Michigan Regional Exhibition
May 12 through August 3, 2016
The Muskegon Museum of Art’s annual Michigan Regional Exhibition returns for its 88th year to showcase some of the best contemporary works created by our state’s artists. A total of 374 Michigan artists (with approximately 150 from the Muskegon and Grand Rapids areas) submitted 699 works for jurying. From these, 144 works by 123 artists were selected for the exhibition. The 88th Regional features representational and abstract painting, sculpture, ceramics, installation, printmaking, drawing, textiles and fibers, and photography covering a range of subjects.
This was the first year for the transition to digital entry and, according to Associate Curator Art Martin, “The removal of the barrier of hand-delivering entries resulted in the strongest overall group of entries we have seen since opening the show statewide. The level of craft, conceptual content, aesthetic, ambition, and scale was amazing, and made for a significant challenge for our juror, Tom Lundberg. The show he ultimately selected looks like it may be our most exciting, experimental, and materially and conceptually diverse Regional in recent history. Always a something-for-everyone experience, the 88th Regional offers an increased display of artistic skill and what we hope will be some real surprises.”
This year’s juror was Tom Lundberg, an accomplished artist that has been featured in multiple international fibers shows at the MMA. He is a professor of art at Colorado State University, where he coordinates graduate and undergraduate programs in fibers and teaches courses in weaving and surface design. Lundberg has lectured and taught workshops in the United States, England, and New Zealand. He holds a BFA in painting from the University of Iowa and a MFA in textiles from Indiana University, where he worked with Diane and William Itter. His work has been seen in solo, group, and invitational exhibitions around the world, including multiple traveling exhibitions.
Of the show, he wrote:
“It’s been my privilege to review entries to the Muskegon Museum of Art 88th Regional Exhibition. Thank you for the opportunity to see how hundreds of Michigan artists view the world and give form to their ideas. In the works here on display—and in the other submissions not selected—I’ve truly enjoyed my juror’s tour of so many individual points of view. I think that you’ll find your own favorites in this exhibition of high-quality works. Thanks to all of these artists for expanding our horizons with their individual points of view. These artworks may engage our attention with interesting methods and materials, but they also awaken us to a broad spectrum of human responses.”
Ken Stevens: Life in Photography
April 28 through July 24, 2016
Ken Stevens: A Life in Photography, an exhibition of work by photojournalist Ken Stevens (1963-2014), opens at the Muskegon Museum of Art on April 28. Photos by Stevens appeared in The Muskegon Chronicle and MLive for 28 years, bringing images of major events and the quiet experiences of everyday living to readers. His photographs brought drama and emotion to a visual record of the day’s news, sharing moments that have become part of Muskegon’s history. Images from throughout the artist’s career, drawn from the archives of The Muskegon Chronicle and MLive and the MMA’s own permanent collection, will be on display through July 24, 2016.
Opening Reception and Program
The MMA invites the public to an opening reception on Thursday, April 28, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. A special talk, “Ken’s Work and Life,” will be presented by several of his colleagues and friends after the reception, at 7:00 pm. Guest speakers will be Dave Alexander, Roger Morgenstern, Cory Morse and Kendra Stanley-Mills. Admission to the reception and talk is free and open to the public.
This exhibition is underwritten by Consumers Energy Foundation. Co-sponsors are Steve and Rebecca Westphal and The Friends of Ken Stevens. Additional support has been provided by MLive Media Group and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts.
A Ken Stevens Endowment Fund has been set up at his alma mater, Central Michigan University, to help develop the career potential of CMU photojournalism students. To Donate
Sweeping Up (From “A Week in the Life of Muskegon County, May 30 – June 5, 1987”). Photo by Ken Stevens. Gift of the Muskegon Chronicle, 1989.51.13. MMA Permanent Collection:
Ken Stevens, multimedia specialist of the MLive/ Muskegon Chronicle laughs inside the Muskegon hub on May 24, 2013. Photo courtesy of Natalie Kolb.
Egelston Township firefighters Jim Thiele (left) and Elon Martin work on the roof to a house frie Thursday morning at 64 N. Densmore in Muskegon Township. Date shot: 1/17/08.
Tom Wakefield, owner of Port City Cab Company, 770 W. Sherman watches as two tow trucks remove the taxi cab that Wakefield accidently drove on top of a hydrant behind his business at about 2:00 p.m. Tuesday. He said the only thing he hurt was a little of his pride and that he was in too much of a hurry and had the car in the wrong gear causing it to go back over the curb and over the edge onto the hydrant. There was a minor gas leak from the car and Muskegon City police and fire departments were on the scene. Date shot: 7/12/94.
3. Dan Mulder, 64, left and his father, WWII Army Air Corps veteran Paul Mulder, 89, both of New Era, visit the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. on October 9, 2014. They arrived on the Legends Flight from Muskegon with 94 World War II veterans from mostly Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties. They visited the World War II Memorial, as well as the Arlington National Cemetery, Korean War and Vietnam War memorials, and Air Force Memorial. The Washington Monument is pictured in the background. Photo by Ken Stevens, courtesy of MLive Media Group/The Muskegon Chronicle.
5. Explosives bring down the 200-foot tall section of the former Sappi Fine Paper in 2013. Photo by Ken Stevens, courtesy of MLive Media Group/The Muskegon Chronicle.
Melvin Foley, 11, acts as the basket as friends Miguel Cardona, 11, (with the ball) and Hubert Jamerson, 12, play one-on-one basketball with the loser becoming the basket in front of Melvin’s home in 1992. Photo by Ken Stevens, courtesy of MLive Media Group/The Muskegon Chronicle.
Hundreds of police officers, representing 250 police agencies from around the state of Michigan, walk to the 1994 funeral of Grand Haven Public Safety Department Officer Scott Flahive at Lake Forest Cemetery in Grand Haven. Flahive, 28, was gunned down Tuesday night after stopping a car carrying a prisoner who escaped from the Ottawa County Jail. Flahive is the first officer to be killed in the line of duty in Ottawa County. Photo by Ken Stevens, courtesy of MLive Media Group/The Muskegon Chronicle.
7. Friends Hannah Holmberg, 9, left, and Emmie Hotwagner, 9, play around with umbrellas that they found in the garage at Hannah’s North Muskegon home after school in 1999. “We decided to dress up with whatever we could find to look stupid,” Hannah said. Which explains why she is wearing a life jacket, helmet, and bicycle tire around her neck and her friend Emmie is similarly garbed. Photo by Ken Stevens, courtesy of MLive Media Group/The Muskegon Chronicle.
Edward S. Curtis the North American Indian
May 11 through September 10, 2017
The Muskegon Museum of Art is one of the finest regional art museums in the Midwest with a 104-year history and an impeccable reputation. The Museum also owns a complete edition, identified as the 70th of the planned original sets, of The North American Indian, internationally recognized as the most comprehensive ethnographic and photographic historical record of Native Americans ever produced. The astounding work is comprised of twenty volumes of research (containing 2.5 million works of text and thousands of photographs) and 20 portfolios containing an additional 723 photogravures.
In May of 2017, The Muskegon Museum of Art will present a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of national significance: Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian.
Documenting the lives of western Native American peoples, the stunning portraits and landscapes of The North America Indian, which were created from 1907 through 1930, are considered to be both the greatest artistic collaboration and photographic achievement in history.
A renowned successful celebrity photographer, Curtis threw it all away to pursue a 30-year obsession that nearly destroyed him. In the end, he lost his wealth, fame, marriage, and health, but left behind a monumental achievement: The North American Indian.
Awaiting Return of Snake Dancers Hopi
Kutenai Duck Hunter
Sioux Mother & Child
Vanishing Race Navajo
Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian is underwritten by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, the Hilt Foundation, Hines Corporation, Nichols, Hooker DeJong Architects and Engineers, the Jan & Christine Deur Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, the Susan & Frank Bednarek Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Jon & Jane Blyth, and Deborah DeVoursney.
Native Visions: Indian Painting of the Southwest
March 3 through May 22, 2016
Native Visions: Indian Painting of the Southwest, 1920s-1940s, from the Collection of Charlotte Mittler
Michael and Kay Olthoff & Thelma and Paul Wiener Gallery
Of great import and pride to the MMA is the opportunity to develop exhibitions drawn from the rich trove of art found in Michigan collections. Native Visions was organized in cooperation with Charlotte Mittler of Three Rivers, Michigan. The Mittler Collection comprises Pueblo paintings from southwest tribal areas that were created by students of the Santa Fe Indian School and by independent painters who pioneered Santa Fe’s modern Indian art movement in the first decades of the 20th century. The collection is one of the most extensive holdings of Native American easel painting in private hands.
Variously described as modernist and Native American art, Indian easel painting is a unique and indigenous art form of the 20th century. Native Visions comprises 35 works from this distinctive painting tradition—ceremonial and genre themes rendered in gouache and watercolor and pictured in a naturalistic flat-art style. Some of the most revered artists from the Rio Grande, Hopi, and Navajo (Diné) Pueblos are represented in the exhibition, among them Crescencio Martinez, Fred Kabotie, Tonita Peña, and Velino Shije Herrera.
The formative years of these principally self-trained artists were shaped by aggressive reform, in the 1920s, from the assimilation policies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs imposed upon Indian children attending government-run boarding schools, to the wide acceptance of progressive principles that were incorporated into Indian education by the 1930s. As a result, young students, unexposed to formal art training, were encouraged to express their Native identity freely. The Studio of the Santa Fe Indian School, begun in 1932, was a major force in bringing American Indian painting to national and worldwide attention. The Studio’s first director, Art Institute of Chicago graduate Dorothy Dunn, codified “traditional modernism,” that preserved, through painting style and iconography, ancient visual traditions and contemporary Pueblo worldviews. Many of the artists in Native Visions attended the Studio School and emerged to critical acclaim.
Thursday, March 3
Opening Reception and Lecture
5:30 pm Reception/7:00 pm Lecture by Bruce Bernstein, Ph.D.
“Modern by Tradition: American Indian Painting of the Early 20th Century.”
Variously described as modernist and Native American art, Indian easel painting is a unique and indigenous art form of the 20th century. To enrich our experience in viewing and appreciating this distinctive American Southwest painting tradition, Bruce Bernstein will explore its histories, contexts, and artists. Discover this intriguing, beautiful, and relatively unknown art form as exemplified by works from the Charlotte Mittler collection.
Waldo Mootzka, 1910–1940, Hopi
Untitled (Game Animal Dance)
Gouache on paper, ca. 1935
Charlotte Greenleaf Mittler Collection
Nor-My-Se-Ye-Appa, born 1917, Zuni Pueblo
Zuni Eagle Dancer
Gouache on paper, 1935
Charlotte Greenleaf Mittler Collection
Velino Shije Herrera (Ma Pe Wi), 1902–1973, Zia Pueblo
Untitled (rabbit hunt)
Gouache on paper, ca. 1940
Charlotte Greenleaf Mittler Collection
December 10 through March 20, 2016
COMMON GROUND: African American Art from the Flint Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art
L. C. and Margaret Walker Galleries A and B
The Flint Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art are three of the most prestigious art museums in Michigan. While each institution is distinguished by its own unique holdings, collecting strengths shared in common inspired this collaboration, the exhibition Common Ground.
Common Ground celebrates our museums’ mutual dedication to collect works by African American artists. From an astounding corpus of nearly 400 works, 60 paintings, sculpture, and works on paper were selected. Dating from the 19th century to the present, they chronicle a cultural journey of nearly 200 years. The exhibition is organized into five themes: Gaining Access, New Self-Awareness, Political and Social Expressions, Examining Identities, and Towards Abstraction. These themes provide a broad overview of the history of African American art, from the talent and determination of the earliest artists who overcame daunting social challenges to internationally acclaimed work by leading contemporary artists.
Legendary African American artists, including Henry Ossawa Tanner, Elizabeth Catlett, Charles White, and Jacob Lawrence, are represented in Common Ground. Several Michigan artists are also represented—among them Hughie Lee-Smith, Richard Hunt, Charles McGee, and Senghor Reid.
The Muskegon presentation of Common Ground incorporates additional examples of African American art from our collections, further demonstrating home pride in the MMA’s treasures and our contribution to the cultural legacy of the City of Muskegon and West Michigan as a whole.
Thursday, December 10
Opening Reception & Distinguished Lecture by Dr. David Driskell
5:30pm Public Reception/7:00pm Lecture
Dr. David Driskell, one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject of African American art and National Humanities Medal recipient to the Muskegon community will appear as a distinguished guest speaker at the Muskegon Museum of Art on Thursday December 10 at 7:00 pm. Driskell’s lecture will be part of the opening celebration for Common Ground: African American Art from the Flint Institute of Arts, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Muskegon Museum of Art. The MMA invites the public to meet Driskell at a reception from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, before his lecture. Dr. Driskell’s lecture, “African American Art in Review,” will provide greater perspective to the themes presented in the Common Ground exhibition. Driskell will accept questions from the audience after the lecture. The reception and lecture are free and open to the public.
Common Ground is underwritten by DTE Foundation and co-sponsored by Fifth Third and the Waters Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts. Program support is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Nancy A. Waters & Mark Waters Fund