Guest artist brings a 'material experience' to exhibition

January 9, 2024 (Volume 47, Number 10)
Article by Thomas Garrett

A new exhibition in the Calder Art Center uses textiles, prints and handmade objects to investigate the signs of what one should or shouldn’t be.

"Everybody Knows This is Nowhere," by guest artist Emmy Bright, uses dysfunctional mazes and found objects to demonstrate how there is no correct answer or decision. Whether it is the rusted button that states “I miss my old life” or the series of books with chew marks on the corners, Bright shows items that “are not doing it right,” she said. Some items she found in the dirt while on walks with her dogs.

Bright has been curating this collection since 2020 near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said it was a time that “was uncertain and scary, and many people felt that way.”

“These objects for me were little signs from the universe that things will stay together for now, but also little signs of art,” said Bright.

Bright is the artist-in-residence and co-head of the print media department at Cranbrook Academy of Art. She lives in Detroit and her work is represented by the David Klein Gallery.

The exhibition, which premieres at Grand Valley, is being installed with the help of visual media arts students and faculty. "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" will run from January 11-February 1 in the Padnos Student Gallery, with an opening reception at 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 11.

Bright has placed intricate carpet mazes on the floor of the gallery along with boulder-like bean bags to create a warmer experience that allows viewers to relax and take in each object.

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This article was last edited on January 9, 2024 at 9:28 a.m.

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