Thursday, 29 August 2019 09:00

Visual Arts Season Preview, 2019-2020

Written by  Dana Casadei
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Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.  Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Photo courtesy of Broadway Gallery, Letchworth

Broad Art Museum
547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing
broadmuseum.msu.edu, (517) 884-4800

Through the end of December, Broad Art Museum is hosting A Brief History of Art in Space, an exhibition that looks at historic moments across the cosmos, like the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, and how the exploration of space has been intertwined with artistic imagination and visual culture.

The Edge of Things focuses on how art can be a call to action and an act of resistance, gathering together pieces from the 1960s through the late 1980s, two decades full of oppressive social, political and cultural conditions. The pieces in Scholar’s Garden come from the MSU Broad’s own collection. These East Asian works look at how gardens have inspired sites of learning, providing opportunities for intellectual enrichment and solitary contemplation. Then there’s Katrín Sigurðardóttir opening in September alongside new works by Puerto Rican artist and filmmaker Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, whose pieces will have viewers discussing the effect of Hurricane Maria on his homeland.

A Brief History of Art in Space, Through Dec. 8
The Edge of Things: Dissident Art under Repressive Regimes, Through Jan. 5
The Scholar’s Garden, Through Feb. 9
Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Sept. 14-March 1
Field Station: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Oct. 12-Jan. 26

Calvin University
Center Art Gallery
106 S. Division, Grand Rapids
calvin.edu/centerartgallery/studio, (616) 526-627

In September, the Center Art Gallery is displaying newly acquired works from its permanent collection in the John James Audubon exhibit. Selections were made from the complete 1966 set of Audubon’s Birds of America, which was originally published in the early 19th century and contains 400 colored illustrations of birds. Two more exhibitions will open in September, including items from the private collection of Nicholas and Claire Wolterstorff, which features chairs made by world-renowned Danish designer Hans Jørgensen Wegner.

There will also be works by artist and woodturner John Van Ast.

The fall concludes with Dwelling: Our Watershed in Image and Word, in which Calvin’s Plaster Creek Stewards — a group that helps restore the health and beauty of the Plaster Creek Watershed in Grand Rapids — will celebrate its 10th anniversary through an exhibit of student photography and poetry. Then comes Chicago-based artist David Wallace Haskins, who is well known for exploring light, space, time and sound to create immersive and interactive installations, sculptures and architectural interventions. There’s also a faculty exhibition featuring graphic designer Chris Fox and his Grand Rapids-based art collective, Not Design, a group focused on stepping outside the boundaries of traditional design.

Come the new year, the gallery will showcase selections from the Donna Spaan Collection; Nagel Institute: Spirit and Matter Exhibition; a Cherith Lundin Exhibition; as well as an exhibit with Professor Craig Hanson.

John James Audubon: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Sept. 3-Jan. 28
Wolterstorff Collection Exhibition, Sept. 3-Oct. 19
I Only Enhance What’s Already There: John Van Ast, Sept. 3-Oct. 19
Dwelling: Our Watershed in Image and Word, Oct. 18-Nov. 29
David Wallace Haskins, Oct. 28-Dec. 14
Faculty Exhibition: Chris Fox, Oct. 28-Dec. 14
Selections from the Donna Spaan Collection, Jan. 28-July 31
Nagel Institute: Spirit and Matter Exhibition, Jan. 6-Feb. 22
Cherith Lundin Exhibition, March 2-April 25
Versailles: Contextual Explorations with Professor Craig Hanson, March 2-April 25
Senior BA and BFA Exhibition, May 4-23

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
meijergardens.org, (888) 957-1580

A new exhibit coming in September is Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb. The British installation artist works with dried and fresh plant material to create site-specific installations, like the one that will be displayed in the Balk Gallery. Since Law works mainly with natural materials, guests are encouraged to visit the time-based exhibit more than once to watch the process of drying.

The Meijer Gardens also will continue its annual events like Chrysanthemums & More, which is the largest exhibit of its kind; Metro Health Christmas & Holiday Traditions to ring in the holiday spirit; and the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation, Fred & Dorothy Fichter’s Butterflies Are Blooming.

Rebecca Louise Law: The Womb, Sept. 20-March 1
Chrysanthemums & More!, Sept. 20-Oct. 27
Metro Health Christmas & Holiday Traditions, Nov. 26-Jan. 5
Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming, March 1-April 30

Allison Dean What would the earth look like 1
What would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared
by Dean Allison.

A New State Of Matter: Contemporary Glass
at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Courtesy Photo

Grand Rapids Art Museum
101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids
artmuseumgr.org, (616) 831-1000

Open since May, Maya Lin: Flow and Melanie Daniel: Only Four Degrees will both come to a close in September. However, through early 2020 we have Billy Mayer: The Shape of Things and David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling.

Mayer, who passed away in 2017, is considered one of Michigan’s most distinctive and unique sculptors, bringing together large and small-scale sculpture that demonstrated his imagination and enormous range of interests and sources. Wiesner is one of the most highly acclaimed book illustrators in the world and a three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, which is a HUGE deal. He will have 70 original watercolors on display. Pieces include works from the books that won him those Caldecott Medals: Tuesday, The Three Pigs and Flotsam.

Also displayed are works from his early career, sketches and notebooks.

Opening next year, A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass has 19 artists, including Grand Rapids’ own Norwood Viviano. The focus is entirely on the power of glass as an art form, showcasing contemporary artists who use it in innovative ways while presenting its metaphorical possibilities and connecting to cultural, environmental, spiritual and political themes, such as social media and climate change.

Maya Lin: Flow, Through Sept. 8
Melanie Daniel: Only Four Degrees, Through Sept. 8
Billy Mayer: The Shape of Things, Through Feb. 2
David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling, Oct. 12-Jan. 12
A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass, Jan. 25-April 26
In a New Light: American Impressionism 1870-1940, May 21-Oct. 4
An Art of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2016, Oct. 24-Dec. 31

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
314 South Park St., Kalamazoo
kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775

The KIA’s first three exhibitions of the season — Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Where We Stand: Black Artists in Southwest Michigan, and Resilience: African American Artists As Agents of Change — all focus on art by African Americans and those of African descent, with artists’ works in a variety of mediums as diverse as their age range.

Come October is Natural Flow, Natural Forms: Contemporary Works by Japanese Women, followed by David Park: A Retrospective. The latter will present the work of the pioneer of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, the first exhibition of its kind in 30 years. Also opening in December is the Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review.

Spring and summer will have two exhibitions. First is Unveiling American Genius in March, with the gallery showcasing the reinstallation of the six galleries devoted to spotlighting its permanent collection. Then, the KIA will present Ginny Ruffner’s sculpture work in Reforestation of the Imagination, creating an interactive viewer experience through augmented reality technology.

Moments of Peace: Watercolors by Sunghyun Moon, Through Oct. 13
Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, Sept. 14-Dec. 8
Where We Stand: Black Artists in Southwest Michigan, Sept. 14-Dec. 8
Resilience: African American Artists As Agents of Change, Sept. 14-Dec. 8
Natural Flow, Natural Forms: Contemporary Works by Japanese Women, Oct. 26-Feb. 2
David Park: A Retrospective, Dec. 21-March 15
Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review, Dec. 21-March 8
Unveiling American Genius, March 28
Reforestation of the Imagination: Ginny Ruffner, Summer 2020

LaFontsee Galleries
833 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids
lafontsee.us

After closing its Douglas gallery and now focusing solely on its presence in Grand Rapids, LaFontsee Galleries is hosting two art demos this fall that include artists working in painting, mixed media and textiles. So far, there are also two group exhibitions planned for the season.

First is Eye Opener: alternative views of summer, followed by Mix it Up.

In October, the gallery is partnering with The Land Conservancy of West Michigan, which works with local artists to raise awareness of the importance of conserving West Michigan’s natural areas. The exhibition, Preserved, will feature works by 16 Michigan artists and all registration and art sales will benefit the Land Conservancy. For those on the lakeshore, Preserved will also be on display at the Frauenthal Center Reception Gallery in Muskegon, from Oct. 3-8, with an opening reception on Oct. 3.

Eye Opener: Alternative views of summer, Through Sept. 6
Art Demos, Sept. 14 and Dec. 14
Preserved, Oct. 17-19
Mix it Up, Oct. 25-Nov. 22

LowellArts!
223 W. Main St., Lowell
lowellartsmi.org, (616) 897-8545

First up at LowellArts is the International Society of Experimental Art’s (ISEA) 28th Juried Experimental Art Exhibit with Joseph Becherer as this year’s distinguished juror. Becherer was formerly the founding director and curator of the sculpture program at the Meijer Gardens.

The annual Holiday Artists Market will follow and feature more than 50 area artists.

After the new year ball drops, The Art of Change arrives, an exhibition that hopes to raise awareness of timely social issues and encourage positive change through the pieces displayed in a variety of mediums. Up next is the 34th Annual West Michigan Art Competition, which features artists who reside in a 25-county region. The last two exhibitions planned for the season are A Reason for Being | Small Wonders | Between/Among/Within and the Great Lakes Pastel Society National Juried Exhibition.

ISEA: Annual Juried Exhibition, Sept. 7–Oct. 26
Holiday Artists Market, Nov. 14-Dec. 22
The Art of Change, Jan. 6–Feb. 10
West Michigan Art Competition, Feb. 29–April 8
A Reason for Being | Small Wonders | Between/Among/Within, April 25–June 6
Great Lakes Pastel Society National Juried Exhibition, Sept. 5–Oct. 24

Muskegon Museum of Art
296 W. Webster. Ave., Muskegon
muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

If you haven’t had the chance to see Guitar with Wings, Rising Voices and Lights, Camera, Rock ‘n’ Roll, they all close by early September. Once those are gone, however, the MMA has four more exhibitions opening. There’s the annual Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition, now in its 91st year. Then we have a West Michigan Artist Series featuring five different local artists. Also opening in September is Undying Traditions: Memento Mori, where contemporary artists will explore the Medieval Latin Christian philosophy, and The Land: The Art of Bill Hosterman and Ed Wong-Ligda, who both focus on the natural landscape.

Just in time for the start of the holidays is the annual Festival of Trees, marking its 15th year. Excellence in Fibers V, an international juried fiber arts competition organized by the Fiber Art Network, returns for the fifth year, followed by The Art of Making: Sculpture and Fiber from the Permanent Collection.

Next up is 20 for 20: Celebrating Michigan Illustrators, where the MMA will continue its tradition of showcasing original art from illustrators across the U.S, but this time all illustrators specifically call Michigan their home state. The spring will conclude the season with Expressions 2020, Postcard Salon and the Permanent Collection of the MMA.

Guitar with Wings: The Photography of Laurence Juber, Through Sept. 1
Lights, Camera, Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Music Photography of Paul Jendrasiak, Through Sept. 1
Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realist Painters, Through Sept. 8
91st Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition, Sept. 5-Nov. 13
West Michigan Artist Series, Sept. 5-May 10
Undying Traditions: Memento Mori, Sept. 12-Jan. 5
The Land: The Art of Bill Hosterman and Ed Wong-Ligda, Sept. 19-Dec. 15
Festival of Trees, Nov. 20-Dec. 1
Excellence in Fibers V, Dec. 12-March 15
The Art of Making: Sculpture and Fiber from the Permanent Collection, Dec. 19-March 29
20 for 20: Celebrating Michigan Illustrators, Jan. 16-May 10
Expressions 2020: 38th Annual Muskegon County Student Art Exhibition, March 25-April 26
Postcard Salon, April 9-23
Permanent Collection of the MMA, May 7-Aug. 30

Saugatuck Center for the Arts
400 Culver St., Saugatuck
sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399

Frail Deeds — which opened in May — has works by Mandy Cano Villalobos, who focuses on history, the passage of time and the nature of memories in her two- and three-dimensional works. She’s also this year’s Artist in Residence at Saugatuck Center for the Arts, and works with rather unconventional items in her art, like tea bags, hair, fabric and ashes.

Built around the light-infused artwork by artists Simon Alexander-Adams, Patrick Ethen, and Cuppetelli and Mendoza — shown in tandem with the installation, Playful Spaces, by Jeremy Barnett and Jason Maracani — is Luminescence. This interactive exhibition lets guests do something rare: actually touch the work. In fact, it’s encouraged. Playful Spaces is a literal line of color and light traveling between the SCA’s outdoor and indoor spaces, made from wood and oversized sticks to form cohesive linear energy. Guests are allowed to touch this too.

Frail Deeds, Through Sept. 16
Luminescence, Oct. 18-Dec. 22

Sydney Blum ICS2018rdgrnylw turqprpw mixed media 2018
ICS2018rdfrnylw-turqprp by Sydney Blum. SPECTRA at the UICA. Courtesy Photo

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
uica.org, (616) 454-7000

September brings with it four new exhibitions for the UICA. There’s SPECTRA, a group exhibition where each piece has a foundation in abstract art theories; Before Words, a body of “paint skin” and metal-based work by Kennedy Yanko; Mark Rumsey’s Memory Map: Roof Line - State Street, a site-specific installation by the Grand Rapids-based artist that features braids of repurposed textiles strung into planes that float; and On the Scene, photographer Larry Cook’s solo exhibition. All of the photos were taken within the last two years in the Washington, D.C. area, where Cook set up makeshift photo booths.

In January is Translating Valence, in which the works of four black male artists question and deconstruct ideas and ideologies around black masculinity. Then there’s A Beautiful Struggle, with 30 works from 18 black female contemporary artists who explore the integration of black feminist and Afrofuturist ideas.

The spring and summer season will consist of Pantone Color of the Year, an entire exhibition utilizing the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year, and an exhibition titled Center. A few shows for fall of 2020 are already planned as well, including Fresh Pick: Egan Franks Holzhausen, Manufactured Narratives, and a solo exhibition with works by Neha Vedpathak.

Michigan Emerging Graduate Artists (MEGA) 2019, Through Sept. 8
Composite: High School Artists Exhibition, Through Sept. 8
All That Glitters, Through Sept. 8
SPECTRA, Sept. 6-Dec. 20
Kennedy Yanko: Before Words, Sept. 28-Jan. 26
Mark Rumsey: Memory Map: Roof Line - State Street, Sept. 28-Jan. 26
Larry Cook: On the Scene, Sept. 28-Jan. 26
Translating Valence, Jan. 17-May 3
A Beautiful Struggle, Feb. 21-June 14
Pantone Color of the Year, May 22-Sept. 20
Center, June 26-Sept. 6
Fresh Pick: Egan Franks Holzhausen, June 26-Sept. 6
Manufactured Narratives, Sept. 26-Dec. 20
Neha Vedpathak solo exhibition, Sept. 26-Dec. 20

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