Challenging Tradition: Fine Craft from the Permanent Collection
August 20 through October 25, 2015
Muskegon Museum of Art Theodore and Joan Operhall Gallery
Functional craft-based objects have served humanity for thousands of years, and in many cases are the only surviving records of lost civilizations. As these techniques progressed, and cultures overlapped, new ideas and materials were developed and explored. In the middle 20th century, as part of the advent of Modernism in the United States, there was an explosion of interest in the use of traditional craft materials and techniques to create unique, original works of fine art. Function might still be referenced, but the interest was now in the object as a work unto itself, existing for the same reasons a painting or sculpture would. This new direction quickly overlapped multiple art disciplines as artists incorporated fiber and textile into sculpture, drawing, painting, printmaking, and even electronic media. The experimentation with craft has led to innovative and exciting works of contemporary art, and blurred the line between craft and fine art forever.
Challenging Tradition showcases some of the best contemporary craft works in the MMA’s collection. These artworks speak both to the enduring legacies of craft and the continuing innovation and creativity of today’s artists.
Zephyr Emanation Observer
Copper, sterling silver, Nu-gold, glass, sausage casing
Purchased in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Muskegon Museum of Art, through the gifts of the Robert D. and C. Corcoran Tuttle Family and the gifts of the Ralph G. Kuris Estate, Col. and Mrs. Secundino Veiga, Mrs. Phil Porter, the Grace M. Harris Estate, and William Allen May, by exchange.
Luminous Relic #496
Copper, silver, 23k gold leaf, 2005
Purchase, Art Acquisition Fund and Gifts of Tom Tuttle, John Tuttle, Martha Giacobassi, Judith Hayner, Larry and Roxanna Herder, William L.”Bill” Rogers, Gary and Janice Walker, Judith Anderson, John and Patricia Fanberg, Dr. Morton and Maxine Kantor, Richard Stien, Vinecroft Studios, Nona Bushman, and Theodore and Jeannie Caris
Doorways: A Passage through the Permanent Collection
August 6 through October 11, 2015
Alcoa Foundation/Ernest and Marjorie Cooper Gallery
Every doorway, every intersection, has a story.
Doors, we would say without hesitation, are functional structures, essential to our everyday lives, that open and close and through which we enter and exit from one place to another. In the hands of artists, however, doors, as everyday or metaphorical entities, are often valuable assets around which an artwork is conceived. Additional passageways—gates and arches come to mind; less conspicuous objects like books and picture frames, also provide access—join doors as carriers of narrative themes, compositional structure, contemplative journey, even psychological intrigue.
Such door ways provide one means to enter the MMA’s permanent collections. Through a select group of paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts, this exhibition has been developed to expand our understanding and appreciation of artworks in the Museums’ ever-expanding holdings.
Underwritten by Rehmann. Additional support provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts.
Doors, Window, and Hall
Oil on board, 1930
Purchased in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Muskegon Museum of Art, through the Hackley Picture Fund. 2012.9
Manierre Dawson: Engineering Abstraction
April 30 through August 9, 2015
Michael and Kay Olthoff & Thelma and Paul Wiener Gallery
Manierre Dawson (1887-1969) was the first American artist to paint abstractly in the first decades of the twentieth century—a significant accolade in art history. Dawson’s college training in civil engineering was a strong influence on his remarkable creative vision. Of local import, the artist moved from Chicago to Ludington in 1914 and spent 55 years running the family orchard, painting and sculpting as time allowed, until his death in 1969.
The exhibition will present 20 paintings that explore Dawson’s formative years from 1907 to 1915, taking as its main focus Afternoon II, among the MMA’s most significant holdings. The painting is dated 1913, the year of the famed Armory Show—a pivotal event that affirmed Dawson’s modernist instincts: his “inventions.”
Lenders to the exhibition include the Illinois State Museum; the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; the Grand Rapids Art Museum; the Manierre Dawson Gallery, West Shore Community College; and several Chicago private collections.
Following its premier at the MMA, the exhibition will be shown at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts from August 29 through December 13, 2015.
Manierre Dawson: Engineering Abstraction has been organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art. The exhibition is generously underwritten by the Consumer’s Energy Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts.
Thursday, April 30
5:30 pm Opening Reception
7:00 pm Lecture by Sharon Bluhm
In 1977, Sharon Bluhm purchased the Dawson family vacation home in Ludington, Michigan, and continues to live there today. Join us for Bluhm’s fascinating look at Dawson’s life and art based on her years of research on the artist.
The Little-Known Engineer Who Made the First Abstract Paintings in the US
by Janet Tyson on July 9, 2015; Hyperallergic.com
87th Regional Exhibition
June 4 through August 5, 2015
The Muskegon Museum of Art’s 87th Regional Exhibition, the longest-established regional art exhibition in Michigan, opens for public viewing at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 4, 2015. The public is invited to an opening reception that evening from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Prize winning artists will be recognized at awards ceremony, beginning at 6:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. (Award winners are listed below.)
The MMA’s annual, juried Regional Exhibition is known for its competitive nature and for its professional presentation. It is open to amateur and professional artists throughout Michigan and a record number of artist from across the state brought in all-time record number of entries—725 works by 409 artists—during the entry registration days in May. Guest jurors Kathryn and Howard Clark selected 296 works by 228 artists to make up the MMA’s largest ever Regional show. This selection of artwork, varying widely in media, theme, and style will fill the MMA’s Walker Galleries through August 5, 2015. Most of the artworks in the exhibition are available for sale.
The jurors, husband and wife team Kathryn and Howard Clark, are the founders of Twinrocker Handmade Paper, Inc., an internationally recognized producer of fine handmade papers for artists and publishers. The Clarks have collaborated with commercial and studio printers around the world. They have worked with major artists including Bryce Marden, Claes Oldenberg, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Jim Dine. The Clarks present workshops, lectures, and conferences across the world, and have earned an American Craftsman Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Kathryn Clark is an exhibiting artist, teacher, and Indiana region arts advocate. Howard Clark is an active musician, playing in three bands and serves as Board President of the Indiana Fiddlers’ Gathering.
The 87th Regional Exhibition is underwritten by Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP and Shape Corporation. Awards are underwritten by Huntington Bank. Additional support is provided by WGVU Public Broadcasting and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts. Purchase awards are provided by area individuals and organizations.
The Muskegon Museum of Art is located at 296 W. Webster Ave. in downtown Muskegon. Call 231-720-2571 or visit www.muskegonartmuseum.org for visitor information.
Thursday, June 4, 5:30–8:00 pm
Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony
Celebrate the opening of the 87th Regional Exhibition and congratulate the artists. Award winning artists will be recognized at the awards ceremony, beginning at 6:45 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
Thursday, June 25, 5:00–7:00 pm
Meet the Artists: Enjoy a gallery “walk-and-talk” with this year’s prize-winning artists. Light refreshments will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.
MMA 87th Regional Exhibition Artist Awards
Best of Show | $1,500
David Huang, Sand Lake, Luminous Relic #1331
2nd Place | $1,000
Sean Lancaster, Grand Rapids, Homeless; Not Hopeless
3rd Place | $750
Keith Downie, Muskegon, Nearby House
Director’s Choice | $500
Sue Cortese, Holland, Modern Art in Quilt Form
Curator’s Choice | $500
Jason McChristian, Saint Joseph, Reflections
Friends of Art Award | $250
Joan Gallagher Richmond, Traverse City, Marsh Trees
West Michigan Potters Guild Eleanore Smith Memorial Award | $250
Flynn Sochon, Twin Lake, Grande
Gordon Hall Memorial Award | $200
Nathan Margoni, Benton Harbor, Nerf
William L. “Bill” Rogers Best Photography | $150
Dianne Carroll Burdick, Grand Rapids, Lily Pads
Robert and Veronica Youngman Memorial Award for Graphic Arts | $150
Mary Brodbeck, Kalamazoo, Remnants
Docents’ Choice | $100
Katherine Bourdon, Muskegon, Boardwalk
Honorable Mentions | $100
Michelle Brown, Rockford, A Learning Experience
Beth Purdy, Grand Rapids, Fact: When Tasmanian Devils are Upset their Ears Blush Bright Red
Nat Rosales, Manistee, Demand 2
SPONSORED PURCHASE AWARDS (sponsor listed first)
American Grease Stick Company
Randall Nyhof, Grand Rapids, Let the Adventure Begin
Winnie Chrzanowski, Royal Oak, Copper Harbor
John & Claudia Berry
Daniel Feldhauser, Grayling, Gothic Abandoned
Patricia Opel, Muskegon, Rock, Paper, Scissors
Community Foundation for Muskegon County
Marcia Polenberg, Ann Arbor, Lake Michigan Shore and Gigue
Grand Valley State University
Ruth Egnater, Okemos, Autumn Sky
MaryAnn Dunn, Holland, Bloomin’ Batik
Jean Allemeier Boot, Alto, Lazio Town IV
Peggy Jensen & Gerald Nehra
Lori Hough, Fremont, Evolution vs Extinction
Brian & Jamie Lang
Leanne McGann, Comstock Park, Glimpse of Spring
Muskegon Surgical Associates
Dennis O’Mara, Hastings, Leelanau Spring 2014
Patrick J. O’Leary
Dianne Carroll Burdick, Grand Rapids, Lily Pads
Bill Chardon, Grand Rapids, Enduring
Sean Lancaster, Grand Rapids, Homeless; Not Hopeless
Lisabeth & Michael Margulus, Ada, Time Honored Rice Harvest, Vietnam, 2014
Alan & Annoesjka Steinman
Tom Tackett, Stevensville, Mariposa Grove
Richard Deming Jr., Grand Rapids, The Bus Never Stopped
West Michigan Symphony
Cary Vander Veen, Lawton, Last Fall
Ingar Rudholm, Muskegon, Salvador Dali Joins the Traveling Circus
Chris & Stephanie Witham
Brad Patterson, Grand Haven, Textured Bottle Vase
Judy Nye Hallisy, Saugatuck, Cylinder 5
Richard & Marilyn Witham
Barbara Brown, Ann Arbor, Road Atlas #5: I Still Don’t Know my Destination
Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge
August 20 through November 1, 2015
L. C. and Margaret Walker Galleries and Michael and Kay Olthoff & Thelma and Paul Wiener Gallery
Opening Event: Thursday, August 20
5:30 pm Reception | 7:00 pm Lecture
Extreme Fibers: Textile Icons and the New Edge examines the state of fibers and textiles in the fine art world today. The exhibition has been developed by the Muskegon Museum of Art in coordination with Guest Curator Geary Jones of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The artworks on display reveal the diversity of the fine art textile and fiber movement, and its transformation into a multi-media and discipline-spanning phenomenon. Participating artists come from around the world, including an invited slate of 27 artists that are visionaries in the field: Luis Acosta, Kyoung Ae Cho, Kate Anderson, Ewa Bartosz-Mazus, Lia Cook, Thomas Cronenberg, Nancy Crow, Patricia Hickman, Jan Hopkins, Wolfgang Horn, Ferne Jacobs, David Johnson, Gerhardt Knodel, Gyöngy Laky, Maximo Laura, Tom Lundberg, Libby Mijanovich, Laura Foster Nicholson, Krystyna Sadej, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, Chizu Sekiguchi, Sherri Smith, Ixchel Suarez, Yoshiko Wada, Dawn Walden, Carole Weller, and Bhakti Ziek.
A slate of artists selected from juried submissions received from countries around the world will join these masters. Narrowing from a field of over 300 entries, jurors Ferne Jacobs and Namita Gupta Wiggers selected 79 works from 51 artists for inclusion. These juried pieces join those by our invited artists for a showing of over 120 fiber and textile based artworks. One artist from the juried portion of the show will be selected by Ferne Jacobs and Namita Gupta Wiggers for the California Fibers Beyond the Boundaries Award. This award is sponsored by California Fibers and is given annually to a fiber artist for artistic innovation in subject matter, materials and/or technique in a national or international fiber exhibition. The winner will be announced at a later date
Viewers will find tapestries, quilts, weavings, sculpture, basketry, and a host of other forms on display, from functional works to fully abstracted shapes. This is a remarkable opportunity for West Michigan to see truly contemporary, international artwork by artists that defined and continue to transform a major art movement
One artist from the juried portion of the show will be selected by Ferne Jacobs and Namita Gupta Wiggers for the California Fibers Beyond the Boundaries Award. This award is sponsored by California Fibers and is given annually to a fiber artist for artistic innovation in subject matter, materials and/or technique in a national or international fiber exhibition. The winner will be announced at a later date.
Extreme Fibers will open at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City, Michigan, December 6, 2015 and run through March of 2016.
Program support provided by the Michigan Council for the Arts with the National Endowment for the Arts.