Senior thesis spotlight: “Move”

Debut of Alicia de la Piedra’s senior visual arts thesis exhibition


On her aesthetic:

“When I thought about my thesis, in my head it was something that was supposed to be an example of what I’ve become as an artist. I’ve noticed in my design that I’m very minimalist, and I value a lot of simple concepts in my aesthetic. A year ago, when I started this project, I realized that it encompassed everything I believed in design, even though it wasn’t design. It’s who I am as an artist.”

On her influences:

“I really value Stefan Sagmeister’s work and how he presents ideas in the form he feels they need to be presented in. I felt that the idea of the power of simplicity was very obvious in this work versus my designs, which I have to explain more. I chose to just go for it and do a photography exhibition. I’m proud of it.”

On titling the work:

“The title is ‘Move’ because that was my one word command that I used when taking the pictures. I gave [the subjects] a little background of what the project was, what it stood for, and why I was doing it, and gave them the frame they could move within however they liked. Then, I literally said, ‘Alright, move.’ I didn’t want to give them too much direction because I wanted it to show who they are, rather than me directing them. I thought ‘Move’ was so fitting [as the title] because it’s the one thing I did say to [the subjects] and everyone interpreted it in his or her own way.”

On her four years of visual arts:

“I came in with a lot of design background, and I thought I was really confident in the direction that I was going. I think that played to my advantage, and I was able to explore a lot. What I’ve grown into and realized is that who I am as a designer and who I am as an artist, which are two different things, is actually the same person. I’ve championed that in my thesis, and it makes the work more important and special to me; it’s the finish line of my four years. I’ve struggled with the distinction between artist and designer and what my aesthetics are in each.”


Kelly Kennedy, Feature Editor