Richmond Center for Visual Arts – Summer Exhibition


Richmond Center for Visual Arts
Summer Exhibition to Focus on Frostic School of Art Alumni

Western Michigan University’s Richmond Center for Visual Arts will host two exhibitions by alumni in the Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery. The exhibitions, Through a Crack in the Lake: Collaborative Paintings by Patricia Opel and Tim Norris, and Paul Marquardt: Word Play open on Thursday, April 23rd, and run through June 26, 2009.

From tribal shamanism to twentieth-century Surrealism, floating or swimming in water has been used as a symbol of sleep, hallucination, sex, birth, death, and passage to other spiritual realms. Submergence underwater as a metaphor for the subconscious or the dream-state is a common feature found in many artists’ works. For Patricia Opel and Tim Norris, this universal symbolism connects to local history in their collaborative paintings on the subject of Great Lakes shipwrecks and ecology. The show’s title is borrowed from sailor’s lingo describing the sudden and complete disappearance of a ship in a storm. But the title can also suggest a mythic descent into the subconscious.

Paul Marquardt’s works are a cross section of digitally altered images he has been working with over the past few years. But while technology has been used in their creation, Marquardt’s art is filled with content about who we are as humans and how we live on this earth. They are juxtapositions of our actions and our goals, politics and social norms, and the varied signals that stream between us as we live together in small communities, larger urban populations, or in our personal dream states. Word Play will expose layers of meaning, while giving us the means of seeing within ourselves – as well as others.

Contact 2009: Toronto Photography Festival

© Susan Dobson, Smart Centre #3, 2008

CONTACT is an annual month long festival of photography that takes place at over 200 venues across the Greater Toronto Area from May 1 – 31. As the largest photography festival in the world, CONTACT has become a premiere cultural event in Toronto with a broad range of international programming. This includes exhibitions, public installations, films, lectures, seminars and workshops. CONTACT participants, whether acclaimed international artists or local emerging photographers, exhibit in a variety of venues, from major public museums to private galleries and many alternative spaces including subway stations, billboards, the airport and city streets.

CONTACT 2009 – Still Revolution examines how each significant innovation in photography’s evolution has radically altered the creation and consumption of images, irrevocably changing the history of visual representation.

MAY 1 – 20
The DepARTment >>

Susan Dobson’s recent body of work, Retail (2008) continues her exploration of architecture and land use in the suburban landscape. In this work, she examines the makeshift nature of retail architecture and consumer culture’s dependence on the automobile. The series of large, colour inkjet prints depict franchise retail outlets set against optimistic blue skies and vast, deserted parking lots. The structures are digitally masked with an asphalt colour. The resulting large gray boxes highlight the unimaginative and provisional designs of big retail stores, while the empty lots, stripped of cars (and hence of purpose), are transformed into urban wastelands. Dobson’s images foreshadow the future of temporary architecture and of rampant consumerism during a time of economic uncertainty and growing environmental awareness. Seen within this context, writes Robin Metcalfe, “Dobson’s ghostly big-box stores glisten like a digital mirage, prescient images of a doomed landscape.” The photographs describe the future perfect – that which will have been – an ominous future, cast back in time.

exhibitions listing on CONTACT website

** if you travel into Canada, make sure that you have the proper ID.

International Ukrainian Juried Photography Exhibit


Eight WMU Frostic School of Art Students competitively selected for international Ukrainian juried photography exhibit.

Morgana Skelton, Photo BFA Major, was chosen to contribute her artwork for the creation of the exhibition poster. Ukrainian Curator and Photo Art Union member, Eduardo Stranadko, helped to facilitate the show with Frostic School of Art Photo faculty member, Bill Davis. The exhibit, which included undergraduate photography majors from Ohio’s Wright State University and Florida’s Jacksonville University, may also travel to a second gallery destination in Ukraine.