Ferris, KCAD, Artworks Mark Hispanic Heritage Month with ‘Unique’ Oaxacan Art Exhibit

Ferris State University“Creatures Great and Small: The Rich Tradition of Oaxacan Art,” the first exhibition orchestrated through Ferris State University’s Rankin Art Gallery and Big Rapids’ Artworks, features work that celebrates Hispanic heritage.

The exhibit, on display through Thursday, Oct. 31, showcases alebrijes, carved and brightly painted folk art sculptures of animals created by Jacobo and Maria Angeles, a couple well-known in Mexico for their work. The paint is made from natural ingredients grown in the Oaxacan countryside.

Pieces are on display at Ferris’ Williams Auditorium and the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education on campus, at Artworks’ downtown Big Rapids location and at Ferris’ Kendall College of Art and Design Woodbridge N. Ferris Building in Grand Rapids.

The exhibit is a featured event of Ferris’ Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, sponsored by the university’s Office of Multicultural Student Services.

“This is an international exhibition featuring artists all the way from Mexico, which makes it very unique,” said Carrie Weis, director of the Rankin Art Gallery. She called the Angeles’ work “spectacular and the detail, the craftsmanship and the sculptural quality outstanding.”

The exhibit, which also includes an Oaxacan collection on loan from Ferris and Artworks supporters Jack and Susan Batdorff, will be complemented by presentations, workshops and demonstrations.

A presentation on the history of Oaxaca and its rich artistic traditions is 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 at Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Ave.

“This is one of those exhibits that will rarely come to our area, and I think everyone should take the opportunity to see it,” Weis said.

The new partnership between the Rankin Art Gallery and the non-profit arts organization (http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/archive/2013/june/art.htm) allows the gallery to continue to exhibit works since its location in the Rankin Student Center closed in May as part of the new University Center project. The gallery is expected to reopen in January 2015 as the University Center Gallery (http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/archive/2013/may/rankin.htm).

For more information about the exhibit and other Hispanic Heritage Month events, visit the Ferris events calendar: http://calendar.ferris.edu/

Last updated: 10-01-2013