Have You Seen Me?: A Guide to Noticing and Understanding

Daniella Napolitano, MFA Thesis Exhibition

“Have You Seen Me?: A Guide to Noticing and Understanding” is an MFA thesis exhibition by Daniella Napolitano. It is a call to action for people to notice their animal neighbors and take the time to understand or appreciate them. 

The work in this exhibition is inspired by stories about sightings of animals that are so often associated with the city, they have been rendered invisible at best, a nuisance at worst. The stories have been exaggerated, made fantastical or humorous as an attempt to be more memorable and endearing to the viewer. By highlighting “ordinary,” urban animals in her work, she reminds the viewer that humans share a space with wildlife. Napolitano is influenced by nature books and field guides, likening her creative practice to that of a natural historian informed by ecology, biology and natural history research. She observes animals and plants, translating information into a “popular” rather than “scientific” form; visual narratives that incorporate observation-based information with a whimsical approach to animal behavior.

Famed natural historian Sir David Attenborough said, “An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfilment.” Napolitano hopes that viewers will leave this exhibition motivated to notice the animals around them and attempt to understand them better. If people begin to see urban wildlife as a part of nature, then they can find fulfillment in their everyday lives and be mindful of the world around them.

Exhibition Dates: May 2–12, 2022
Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 3, 5–7 p.m.
Gallery Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (gallery closes for lunch from noon—1 p.m.)

Image: "Just Passing Through (Papago Park)," 2022, linocut and laser engraved relief block on hand dyed Rives BFK, 24" x 36"

Mikey Foster Estes
School of Art
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Harry Wood Gallery