The Ramsdell Art Show continues through September 3 at Manistee


MANISTEE – The Hardy Hall Gallery features 12-foot ceilings, seven oak-trimmed pillars, and approximately 2,500 square feet of open space.

Light enters through four long windows to the north. A small grand piano rests idly in one corner.

The gallery, located inside the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee, is hosting its latest art exhibition: ‘Art is Art’. The abstract exhibit includes six northern Michigan artists: Susan Wild Barnard, Jef Bourgeau, Jesse Hickman, Judy Jashinsky, Rufus Snoddy, and Pier Wright.

“The Art Is Art exhibition was conceived as a result of the isolation experienced during the pandemic,” according to a press release.

Jashinsky said people’s situations may have varied, but everyone’s routines came to an end.

“The adjustments gave us time to do things that were often on our wish list…some of those things were therapeutic, some of those things brought up emotions that had been pent up,” she said in a statement. . “This exhibition is an alternative to all of that. Abstract art can do that. It allows the viewer to see the colors, shapes, textures and lines that are the expression of the artists, but does not ask the viewer to to draw conclusions. “

Jashinsky’s article, “Cuban Missile Crisis,” is a provocative abstraction of the dangerous nuclear standoff that occurred in 1962.

Hickman has a piece, “Six Fingered”, which hangs horizontally about 6 feet by 14 feet.

“In this exhibition, these large abstract works have room to breathe; this black and white artwork, painted on bags of recycled coffee beans, is arousing deep attention,” a press release read in part.

Snoddy contributed four cutaway pieces, “Circle, Four Seasons,” which can be hung – or purchased – together or separately. In this exhibit they are depicted together, measuring approximately 10 feet by 9 feet, clockwise from winter, spring, summer, and fall. The circle is black with raised bumps and creates its own centerpiece collect all the panels featuring a range of textured organic shapes of paint and ethereal color cutouts and gradients.

“The monumental works are juxtaposed with the viscerally resonant, recycled textile works of Susan Wild Barnard. They are carefully assembled with an air of grace and grounding,” according to a press release.

Wright’s works are not contained in traditional right-angled frames, but float freely in unique shapes. Colors that are sometimes muted, sometimes pure, dance with their own rhythm, both playful and extraordinary.

Bourgeau’s digital works reveal shimmering colors that embrace harmony and chaos spilling over perfect squares of printed canvas.

Why is the show called Art Is Art?

Curator Bourgeau first quotes Abstract Expressionist Barnett Newman: “Art is art. Everything else is everything else,” and goes on to explain.

“Abstract art draws jealous attention to its own visual reality as the most singular force and event. It does this by rejecting the concrete object and its immediate relationship to life and art,” he said. “By rejecting these traditional representations, abstract art instead emphasizes the imagination. and the artist’s unrestricted gestures on the real, and thus establishes a unique reality. of its own. Such a reality that allows abstract art to act on the viewers own imagination, allowing us to perceive new objects, images and worlds never seen before.

The show runs from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday through September 3, unless otherwise noted. Appointments are also encouraged during office hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, visit contact Director of Visual Arts and Education Aimé Merizon at 231-398-9770 x 8004 or [email protected]


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