Thunder Boy, Jr.: Illustrations by Yuyi Morales

January 25 through May 20, 2018

This exhibition includes illustrations and sketches created by Yuyi Morales for the children’s book Thunder Boy, Jr., written by Sherman Alexie. This vibrant, striking children’s book is about Thunder Boy Jr., a Native American boy who isn’t crazy about his name. He wants to change it to a name that is “normal.” The unique talents of both artist and author are apparent in the book; Alexie reflects on real life and humor and Morales explores color, pattern and textures of her life and experiences in Mexico and California.

Underwritten by the Folkert Family Foundation. Media sponsor: WGVU Public Media

Yuyi Morales Thunder Boy Jr. Cover

Yuyi Morales
Thunder Boy, Jr. cover illustration

Vegetable Lamb of America: The Art of Sarah Wagner

December 14 through March 18, 2018

Sarah Wagner sculpts in wood and fabric, creating animals and environments that address the fragility and resilience of Nature and humanity’s impact on its surroundings. Her art is inspired and informed by the city of Detroit, where she lives and works. For her Muskegon Museum of Art exhibition, Wagner is creating a new installation inspired by the history of the cultivation of cotton, and its impact on the development of capitalism and industrialism around the world. See Vegetable Lamb legend

Sarah Wagner has exhibited around the world, and is the recipient of two major artist awards: the Pollock/Krasner Grant in 2009 and a Joan Mitchell Fellowship in 2014. Her piece, Wormwood Bones; Feral Fade was part of the MMA’s traveling exhibition Innovators and Legends: Generations in Textiles and Fiber, and was added to the permanent collection in 2015.



Tuesday, December 12, 6:00-7:00 pm
Back Stage Crash Course – MMA MEMBERS ONLY
Join us for this behind the scenes view of the installation of Sarah Wagner’s artwork for the exhibition Sarah Wagner: Vegetable Lamb of America. Members will meet the artist and get the true insider’s view of what goes into developing, creating, and installing a large scale exhibition.

Sarah Wagner with installation object

Pattern for Vegetable Lamb of America

Southern Roots: The Paintings of Winfred Rembert

December 14 through March 18, 2018

Winfred Rembert works in the unusual medium of carved and dyed leather, creating vibrant, rhythmic imagery of his life in 1950s Georgia. A storyteller, Rembert reveals images of culture, community, family, and struggle through intense color and repeating patterns. His most recognizable pieces depict pickers at work in the cotton fields, a grueling task the artist himself experienced in his childhood and later on a prison chain gang.

Rembert was arrested during a 1960s civil rights march while escaping from threat of a lynching, and learned the leather trade while in prison. He was eventually released, and transformed his new skills and life story into a unique body of art. Now working in New Haven, Connecticut, he continues to explore his Southern roots, with images that challenge and engage, reminding and teaching viewers of the struggles and lives of African-Americans. Both celebratory and provocative, Rembert’s art is a stirring blend of aesthetics and advocacy.

Featured in the exhibition are over 25 works, including the premiere of several recent paintings by the artist.


Thursday, February 8
Reception and Special Program
5:30 pm Reception
7:00 pm Film: All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert (60 mins.)
Winfred Rembert has a lot of stories to tell, from his childhood on a cotton farm to his near lynching during the Civil Rights movement; his life experiences are the bed of work that inspires his artwork. This film documents Rembert’s life and how he his tooled leather artwork has become his biography and therapy. This film was directed by Vivian Ducat of Ducat Media. Ducat is a native New Yorker and strong advocate for the arts. She will join us for the screening and in a Q & A with artist Winfred Rembert following the film.

Thursday, February 8, 12:15 pm
Brown Bag Film
All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert (60 mins.)
Brown Bag Film admission, and coffee and cookies are free.


Additional Support is Provided by


Winfred Rembert
Dancing at the Juke Joint, 2015
Dye on carved and tooled leather
Courtesy of Adelson Galleries, Boston

Winfred Rembert
Caint to Caint II, 2016
Dye on carved and tooled leather
Courtesy of Adelson Galleries, Boston

Street Scene / Yellow Taxi, 2008
Dye on carved and tooled leather
Courtesy of Adelson Galleries, Boston

SHIFT/ Glass by Daniel Clayman

October 12 through January 21, 2018
Shift Glass by Daniel Clayman

Daniel Clayman
2010, glass, aluminum shelf,
9 x 80 x 10.25 inches
Photo by Mark Johnston

SHIFT/ Glass by Daniel Clayman examines the career of Daniel Clayman through a development of recurring ideas, punctuated by singular pieces that informed his evolution as an artist. From theater lighting to discrete objects to room-size installations, this exhibition, comprised of objects selected by the artist, looks from the beginning of his practice to the full circle return to the shaping of the space we inhabit. This body of works specifically addresses his ongoing explorations of the ability of glass forms to hold light and air, or to break and divide them. The smoky, semi-transparent glass both reflects and diffuses the light, revealing subtle color characteristics within both the physical object and its transmitted light and cast shadows.

Light is the most critical component of Daniel Clayman’s work, and was the inspiration that led him to the medium of glass. The artist attributes the beginning of his artistic career to a love of the theater, a love inspired by his attendance, as a boy of seven, at a performance of Peter Pan starring Mary Martin. The theater stage is a carefully constructed illusion of object and light, where subtle manipulations alter how the actors move and are perceived. Clayman’s interest in the controlled play of light led him to study lighting design in the Theater and Dance Department at Connecticut College. He left school to work in the professional world of theater, dance, and opera, touring around the country with various productions before finally succumbing to the exhaustion of the pace of that career. In 1980 he took a glass blowing course, and after a series of travels to the studios of glass artists across the U.S., Clayman enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1983, graduating with a BFA in 1986. From that point, he has worked as a glass artist and instructor. LEARN MORE

Related Programs

October 12 Brown Bag Film

October 19 Opening Reception & Meet the Artist

Points of Resonance: The Museum Project Gift

October 5 through January 14, 2018

Points of Resonance: The Museum Project Gift merges recently acquired contemporary photography with similarly themed works from the Muskegon Museum of Art’s permanent collection. The result is an exploration of shared aesthetics and visual and conceptual subject matter.

The Museum Project

The Museum Project was established by artists and curators Robert von Sternberg and Darryl Curran in 2012 as a means of promoting the collection and exhibition of contemporary photography by museums and universities. Each year, the participating artists offer, free of cost, archival prints of their artwork to interested institutions. As of 2017, the artists of The Museum Project have donated over 3,300 photographs to the permanent collections of 125 museums, 10 library special collections, and 6 municipal or hospital foundations in 46 U.S. states, Washington D.C., Australia, Canada, and France.

The Muskegon Museum of Art was contacted in 2016 with an invitation to select artworks. We chose photographs from four of the artists, focusing on images that matched existing themes in our collection. By adding these works to our holdings, we build upon a base of vintage photos by preeminent artists first collected by the MMA in the 1970s. In addition to carrying on the legacy of fine art photography in the United States, The Museum Project images provide inspiration to our own regional photographers.

Robert von Sternberg and Darryl Curran spent their careers creating, teaching, and curating contemporary photography. In their experience, the greatest advocacy for photography was the willingness of museums and university galleries to mount exhibitions and add images to their collections. This support enabled artists to not only build their individual reputations, but to provide a forum in which to explore the possibilities of the medium. The Museum Project allows the participating artists, all accomplished professionals, to give back to the museum community, with a focus on small to mid-size institutions—the ones most willing historically to give voice to photography.

The Artists

Barry Andersen (American, Born 1945) Salt Flat Pool, Camargue, Arles, France Archival pigment print, 2013 Gift of the artist, through The Museum Project 2017.2.1

Barry Andersen (American, born 1945) is based in Kentucky, where he is a Professor Emeritus of Northern Kentucky University. He received a BA from California State University, Northridge in 1973 and a MFA from the University of Florida in 1975. He works primarily in landscape, exploring what he describes as the “interface of human activity on the land.” In his later works, Andersen uses digital photography to mimic traditional dark room techniques to subtly manipulate the pictorial impression.

Darryl Curran (American, Born 1935) Bird, Eucalyptus Leaves, Flowerbox (from the “All About Doris” Suite) Archival pigment print, 2001 Gift of the artist, through The Museum Project 2017.3.3

Darryl Curran (American, born 1935), one of the founders of The Museum Project, is a prominent California photographer. He holds a BA and MA from UCLA, and founded the photography degree programs at California State University, Fullerton in 1967. Curran has exhibited extensively in the Los Angeles region, including at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Hammer Museum, as well as other venues around the United States. His current work involves the arrangement and digital scanning of still life objects.

Kenda North (American, born 1951) Descent (from the “Submerged” Series) Archival pigment print, 2012-2017 Gift of the artist, through The Museum Project 2017.4.1

Kenda North (American, born 1951) is a Professor and head of photography at the University of Texas, Arlington. She has been an active artist since 1977, participating in over 50 solo and 95 group exhibitions across the U.S. She holds a BA in Fine Arts from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado and a MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. Her water images are shot with a digital underwater camera, and examine the balance between constraint and freedom and the “buoyancy, fluidity and weightlessness” of being suspended in water.

Robert Von Sternberg (American, Born 1939) Bowling Lanes II, Woodland Hills, California Archival pigment print, 2015 Gift of the artist, through The Museum Project 2017.5.1

Robert von Sternberg (American, born 1939) holds a BA and MA from California State University, Long Beach. He is Professor Emeritus of California State University, Northridge, where he taught photography. In addition to teaching, von Sternberg has exhibited in over 200 solo and group shows, and curated several photography exhibitions. His own work is held in 95 museums in the U.S. and internationally, and he is a founder of The Museum Project. Von Sternberg’s photographs capture the “incursion” of humans into the natural world, whether through incidental moments or the iconography of the American road-trip.

Related Program

October 5 Crash Course: Points of Interest in Points of Resonance