Sunday, September 24, 2017

ArtPrize at the Grand Rapids Art Museum

As I mentioned before, my SO and I took a day trip to Grand Rapids, MI, to partake of ArtPrize. It was unbearably hot, so we limited ourselves to two venues (out of 182!), the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculture Park and the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM). I posted about the former here. In this post, we'll take a look at some of what there was to see at the GRAM.

My first thought upon entering the exhibit was, "Thank God there is some textile art!" The first two below are by Jeana Eve Klein and reflect her obsession with abandoned houses.

The materials are acrylic paint and inkjet printing on recycled fabric. It's easy to stop thinking once one has fabric in hand, but there is so much more one can do to express one's creativity. All it takes is some imagination (and talent and skill).

Letitia Huckaby used flour sacks as the base for her creations. Just one generation removed from the artist, her family grew, raised, and made everything they needed except flour. The flour sacks became dresses for the girls. Here she superimposes images on the fabric to express the creativity and inner strength of those forebears.

Another artist who sparked my imagination is Amy Helminiak. Her "digital landscapes" would make wonderful material for sewing. I'm not a seamstress, but I can imagine imitating her technique to create unique cloth.

Kittens and mittens above, milk bottles and miscellaneous items below. Of course, her titles for these works are more personal and political. These pics are detail views, not the works in their entirety.

I also enjoyed the works of Leroi DeRubertis, maybe because I can visualize imitating them as well, although I'm not sure what form that would take. Again, these pics reflect only a portion of each installation.

The red hands above seemed more two-dimensional, except for the shadows they cast. The faces below felt more three-dimensional, like viewing a crowd. Both reminded me of an exercise in high school Art 101: draw something without lifting the pencil from the page.

I can be quite the homebody; it's easy for me to become glued to the couch. But getting out and about and seeing something new can be quite exciting and stimulating. It was a long day but very worthwhile.

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