to really take full advantage of this experience!