A Flint native has illustrated her observation of change in her hometown and a desire for its renewal in an exhibit that debuted Monday, Jan. 13 in Ferris State University’s Fine Art Gallery.
Emily Mayo, a Grand-Rapids based artist who received her Master in Fine Arts Drawing degree from the Kendall College of Art and Design in 2018, will have her Chorbah-Chadash exhibit on display through Friday, Feb. 14. Mayo said she produced items in varied media to juxtapose the buildings and items laid to waste and left in desolation, contrasted by her hope for a physical and spiritual repair for that region.
“While I am also a sculptor, this exhibit features my drawings and other materials,” Mayo said. “There will also be drone footage presented, that I believe will help visitors to contemplate and assess what they experience.”
Fine Art Gallery Director Carrie Weis said one painting from Mayo’s collection will be part of a permanent display on the first floor of the University Center, as her entry received top honors for 2018 in the Kendall MFA Purchase Award. Mayo joins eight other recipients as contributors in that collection.
“Emily’s large-scale drawings reveal bird’s-eye views of the charred remains of structures that were once homes, filled with the dreams and hopes of families,” Weis said. “Due to job losses and a mass exodus from the region, many fell into disrepair and were abandoned. The drawings are intimate, dark and beautiful. They remind us that everything is in a state of transformation.”
Mayo said she hopes her presentation will inspire and encourage those who tour the exhibit.
“I work with taking ‘dead’ things and giving them a new life,” Mayo said. “I try to portray the return to life in my work, with an undeniable hope that the transition takes place, both for the properties in the neighborhood and its people.”
The exhibit is free, with viewing hours Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Metered parking is available in Lot 1, east of the University Center Building.