2018

Exhibition Highlights

Plastination: The Art of Preservation
Blue Wall Gallery, Richard M. DeVos Center, Building B
July 13 - December 14, 2018

Plastination is the process of impregnating animal, human or plant tissues with a variety of plastic or silicone products to render the tissues odor-free, dry and permanently preserved for educational and instructional purposes. The process was invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977 at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and made popular through his many Body Worlds exhibitions around the globe.

Beginning in 2007, members of Grand Valley State University (GVSU) began studying plastination and investigating the opportunity to create a lab at GVSU. That became a reality in 2013, and since then, over 300 specimens have been plastinated for use in a variety of teaching roles. This exhibition tells the story of plastination at GVSU and walks viewers through the process and use of plastinates. It brings together over 20 animal specimens from the lab – currently the only plastination lab in Michigan.
 

Wandering Seeds: Experiencing and Engaging Haiti through Study Abroad
Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall
July 20 – December 14, 2018

"the tall tree says it sees far, the wandering seed says it sees more" – Haitian proverb

Between May 20 – June 19, 2018 a dozen Grand Valley State University (GVSU) students and two faculty traveled to Haiti as part of a study abroad program. The course, led by Professor Peter Wampler (Geology/Frederik Meijer Honors College), was designed to allow students from various backgrounds the opportunity to experience Haitian culture and gain an understanding of daily life in rural Haiti. In addition, students participated in a variety of service learning and community-based teaching experiences, allowing them to contribute their energy toward real-world problems in Haiti. During the first week of the trip, Assistant Professor Ellen Adams (Art Gallery/Frederik Meijer Honors College) also assisted in mediating experiences with Haitian artists and art collectives at various sites.

Included in this exhibition are narratives and reflections by both the faculty and students who participated in the trip. Additionally, a number of photographs document their encounters, and a variety of original Haitian paintings, voodoo flags, metal art and masks attest to the vibrant and diverse artistic culture in the country.
 

Mars: Astronomy and Culture
1121 Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts
August 24 – November 9, 2018
Reception:  September 13, 5-7 PM

“My hope is that the exhibition helps people better understand the science and beauty of the only other planet in our solar system that could support human life, as well as the importance of Mars in culture during the last 120 years.”

- Jay Belloli, Exhibition Organizer and Curator

The planet Mars has fascinated humanity since early in human history. The Chinese observed it before 1000 BCE. The Egyptians knew of the red planet as well, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire was aware of it by the sixth century BCE. It enthralls us even more now because it is the only planet in the solar system that could be made to support human life.

Beginning in the mid-1600s, scientists first created astronomical drawings of Mars. This was followed by ground-based photographs in the early 20th century, and then those from numerous spacecraft, the first of which began to reveal details of the Martian surface in 1965. With the recent discoveries of the Curiosity rover and continued popularity of science fiction film and literature, people all over the world are engaged with the exploration and popular culture of Mars.

Mars: Astronomy and Culture brings0 together photographs, drawings, movie posters, book covers and video projections. In doing so, it connects the recent scientific images of Mars to the entire history of photography of the red planet, and to the drawings by famous astronomers that preceded the development of photography. Crucially, it shows the impact of Mars on popular culture even before the twentieth century.

Mars: Astronomy and Culture is presented in partnership between the Grand Valley State University Art Gallery, the Center Art Gallery at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and The Holland Museum in Holland, Michigan.

This exhibition was curated by Pasadena Arts Council for the Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California. It is a project of the Pasadena Arts Council’s EMERGE Fiscal Sponsorship Program.

You tube film of the evening.

 

Common Balance: Still Life Paintings by Mike McDonnell
Russel H. Kirkhof Center Gallery, Russell H. Kirkhof Center 
July 13 – October 26, 2018

In the early 1980’s, Michigan-based artist Mike McDonnell became enamored with still life arrangements of common household objects. He began by drawing each object individually, then patiently applied multiple glazes of watercolor paint to achieve rich color and the illusion of realism. This selection of work, from 1982-2009, illustrated how McDonnell strived to idealize common objects in balanced and unique groupings.

  Online Collection


PIC Pics: 2018 Study Abroad Photo Contest Winners

West Wall Gallery, L. V. Eberhard Center
July 13 – October 26, 2018

Every year, over 800 GVSU students travel around the world on a Study Abroad Program through the Padnos International Center (PIC). For the 2018 PIC Pics Photo Contest, GVSU students and alumni were asked to share photos from their adventures abroad. In March, the GVSU community was invited to take a glimpse into the adventures of their fellow Lakers and vote on their favorite images. The winning photographs were announced at a reception on Tuesday, March 27 and become part of the GVSU permanent collection. This exhibition features the winners selected by vote, as well as honorable mentions selected by Art Gallery staff.


017 GVSU & SeoulTech Art & Design Student Exchange Exhibition
West Wall Gallery, L. V. Eberhard Center
March 9 – June 22, 2018

Since 2008, Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SeoulTech) and Grand Valley State University have developed a relationship through an exchange of creative practice and study abroad programs. A pair of simultaneous exhibitions furthers this partnership in 2017, with photography representing student artwork at both educational institutions. The exhibition at GVSU featured 40 photographs of SeoulTech student artwork from their five divisions: Ceramic Art & Design, Fine Arts, Industrial Design, Metal Art & Design, and Visual Communication. The partner exhibition at SeoulTech also featured 40 photographs of GVSU Visual & Media Arts student artwork.

Landscapes, Color & Light: Paintings by Virginia Jenkins
Blue Wall Gallery, Richard M. DeVos Center, Building B
March 9 – June 22, 2018

Virginia Jenkins is a professor and former chair of the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Grand Valley State University. Landscapes forms and images have been the primary focus of her work for over two decades, and her areas of specialty are in painting, drawing and mixed media. This exhibition is drawn from a recent series created in response to the landscape of the Northwest coast of the United States.
 

Selections from Fishladder
Russel H. Kirkhof Center Gallery
March 9 – June 22, 2018

Now in its fifteenth year, fishladder is a student-run journal at Grand Valley State University. fishladder publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama, photography, and art created by GVSU students. Individuals from across all disciplines in the university are encouraged to submit work in all styles, genres, and forms. The editors of fishladder aim to select the best, most artistic work for publication in the yearly print edition, which is unveiled every April.

This exhibition presented a selection of visual and written works of art from the publication. It is hosted in conjunction with Student Scholars Day (SSD), an event celebrating the scholarly achievements of students from the past year. This year, SSD was hosted on April 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Henry Hall Atrium, Kirkhof Center, and the Mary Idema Pew Library.

fishladder website "fishladder: A Student Journal of art and writing"

2018 Padnos International Center Photo Contest (PIC Pics)
Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall
March 9 – June 22, 2018

Every year, over 800 GVSU students travel around the world on a Study Abroad program through the Padnos International Center (PIC). For the 2018 PIC Pics Photo Contest, GVSU students and alumni were invited to share photos from their adventures abroad. The GVSU community glimpsed into the adventures of their fellow Lakers and voted on their favorite images March 9th - 23rd, 2018. The winning photographs were announced March 27, 2018 and have become a part of the GVSU permanent collection.
 

FRACTAL Photography Senior Thesis Exhibition
1121 Thomas J. & Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts
April 17 - 27, 2018
Reception:  Thursday, April 19, 5 - 7 PM
Special Showing:  Saturday, April 28, 10 - 11 AM

The photography program in the Department of Visual and Media Arts presented Fractal, a photographic journey through the creative iterations of twelve photographers. The images explore mental illness and emotional turmoil to abstraction, consumerism, and landscapes.

Photography Senior Thesis Exhibition featured photography from Rachel Britton, Sara Carte, Manuel Diaz, Elizabeth Dupree, Rebecca Glasgow, Olivia Karkowski, Daniel Schrager, Margaret Shaw, Jessica Small, Austin Sullivan, Olivia Thibeault, and Alyssa VanderWeg.


x - height Senior Graphic Design Show
1121 Thomas J. & Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts
April 9 - 12, 2018
Reception:  April 12, 5 -7 PM

Graphic Design BFA Senior Exhibition, showcased the capstone project developed in ART 415 - Senior Project. Over the course of their last semester, senior students in Graphic Design must use the concepts, skills and previously acquired experience, and conceive a project on a topic of their choice. With the help of Graphic Design Faculty, students are responsible for their process, schedule, and budget. This project is disseminated to the University community in a group exhibition with all students in the same graduating class.

Featuring works by the students included Kaitlyn Allison, Michael Alvey, Skyelar Fountain, Adam Hummel, Zachary Miskowski, Lan Nguyen, Jack Powers, Kendra Smith, Tyler Staley, Rachel Szegedy, and Courtney Wagasky.
 

Ebb & Flow: Explorations in Painting by Herbert Murrie
1121 Thomas J. & Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts
January 18 – March 30, 2018
Opening Reception:  Thursday, January 18, 5 - 7 PM

For over 40 years, Herbert Murrie had a successful advertising and design career based in Chicago. As a result of his artistic upbringing and personal drive, he often returned to the studio in pursuit of a more spontaneous and freeing output. In 1988, Murrie began painting seriously and by the late 1990’s he was exhibiting regularly. Over the next 10 to 15 years evidence of his freed state leapt off the canvas. Controlled manipulation of paint and color bore witness to his understanding of design, while his process of working intuitively noted elements of the artistic movements he grew up with in the mid-20th century.

Like many artists, Murrie often draws back and then returns to work he feels is unfinished. This exhibition examined the ebb and flow of his creative process, while looking back at his painting career and forwards to a new body of work. It included 26 pieces that span his career as a painter – from 1995 to present. They were drawn out of private collections and the GVSU permanent collection, which includes 16 works that were donated by Herbert and Lisa Murrie in 2015.  You can view this artwork on site by taking an Ebb and Flow Campus Tour and downloading our Art at GVSU mobile application for Android and Apple devices.

"The editing process...creating form from chaos...is at the heart of my art, but that involves the exercise of critical judgement, an aspect of creativity. In the beginning of a creative effort, a period of uncertainty is a helpful state of affairs."

- Herb Murrie


Landscapes: Color & Light:  Paintings by Virginia Jenkins
Red Wall Gallery, Lake Ontario Hall
December 15, 2017 – March 2, 2018

Virginia Jenkins is a professor and former chair of the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Grand Valley State University. Landscapes forms and images have been the primary focus of her work for over two decades, and her areas of specialty are in painting, drawing and mixed media. This exhibition was drawn from a recent series created in response to the landscape of the Northwest coast of the United States.


Drawn from the Desert: Australian Aboriginal Paintings from the Central and Western Deserts
Russel H. Kirkhof Center Gallery
November 3, 2017 – March 2, 2018

Between 1940-60, the Australian government forced Aboriginal groups off their lands and into organized communities of the Central Desert region and along the northern coast. Papunya, located approximately 150 miles northwest of Alice Springs, was the last community established to collect these displaced groups, and where the contemporary Australian Aboriginal art movement began.

This exhibition was drawn out of a recent gift of Australian Aboriginal paintings to GVSU, created by artists from Papunya and the surrounding region. It featured artwork that provides insight into Aboriginal dreamings – retellings of important ancient stories and symbols – and the sacred sites of this vast and arid landscape.

To see more of the GVSU Aboriginal Art Collection CLICK HERE


Traveling with the Bangalore Wanderlusters: Reflections on a Semester in India by Maya Grant
Blue Wall Gallery, Richard M. DeVos Center, Building B
September 29, 2017 - March 2, 2018

In the fall of 2016, Maya Grant travelled to India on a study abroad scholarship from the GVSU Padnos International Center. A sociology major and women and gender studies minor, Grant was led to India by a need to escape and explore. They studied at Christ University in Bengaluru, volunteered at a local non-profit and captured their experiences and interactions through photography.

On the weekends, Grant joined a group of expats called the Bangalore Wanderlusters, and traveled throughout Karnataka and its neighboring states. This exhibition included over 25 photographs documenting their experiences studying abroad, and exploring the landscape and people of India.


Strange & Magical Beasts: Etchings by Tony Fitzpatrick
West Wall Gallery, L. V. Eberhard Center
November 3, 2017 – March 2, 2018

Tony Fitzpatrick was born in 1958, and raised in and around Chicago as a member of a large middle class Irish Catholic family. His father worked as a burial vault salesman, and often took Tony along to appointments around the city when he was suspended from school. Drawing was a pervasive part of his life, and he’d sketch anything that caught his eye. He graduated from Montini Catholic High School in 1977, untrained in the arts.

Over the years, Fitzpatrick spent time as boxer, bartender, actor, waiter and tattoo artist. These experiences, coupled with an insatiable appetite for drawing, had a profound effect on his work. This exhibition featured 21 etchings by the artist. They are drawn out of a recent gift of over 120 works on paper to the GVSU permanent collection. Filled with strange and magical beasts they draw on his childhood imagination, Catholic upbringing and immersive experience in street culture.