The Public Life of Richard Hunt: 21st Century Projects
November 5 through January 24, 2016
Opening Event: Thursday, November 5
5:30 pm Reception | 7:00 pm Lecture by Tami Miller
Special Guest: Richard Hunt
Richard Hunt photo by Andrew Goldman, c. 1995
Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt is nationally recognized for his shaped and welded steel and bronze sculptures of fluid and vibrant organic forms. One of the most prolific artists working in public art today, Hunt is well-known to Muskegonites as the creator of the iconic stainless steel sculpture, Muskegon, Together Rising, installed in the heart of downtown Muskegon. To celebrate Muskegon’s intimate bond with Hunt, the MMA is participating in the exhibition, The Public Life of Richard Hunt: 21st Century Projects, organized by the Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, Michigan.
Hunt’s strong connection to public art in Michigan is demonstrated by two major projects. The creation of Muskegon, Together Rising (2008) is a key component of the exhibition, as is And You, Seas (2002), the artist’s monumental sculpture visible by both land and inland sea at the intersection of the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan. Other public projects featured are Spiral Odyssey, commemorating African American artist Romare Bearden (Romare Bearden Park, Charlotte, North Carolina, 2015), and an indoor sculpture commissioned by the School of Music at the University of Iowa (Voxman Building, 2016, in process), that will draw upon Hunt’s passion for classical music and the inherent lyricism of his art.
Muskegon, Together Rising by Richard Hunt. Photograph courtesy of Revel Marketing and Downtown Muskegon Now
The Public Life of Richard Hunt traces the evolution of these and other commissioned works through scale models, site plans, drawings, studio and installation photographs, and a documentary film. The exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to discover how large-scale public works develop, and the many subtle changes inherent in the creative and collaborative process before a final sculpture is realized.
A scholarly catalogue that includes essays written by Krasl curator and exhibition organizer Tami Miller, art historian Dr. Henry Adams, and MMA Senior Curator E. Jane Connell, accompanies the exhibition.
Underwritten by PNC Bank. Accommodations provided by the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor, the official hotel of the Muskegon Museum of Art.
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. 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.
Nancy A. Waters & Mark Waters Fund
Freestyle: The Art of the Snowboard
October 29 through January 10, 2016
Alcoa Foundation/Ernest and Marjory Cooper Gallery
The MMA celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of Muskegon’s great inventions with the exhibition Freestyle: The Art of Snowboards, featuring Marhar Snowboards—Michigan’s premier snowboard manufacturer. Marhar’s Nathan Morse and Joshua Skiles first took on the snowboard industry in 2008, building prototypes from the basement of their Muskegon rental home, in the town where modern snowboarding began with Sherman Poppen’s invention of the Snurfer. Today, Morse and Stiles work out of their Grandville factory and are proud of their American-made product, creating snowboards they describe as having “insane flex, control, and pop.” Morse, who graduated from the University of Notre Dame, is Marhar’s CEO, head designer, and marketing director. Skiles, a Grand Valley State University grad, is the company’s managing director.
Marhar has been called “the little brand that could,” succeeding “through true do-it-yourself attitude and undying willpower.” From design to ready-to-ride finish, Morse and Skiles engineer and fabricate all their own wood cores, shapes, and graphics, while introducing a unique take on technology into an ever-evolving snowboard market. Freestyle features more than 20 snowboards with eye-popping graphic designs that demonstrate the creative inspiration and skill that make these West Michigan boards a true art form.
Underwritten by Nichols
Opening Event: Thursday, October 29
5:30 pm Reception | 7:00 pm Lecture by Nathan Morse and Joshua Skiles