Visual Exhibition

The College of Art and Design's Virtual Visual Exhibition is a juried showcase of creativity for RIT's Graduate Education Week 2020. It represents exemplar work by students from graduate programs in all five of our schools. 

Best in Show

Rinoi Imada (Glass)

To be Decayed I

Medium: Glass, monoammonium phosphate

"Glassblowing is the one of essential parts of my art practice. It is labor intensive, and I need to have good communications with people who help me. However, I have a trauma to create works which involve huge help from others. The feeling could be a pressure to ask my needs, or I am simply scared how others react to me. This emotion motivated looking for the feeling I have toward people. I created the human figures with flameworking, then I used it as a core of crystal glowing. The process was happening in my studio, and I was drawn into the feeling of loneliness when I was observing the crystal. It is a spiky and fragile protection of myself, and hides my inner emotion from others." 

Mingshuo Li (Industrial Design)

Hawk Strike

Medium: Adobe Photoshop, camera, model foam, pencils, markers

"The inspiration came from eagle claws. In my design concept, this specially designed bionic sole gives adequate arch support. During movement, the sole cushions the pressure through dynamic deformation, a new attempt at structural cushioning and support."

View process work

Drew Slickmeyer (Furniture Design)

LUZ Stool

The "LUZ Stool" is an exercise in minimalism of form, material and production processes while still acknowledging, and even exploiting, the characteristics of a natural material such as wood. It is a product of offcuts and scraps, which dictated its size and ultimately the implementation of the arched leg structure. A simple and strong joint connects the two planes of the substructure, while 12 sets of magnets ensure a secure connection without visible hardware, all while still allowing for seasonal wood movement. A hand-rubbed oil finish protects and highlights the subtle figuring within the cherry lumber and completes the simple production process of the "LUZ Stool."

Robert Stone (Photography and Related Media)

Epilogue to Resonance

Medium: Archival pigment print

“In 'Epilogue to Resonance,' I was responding to the collective events contained within the early part of 2020. It was not one thing, but the emotions that encapsulated my being. My photographs are an extension and embodiment of myself. The heartbeat in the stillness, the reverberation of memory and time that we are forced to face in the presence of this collective anxiety. The mimicry of memory, and the melancholy of the pervading epidemic as we become still."

Personal website

Zhenhua Yu (Visual Communication Design)

Art Comes From Life

Medium: 3D

"This video is a main title I made for a series in my mind, a story about an artist who made his artistic sculptures from real life. I did some research about ceramics, and tried to represent some important part of the process with a horrible atmosphere. The whole video is rendered in Octane Render, and I made some edits in Adobe After Effects. The software I used for this video includes Cinema 4D for scene design, Blender for modeling, Maya for simple rigging, ZBrush for sculpture and Substance Painter for part of texture. A Cinema 4D named Realflow helped me to simulate the wet mud and blood in the scene. Also, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop were utilized for some 2D image (texture) asset designs."

Personal website


Below are the finalists, out of dozens of submissions, for the Virtual Visual Exhibition.

School for American Crafts

Hairuo Ding (Metals and Jewelry Design)

Shan-hai Ching

Medium: Paper, wood, resin, beads, thread, ink

"Shan-hai Ching is a Chinese classic text and a compilation of mythic geography and beasts. Versions of the text may have existed since as early as the fourth century BC, but the present form was not reached until the early Han dynasty a few centuries later. It is largely a fabulous geographical and cultural account of pre-Qin China as well as a collection of Chinese mythology. But nowadays, there are fewer and fewer people who know this book. I have a deep interest in the cultural history in this book, so according to the story, I spent lots of time painting them as my imaginary characters, like beasts, scenes, etc., using watercolor to give these words a new life. And this year, I tried to combine these paintings with jewelry. Each piece tells a story, using contemporary language to narrate it, so they can be rebirthed, even last forever."

Personal website

Ryan Zimmerman (Furniture Design)

Vessel Study: Interior Friend

Medium: Wood, glass

"This piece is one of a series of similar experimentations, in which I am exploring the organization and transition of components. I began designing and building the initial forms, inspired by industrial architecture, in wood and then cast plaster molds from them. The molds then served as building blocks that I could arrange in various compositions, to ideate three-dimensionally. The results were then slip cast in stoneware and soda fired."

Personal website

Ying Chiun Lee (Glass)

Eat the Words

Medium: video

In this artwork, Ying Chiun Lee played around with the “air quotes” gesture, the marking of a type of phrase that usually contains multiple meanings. For people with English as a second language, air quotes are more than just deciphering the surface of English. To understand it requires in-depth knowledge of the culture behind it. This video shows the artist cooking and eating a quote that she heard. During this process, a series of sensuous acts leads the viewers to the discovery of linguistic variations. By digesting the words within her body, would she truly get the meaning of the air quotes?

This is a collaborative piece by Lee and Matt Park.

School of Art

Eric Bohrer (Fine Arts Studio)

Antithesis Loop

Medium: Lino-cut prints

"I work within a newer-objectivity, a derisive acceptance of our bland reality. Forms serve to examine the conspicuous and persistent amount of brain power we give to mundane, useless information and interaction."

Personal website

Nickolas Viele (Fine Arts Studio)

Please Stand By

"'Please Stand By' explores the beauty of submission. As we all stare into the world confined by a box, I was interested in the relationship we share with this object. The soft glow causes us to forget that we are totally submitting to whatever message that is put before us. In a world dealing with an outcry of emotion, we need to look past the glitz and the glam to find truth in what we see."

Personal website

Yaoqin Xiao (Fine Arts Studio)

How Great the World is, How Lonely the Individual Will be

Medium: Digital photography

“The work is about relativity. Everything is relative, even time and space. The more a man explores the world, the more he knows his insignificance. The feeling of debility submerged me in front of nature, world, universe.  How great the world is, how lonely the individual will be.”

Unique Fair-Smith (Fine Arts Studio)


Medium: Screen printing

"My work with 'Hollow' seeks to give substance to our collective struggle for liberation, while serving as a tool to grapple with my dissonance as a Rochestarian in light of recent events. My entire life, the City of Rochester has expressed a fetishistic obsession with the symbol of Fredick Douglass. You can barely walk the city without seeing a statue, plaque, lampost, mural or building that evokes his memory. Our city uses them to signal progress, by associating with his legacy of abolition and justice. But in reality our city continues to oppress the exact people Douglass committed his life to liberating. In reality, the City of Rochester seems more committed to hollow effigies of his legacy than his principles."

Kerina Mangiaracina (Fine Arts Studio)


Medium: Wood, print, plates, Adobe Photoshop

"In my life as a child, wife, mother and artist, the issues related to relationships and connections to others have defined the parameters of my journey. Bonds that link or separate us, desire, privilege, tribulation and solace have all played a critical role. I am focusing on the desires of my own ego versus the needs of all others in the relationships that define my past and present. My work conveys the discoveries and connections that define my passage as an artist and a mother."

School of Design

Wei Wei Lin (Integrative Design)


Medium: 3D Rendering

"The new idea of the lipstick bottle, using the classic leather sofa button feature on the bottle. Create a high-quality touch experience. The light red leather and semi-matte metal feature created a luxury vibe. Also, the leather's color can represent lipstick's colors."

Personal website

Elizabeth Hiler (Visual Communication Design)


Medium: Mixed Media

"This poster series was an exploration of the emotional and mental toll that quarantine has on an inherently social, communicative species. With the influence of postmodern design and employing a range of mediums, I wanted to investigate how within structure, chaos can bloom."

Pranav Shinde (Visual Communication Design)

Art Museums in NYC

Medium: Print

"Inspired by the iconic artist Piet Mondrian's "Broadway Boogie Woogie,” I chose to highlight the art museums in NYC. The artwork uses iconic simplified shapes to depict the essence of the mystical forces and the color palette depicts a unique balance of primary colors. My approach highlights the style of Piet Mondrian to make a meaningful impact on data representation. Finding a fine balance between aesthetics and readability is my utmost priority."

Zihao Li (Visual Communication Design)


Medium: Cinema 4D

"This was a project in my 3D Modeling class. The project was to do some hard-surface modelling. I always like little groovy, cute things in my daily life, so I wanted my robot not to be sharp, but friendly and lovely. That was the reason why I chose to set up such pink lighting. I started with mood boards, but I skipped the sketches and just dove into Cinema 4D. The first version was simpler than the final one, then my professor gave me some helpful advice, and I continued to work on modeling and materials to make more details."

Olivia Zhu (Visual Communication Design)

Smart Editing

Medium: Figma, Adobe After Effects

"Smart Editing is a photo editing tool made for Instagram users to help improve their photo editing experience. The goal is to build up on what Instagram has, and to take its user experience to the next level by adding a background editing function to better assist the users. Therefore, I propose to design a totally free, easy to navigate, user-friendly photo editing tool to help the Instagram users with their image background."

Xiangyu Han (Visual Communication Design)

The Forest King

"A title sequence project for a children's story written by Selma Peña Arenzana. I wanted to create a scene of a fairy tale. The moral of this story is to alert children about harm from adults. The work starts from the page turning, like telling the story. The scenes through daytime are about the children’s houses, the school and a plaza for get-togethers. And the scenes through nighttime are the dark castle. I made the star track to add some fairy-tale feel."

View process work

Harendar Pharswan (Visual Communication Design)


Medium: Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D

"'Everything you can imagine is real.' - Pablo Picasso. Animation is inspired by this quote. One can say that reality is only apparent to us, as individuals, because we are conscious of it. And since consciousness can be considered a product of thought, we can say that reality, in a sense, is a product of thought. So one could say that our thoughts create our reality, and reality encompasses what is real, hence our thoughts create what is real. Imagination is a form of thought, and if reality can be considered a form of thought then we can equate imagination with reality, and so we can say that everything you can imagine is real, because by imagining it we are bringing it into reality."

Pallavi Singh (Visual Communication Design)

Pink Parasites: Kinetic Typography

Medium: Digital Motion Graphics

"This short film uses kinetic typography based on a poem written by my sister — titled 'Pink Parasites.' The poem is centered around the concept of peer pressure that is metaphorically written as 'Pink Parasites' — pink as it is an inevitably attractive color and parasites as they slowly consume us from inside. The peer pressure that we succumb to most of the time leads to loss of identity and individuality, eventually making us someone who's just a part of the herd. I wanted to use color, form and typography in an abstract tone to create a visual and aural cacophony to communicate the message while making it emotionally and psychologically charged to reflect the discomfort, anxiety, worthlessness and desolation."

Personal website

Yinting Fan (Visual Communication Design)

Clear Castle

Medium: Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop and Premiere Pro

"Today, many families have their smart home systems, such as Google Nest, Amazon Alexa and Samsung SmartThings. People can control their home electronic devices, lighting and security systems through their smart terminals or mobile phones. But what if these devices break down? What if there is a problem with the infrastructure of the house itself? Before repairing or replacing damaged parts, people will have to face long waiting times and multiple visits by maintenance technicians. 'Clear Castle' aims to solve these problems. 'Clear Castle' is a system for the householder to know their home clearly. With 'Clear Castle,' users can directly see how the infrastructure of the house works, such as electrical, plumbing and heating systems. When any issue happens, 'Clear Castle' can use a hologram to guide the users to fix the problem step by step."

Personal website

School of Film and Animation

TingYu Chang

Fire Eats

Medium: 2D Animation

"The dragon starts his delivery journey to complete his important mission. I used Clip Studio Paint for this animation. During pre-production I drew some concept art, character designs, background designs and the animatic. After I finished my animatic, I searched for a composer to work with. For the production part, I began with a rough drawing. The final steps were clean-up and coloring."

View pre-production process images

Personal website

Zhu Zhang (Film and Animation)

The Essence of Forest

Medium: Glass

"This is handmade glasswork to present its reflection, specular and refraction in the sun. The top and bottom texture match the moss and water, and the main texture in the middle stands for the mix of earth and trees. A symbol of life and nature.

"My inspiration for the piece came from the colorful forests of New York. In order to accomplish the color layers, I used crystal melted glass to shape the main body, then added two more layers in the middle and the top. The key to achieving the variations of glass is to melt the different color layers at the right timing. Finally, polishing it in the cold shop is also critical to get a smooth and reflective surface."

Mattea Guldy and Youmee Lee (Film and Animation)

Reviving the Lost Art of Alchemy

Medium: Mixed Media (sand, paper cutout, paint and charcoal)

"For this project, we were required to use five animation techniques: sand, charcoal, paint on glass, stop motion and drawn on film. This animation was inspired by the history of alchemy (the transformation of substances, like fire changing into water) and elements: sun, moon, earth, fire and water. We wanted to embody alchemical characteristics through animation techniques we had at hand. The beginning and ending are based on both the cycle of life and The Alchemist, a novel about a boy who visits the Great Pyramids.