EMU, Wayne MFA Students at Gallery Project
By John Carlos Cantu
Ann Abor News Special Writer, Sunday, December 24, 2006
Part visual arts summit, part cultural exchange—and all creativity—"Laboratory'' at Gallery Project is a cross-state academic collaboration between master of fine arts students at Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University that explores Great Lakes art as it's being crafted by young pros today.
Organized by Adrian Hatfield, assistant professor of painting at Wayne State University, and Jennifer Locke, assistant professor of drawing at Eastern Michigan University (both Gallery Project collaborators), the exhibit is, in the gallery statement's words: "the culmination of a shared process through which graduate students from both programs were selected based on the investigative nature of their work.''
Local artists participating from EMU are Ypsilanti's Julia Ashcom, Ruth Marks and Gypsy Schindler, as well as Ann Arbor's Sally Houck and Anne Percy Knott. WSU's local contributor is Emily Linn of Ann Arbor.
The art in "Laboratory'' has the virtues of being fresh and economical.
Fresh because the work's crafted by graduate students shortly after their undergraduate education. As for economy, there's a cleverness in "Laboratory'' that makes the most of its materials. Analyzing this work is therefore as much fun for how it's produced as it is fun to study.
Jennifer Stucker's oversized dual digital photograph/collage, "There are the stories I tell others and the ones I tell myself, No. 1,'' requires patience to determine how the artist crafts her visually stunning quartered self-portrait. Emily Linn's wall display mixed-media "Untitled: (1977-present)'' is 100 fruit jars spread over six shelves housing digitally reproduced tokens of her life's adventures. And Thomas Pyrzewski's "Frozen Parts 1, 2, and 3''—nestled in the Gallery Project's darkened basement—look like the ravaged vestiges of an aged, primordial creature.
Nicholas Jones' paper on canvas "Carrot and Stick'' features five youths looking at a sky whose stars are thousands of cable television logos. And "Ruiner'' Lappin's mixed-media "Outrunning Death on a Bicycle Built for Two'' (in which a body-sized skeleton rides a tandem with rifle in hand) expresses a wily buoyancy that's also artfully prescient.
Gallery Project is at 215 S. Fourth Ave. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; noon to 9 p.m Friday-Saturday; and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 734-997-7012 or go to www.the galleryproject.com.