"Maia Lynch: In Between" explores transition, periphery and identity

SMFA at Tufts Traveling Fellow and alumna Maia Lynch explores contemporary identity through varied media in exhibit at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Maia Lynch

BOSTON and MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (March 26, 2018)—Emerging artist Maia Lynch explores the fragmentary nature of contemporary identity through painting, ceramics and video in "Maia Lynch: In Between." The new exhibition will be on view from March 31 to Sept. 16, 2018 in the Eunice and Julian Cohen Galleria (Gallery 268) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA).

A 2013 Master of Fine Arts graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (SMFA at Tufts), Lynch received an SMFA Traveling Fellowship in 2016 that sponsored her travel to Japan and enabled her to explore the themes at the center of this exhibit.

Born and raised on the U.S. east coast, Lynch spent time as a child in Shikoku, her mother's birthplace. The fellowship allowed for her to return to Shikoku, the smallest and least populated of Japan's four main islands.

Primarily a painter, Lynch spent time in 2017 at the Togei Center in Imbe, Bizen City, the site of one of Japan's six ancient ceramic kilns. Seeing a mountain of discarded ceramic shards near a now-dormant kiln, Lynch realized it represented a burial mound holding both the past and the present.

"I left [Japan] with a sense of having time-traveled," said Lynch about her time on fellowship. "[There is] a sense of belonging to two different places that cannot be physically or psychologically reconciled."

The paintings, ceramics and video on view raise questions about center versus periphery, unsettled identities, what it feels like to belong to multiple communities and the potential of what is unfixed. 

"Drifting Gate" by Maia Lynch, Gouache on paper. (Reproduced with permission. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)"Drifting Gate" by Maia Lynch, Gouache on paper. (Reproduced with permission. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Through her work, Lynch suggests that transitional states and emotions are part of the fabric of contemporary identity.

Inherent in all of her art are ideas of loss, grief, trauma, birth, renewal, dislocation and growth. The past enters into conversation with the present, bringing with it the potential for grief as well as transformation.

Established in 1899, the SMFA Traveling Fellows program awards funds to select artists for post-graduate work and travel. Ten SMFA at Tufts alumni are selected by a jury to receive a $10,000 grant to use for travel, research or other expenses related to their work. The year culminates in the selection of one artist for a solo exhibition at the MFA. Lynch was selected for the solo show in 2017.

2017 SMFA Traveling Fellow Georgie Friedman has been selected for the next MFA solo show, to open in spring 2019. Friedman, a 2008 SMFA at Tufts alumna, traveled to Antarctica where her goal was to experience, observe, and record the region's shrinking boundaries.

The MFA is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, representing all cultures and time periods. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia; Art of Africa and Oceania; Art of the Ancient World; Prints and Drawings; Photography; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. For more information about museum hours and admission, call 617.267.9300, visit mfa.org, or follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Maia Lynch: In Between
Eunice and Julian Cohen Galleria (Gallery 268)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston
March 31 – September 16, 2018
Hours: Saturday–Tuesday 10 am – 5 pm; Wednesday–Friday 10 am–10 pm



About the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts was established in 1876 as part of the Museum of Fine Art’s mission to educate through the arts. After a more than 70-year relationship with Tufts University, it officially became part of Tufts' School of Arts and Sciences in July 2016. The SMFA at Tufts is extraordinary in being affiliated with a world class museum and part of a major research university. Tufts, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.

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