Future Exhibitions

Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America
May 18 – August 24, 2014

When Michigan’s industry and design intertwined, Michigan became an epicenter of modern design, with visionaries statewide turning from the simple generation of products to design that rippled throughout the country. Detroit’s automobile manufacturers styled automobiles synonymous with the American dream. The state’s furniture designers revolutionized the look of the American office and home. Michigan architects Albert Kahn, Eero Saarinen, and Minoru Yamasaki defined an era. Michigan’s industry, prosperity, and educational institutions attracted the design talent that formed the foundation for modern American design. This exhibition celebrates Michigan’s outstanding contributions to Modern design, and highlights the people who made it happen.

This exhibition was organized by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office in association with Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by MPdL Studio of Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Eames Chairs. Photograph by Balthazar Korab, Courtesy of the Herman Miller archives

Michigan Modern Symposium
June 19 – 21, 2014
Registration required. Fee is $250.
Limited student registration available for $175
Kendall College of Art and Design

A collaborative partnership between Kendall College of Art and Design, the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Michigan Modern Symposium will explore Michigan’s unique contribution to modern design and architecture.

The symposium’s opening event will feature a keynote address from artist and designer Todd Oldham, whose book Alexander Girard, explores the life and career of Girard, the critically acclaimed Herman Miller textile designer. Other speakers include: Mira Nakashima, daughter of furniture designer George Nakashima; Donald Albrecht of the National Building Museum, who will discuss industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes; Marilyn Moss, who will discuss fabric artist Bill Moss; and sculptor and playground equipment designer Jim Miller-Melberg.

Symposium attendees will have the opportunity to tour the Herman Miller Furniture Company design and manufacturing facilities in Grand Rapids and Zeeland, the Meyer May House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Marcel Breuer-designed St. Francis de Sales church in Muskegon. Registration also includes a reception at GRAM and access to the exhibition.

For more information please visit michiganmodern.org

Michigan Artist Series
Tim Powers: Below the Surface
May 29 – August 17, 2014

Below the Surface displays the evolution of Tim Powers’ working practice with different materials and his understanding of their hidden potential. The exhibition features a large-scale installation, spanning two entire walls, of over 400 of his pillow forms, along with several other experimental sculptures, including one that glows and responds to movement in the gallery. Powers’ curiosity and respect for the unique qualities of the materials with which he works make this exhibition compelling, leaving us wondering what other mysteries lie where we cannot see.

Powers received his MFA from the Art Institute of Boston in 2011, with a focus in Object Making. He has served as an art and design educator at Ferris State University and Grand Valley State University, and manages a freelance design practice in addition to his sculptural studio work.

Opening reception: May 29
Cash bar opens at 6pm.
Artist-talk at 7pm in Cook Auditorium.

Contributing Sponsors:
Porter Foundation
Frey Foundation
The Jury Foundation

Media Sponsor:
Michigan Radio-104.1 FM

September 18 – October 12, 2014

ArtPrize at GRAM 2014: [DIS]COMFORT ZONES explores the ways artists take risks, push boundaries and create images, environments, or emotional effects that engage the viewer by pulling them out of their comfort zone and into a new, heightened awareness.

Exhibition made possible by:
Dirk and Victoria Hoffius
Applause Catering + Events
Bank of America
Merrill LynchGill Group
Rob and Elizabeth Koenen

In Kind Donations:
Steelcase Inc.
Custer Inc.

Coming Soon:

Marks of Genius: 100 Extraordinary Drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
October 24, 2014 – January 18, 2015

Marks of Genius showcases the superb drawing collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, featuring 100 outstanding drawings, watercolors, and pastels spanning more than 500 years—many of them rarely exhibited. The exhibition highlights the immediacy of drawing and explores its multiple roles as a means of study, observation, problem solving, a record of the artist’s imagination, and a medium for creating finished works of art. Both European and American artists are featured, including such celebrated masters as Tiepolo, Watteau, Fragonard, Gainsborough, Delacroix, Degas, Homer, Kollwitz, Schiele, Nolde, Matisse, Mondrian, Lichtenstein, Ruscha, and Warhol.