2024 Undergraduate Exhibition

Mar 27 – Apr 19, 2024

Closing Reception: April 19, 2022, 5:00 – 8:00 PM

The 2024 Department of Art, Art History, and Design Undergraduate Exhibition marks an important achievement for our student exhibitors. This annual exhibition is our chance to celebrate the work of our students with their friends, family, and our community. These students continue a long history preceded by thousands of alumni who have shown in past Undergraduate Exhibitions at MSU. Centered in a learning environment that values the development of personal vision, critical inquiry, and philosophical reflection, undergraduate students across all disciplines make intellectual and artistic discoveries. This exhibition features a sampling of coursework from Apparel & Textile Design, Ceramics, Comic Art & Graphic Novels, Drawing, Electronic Art & Intermedia, Graphic Design, Photography, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture.

Rita Mawuena Benissan, Guest Juror

Rita Mawuena Benissan, a Ghanaian-American interdisciplinary artist, is on a mission to reimagine the royal umbrella, transforming it from a mere protective object into a potent symbol of Ghanaian identity. With a profound passion for art and cultural history, Rita collaborates with traditional artisans to breathe life into archival photos, immortalizing individual figures and communal scenes while embodying the beauty and power of her people.

Born in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire in 1995 to Ghanaian parents, Rita’s journey led her to the United States as a baby, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Apparel and Textile Design from Michigan State University in 2017, followed by a Master of Fine Arts in photography and an African Studies Program Certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2021.

In 2020, Rita established Si Hene, a foundation dedicated to preserving Ghana’s chieftaincy and traditional culture, leaving a significant mark on Ghana’s artistic and historical narratives. Through her foundation, she played a pivotal role in the reopening of the National Museum of Ghana in 2022 and served as the Chief Curator at the Institute Museum of Ghana (Noldor Artist Residency) until 2022. Furthermore, Rita served as the artistic director for the Open Society Foundation’s Restitution Conference in Accra, demonstrating her commitment to cultural preservation and representation.

Benissan’s works have been showcased in galleries and institutions internationally, including Dortmund U in Germany (2021), Dak’Art – Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain (2022), and Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York (2023), Piccadilly Lights in the United Kingdom (2023). Her solo exhibition, “In the World Not of the World,” curated by Ekow Eshun at Gallery 1957 in Accra [2023], stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication to rewriting the narrative of Ghanaian identity through beauty and strength.

For more information about Rita Mawuena Benissan, please visit her website.