Community Partners: Artworks in Big Rapids and community art collectors
Print Management: Professor Pat Klarecki, Christina Bregg
Gwen Frostic (1906 - 2001) is one of Michigan’s most successful artists and businesswomen.
Her hand carved block prints illuminate nature, depicting the landscapes and the native
flora and fauna of Michigan. Frostic founded her own printmaking business in Benzonia,
Michigan, which continues to produce work using her original printing blocks. Colorful
prints, stationery, and books written and illustrated by Frostic form the core of
this exhibition. This show celebrates Gwen Frostic’s love of nature and situates her
pioneering work within the larger history of women artists.
Opening & Artist Talk – February 9th 5:00 – 6:30pm
Myths and myth making are at the crux of this collaborative exhibition between three
artists with a unique connection. Working with imagery steeped in symbolism and metaphor,
Vought, VandeMark, and Weis are either referencing myths and fables or creating new
Stylistically their paintings contain a sense of the surreal where unnatural pairings
between plants and animals occur, where animals are comingling in ways not found in
nature, or where dream-like imagery sets the stage for referencing the world around
us with the intention of sharing stories that reflect upon life, love, and the nature
of all things
Nov 7 – Dec 17
Talk with the Artist: Nov 10th 5:00 – 6:30 BRED IN THE BONE
This series was largely inspired by research into the evolutionary connections between
dinosaurs and present-day birds. This work aims to suggest a larger continuum of
life and death by using material and methods that embody those evolutionary cycles
as well: the limestone base of the underlying gesso contains calcified fossils of
ancient creatures, and the bony structures and images have been revealed — excavated
– by digging and sanding beneath the pigmented surface of the panel itself.
September 5 – October 28
Talk with the Artist: September 15th 5:00-6:30 Talk with the Art Historian: October 11th at 11am
Activity: Black Out Poetry
Jason has captured the soul of Schuberg's Bar & Grill in downtown, Michigan in the
after-hours between last call and turning off the lights. His portraits are intimate
moments of the people who serve the beers, cook the food, and build camaraderie over
long shifts and late nights. He encapsulates each individual within close environments
letting the myriad of objects in view reveal the stories and goings-on that most of
us never get to see.
April 11 – August 12
The West Michigan Graphic Design Archives makes both physical artifacts and digital
representations available to design professionals, educators, students, business people,
researchers, and others interested in the rich legacy of graphic design, paper manufacturing,
and printing in West Michigan. You can be inspired by how design has helped successful
businesses achieve their goals. See the connections in the world of graphic design–
from right here in West Michigan.
January 10 – February 26
Rufus Snoddy Disappearing Man
The Disappearing Man series presents itself as a symbolic clarion call. It evokes a personal narrative
of concern for future human existence.
“I utilize an array of generic, wide-eyed, naïve appearing, repetitive portraits of
man. Like artists from the past, I am reflecting a contemporary narrative of social
and cultural concern.” - Rufus Snoddy
Snoddy’s “Construction Paintings” are beautifully organized assemblages of paint,
wood, and found objects, as sculptural as they are painterly. Originally from Los
Angeles, Snoddy now resides in Traverse City, Michigan. He has established himself
regionally and internationally with shows in Michigan, California, New York, New Mexico,
November 1 – December 18
November 4 - Humanities Colloquium with Dr. Adrian Ormsby
November 11 – Presentation by Lynette Vought: Printmaking: Old Techniques and new
Francoise Gilot: 100 Years of Perseverance in Life and Art
curated by Dr. Adrian Ormsby
2021 marks the 100th birthday of Francoise Gilot, painter, printmaker, writer, poet,
mother and grandmother. A half century ago (1971), Ferris State University hosted
a special exhibit of graphic works following Francoise’ generous donation of rare
color proofs to the University for the learning and enjoyment of fine art students,
faculty and the viewing public. The exhibit brought together 29 rare graphic works
from 15 private Michigan collectors demonstrating the popularity of her work in the
United States. Ferris State University Fine Art Gallery once again celebrates the
remarkable life and artistic career of Francoise Gilot, bringing together many of
the same lithographs exhibited 50 years ago and key graphic works representing important
developments in her artistic career as a fine art printmaker spanning an incredible
five decades. Works on paper, especially color lithography, is a major theme and focus
of this exhibit, demonstrating Francoise’ genius and talent for printmaking and her
success across multiple artistic media
September 16 – October 23
September 16, 4-6PM Reception & Presentation by Artist
Mabel visits Palo Duro Canyon
By Kathleen VanDeMark
Mabel, one of VanDeMark’s beloved horses, spirits to Palo Duro Canyon to pay homage
to her ancestors and unveils the truth of a history left untold.
Maybel Visits is a commemoration to the horses that perished during the altercation between First
Nation peoples of the Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Kiowa tribes and the 4th US Calvary lead by Colonel R.S. Mackenzie. Archiving with symbolic imagery, this
group of 100 paintings raises awareness of this historical event.
June 7 – September 11
September 2 Founders Day Reception 2-4pm Remarks from Dr. David Pilgrim, V.P. Diversity & Inclusion Office 2:30-2:45pm
Time of Change: Documenting the Civil Rights Movement
through the lens of Bruce Davidson
The exhibition, Time of Change, presents 30 photographs, each representative of Davidson’s talents, but more importantly,
the images document the struggle for justice, equality, and desegregation during a
time of Freedom Rides, protests, marches, and police violence. We see glimpses into
the everyday lives of the people who fought against the daily cruelties of life under
Jim Crow, including racial terrorism, delivered upon them by their fellow citizens,
often under the cover of law.
In 2018 the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Objects was the recipient of a sizeable donation
of works by the renowned photojournalist Bruce Davidson. Davidson is best known for
his photo-essays documenting subversive and counter-culture groups.
The exhibition, Time of Change is made possible by a grant from the Michigan Humanities,
an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. These original Bruce Davidson
images were a gift from an anonymous donor to the Jim Crow Museum.
March 1 – April 23
Mini-Moso How Far Have We Come?
Mini-Moso is a carefully curated exhibit showcasing main themes within the Museum
of Sexist Objects. Through funding from a Ferris Foundation Grant a group of committed
Ferris faculty collectively designed and curated this exhibition that is now available
for traveling. Topics researched and highlighted include The Body Image, Gender Norming,
the Happy Housewife, Body as Object, gender stereotypes and many others.
February 1 – February 28
Kaitlin Beebe Diary Pink
Diary Pink is a collection of paintings and drawings documenting a time of self-reflection.
Exercising the faith-based method of blind contour, abstract self-portraits are created.
With an exacting intent to map out the evidence of growth, drawings are layered abstracting
the portraits more and more. In a meditation, overlapping shapes are highlighted allowing
time to reflect and clarify a new perspective.
bio: Kaitlin Beebe is an artist that lives and works on the North Fork of Long Island.
Beebe received her BFA in Printmaking from the Maryland Institute College of Art in
2017. Additionally, Beebe has participated in several artist residencies, including,
Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), Drop Forge & Tool (Hudson, NY), and Golden Apple
Artist Residency (Harrington, ME).
January 13th – February 15th
Reception & Artist Talk: January 16th 5-6:30pm MFA Graduate Competition Exhibit – Emily Mayo Chorbah - Chadash
"Pronounced “khor·bä' “ and “khä·dash' ” these two words originate from the Hebrew
writings of the Bible. Rarely seen together, “Chorbah” was used in reference to “a
place laid waste, ruin, waste, desolation” and “Chadash” means “to be new, renew,
repair.” Butting these two words together I suggest the transition between these two
states, and reference the undeniable hope for this transition - not specific to the
home or the plight-ridden neighborhood, but also to the human."