(PLEASE NOTE: The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center is closed March 12-April 12 in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.)
The work of six Department of Art, Art History, and Design students is featured in the fourth annual Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition at the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center, 119 N. Washington Square. Four of those students – Nicolei Gupit, Azya Moore, Ellie Anderson, and Evan F. Christopherson – also were selected as 2020 award winners.
The Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibitionruns March 3-28. Artwork selected for the exhibition is judged by a panel of three jurors with a total six prizes awarded.
Gupit, a Studio Art graduate student, received the Elizabeth Charles Emerging Artist Scholarship and $1,000 for her blackboard paint, chalk, and fabric piece, titled A Learner’s Space.
“Using materials and visual language that evoke the ephemeral, A Learner’s Space aims to reflect the gap created by the degradation of memory over time,” Gupit said. “I use chalk and a chalkboard eraser to create marks that seem to disappear behind the hanging scrim. The transitory quality of the scrim alludes to the inconsistencies between one’s recollection and a lived experience. Here, I sought to manifest the portable classrooms I studied in as a kid. Administrators at the schools in L.A. where I attended resorted to portable classrooms as an expeditious, albeit haphazard solution, to overcrowding. In creating A Learner’s Space, I attempt to give voice to the invisible. By looking at different forms of power, my work vacillates between poetic and data-driven, giving representation to the visible and invisible exercises of power.”
Gupit’s chalk, tape, and projected image, titled Tracings, also is in the Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition.
Moore, who graduated from MSU in December with a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, received second place and $250 for her photograph, titled Blue Black.
“The notion of being Blue Black is the physical appearance of a person(s) of color whose skin has gone so beyond Black that it gives off a blue tint. For many, this idea of Blue Black is an insult, a sneer of pure judgment,” Moore said. “This has come from the many effects of colorism and the ideologies that being whiter or lighter is better. This work seeks to explore the beauty that comes with being Black and the beauty that comes with being Blue Black.”
Anderson, a senior wth a double major in Studio Art and Arts and Humanities, took the third-place prize of $150 for her mixed media piece, titled A Topographical View of Our Environment and Garden Bed.
“My work explores the relationship between color, artificial materials, and natural forms,” Anderson said. “Through my use of paint, yarn, and thread, I weave together made and found elements. In my paintings, I strive to elevate common materials and look at items left behind as inspiration. Through the use of found materials, I explore the natural world to create a map-like space with a distinct environment.”
Evan F. Christopherson
Christopherson, a Studio Art graduate student, received an Honorable Mention and $100 for his etching, titled A Merge of Pressure, and his meteorological monotype, titled A Days Air.
“There is no such thing as open air – at least not in a conventional sense. Though contributing to one atmosphere, open air is partitioned and delineated by climate conditions, interactions with organisms, architecture, political territories, and global communication systems. It is continuously monitored at varying degrees for a variety of reasons, producing a significant amount of data to be processed,” Christopherson said. “To understand this open air as more than a void, I construct electronic apparatuses that monitor phenomenons in weather and record meteorological data, using the weather as an ever-changing matrix. The work created is a translation of this data into a single, unique recording of a day’s forecast.”
Diclemente, a senior double majoring in Studio Arts and Arts and Humanities, has her photo, titled Daydreaming, in the exhibition.
“As a photographer, my main goal is to tell a story through the world of fashion photography,” Diclemente said. “My artistic style includes soft pastel colors and monochromatic images. I am interested in taking subjects and placing them into a dreamlike environment. Through my last semester at Michigan State, I have grown to stylize my subjects and carefully position each to create unique images that are a reflection of my style.”
Young, who is a graduate student in Studio Art, has her oil and spray paint on linen piece, titled Brown Baby, in the Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition.
“History is a vast expanse of different perspectives, as the saying goes there are two sides to every story. It is important to recognize that more times than not, the people in power will have their history told or manipulate history to make themselves look better,” Young said. “My art focuses on highlighting people, moments, and objects centered around the Black Experience and the African American history that are left out of mainstream narrative. I want my art to be a starting point for people to have those uncomfortable conversations about issues that are considered taboo. The works that I create are, in a fashion, my way of journaling history and creating a cognitive timeline that people with all types of backgrounds can resonate with. As our country changes, it is important for us to remember our history so that we can learn from our mistakes.”
For more information on all the pieces in the Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition, see the 2020 Collegiate Catalog.
The Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition is supported by Michigan State University’s College of Arts & Letters, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, and the Residential College in the Arts & Humanities. Additional support is provided by Lansing Community College, Mariel Foundation, Jack and Sue Davis, and Rich Sneary.