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The VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Program Blog

o t i t o: one thing into the other

January 10, 2020

an escape inward and beyond ourselves…
futurespective | 12.6.2019

Lost umbrellas, runaway balls, prompts that give pause – excavating the tenuous as we seek composure in an often absurd and challenging whole. A cup of tea or a rain shower pacifies what the umbrella cannot protect. An installation and performance co-created by VCFA alumnx Sondra Graff and Petra van Noot, presented at MECA, The Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art on December 6, 2019.

The collaborative escapade was developed with the support of DesignInquiry and the 2018/19 participants. Our deepest gratitude to Margo Halverson, Emily Luce & Charles Melcher (of DesignInquiry), Nikki Rayburn & Julie Poitras Santos (of MECA) and Sarah Stackhouse (for her generosity in the use of her studio).

o t i t o became the next iteration of a saga, initially realized by Sondra Graff with the creation of traversingwithonions ( during her time at VCFA. Sondra’s work moves on a continuum exploring the juxtaposition of the absurd combined with chance, the distressed and the intangible. Her scope moves from micro, creating forms with found objects and the influence of time, to macro, developing larger scale interdisciplinary endeavors.

The collaboration with Petra van Noort, a remarkable dancer, and performer pushed Sondra to meld her mark in design, installation, and performance while encompassing many aspects of the DesignInquiry encounters and individuals.

The artistic considerations of a collaboration presented within the context of Futurespective were not only a challenge but a much-appreciated gift. Sondra extends her gratitude to Petra for her perseverance, artistry and the creation of the sound score.

Sondra Graff was awarded additional support from the Fashion Institute of Technology where she is an Adjunct Associate Professor and has been teaching since 1990.