Current VPA News

Master of fine arts (M.F.A.) degree candidates in design from the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design will exhibit their work in “Questioning” May 1-13 at 914Works, 914 E. Genesee St. Syracuse. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 3, from 6-9 p.m. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

“Questioning” will showcase the work of three designers:

  • Jia Guo, questioning ways to assist people who are less used to technology to utilize its benefits to solve challenges in finding shared housing
  • Yining Shi, questioning how to minimize co-sleep disruptions to achieve a better night’s rest
  • Linghua Zhu, questioning how cultural bias impacts perception

Before coming to the United States, Guo majored in industrial design and received a bachelor of arts degree from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China. In the School of Design’s M.F.A. in design program, she had more opportunities to reach vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children and people with disabilities while applying design thinking as a methodology for innovation. Through this process, she began to realize that design can change everyone's life.

Shi received a B.F.A. in industrial design at the Jiangnan University in China. She likes talking with individuals from different backgrounds about their thoughts related to a range of subjects. She also likes digging into human needs and instincts at multiple levels. With these insights, she strives to make designs that are simple, helpful and commercially valuable.

Zhu was born in Shanghai, China, and earned a B.F.A. in industrial design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She continued her M.F.A. study at Syracuse University to gain a better knowledge of how to apply her design skills when collaborating with people in various fields. To Zhu, everything about cultural difference is compelling, and she is always trying to use her work to help people gain a deeper level of cultural awareness.

Regular exhibition hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The gallery is open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. For more information, email