Circular Abstractions: Bull’s Eye Quilts

August 25 through November 6, 2016


The 51 quilts in Circular Abstractions: Bull’s Eye Quilts—premiering at the Muskegon Museum of Art from August 25 through November 6, 2016—have been conceived in improvisation, in building upon or breaking down an established pattern into something new and individually expressive. Guest curator Nancy Crow challenged the 43 participating artists to create a unique design based upon the Bull’s Eye pattern: four circles comprised of concentric rings (the iconic target symbol), set in a grid of four blocks, or quadrants. Artists from the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa responded to the invitation, deconstructing and re-assembling the bull’s eye into new compositions.

The result is a strikingly complex body of images, with each piece conveying its own distinct voice. Many of the artists maintain the quadrants, with circles that vary from the rigidly geometric to wildly organic. For others, the circles break their boundaries, shift in scale, or even come to dominate the entire plane. This variety is a celebration of creativity and visual experimentation. For the viewer, it is an invitation to experience the myriad possibilities of color and shape, and to evaluate the success of each artist in transforming the simple bull’s eye into something more. Abstraction defines both the visual and conceptual content of these quilts. Combinations of colors and shapes call to mind familiar imagery, establishing a rapport with the viewer. The use of color and pattern establishes emotional cues, with visual rhythm the dominant component, from gentle undulations and carefully regimented beats to frantic, jagged explosions.

The inherent physicality of these pieces, their material and craft, enriches not just the pictorial design, but the conceptual content as well. The act of building a quilt is a perfect expression of reconstructing a given form into something new. Just as the artist is breaking apart and re-assembling the components of a bull’s eye, so too is the face of the quilt being constructed by piecing together smaller fragments of fabric into a single new design.
Circular Abstractions: Bull’s Eye Quilts is a celebration of design and the skill of the artist. Speaking through the fundamental tools of artmaking—pattern, color, design, composition, rhythm, value, and movement—these pieces communicate a host of impressions and narratives. For the viewer, it is a remarkable display not only of improvisation and expression, but of artists continuing the tradition of pushing the boundaries of their medium and demonstrating a mastery of their craft. Quilt Images

At the close of the exhibition in Muskegon, the exhibition will travel to multiple additional sites, including museums in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

Exhibiting artists: Patricia Altenburg, Anne Anderson, Sharon Anderson, Kathy Anso, Marina Baudoin, Catherine Beard, Nancy Cordry, Sue Cortese, Cheryl Costley, Stefani Danes, Julie Drake, Maria Elkins, Tommy Fitzsimmons, Valerie Maser-Flanagan, Diana Fox, Julia Graziano, Kerri Green, Patricia Guthrie, Ruth Harmelink, Carol Hazen, Wendy Hook, Maren Johnston, Monica Johnstone, Roxanna Kantarjian, Kaci Kyler, Pamela Loewen, Beth Markel, Marni McMahan, Brenda McPartlin, Diane Melms, Sue Ritter Milling, Kathy Mishima, Randi Morgan, Adrienne Murray, Gael O’Donnell, Heather Pregger, Karen Querna, Lee Sproull, Dale Tomlinson, Susan Wessels, Susan K. Willen

Now Available: Circular Abstractions: Bull’s Eye Quilts Exhibition Catalogue

$44.95 + shipping         Purchase Catalogues



February 3 to April 16, 2017
The Decorative Arts Center of Ohio
Reese Peters House
145 E. Main St.
Lancaster, Ohio 43130

May 13 to October 22, 2017
Fuller Craft Museum
455 Oak Street
Brockton, MA 02301

June 3 to August 20, 2017
Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center
205 Genesee St.
Auburn, NY 13021
Brockton, MA 02301

September 23, 2017 to January 21, 2018
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
314 Park St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

December 8, 2018 – March 3, 2019
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
221 North Main St.
Greensburg, PA 15601

David Deming: Sculpture

September 8 through December 11, 2016
Rocker by David Deming

Michael and Kay Olthoff/Thelma and Paul Wiener Gallery

David Deming: Sculpture presents in bronze, steel, and stainless steel, 20 works from the four major series of the artist’s abstract sculpture: Rockers, Tri Pods, Flora Bellas, and Centurions—variations of which have engaged him for more than four decades. Wood-constructed “sketches” and works on paper give further depth to our understanding of David Deming’s exploration of three-dimensional form. His outdoor sculpture, Rocker, installed at the MMA’s Clay Street entrance, introduces visitors to the large-scale public works for which he is best known.

Cleveland-born David Deming grew up in the industrial Midwest of the 1950s and 1960s, where he was attracted to the versatility of metal and its aesthetic possibilities. As a student at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cranbrook Academy of Art, his early sculptural pursuits reflected his particular interest in figuration. He was inspired by Henry Moore’s organic figurative sculpture, but also by David Smith’s non-objective steel fabrications with their interplay of geometric forms. In Deming’s sculpture, form and shape relationships evolved into interlocking geometric structures, as well as fluid configurations. These retain the essence of figurative gesture and movement and remain the core of the artist’s creativity today.

Sponsored by Harbor Steel & Supply Co. Media Sponsor: Blue Lake Public Radio  Additional support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts


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Thursday, September 8
Public Opening Event
5:30 pm Reception
7:00 pm Talk by David Deming

Centurian by David Deming

Centurian by David Deming

Black Florabella by David Deming

Black Florabella by David Deming

Rocker by David Deming

Rocker by David Deming

Rocker, 2015 Stainless steel with painted steel base Lent by the artist David Deming’s fascination with the versatility of metal as a sculptural medium arose from his immersion in the industrial environment of his native Cleveland. Since his college days, he has explored four themes in his abstract sculpture: Rockers, Tri Pods, Flora Bellas, and Centurions. The artist’s stainless steel work, Rocker, located at the Museum’s Clay Street entrance, introduces visitors to his large-scale outdoor installations.

Rocker, 2015
Stainless steel with painted steel base
Lent by the artist
David Deming talks about his stainless steel work, Rocker with MMA Preparator Lee Brown and Sr. Curator Jane Connell. The sculpture is located at the Muskegon Museum of Art Clay Street entrance is temporarily in place as part of the exhibition.

Studio Brew: The Colors of Beer

August 11 through October 30, 2016
Richard Aardsma
Still Life with Beer Glass

The Muskegon Museum of Art will present Studio Brew: The Colors of Beer, to celebrate the art of brewing through the visual arts, drawing its inspiration from an integral quality of beer: its color. Studio Brew will run August 11 through October 30, 2016.

The MMA invited 26 Michigan artists to produce artworks in their choice of media that replicate a single hue from the SRM scale for measuring the color of beer. From pale amber ales to dark stouts, the SRM encompasses a range of rich oranges, yellows, reds, and browns. The result is an exhibition of paintings, photographs, prints, drawings, and sculpture that lead the viewer through the colors of beer.

For the viewer, the exhibition is an experiment in fun, an opportunity to experience art through the lens of the familiar and popular act of drinking a finely crafted beer. For fans of Michigan art, the show allows viewers to see how artists solve the creative challenge of making an artwork that must, when viewed from a distance, communicate a single color. The show is, in the end, a reminder of the joy of creating, be it art or a microbrew.

Studio Brew Opening Event

The public is invited to an opening event on Thursday, August 11. The event starts with a reception from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. After the reception, brew masters Chad Doane and Ryan “Rhino” Wasson from Muskegon’s Pigeon Hill Brewing Company, will discuss their craft as part of the opening event.

Studio Brew Artists

Studio Brew participating artists are: Richard Aardsma, Lisa Ambrose, Nick Antonakis, Douglas Baker, Diann Marie Bartnick, Sue Boehme, Robyn Bomhof, Bill Chardon, Patricia Constantine, Topher Crowder, Adam Dahlstrom, Thomas A. Depree, Erin Hoffman, Lori Hough, Sue    Line, Billy Mayer, Cara O’Brien, Patricia Opel, Michael Peoples, the late T.L. Pfliger, Frederic A. Reinecke, J. Arthur Sanders, Tom Tomasek, Paul Van Heest, Kathleen VanDeMark, and David Warmenhoven.


Edward S. Curtis the North American Indian

May 11 through September 10, 2017
Piegan Encampment

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, by Edward S. Curtis, 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.


Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian is underwritten by Patrick O’Leary, Hines Corporation, Nichols, the Hilt Foundation, Dr. Fred and Deborah Brown, Hooker DeJong, Inc., Jan and Chris Deur, Alcoa Foundation, Frank and Susan Bednarek, Jon and Jane Blyth, Deborah DeVoursney,  Rehmann, Orville and Susan Crain, Chemical Bank, the John Max Busard and Elizabeth Busard Fund in Memory of Dr. and Mrs. R.I. Busard, an Anonymous Fund, the Mark and Rosemary Lambert’s Dream Fund and the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, and Allen and Anne Dake.

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