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April 29, 2015

Cleveland Institute of Art graduating students show final artwork in public exhibition May 8 and 9

Contact: Ann McGuire
Director of Communications, CIA

CLEVELAND (Ohio) – One of Cleveland’s largest and most varied art happenings of the year, Cleveland Institute of Art’s BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) Exhibition, opens to the public for two days this month. Approximately 100 separate exhibitions of artwork created by graduating CIA seniors will be on public view in CIA’s Euclid Avenue complex on Friday, May 8, from 5:30-10pm, and Saturday, May 9, from 10am–5pm. The BFA celebration is also open to the public on Friday, May 8, 5:30-8:30pm. Admission to the exhibitions and celebration is free.

CIA students spend months developing their BFA thesis exhibitions as capstone projects required for gradation. With the guidance of a faculty committee, each graduating student creates a body of work, and then a gallery space in which to display the work. After a week of faculty reviews, the exhibitions are opened to the public.

The work is as varied as CIA’s majors, which are Animation, Biomedical Art, Ceramics, Drawing, Game Design, Glass, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Jewelry + Metals, Painting, Photography + Video, Printmaking, and Sculpture + Expanded Media. This year’s thesis projects include a display illustrating bird flight, a video of one student’s 11-hour glass-blowing marathon, and a re-branding project for the International Woman’s Air & Space Museum.

“The BFA thesis exhibition is the most important assignment that a CIA student undertakes,” said CIA President Grafton Nunes. “It’s a body of work, the result of months of research and artistic exploration to create a powerful visual narrative. Creating the BFA exhibition launches the young artist’s or designer’s professional career. And seeing more than 100 of these exhibitions together is just a thrilling art experience for our friends and the general public.”

Bruce Checefsky, director of CIA’s Reinberger Galleries, chairs the annual BFA organizing committee. “The individual BFA thesis exhibitions represent the best work, the best thinking and research and making, that our students produce after four years of a fine arts education at a very high level. Collectively, these exhibitions form one fabulous but very short-lived art fair.”

Adding to the excitement of the Friday evening reception, at 8pm Nunes will announce the winners of the 2015 President's Traveling Scholarships. These are the cash awards that annually enable six CIA graduates to travel after graduation and pursue special projects that they have described in formal proposals.

CIA’s Euclid Avenue complex – comprising the Joseph McCullough Center for the Visual Arts and the adjoined, newly constructed George Gund Building – is at 11610 Euclid Avenue. Limited free parking is available in the CIA parking lots on the east and south sides of the complex and at CIA’s original Gund Building at 11141 East Boulevard (no exhibitions will be on view in this building, however). For public parking options, go to

About CIA
Founded in 1882, Cleveland Institute of Art is an accredited, independent college of art and design with 15 majors in studio art, digital art, craft disciplines, and design. CIA extends its offerings to the public through gallery exhibitions; lectures; robust continuing education courses; and the Cinematheque, a year-round art and independent film program. CIA is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. For more information visit

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