AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University integrated visual arts graduate student Amenda Tate will share her master of fine arts thesis exhibition, “Situational Identities: This and Something Else,” in the College of Design’s Gallery 181.

The exhibition will be available to view from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14 through Friday, Nov. 17 and Monday, Nov. 27 through Friday, Dec. 1. A closing reception will be from 5–7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. Gallery 181 will be closed Nov. 20–24.

Combining art and technology

“Situational Identities: This and Something Else” is an open invitation to examine the complex nature of constructing our identity in a technologically mediated world, Tate says. The interactive exhibition includes new media art systems like custom-designed software, webcams, digital images and audio to combine and respond to the physical presence and movement of visitors in these participatory and interdisciplinary artworks. The viewer becomes the performer while interacting with her exhibition — collaborating with both the artist and the machine.

“My work explores how participatory art can cross societal divides, break down barriers and increase empathy through tangible and embodied interactions,” Tate says. “I believe in and encourage public participation in the performative and improvisational creation of collaborative artwork as a means to explore social structures and confirm connections to being emotionally intelligent humans.”

About the artist

Tate completed her bachelor of fine arts in jewelry design and and metalsmithing at Metropolitan State University of Denver in Colorado. The award-winning artist is an Iowa Creative Incubator Fellow and was 2019-2020 Iowa Arts Council Fellow. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Denver Post, The Des Moines Register and Better Homes & Gardens, among other publications.

Tate’s short film “Sapient 2.021” explores labor, empathy and humanity in a tech-saturated world. The film has received a number of awards, including Best STEAM Film at the New Media Festival in Los Angeles and Best Film for Combining Dance and Technology at the Espoo Digi-Dance International Film Festival in Espoo, Finland.

Tate is an instructor of record teaching a digital media course. She also taught a first-year design studio course and worked as a graduate research assistant in the Digital Accessibility Lab for Iowa State’s Information Technology Services. Additionally, she is the docent educator in the museum education department at the Des Moines Art Center.

Tate is concurrently working on her master of science in human computer interaction. She will graduate with her MFA in integrated visual arts in December.


Amenda Tate, Integrated Visual Arts and Human Computer Interaction graduate student,
Lauren Johnson, College of Design Communications Specialist,