Allison Schulnik
American, b. 1978
 Eager, 2014 
Traditional clay-mation and stop-motion animated film
Duration: 8:30 minutes 
Courtesy of the artist and PPOW

Eager by Allison Schulnik

October 1, 2022 - October 31, 2022

Security Credit Union Gallery

Eager uses clay and stop-motion photography to create a riotous fantasy world populated by a cast of human and non- human creatures united in a state of continuous transformation as they dance, slice each other open, and wear one another’s bodies. Using puppets, in-camera effects, and incorporating materials such as clay, wood, fabric, glue, paint, and wire, Allison Schulnik builds her stop motion clay-mation worlds alone and without any digital manipulation. For this work Schulnik commissioned close friend and composer Aaron M. Olson to create a three-part musical score. Schulnik then choreographed, animated, and edited the film around his song and worked with cinematographer Helder King Sun on cinematic lighting and technical wizardry. Schulink choreographs her characters in compositions that embody the spirit of macabre, where comedy, tragedy, beauty, love, and death fantastically merge in a celebration of life and otherness. Discussing her practice, Schulnik contends, “I like to blend earthly fact, blatant fiction to form a stage of tragedy, farce, and raw, ominous beauty – at times capturing otherworld buffoonery, and other times presenting a simple earthly dignified moment.”

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Victo Ngai, American, born China, born 1988. The Hand of the Queen, 2019. Digital print on paper, 16 x 12 3/4 in. (40.6 x 32.4 cm). Collection of the artist © Victo Ngai

Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration

September 24, 2022 - January 8, 2023

Hodge Gallery Henry Gallery

For hundreds of years, artists have been inspired by the imaginative potential of fantasy. Unlike science fiction, which is based on fact, fantasy presents an impossible reality—a universe where dragons breathe fire, angels battle demons, and magicians weave spells. With examples of archetypes from the last few millennia, Enchanted offers a thoughtful appraisal of how artists from long ago to the present have brought to life mythology and fairy tales, as well as modern epics like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. The exhibition includes themes such as children's tales, gods and monsters, knights in shining armor, and much more. Enchanted traces the development of fantasy art from Golden Age illustrators like Howard Pyle and N. C. Wyeth, to classic cover artists like Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo, as well emerging talents like Anna Dittmann and Victo Ngai.

Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Non-flash photography or video with a hand-held camera or mobile device solely for private, non-commercial use, is permitted in the galleries unless otherwise specified. Selfie sticks are not permitted in the galleries.

Exhibition sponsored by Susie Thompson

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Gerhardt Knodel, American, born 1940 The Journey: Departure, n.d. Mixed textiles 132 x 84 inches. Courtesy of the artist Photo credit: P D Rearik.

Minglings: A Journey Across Time

April 9, 2022 - October 9, 2022

Harris - Burger Gallery

Minglings: A Journey Across Time explores a contemporary fiber artist’s engagement with the past. Inspired by a tapestry remnant from China’s Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), Gerhardt Knodel embarked on an exploration into the potential of how this fabric from another time and place could inform his present work. While portions of the tapestry were deteriorating, Knodel isolated 40 separate fragments that included images of butterflies, flowering branches, undulating lines, and a blue sky. Each small piece of finely woven silk became a new composition of abstracted, incomplete subjects that he could re-create.

Featuring a series of drawings, fiber artwork, and mixed-media objects, the exhibition will lead you on a journey between cultures, beginning in China and arriving at the artist’s studio in Pontiac, Michigan. These works will also show how beautiful objects migrate through time, carrying with them their cultural identity but also being reinterpreted in the context of the current pandemic. Minglings demonstrates how the past is never dead in the hands of the artist, offering the opportunity for rediscovery and reconsideration.

Knodel’s studio practice spans nearly 50 years, 37 of them invested as Artist- in-Residence, then director, and now Director Emeritus of Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has exhibited internationally and is a recipient of numerous awards, including the American Crafts Council 2018 Gold Medal and the Distinguished Educators Award from the James Renwick Alliance of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Gerhardt Knodel gives a talk on his workshop and works.

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LaToya Ruby Frazier, American, born 1982. Shea with Her Best Friend, Amber Hasan, Shea’s Manager, Poet, Writer, Hip-Hop Artist, Actor, Comedian, Herbalist, Activist, Community Organizer, and Business Owner of Mama’s Healing Hands, Flint, Michigan, I, 2016–2017. Gelatin silver print, 24 x 20 inches.

Copyright LaToya Ruby Frazier

Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery

LaToya Ruby Frazier: Flint Is Family In Three Acts

September 3, 2022 - December 30, 2022

Graphics Gallery

“No matter how dark a situation may be, a camera can extract the light and turn a negative into a positive. In creating Flint Is Family In Three Acts, I see the role of photographs as empowering and enacting visible change: in Act I, the photographs bear witness and reclaim history; in Act II, the photographs reveal a hidden narrative; in Act III, the photographs are a catalyst for obtaining resources.” —LaToya Ruby Frazier

Flint Is Family In Three Acts is a multi-part exhibition by renowned artist LaToya Ruby Frazier. For five years, Frazier researched and collaborated with two poets, activists, mothers and residents of Flint, Michigan, Shea Cobb and Amber Hasan, as they endured one of the most devastating ecological crises in U.S. history. Resulting in a monumental oeuvre of photographs, video, and texts Frazier developed Flint Is Family In Three Acts (2016–2021) to advocate for access to clean and safe drinking water for all regardless of race, religion and economic status. The series records stories of surviving and thriving, especially within racialized and marginalized neighborhoods in Flint, to ensure that they remained visible in national debates concerning environmental justice. Drawing inspiration from the urgency in Frazier’s work, which also sheds light on building equitable and inclusive futures Stamps Gallery, part of Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at University of Michigan, initiated a partnership with the Flint Institute of Arts and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University to bring this important exhibition together for the first time in Michigan. As co-presenters of this landmark exhibition our goal is to offer a creative pedagogical platform that reaches broader audiences across Michigan and beyond—Flint is Family: Act I (2016–2017) will take place at the Flint Institute of Arts, Act II (2017–2019) at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, and Act III (2019) at Stamps Gallery. The exhibition served as a catalyst to bring three disparate institutions together to deepen our understanding of individual and institutional agency in advocating for equity, transparency and environmental justice in our respective communities, while also highlighting the role of the artist as an agent for enacting positive social change.  

Organized by Stamps Gallery in partnership with the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, and the Flint Institute of Arts 

Curated by Srimoyee Mitra, Tracee Glab, and Steven L. Bridges with the assistance of Jennifer Junkermeier-Khan, Rachel Winter, and Rachael Holstege.

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Maya Culture Guatemala. Cocoa Jar with Monkeys, ca. 800 – 1200 CE. Clay 20 x 10 in. Gift of Robert Drapkin 

Walk on the Wild Side

August 6, 2022 - February 5, 2023

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

Animals, both real and mythological, have occupied an important place in art from prehistoric to modern times, often carrying a rich variety of symbolic associations. These creatures have served as vehicles for allegory, moral instruction, and have stood as symbols for power and social status. The human relationship with other species is complex and ever-changing with images of animals in art continuing to entertain and inspire us. 

 From functional to decorative, the artworks in Walk on the Wild Side feature various animal groups from amphibians and reptiles to mammals and the fantastical hybrid creatures. The exhibition, drawn from the FIA’s permanent collection, explores animals and their place in culture through three-dimensional works of various time periods and media including stone, ceramic, and glass.

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