RUSSELL PRATHER: LAYERS & LIGHT

October 8 through January 17, 2021

Russell Prather: Layers and Light features the work of artist Russell Prather in this solo installation-style exhibition of his most recent works at the Muskegon Museum of Art. Prather, a Michigan artist and Professor at Northern Michigan University, creates his multi-layered artworks from mylar, paint, and various hardware, establishing hybrid sculptures that shift in form with the viewer’s perspective. Multiple flat layers of opaque and translucent surfaces combine to create illusions of three dimensional forms. Combined in many instances with light, Prather’s work is intended to confound our habitual way of understanding what we see, and in that dilemma, opens ourselves to new ways of perceiving and understanding.

Virtual Q & A Artist Talk with Russell Prather

Virtual Exhibition Tour

Russell Prather
“Crust Mantle Core”, 24″x 19″x 15.5″, tinted acrylic medium on layers of polyester film, 2020
Photo courtesy of the artist

Russell Prather
“Crust Mantle Core”, 24″x 19″x 15.5″, tinted acrylic medium on layers of polyester film, 2020
Photo courtesy of the artist

Russell Prather
“Crust Mantle Core”, 24″x 19″x 15.5″, tinted acrylic medium on layers of polyester film, 2020
Photo courtesy of the artist

Russell Prather
“Pod”, 12″ x 9″ x 15.5″, tinted acrylic medium on layers of polyester film, 2019
Photo courtesy of the artist

Russell Prather
“Void in Blue”, 17” x 14” x 12”, tinted acrylic medium on layers of polyester film, Led light panel, 2019
Photo courtesy of the artist

 

Program support is provided by the Art Bridges Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Michigan Humanities Council with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Art of the People: Contemporary Anishinaabe Artists

December 10 through February 28, 2021

L. C. and Margaret Walker Gallery A

About the Exhibition

Featuring nationally recognized and early career Native American artists, The Art of the People: Contemporary Anishinaabe Artists showcases artworks in a wide array of media that combine cultural traditions and imagery with contemporary sensibilities and themes. Organized in partnership with the Grand Valley State University Art Gallery and guest curator Jason Quigno, this invitational show will appear concurrently at the Muskegon Museum of Art and GVSU. Incorporating sculpture, painting, ceramics, beadwork, mixed media, and photography, the exhibition explores the ways in which these artists express their experiences in both traditional and non-traditional media, techniques, and subject matter. Through representational and abstract imagery and design the artists address issues of craft, history, identity, social and political justice, and popular culture.

Jonathan Thunder, Quarantine at Gramma’s House

The Artists

Exhibiting artists include: Le’Ana Asher, Adam Avery, Shirley Brauker, Kelly Church, Wally Dion, Dino Downwind, Cherish Parrish, Jonathan Thunder, Robin Waynee, and Jason Wesaw.

Summer Peters, Yahbay

Le’Ana Asher, Aunt Becky

About Jason Quigno

Guest curator Jason Quigno is a sculptor and member of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe. He works in in a variety of stone – granite, basalt, marble, limestone, and alabaster – transforming raw blocks into flowing forms. His work has garnered significant recognition and awards and he has completed numerous public commissions for communities and institutions around Michigan.

Exhibition Partners

 

Support

Underwritten by Warner Norcross + Judd, LLP and DTE Energy Foundation

Program support is provided by the Art Bridges Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Michigan Humanities Council with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Levi Rickert: Standing Rock, Photographs of an Indigenous Movement

December 10 through February 28, 2021

L.C. and Margaret Walker Gallery A

Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. This collection of photographs documents Rickert’s journey to Standing Rock in 2016 as part of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. These images capture not just the news making conflicts and clashes between protestors and private security firms at the site, but also the day-to-day experiences of the men and women joined in their shared call for action.

Photo of Levi Rickert

Standing Rock

Photos at Standing Rock by Levi Rickert

Underwritten by Shape Corporation

Jim Denomie: Challenging the Narrative

December 10 through March 14, 2021

L. C. and Margaret Walker Gallery B

Jim Denomie, Four Days and Four Nites Two Moons

Jim Denomie is a nationally recognized, collected, and award winning Anishinaabe artist. His colorful, humorous paintings directly address historical, political, and cultural issues facing Native Americans in the U.S. Using traditional imagery, stereotypes, comic symbols, and pop culture imagery, Denomie presents playful, alluring narratives that, on closer inspection, reveal biting and thought-provoking challenges to historic and contemporary misperceptions, prejudices, and injustices. Learn more at http://www.bockleygallery.com/artist_denomie/

This exhibition, organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art, features new and favorite paintings by the artist, revealing the continuity and ongoing explorations within his work.

Jim Denomie, Wounded Knee

Denomie has won numerous awards including the Bush Foundation and the McKnight Foundation fellowships. In 2015, Denomie was awarded a Painters and Sculptors grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. His work is found in the collections of the Denver Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, among others.

Jim Denomie, Untruthful

Program support is provided by the Art Bridges Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Michigan Humanities Council with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

THE WALKER FAMILY LEGACY: Defining the Museum

November 12 through February 7, 2021

In the 1940s, the L.C. and Margaret Walker Foundation began to purchase significant prints for the Muskegon Museum of Art, including those by Rembrandt, Albrecht Dürer, and Francisco Goya. Today, the Walker Print Collection is a defining facet of our museum and boasts numerous rare, highly prized etchings and engravings. Over the decades, funds from the Walker Foundation have also provided for the acquisition of paintings by Camille Pissarro, Pierre Bonnard, and Edouard Vuillard. At any time, numerous works from the Walker gifts are on public display, pieces that have come to define the museum and its internationally recognized collection. Truly, the contributions of the Walker family have served to shape what the Muskegon Museum of Art has become. This exhibition presents highlights from the Walker family gifts, calling attention to how truly significant their legacy is to the museum’s identity.

Pierre Bonnard
(French, 1867-1947)
La Porte de la Villa du Bosquet au Cannet
Oil on canvas, 1944
Gift of the L.C. and Margaret Walker Foundation
1975.25

L.C. and Margaret Walker

Louis Carlisle Walker was a prominent business leader, politician, and philanthropist in West Michigan. He lived with his wife Margaret Mercer in North Muskegon until her death in 1956. L.C. Walker and Arch Wilkinson Shaw were the founding partners of the Shaw Walker Furniture Company, an iconic West Michigan firm that continues today as an acquisition of Knoll Furniture. An active supporter of the community, Walker was a member of numerous civic and business organizations. In addition to managing his business, he was the vice-president, president, and director of the Hackley Union National Bank from 1929-1958; helped organize and headed the Muskegon Federal Savings and Loan Association from 1933-1948; and served on the Muskegon Board of Education from 1917-1927. While on the Board of Education, Walker led the Library and Arts Committee, which oversaw museum operations.

Shaw and Betty Walker

After L.C. Walker’s death in 1963, Shaw Walker, L.C. Walker’s son, took over the family business and continued, with his wife Betty, to support both the community and the Muskegon Museum of Art.

In the 1980s, the Walker Foundation contributed a substantial gift to the Muskegon Museum of Art’s expansion. The Walker wing transformed what the museum was and what it could accomplish, adding new galleries, collection storage, staff offices, and work areas. When we look back to the major exhibitions and programs the MMA has hosted and organized in the past decades, few would have been possible without the Walker Galleries. The ongoing expansion of our permanent collection would likewise have been impossible without the new storage spaces the Walker gift enabled. What we were, and what we could be, were profoundly elevated by the Walker gift.

Museum Director Mary Riordan, far right, looks over plans for a new (L.C. & Margaret Walker) wing at the Muskegon Museum of Art on February 19, 1981. Chronicle photo by John Bunda.

New L.C. and Margaret Walker Fund

The Walkers also continue to regularly contribute funds to the purchase of art for the collection, highlights of which include works by Winfred Rembert, Deborah Butterfield, Maria Tomasula, Robert Riggs, John George Brown, Carducius Plantagenet Ream, and Robert Henri. Through a gift of the Walkers, the museum was also able to establish a new art acquisition fund, providing the largest opportunity for art buying since Charles Hackley’s founding gift. This new L.C. and Margaret Walker Fund, since its inception, has allowed for the purchase of significant paintings by William Glackens, Theodore Earl Butler, and Dale Nichols, among others. In our collection today, 262 works of art are credited all, or in part, to Walker family gifts.

William James Glackens
(American, 1870-1938)
Woman with Watch
Oil on canvas, circa 1914
Museum Purchase, Gift of the L.C. and Margaret Walker Fund
2019.7

Shaw Walker died in 2009, at the age of 95. His wife Betty now sustains the Walker legacy and continues to work closely with the MMA. As the museum innovates and evolves, the Walker legacy endures as a defining core of who we are and hope to become in the future.

Programming support for this exhibition is provided by Art Bridges; the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.