Above: Antoinette Liguori Sirianni, detail of The Ocean is “Away,” 2020single-use plastics, approx. 6’ x 3.5’.

Philadelphia, PA  Six candidates in Moore College of Art & Design’s Graduate Studies program in Socially Engaged Art present their work in the 2021 MFA + MA Thesis Exhibition Saturday, April 10 to Saturday, April 24, 2021, at The Galleries at Moore, 1916 Race Street, located on The ParkwayThis event is free and open to the public by reservation only and is ADA accessible. Reservations of up to four people per hour may be made using this link. 

The 2021 MFA + MA Thesis Exhibitionon view in the Goldie Paley Gallery, provides a glimpse into the issues that Moore’s talented graduate students in the MFA in Socially Engaged Studio Art and MA in Socially Engaged Art programs are currently exploring, including plastics pollution, Black hair and belonging, food culture and ancestry of the Great Migration, artist-run spaces, rural culture and education. The exhibition reinforces the College’s ongoing commitment to showcasing the diversity of work produced by its community.

"These graduate students are making artwork and events about some of the most pressing issues of our time in the context of a most challenging time,” said Graduate Program Director Daniel Tucker. “That urgency is present in all aspects of their work, from how they are constantly concerned with the intersection of ethics and power to how to use the tools of art toward transformative ends." 

The 2021 MFA and MA candidates are Claire EideEmily Elliott, Megan Galardi, Ashley Ja'nae, Qiaira Riley and Antoinette Liguori Sirianni. In conjunction with the exhibition, candidates will host virtual “Lived Thesis” events in April. Get more information on all of these events at 

  • Claire Eide and Megan Galardi: Virtual Conversation with Impractical SpacesTuesday, April 27, 4 pmRegister using this link. 

  • Emily Elliott: Learning ChainSunday, April 18, 6:30 pmRegister using this link. 

  • Ashley Ja'nae: Guided Tour of the 2021 MFA/MA Socially Engaged Thesis Exhibition at Moore College of Art & Design (video, forthcoming on Moore’s website). 

  • Qiaira Riley: A Road Trip: An Artist TalkFriday, April 16, 5:30-6:30 pmRegister using this link. 

  • Antoinette Liguori Sirianni: Be the Change (video, forthcoming on Moore’s website). 


Claire Eide is an art educator and historian from unceded Sauk and Meskwaki land known as Des Moines, Iowa. She holds a BA in history with a focus on colonial theory from Grinnell College and continues to research colonial processes, especially as it relates to art accessibility in rural places. Her academic and pedagogical pursuits are grounded in collaboration and process-based making. 

Emily Elliott is a driven art educator with 20 years of experience. She has taught at all levels, from infant to adult, in subjects ranging from rock climbing to health to fiber art. She considers herself a teacher first and an art specialist second. Elliott holds a BS in art education from Kutztown University and is focusing on teaching as an artistic practice. 

Megan Galardi is an arts researcher and advocate from Philadelphia, PA, with an undergraduate degree in growth and structure of cities from Bryn Mawr College. She is interested in themes of creative placemaking and how the arts can shape cities and communities. Her research focuses on artist-run spaces and grassroots arts organizations in Philadelphia. 

Ashley Ja'nae is an interdisciplinary teaching and visual artist. She creates imagery centered around notions of belonging, identity and intimacy through Black people's relationship with hair, themselves and their communities. She facilitates art-learning experiences for young people to develop a stronger sense of self. A native of Washington DC, she received her BFA in art and design education from Pratt Institute. She has exhibited her work in New York City, the Washington metropolitan area and Prague, among other locations. 

Qiaira Riley is a fourth-generation Chicago native and interdisciplinary artist based in Philadelphia. She holds a dual-major BA with honors from Lake Forest College in African studies and studio art. Her academic, curatorial and creative work explores archiving, Black women's cooking phenomenology, ancestral veneration, internet art, care and simulacra. 

Antoinette Liguori Sirianni is an environmentally minded artist, mother and student who is passionate about the consequences of single-use plastic pollution on our planet. She manipulates these nonrecyclable bits into tactile installations that raise awareness of the consequence these materials have on our planet, and our unwitting participation. Sirianni believes in process over product, using her sculptural voice to shout out the dangers of this colossal plastic pandemic. 

Visit for full bios for each of the exhibiting students. 


Throughout The Galleries, Moore’s first-year students, sophomores and juniors will exhibit their best work in Art Education, Animation & Game ArtsFine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography and Fashion Design. Art collectors, art enthusiasts and advocates, designers and internship hosts can purchase student work through The Art Shop and preview emerging talent. The show runs through April 24, 2021. This event is free and open to the public by reservation only and is ADA accessible. Reservations may be made at