Dylan Miner: Water is Sacred // Trees are Relatives

Dylan Miner (Métis, b. 1976). Cyanotype sample on fabric. Image courtesy of the Artist.

Dylan Miner: Water is Sacred // Trees are Relatives

October 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019

Become a member

East Lansing-based artist and activist Dylan Miner will debut new work created for his Michigan Artist Series exhibition at GRAM that will focus on the natural environment of West Michigan and its history. Miner is a Michigan native of Wiisaakodewinini (Métis) descent. In his current work about the history and culture of Anishnaabewaki, the Indigenous Great Lakes region, Miner explores the degradation of regional resources, capitalism and colonialism as a way to shape awareness and create dialogue around these complex, intertwining issues. Miner imagines his artistic practice as creating new forms of contemporary Great Lakes regionalism, by focusing on the natural elements that make Michigan so unique and important.

In When Water Was Sacred // Trees Were Relatives, Miner investigates the important historical and current issues around three primary natural elements: wood, water, and sky, and the traditional knowledge and beliefs around them within Great Lakes Indigenous cultures. For the exhibition, Miner will produce a series of large-scale cyanotype photographs on fabric that portray images of cloudy skies and water surfaces. For Miner, the blue color of the cyanotype process evokes water and sky, and also has symbolic correspondence to Michigan’s history around Indigenous issues of sovereignty. (The cyanotype process was first used in 1842, the year that the Treaty of LaPointe was signed, the last of the eight major treaties ceding land that is now Michigan.) Miner will also create site-specific sculptural elements for the exhibition from old growth timber and other arboreal materials.

The project also includes a series of workshops Miner has devised in collaboration with two younger Indigenous artists based in Grand Rapids, who will lead cyanotype-making workshops with West Michigan Indigenous youth at selected regional locales. These works produced by these youth, as well as Miner’s work in the exhibition, will be compiled in an accompanying artist’s book to be published by Issue Press of Grand Rapids.

Miner has exhibited his work internationally in solo and group exhibitions and been artist-in-residence or visiting artist at institutions such as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, École supérieure des beaux-arts in Nantes, France, Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Rabbit Island, Santa Fe Art Institute, and numerous universities, art schools, and low-residency MFA programs. Miner is Director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Associate Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. He holds a PhD from The University of New Mexico and regularly publishes articles, book chapters, critical essays, and encyclopedia entries. In 2010, he was awarded an Artist Leadership Fellowship through the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution).

American Spectacle: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection

Thomas Moran (American, 1837–1926). The Great Cave, Pictured Rocks, Lake Superior, Michigan, 1873. Oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches. Manoogian Collection.

American Spectacle: Paintings from the Manoogian Collection

June 8, 2018 – August 5, 2018

Buy ticketsBecome a member

From sweeping landscapes to still life paintings, the eleven works on view in this exhibition reveal a variety of ways artists struggled to define the nation. Painted between 1855 and 1936, these works depict images of American spectacle–dramatic moments, places, and events in U.S. history. The turn of the century was a time of immense change, which prompted artists to explore issues of American culture and identity, national memory, and the meaning of history and progress.

This exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts and made possible by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Collection. This exhibition and museum collaboration is made possible by Terra-Art Bridges, an initiative of the Terra Foundation for American Art and Art Bridges, Inc. Generous support has been provided by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation.

Related Events:

ArtPrize 10 at GRAM

ArtPrize 10 at GRAM

September 12, 2018 – October 14, 2018

Become a member

ArtPrize returns to GRAM this year with a diverse array of contemporary art in a broad spectrum of media. The Museum will exhibit the work of local, regional, and national artists at different stages of their career. The exhibition will include work that takes advantage of GRAM’s dynamic architecture, beyond the gallery spaces alone.

Artists interested in participating in ArtPrize can register at artprize.org beginning April 16th, 2018.

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:
Wege Foundation
Steelcase Foundation
Applause Catering + Events
Bank of America
Merrill Lynch
James and Mary Nelson
Gill
Dirk Hoffius
Greg and Meg Willit
Jeff Gurney and Xuesi Li
Haworth, Inc.
Rothbury Farms
Robert Daverman, AIA / Grand Rapids Community Foundation

In Kind
Steelcase Inc.

Show and Tell: GRAM Staff Selections from the Permanent Collection

Show and Tell: GRAM Staff Selections from the Permanent Collection

May 19, 2018 – August 26, 2018

Become a member

The Grand Rapids Art Museum employs over 60 individuals who work in a wide range of departments, from security and visitor services to education and facility management. Each staff member brings a different point of view to our organization and has a unique perspective on the artwork we display. For this exhibition, GRAM’s curatorial department asked staff members from across the museum to select works from the permanent collection that they felt a personal connection with. Selections might be by a staff member’s favorite artist, have a connection to a special memory, or be a tie to their cultural or ethnic background. Works on view will be accompanied by a label with information about each staff member and the reasons for their selection.

Mirror Variations: The Art of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Monir Farmanfarmaian (Iranian, b. 1924). Tir (Convertible Series), 2015. Mirror, reverse-glass painting, plaster on wood, 63 x 63 x 6 inches. Grand Rapids Art Museum. Museum Purchase, Wege Fund, 2018.1a-f. Photo by Robert Divers Herrick.

Mirror Variations: The Art of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

May 19, 2018 – August 26, 2018

Buy ticketsBecome a member

GRAM presents concurrent solo exhibitions featuring Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (Iranian) and Anila Quayyum Agha (Pakistani-American), both of whom create art that synthesize Islamic tradition and modern abstraction into objects of great beauty and depth.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian has an international reputation for sculpture and drawing that fuses traditional Persian patterns based in mathematics with the geometric abstract art she got to know while living in New York City from 1945 to 1957. The artist’s primary materials¬–mirror and painted glass–were used extensively in traditional Persian architecture. Her work develops out of her interest in the serial progression of rectilinear forms, such as triangles, pentagons, and hexagons. Large sculptural reliefs with surfaces of cut mirror mosaic and reverse-glass painting form the core of Mirror Variations: The Art of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. Works in the Convertible Series are multipart reliefs comprised of nearly-identical, interlocking elements which can be exhibited in a variety of configurations, each designed by the artist. Based on an ancient honeycomb dome design, the work Untitled (Muqarnas) unfolds like symmetrical mirrored wings. The exhibition also includes drawings featuring complex geometric motifs in jewel-tone colors.

Farmanfarmaian was born in Qazvin, Iran in 1924. She has studied and worked both in Iran and the United States. Her art has been included in numerous solo and group art exhibitions internationally, including a one-person exhibition in 2015 at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

Lead Sponsors

Steelcase Foundation
Wege Foundation

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:

James and Mary Nelson
Dirk and June Hoffius
Greg and Meg Willit
Jeff Gurney and Xuesi Li
Haworth, Inc.

Additional funding is provided by the GRAM Exhibition Society

Jane and John Meilner
Martin and Enid Packard
Progressive AE
Dr. Ghayas and Joy Uddin
Clark Communications

Related Events:

From Wilderness to Resource: A Story in Pictures

Herman Herzog (American, 1831-1932). Sketching on Beaver’s Creek, 1880-1885. Oil on canvas. Museum Purchase, Wege Foundation, 2001

From Wilderness to Resource: A Story in Pictures

February 24, 2018 – May 6, 2018

Become a member

This selection from GRAM’s permanent collection has been organized to complement the exhibition Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle. Like Rockman’s impressive paintings and works on paper, the works on view address the relationship between humankind and the natural environment. Focused primarily on the United States, the exhibition tells a story in pictures of the changes in the natural landscape over the last two-hundred years.

Nineteenth century white Americans viewed the continent as either settled or frontier – even though much of the “wilderness” was already the home and range of Native Americans. As the century progressed and the American population grew, more settlers moved west, firm in the belief that this territorial expansion was God’s will. At the same time, the United States was transforming from an agrarian to an industrialized society. Work horses and hand tools gave way to mechanization, allowing for larger and faster interventions into the landscape.

Over time, our relationship with nature has shifted from one of utter dependence to one of increasing domination. Major technological and scientific breakthroughs have enabled us to build massive dams, highway systems, and sprawling cities. Modern agricultural practices make use of advanced equipment, irrigation systems, and pesticides allowing for production at a massive and more cost-effective scale. Successful businesses grew into corporations with enough wealth to influence governmental policies that impacted the natural environment. Today, humankind’s complicated relationship with the environment requires a balancing act between the pursuit of profit, energy needs, and the protection and care of our vital natural resources.

Tony Mendoza: Cats and Dogs

Two dogs on an inflatable raft floating in the oceanTony Mendoza (Cuban, b. 1941). Dog Beach 3 (Two Dogs on Inflatable), 2014. Archival ink jet print, 17 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Lee Marks Fine Art, Indiana.

Tony Mendoza: Cats and Dogs

March 16, 2018 – June 10, 2018

Buy ticketsBecome a member

GRAM’s exhibition Tony Mendoza: Cats and Dogs, presents photographs by this Ohio-based photographer and writer of Cuban descent. Among the eighteen-works included are black and white images from his 1985 project, Ernie: A Photographer’s Memoir, which features a photogenic feline Mendoza encountered upon moving to a new apartment, as well as color images from the series Dog Beach, and Bob, named for a dachshund who became something of a canine “muse” to the photographer. Mendoza’s images combine an animal-lovers’ focus on a subjects’ behavior and personality with a photographer’s attention to composition, light, and movement.

Tony Mendoza was born in Havana, Cuba in 1941, and moved with his family to Miami in 1960. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Yale University and a Master of Architecture from Harvard. Mendoza taught photography at the Ohio State University in Columbus from 1988 until 2013.

David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling

EL.2016.11.10

David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Fish Girl, 2016. Watercolor and ink line on paper, 9 x 13½ inches. Copyright ©2010 by David Wiesner.

Dwies1Rake

David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Art & Max, 2010. Watercolor and acrylic on paper, 9½ x 12 inches. Copyright ©2010 by David Wiesner.

Dwies6Rake

David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Art & Max, 2010. Watercolor, acrylic, and poster paint on paper, 13½ x 25¼ inches. Copyright ©2010 by David Wiesner.

Dwies4Rake

David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Mr. Wuffles!, 2013. Watercolor and India ink on paper, 9 x 11 inches. Copyright ©2013 by David Wiesner.

EL.2016.11.77

David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Original design for National Poetry Week poster, 2001. Watercolor on paper, 21 x 14 inches.

EL.2016.11.48

David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). The Three Pigs, 2001. Watercolor, India ink, gouache, and colored pencil on paper 9 x 22 inches. Copyright ©2001 by David Wiesner.

EL.2016.11.55

David Wiesner (American, b. 1956). Tuesday, 1991. Watercolor on paper, 8½ x 20 inches. Copyright ©1991 by David Wiesner.

David Wiesner & The Art of Wordless Storytelling

October 26, 2019 – January 12, 2020

Buy ticketsBecome a member

David Wiesner has enthralled readers for three decades, and his remarkable career is surveyed in this first-ever retrospective devoted to his art. The exhibition features 70 original watercolors from some of Wiesner’s most famous books, including three for which he won the prestigious Caldecott Medal: Tuesday (1992), The Three Pigs (2002), and Flotsam (2007). Also on view is work from Wiesner’s earliest artistic successes while still a student at the Rhode Island School of Design to his most recent book project—his first graphic novel, Fish Girl, published in 2017.

This exhibition has been organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Anila Quayyum Agha: Intersections

Anila Quayyum Agha (American, b. Pakistan 1965). Intersections, 2013. Laser-cut wood, 6.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 feet. Courtesy of the Artist.

Anila Quayyum Agha: Intersections

May 19, 2018 – August 26, 2018

Buy ticketsBecome a member

GRAM presents concurrent solo exhibitions featuring Anila Quayyum Agha (Pakistani-American) and Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (Iranian), both of whom synthesize Islamic tradition and modern abstraction into objects of great beauty and depth. The two women have immersed themselves in the distinctive geometric forms and designs of traditional Islamic cultures, which are seen in architecture and ornamentation throughout the Islamic world. Farmanfarmaian and Agha are fluent, too, in the language of 20th century Western abstract art. With feet in two worlds, both deftly integrate their diverse modes and influences into uniquely personal art.

Anila Quayyum Agha’s Intersections is an immersive gallery installation centered around a suspended cube. Each of the cube’s six sides are laser cut with the same delicate patterns, derived from decorative motifs found in Spain’s historic Alhambra, an international highlight of traditional Islamic architecture and design. A single light bulb within the cube casts shadows of interlacing patterns onto the room’s walls, ceiling, and floor–and subsequently the people within the space. In contrast to the artist’s childhood experience of being excluded from mosques because she was female, with Intersections, Agha creates a public space open to all.

Anila Quayyum Agha was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1965. She holds a BFA from the National College of Art in Lahore, Pakistan and an MFA from the University of North Texas, Denton. She is an Associate Professor at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana. Intersections won multiple awards in ArtPrize 2014, when it was first exhibited at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Exhibition Sponsors:

Lead Sponsors

Steelcase Foundation
Wege Foundation

Support for this exhibition is generously provided by:

James and Mary Nelson
Dirk and June Hoffius
Greg and Meg Willit
Jeff Gurney and Xuesi Li
Haworth, Inc.

Additional funding is provided by the GRAM Exhibition Society

Jane and John Meilner
Martin and Enid Packard
Progressive AE
Dr. Ghayas and Joy Uddin
Clark Communications

Related Videos:

Related Events: