Winfred Rembert, American, b. 1945, Miss Prather’s Class, 2014. Woodcut and silkscreen. 16 x 20 inches. The Anthony and Davida Artis Collection of African-American Fine Art 

​Wonderfully Made: The Artis Collection of African American Art

January 18, 2020 - April 12, 2020

Graphics Gallery

Flint natives Anthony J. and Davida J. Artis have been collecting African American art since 2009. They have a passion to share their collection and have done so locally, but this exhibition will be its first museum showing. Their collection now totals more than 70 works, mostly prints, but also watercolors and drawings. According to the couple, they have collected art with the themes of faith, family, and faces and “want people to be moved and inspired.” They are attracted to art that tells a story, especially as a means to educate, encourage, and engage the community. The exhibition features works by Henry Ossawa Tanner, Jacob Lawrence, Mary Lee Bendolph, and Winfred Rembert.

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Sam Jury, English, born 1969. All Things Being Equal, 2009. Single channel, looped video. 11 minutes, 58 seconds. Gift of Cynthia Griffin, 2016.3

All Things Being Equal

January 2, 2020 - January 31, 2020

Media Arts Gallery

All Things Being Equal is a looped video that explores the notion of suspended trauma. Through the visual tool of mass media, the artist shows how traumatic incidents from the past can repeat and replay, offering the viewer a shared experience. This video depicts the repetitive movements of a figure in confinement, beleaguered by water, an element both destructive and sustaining. Here the water moves almost as an independent agency, and the figure is neither suffocating nor surviving.

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Liberty & Co., British, founded London, 1875. Chalice, ca. 1890. Pewter and glass. 6 x 5 x 5 inches. Gift of Janis and William Wetsman, 2016.23

Useful and Beautiful: Decorative Arts Highlights

November 16, 2019 - July 26, 2020

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

Highlighting decorative arts from the FIA collection, this exhibition demonstrates that art can be both beautiful and useful. Decorative arts includes objects such as vases, teapots, dinnerware, and musical instruments. These objects were made with a wide variety of materials, including glass, ceramics, metal, and wood. Decorative arts as a category was created in Europe after the Renaissance in distinction from the “fine arts” of painting and sculpture by designating objects that are utilitarian but also artfully crafted. During the 19th-century Arts and Crafts movement in England and the United States, there was a greater appreciation for the decorative arts, with many championing the idea that there was no meaningful difference between fine and decorative. In other cultures, like China, this distinction would not have been relevant, as the most valued works include those that could be categorized as “decorative.”

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Cristallerie de Pantin, French, 1850–1915. Salamander, 1878. 4 1/2 inch diameter. Photo: Paul Dunlop

Postscript

November 16, 2019 - July 26, 2020

Decorative Arts Corridor

Visitors will delight in the rare and spectacular paperweights in this “postscript” to the Small Worlds exhibition from the FIA collection and private collections. One example is a paperweight similar to one that was featured in a 2012 episode of BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. In this exhibition (Rose, Pansy, and Thistle Bouquet by Clichy) features a bouquet of flowers containing Clichy’s signature pink millefiori rose, two thistles cupped by a thick green ring of spurs, and a purple and pale yellow pansy. Similar arrangements of flowers are known, and the Roadshow’s host suggested that it acts as a commemoration of the alliance between England, Scotland, and France during the Crimean War (1853–56).

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William Morris, American, born 1957. Zande Man, 2001. Blown glass, steel stand. 26 x 16 x 16 inches. Courtesy of the Isabel Foundation, L2017.120. Photo credit: Douglas Schaible Photography

Double Take

October 26, 2019 - February 23, 2020

Harris - Burger Gallery

Artists often manipulate the properties of one medium to appear like something else and use the medium to question the subject matter. The contemporary objects in this exhibition build on the historical tradition of trompe l’oeil, which translates from French to “deceive the eye.” While some artists intentionally try to make one material look like another, others are simply exploring the versatility of the medium. These works, such as Robin by Margaret Keelan, employ tradition as inspiration, mimicking objects made in different mediums from various cultures. 

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