Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan
 

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Rebekah Modrak Exhibits Re Made Co. at Incident Report

August 18, 2014

Rebekah Modrak’s Re Made Co. takes over the storefront windows of Incident Report in Hudson, New York, Aug. 14 through Sept. 14.

Re Made Co. exists as a “company” via website and social media that parodies the urban woodsman aesthetic of Best Made Co, which markets designer axes through the rhetoric of authenticity, the appropriation of working-class identities, and the revitalization of traditional male roles. Re Made Co. substitutes Best Made Co.‘s $300 urban axe with a $300 toilet plunger and satirizes their marketing campaign through design, social media, and photography.

This project uses critical design to pose pivotal questions related to the aestheticization and commodification of tools: Why are tools meant for work stylized and sold as luxury items? How is working-class labor sanitized and sold for white-collar fantasy? How are objects marketed with contradictory references, each promising “authentic” experiences that will lead to self-fulfillment?

Incident Report

Rebekah Modrak Exhibits Re Made Co. at Incident Report

Shiva Ahmadi Featured: Hyperallergic

August 18, 2014

Recently on display at the Asia Society, Shiva Ahmadi‘s video work Lotus (2013) was reviewed by hyparallergic.com.

Ahmadi’s single-channel video Lotus, based on her 2013 painting of the same title, is equally haunting. As the animation opens, an enlightened Buddha sits atop a golden lotus throne. Monkeys and humans frolic in the surrounding landscape, holding offerings in the form of bubbles representative of spiritual wisdom. Over time, this Utopia fades. The Buddha’s subjects grow violent, their bubbles turning into bombs. Birds take flight. Stained by blood, the formerly virtuous ruler becomes an ordinary despot.

Both works are as visually striking as they are politically dark, so it’s no surprise their creators identify as painters. As Malani’s lush images are projected on the wall, they bleed together like watercolors — vibrant extensions of her painting practice. Similarly, watching Lotus feels very much like seeing Ahmadi’s original painting come to life; the narrative formerly frozen in time comes to pass before our eyes.

Using Beauty to Examine Ugly Political Truths | HyperAllergic

Shiva Ahmadi Featured: Hyperallergic

Guna Nadarajan: Stellenbosch University and University of Cape Town

August 12, 2014

Stamps Dean Guna Nadarajan is making presentations at several visual art schools in South Africa.  On August 12, he lectures at the Stellenbosch University Department of Visual Arts, followed by a lecture at Michaelis School of Art in the University of Cape Town on August 14th.  Nadarajan’s visit to Michaelis also includes a workshop session with the students of the Honors in Curatorship Program at Michaelis and meetings with the administration to discuss potential study abroad programs and faculty collaborations between our institutions.

Guna Nadarajan: Stellenbosch University and University of Cape Town

Image: University of Cape Town, Adrian Frith

Nick Tobier: My(our)Way NYC Premiere

August 11, 2014

My(our)Way, a public project by Nick Tobier, will premiere on the streets of New York on Saturday, Aug. 16 as part of the NYC Department of Transportation’s public projects.

As the streets converge around Astor Place — cars and busses flowing north onto 4th Avenue, cyclists on Lafayette, pedestrians from 8th street heading east running into those from St. Marks making their way west - the form of Lower Manhattan pinches before it flares. Filled with hopes and dreams, aspirations and hassles, our fellow citizens are, at times, solitary protagonists in their own narrative—waking, walking, on their way to work, on their way home from work.

My (our) Way makes these individuals visible/audible, turning them, crank by crank, note by note, into an ensemble. As Cooper Union staff, Kmart cashiers, the last of the late night revelers and bystanders turn the handles of their small music boxes, the small voices of the solitary notes resonate with one another.

As they converge first by the Astor Place subway station (8:30 am), and later (10:30 am) on the steps of the Public Theater, reaching a cadence of near synchronicity, they play the 18 notes of “My Way” altogether until dispersing. For that moment, and perhaps for every morning thereafter, the possibility of individuals heading different directions becoming an ensemble united by simple action, this can be Our Way.

http://nyc.gov/summerstreets

Nick Tobier: My(our)Way NYC Premiere

Out of the Office - A Solo Exhibition by Erika B. Hess

August 11, 2014

Erika B. Hess will be the August resident artist at Micro Art Space in Cleveland, OH. Her residency will be followed by a solo exhibition, AUTO RESPOND: Out of the Office on August 15 at 78th St. Studios.

Hess is a painter who lives and works in Michigan. She received her MFA in 2009 from Boston University. Her paintings explore the representation of the middle-class and women through her use of color, abstract forms and pop culture symbols. Most recently her work was selected by Carl Belz, former Rose Art Museum Director, to be included in Studio Visit Magazine and exhibited in “EcoMyths” at Last Projects, Los Angeles. Hess currently works at University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design.

http://www.microartspace.com/august-2014-artist-in-residence/

Out of the Office - A Solo Exhibition by Erika B. Hess

Heidi Kumao Exhibits in NYC

August 11, 2014

“Recent Work: Video Sculpture,” a solo show by Heidi Kumao, will be on view from September 2-27, 2014 at Ceres Gallery in New York City.
Opening reception Thursday, Sept. 4, 6-8 pm.

Three works about surviving physical confinement are each inspired by the experiences of individual women including: a college student living under an authoritarian patriarchy, a Japanese-American girl relocated to a WWII internment camp, as well as the artist’s own tribulation during months in a clamshell back brace. In each piece, Kumao interweaves video, photos, animation, and sound into a surreal visual journey that is anchored within a compelling narrative. She transforms everyday objects through mapped video in which real objects and shadows interact with shadows from non-existent objects, creating an uncanny dichotomy for the viewer to resolve.

In “Egress,” a stack of books becomes a portal to another room, then a police inspection area, and then an entire apartment tower. Similarly in “Transplant,” the projection transforms an interned prisoner’s ID tag into a gardener’s seedling, a guard tower, and an American flag. Kumao’s single channel video, “Swallowed Whole,” uses repeated vertical frame-rolls from analog TV to metaphorically replay the impact that literally broke her back. Bone-crushing sounds and jarring movement echo throughout the film as a window of empathy into PTSD repetition compulsion.

Ceres Gallery
547 West 27th St Suite 201
New York, NY 10001

Heidi Kumao Exhibits in NYC

Kimberly Callas Exhibits at Unity College Art Gallery

August 8, 2014

Portrait of the Ecological Self, an exhibition by Maine artist Kimberly Callas (MFA ‘95), will be featured at the Leonard Craig Art Gallery, Unity College Center for the Performing Arts (UCCPA), from Aug. 15 to Sept. 12.

The gallery is located at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts (UCCPA) in Unity, Maine.  A reception will be held at the UCCPA on Tuesday, September 9 from 5 – 7 p.m. with a Pecha Kucha style Artist Presentation at 6 p.m.

A 2013 grant award by The Puffin Foundation provided support for the development of Portrait of the Ecological Self.  The Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy.

The exhibit examines the question of whether there is an ecological self, or a place within each individual that is in tune with nature.  The concept of the ecological self allows one to think in terms of the self as interconnected with all of nature.  “When considering the theory that there is a part of us that (innately) remembers we are of the natural world, not separate from it, I set off to find those connections through art,” noted Callas.  “My hope was that if we could access our ecological selves, we could find ways to live within nature’s patterns, cycles, and limits.”
 Convinced that science alone would not offer the insights she was seeking, Callas combined scientific observation with spiritual practice and researched her first subject: herself.

She spent her mornings researching symbols from nature that are significant to the psyche, like circle, center, sun, mountain, and cave.  “I would then use meditative writing and drawing techniques and in that way, prepare myself for the sculpting sessions,” Callas explained.  “In the afternoons I would sculpt.”

Ultimately, Callas released the good that comes from personal attachments to nature.  Such personal experience leads to action in the form preservation and conservation of the natural world, or sustainable solutions to ensure a viable planet in perpetuity.


Callas was also influenced by the events of September 11, 2001, and the war in Iraq.
 “I witnessed the attack and collapse of the World Trade Center while walking to my studio,” Callas stated.  That and the war in Iraq led Kimberly, her husband and young child to relocate to Brooks, Maine, where they hand built an in-ground, stone house that is off-the-grid and heated solely with wood.

More information about Kimberly Callas and her work is available online at http://www.kimberlycallas.com.


Kimberly Callas Exhibits at Unity College Art Gallery

Chris Ramsay: Meditations in Stillwater

August 8, 2014

Chris Ramsay: Meditations in Stillwater will feature more than 30 works from the past two decades by artist and OSU professor Chris Ramsay (BFA ‘83). Collecting souvenirs of the everyday and filling the spaces of his art as if they were the shelves of a living room curio cabinet or storage drawers in a museum of anthropology, Ramsay creates mixed-media sculptures that invite the viewer to look closely at humble traces of time and life: not rare and precious artifacts but rather simple, anonymous objects from marine fossils and flint arrowheads to postcards and Coke bottle shards.

Metaphors for introspection, Ramsay’s sculptures enclose images in tiny chambers illuminated at the touch of a switch or surround scatterings of found objects with the concave walls of colossal bowls. The intimate experience of looking into these works, lingering over details, and reflecting on the multitude of objects that have touched one’s own life elicits the kind of subtle revelation that is all too often left untapped by art today in quest of monumental impressions. Ramsay’s sculptures, in contrast, achieve their ends through unpretentious materials, intimate scale, natural harmonies, and quiet conduciveness to thought.

Chris Ramsay: Meditations in Stillwater
September 15, 2014 to January 17, 2015
Opening reception/curator talk: Oct. 2
Artist talk: Dec. 4

Oklahoma State University Museum of Art
Stillwater, OK

Chris Ramsay: Meditations in Stillwater

Kathleen McInerney: Healing Art in Local Hospitals

August 8, 2014

Kathleen McInerney’s (BFA 1986) creative work centers on hope, healing and children—themes that have made her paintings important to hospitals in Detroit and Ann Arbor, especially their patients.

Recently, Kathleen learned that Beaumont Hospital selected her to transform one of its four pediatric fluoroscopy rooms into a virtual Detroit Zoo. The Children’s Miracle Network is making the project possible.

Kathleen will paint scenes and animals from the Zoo; then, she will work with Tectonics Industries, a Warren, MI based company, to transform her painted images into material that can cover the walls and fluoroscopy equipment. One such painting with transform an MRI machine into a zoo train. Kathleen’s paintings for Beaumont represent an expansion of the use of her work, while retaining her core message of hope and healing.

“My education at the Stamps School of Art and Design has inspired me to use my gift of art to give comfort to children at their most vulnerable moments,” said Kathleen.

Earlier this spring, the C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital added one of Kathleen’s paintings, “Hope,” which was created in 2012, to its art collection. “Hope” (pictured here) has a remarkable story associated with it. Kathleen’s family friend Nancy Sovran’s daughter, Hope, was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia in 2012. Remarkably, Hope’s youngest sibling (out of eight), seven-year-old Kathleen, was a perfect bone marrow match. Hope underwent a bone marrow transplant in February of that year. When young Kathleen found out that she was going to be Hope’s donor she told her class that she was going to be her sister’s “bow and arrow” donor.

Kathleen wanted to capture the essence of Hope and Kathleen’s journey and share it with the community and families visiting the Bone Marrow Unit at Mott. She captured the “bow and arrow” story of hope in a painting that Hope and family and friends painted together on her 16th birthday party, which also served as a bone marrow drive.

Through her work with families and local hospitals, Kathleen uses her creative work to encourage healing and foster hope.

Kathleen McInerney: Healing Art in Local Hospitals

LUNAR Wins 2014 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award

August 8, 2014

Mark Dziersk (BFA 1981), managing director of LUNAR’s Chicago office, and Matt Peterson (BFA 2000 and BSEMech 2000), vice president of operations, are honored that LUNAR Design has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Product Design, given to an individual or firm for exceptional and exemplary work in the design of consumer goods, technology, or home and office furnishings.

The National Design Awards jury selected LUNAR for its high level of excellence, innovation and the public impact of their body of work. In describing LUNAR’s design excellence, the award committee stated “LUNAR is a global design and engineering firm that has been creating beautiful, ingenious, and charismatic products and experiences for 30 years. Founded and built by Jeff Smith and Gerard Furbershaw in San Francisco, LUNAR’s work spans consumer, technology, and life science markets for leaders like Oral-B, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, among other global brands. The team brings together consumer insight, design leadership, and engineering horsepower to deliver successes like the Oral-B CrossAction toothbrush, market–leading HP computers, and brand-defining genetic sequencers for Illumina. Staying close to its entrepreneurial core, LUNAR has created a variety of new ventures, including Belle-V, an innovative new brand of kitchen tools introduced on Kickstarter, achieving its funding goal on the first day.”

The National Design Awards were conceived by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor the best in American design. Learn more about the awards here.

LUNAR Wins 2014 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award

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