Japanese. Bronze Censer, late 19th–early, 20th century. Bronze, 20 3/4 × 11 3/4 in. Gift of Mrs. Guy Blackinton 1938.3

Restrained/Unrestrained

December 18, 2021 - July 17, 2022

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

Throughout the entire history of humankind, people have needed containers for countless different objects. Storing food and water was essential to the longevity and prosperity of early civilizations. They likely used objects found in nature, like hollow gourds, as receptacles. As time progressed, containers were needed for religious ceremonies, cultural practices, personal adornment, and other aspects of daily life. Materials changed, decorations were added, and the container sometimes became more significant than the object placed within it. 

Featuring objects from the museum’s permanent collection, Restrained/Unrestrained illustrates the importance of receptacles in societies all over the world throughout time. They come in all different shapes and sizes, are made of many different materials, and serve many purposes. From pitchers to baskets, many of the objects in this exhibition have predictable functions and carry the objects of daily life. However, others are not intended to exclusively contain—like a Roman oil lamp made to hold oil but release a flame, or a contemporary vessel that cannot hold water. This exhibition explores the world of possibilities these objects hold and how their significance cannot be contained. 

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Ed Watkins, American, born 1950. Preach Jennings, 2021. Mixed media drawing, 29 x 36 in.

Drawing from Life: Ed Watkins

January 15, 2022 - April 10, 2022

Graphics Gallery

For almost 40 years, Flint native Ed Watkins has taught visual arts and design. The concept for this exhibition stems from the observational skills that students practice in life drawing classes. This exhibition includes drawing and mixed media artworks that are inspired by the distinctive and spiritual nature of his African American experience.

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Jerry Taliaferro, American, born 1953. Kim D. Yarber, 2021. Digital print, 16 x 12 in. 2021.173

Sons: Seeing the Modern African American Male

January 23, 2022 - April 16, 2022

Henry Gallery Hodge Gallery

This year artist Jerry Taliaferro returns to Flint to photograph the men of our community for Sons: Seeing the Modern African American Male, which will be shown at the Flint Institute of Arts in 2022 on the 5th anniversary of the Women of a New Tribe exhibition. Much more than a photographic study, this exhibition aims to explore perceptions and biases. In Taliaferro’s words: “Recent events point to the urgent need for conversations about the contemporary Black American male. Any effort, however humble, to foster an understanding of this largely misunderstood and often marginalized segment of the American population is of utmost importance.” Visitors will be presented with two photographs of each subject —first a black-and-white image of just a face, and then later in the exhibition a photograph in color, where the subjects are instructed to “be themselves.”  

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Gerhardt Knodel

Minglings: The Migration

April 9, 2022 - October 9, 2022

Harris - Burger Gallery

Inspired by a tapestry remnant from the Ming dynasty, Gerhardt Knodel creates a series of vibrant, abstracted forms out of thousands of pieces of contemporary fabric. Knodel has contributed to the evolution and identity of contemporary fiber art for more than four decades. He is a former director and fiber department head at Cranbrook Academy of Art. He currently maintains a studio in Pontiac, Michigan.

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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: 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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