Exhibition Detail

Kathleen Messner: American Beauty

American Beauty

Kathleen Messner (BSDes 1965)

American Beauty is a watercolor, placed under glass, in a deep, black, boxed frame. The work can be illuminated, via 3 AA batteries, by touching the toggle switch on the side of the frame. The lighting provides a subtle/nightlite background and has an automatic shutoff in one hour. The roses are cutout red acetate and the light shines thru the roses as well as thru the green acetate leafing. This work was in the recent ArtPrize Nine, 2017, held in Grand Rapids. The work was inspired by a conversation with another artist who told me that this lighting technique could not be done! Previous works that I did, doing Tiffany-type lamps, were illuminated with electricity which needed UL approval. This work did not need ANY permission. The key: just don't give up and keep experimenting.

This work is featured as part of Future Former: An Exhibition of Alumni Work. This exhibition honors the creative work and careers of all Stamps School alumni, creates an aspirational connection between generations of U-M artists and designers and current Stamps students, and inspires reflection during the university's Bicentennial year.