Chaotic Good Part 2

A screenshot of a zoom screen with a grid of nine images, each one representing one MFA candidate in 2021.


March 27–April 10, 2021


Artist List

Felipe Shibuya

John Santomieri

DaVideo Tape

Sara Zak 

Related Exhibitions


American composer Stephen Sondheim once said, “Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.” The graduating students of the University at Buffalo Department of Art MFA program express that sentiment in the continuation of their exhibition, Chaotic Good.

In March of 2020, the same students worked with curator Tina Rivers Ryan on their first-year exhibition, but the COVID-19 crisis forced the exhibition to close the day it was planned to open. In an expression of how we’ve simultaneously come so far but also find ourselves in almost the exact same place, these artists will hold their MFA thesis exhibitions in the same gallery, under the same title.

Through two phases (March 27–April 10 and April 24–May 8), visitors are invited to bear witness to both the beauty and challenge the artists have found in one of the darkest times in recent history, as well as the rawest of emotions this past year has conjured up. Life, in the simplest of terms, is chaotic; the past year has proven just that but through it all inspiration and art prevail. 

Artist Bios

Felipe Shibuya (born 1987, São Paulo, Brazil) studied Ecology and Nature Conservation at the Federal University of Paraná, Brazil, where he earned his Ph.D. Currently, he is an MFA candidate in Studio Art at the University at Buffalo, working at the intersection between biology and art. Felipe is also a laboratory teaching assistant at the Coalesce: Center for Biological Art. In his scientific-artistic research, he always highlights the visuality of nature, such as the colors and shapes of bacteria. Shibuya’s work has been exhibited in the United States, Canada, Portugal, and Germany, and has citations published in magazines such as National GeographicCitylab, and Ecology.

John Santomieri is a plant-based, media artist practicing in Buffalo. His work integrates art, horticulture, and theory to conceptualize nonhuman representation and the interrelationships of human ecology. He is influenced by professional work in horticulture and public gardening, and his study of urban sociology at Tulane University, and the University at Buffalo where he received his BA and MFA, and SUNY Niagara where he received his AAS degree in horticulture.

Based in Buffalo NY, Dave Mosier (DaVideo Tape) is an MFA Candidate in the University at Buffalo Department of Art, where he is currently teaching Time-Based Concepts while taking programming and filmmaking courses in the historic Department of Media Study. Mosier is a New Media Producer at Open Signal: Portland Community Media Center in Portland, OR, and is a member of several collaborative artist groups. Previous residencies of note include Signal Culture’s Toolmaker, Researcher, and Artist Residencies (2014-2019), Houseguest Residency (2017), SPACENESS Residency (2018-2019), and the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Leland Ironworks Residency (2019). Mosier received the Golden Spot Award from the Ford Foundation in 2019. His work has been included in the Covid-19 Special Edition of Cornelia magazine, and he has exhibited worldwide including screenings at Limbo, Limbo Limbo, London, and on various cable access channels and at film festivals throughout the United States including the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR; Out of Sight, Seattle; University of Oregon’s Habitats curated by Jeff Jahn, Portland, OR; and the University at Buffalo Art Galleries curated by Tina Rivers Ryan.

Sara Zak is a candidate in the Studio Arts MFA program at the University of Buffalo. She holds BFA in Fine Arts, BA in Art History, and MA in Multidisciplinary Studies from Buffalo State College. Zak has paintings in the Burchfield Penney Art Center and Roswell Park Cancer Center collections. Solo exhibitions have been held at Peter A. and Mary Lou Vogt Gallery, Canisius College, Buffalo (2019); Castellani Art Museum, Lewiston (2016-17); and Starlight Studio and Art Gallery, Buffalo (2014). Zak has been awarded recognition from the Sustainable Arts Foundation (finalist) and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA Mark program).