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Stamps Gallery Receives $80K in Andy Warhol Foundation Support

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts recently announced that Stamps Gallery in downtown Ann Arbor will be the recipient of an $80K grant to support public exhibitions, public programs, and publications dedicated to exploring inclusive, equitable futures through the lens of contemporary art practice.

Part of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, Stamps Gallery presents original exhibitions and public programs that focus largely on shining a spotlight on artists and designers who use creative work to catalyze social change.

Srimoyee Mitra addresses Stamps Gallery visitors. Photo by Nick Beardslee.

Stamps Gallery is directed by the award winning curator and writer, Srimoyee Mitra, whose approach to organizing exhibitions and selecting artists acknowledges the intergenerational and cultural losses endured through colonial and racial violence in North America that marginalize women, queer, Indigenous, and racialized communities from all walks of life, including the art world.

Spanning two years of programming, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts grant will support six exhibitions and corresponding programs and launch the gallery’s publications program. Exhibitions include work by artists micha cárdenas, Oliver Husain, Elizabeth LaPensée, Meryl McMaster, and Syrus Marcus Ware, Osman Khan, Razi Jafri, Stephanie Dinkins, Dylan Miner, and Sheila de Bretteville. The foundation will also support an exhibition of LaToya Ruby Frazier’s photography series, “Flint is Family,” which will be shown in the Midwest for the first time at Stamps Gallery in Fall 2020.

Exhibition reception at Stamps Gallery. Photo by Nick Beardslee.

The grant will also serve to support an exhibition publication for Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative, the gallery’s inaugural and state-wide award program designed to support the development of contemporary artists living and working in Michigan.

“Through meaningful dialogues with artists of diverse and multigenerational backgrounds, our goal is to inspire and evoke conversations on socially and culturally relevant issues that inform the concerns of artists works in the 21st Century,” Mitra said. “Recognition and support from the Warhol Foundation is an important milestone in our efforts – and we are very grateful.”

Stamps Gallery attendees participate in a book-making activity in the gallery. Photo by Nick Beadslee.

Stamps Gallery - Sneak Peek Exhibition and Programming Schedule, 2020-2021

Taking A Stand (January 17-February 29, 2020)

Featuring work by micha cárdenas, Oliver Husain, Elizabeth LaPensée, Meryl McMaster, and Syrus Marcus Ware, the artists in this exhibition use science fiction-inspired visual narratives as a way to build new understandings of solidarity, empathy, and decoloniality. Affiliated public programs include talks, tours, workshops, and a series of book events around Nia King’s anthology Queer and Trans Artists of Color.

Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative (Call for Work: Monday, March 16-Thursday, April 30, 2020 / Exhibition: January 15-February 28, 2021)

Organized by Stamps Gallery, Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative is a new awards program designed to support the development of contemporary artists living and working in Michigan. With an open call for work launching March 16-April 30, 2020 and a jury comprised of artists and curators, Envision will culminate with an exhibition that features the work of three to five finalists at Stamps Gallery in downtown Ann Arbor January 13-February 28, 2021. The winner of the exhibition will receive a $5,000 prize and a solo exhibition at the Crooked Tree Art Center in Traverse City. This initiative showcases the excellence and merit of contemporary art practices in Michigan and recognizes the creativity, rigor, and innovation of artists and collaboratives working in the region.

Halal Metropolis (May-July 2020)

Organized by Stamps School of Art & Design professor and artist Osman Khan; photographer Razi Jafri; and U-M Dearborn historian Sally Howell, this exhibition presents photo and video-based installations, tapestries, and materials from community archives to highlight the impact and influence of Muslim migrant and refugee artists in Southeast Michigan and beyond. Affiliated public programs include talks, performances, and workshops.

Latoya Ruby Frazier: Flint is Family (August-October 2020)

LaToya Ruby Frazier’s photography series Flint is Family examines the recent trauma of contaminated water that poisoned thousands of residents in Flint, Michigan. Elements of Frazier’s work on Flint was recently included in the 2019 SFMoma exhibition, Soft Power. Her Stamps Gallery exhibition will be accompanied by seminars and workshops with Flint residents, activists, designers, and scholars.

Stephanie Dinkins (August-October 2021)

Transmedia artist Stephanie Dinkins explores how Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality intersects with race, gender, aging, and future histories. As part of the exhibition, she will work with scientists, philosophers, and engineers of color at the University of Michigan to create a 360-degree immersive installation on the memoir of one black American family told by an AI entity called NTOO (Not the Only One).

Dylan Miner (October-November 2021)

Artist and scholar Dylan Miner examines the possibility of returning agency to those who lost it by paying homage to his ancestors from the Métis “Halfbreed” community on Bootaagani-minis (the Anishinaabemowin name for Michigan’s Drummond Island). The historic Métis community fought in the War of 1812 and after a border dispute were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands. In addition to a multi-site exhibition, Miner’s project will culminate in a symposium and a publication.