Excellence in Fibers V

December 12 through March 15, 2020

The Muskegon Museum of Art (MMA) has partnered with the Fiber Art Network to present Excellence in Fibers V this winter. Excellence in Fibers is an annual, international juried fiber arts competition organized by the Fiber Art Network. Curated from the juror-accepted 2019 Excellence in Fibers entries, this exhibition brings to our Michigan audiences the works of 39 artists from the United States and Canada. The exhibition will run December 12, 2019 through March 15, 2020 at the MMA.

About Excellence in Fibers

Each year, hundreds of artists from around the world submit art for consideration by a team of expert jurors representing artists, curators, and designers. The final selection of artworks represents striking examples of a host of textile and fiber based pieces including sculpture, tapestry, jewelry, costume and clothing, quilting, weaving, basketry, installation, and more. These artworks are featured in a special edition of the internationally distributed magazine Fiber Art Now as a way of showcasing the current state of the fiber arts movement.

Curator’s Statement

Art Martin, MMA Director of Collections and Exhibitions/Senior Curator, comments, “The latest aesthetic, conceptual, and technical ideas shaping the modern field of fiber arts will be on display at the MMA—from pedestal-size baskets to towering textiles that fill entire walls. Excellence in Fibers offers new perspectives for how we see and interact with our world, and how deeply such familiar materials as cloth and thread can confound our expectations.”


The 2019 Excellence in Fibers jurors are Amy DiPlacido, a visual artist and curator from Northern California; Karen Hampton, fiber artist and professor; and Monica Moses, the former editor-in-chief at American Craft magazine and award winning designer and publisher.

Denise Ziganti
East Coast
Paper, sequins, paint (netting of crown only), thread, chain, 2019
23 x 29 inches

Polly Adams Sutton
Bear Bark
Western Red Cedar bark, ash, coated copper wire, 2019
14 x 7 x 8 inches

Ulrika Leander
Wool in weft, cotton in the warp, 2018
49 x 80 inches

Kathy Knapp
Toxic Overgrowth
Cotton textiles, vintage trims, metallic beads and claps, recycled bracelet pieces, 2019
43 x 33 x 30 inches


The 2019 Excellence in Fibers jurors are Amy DiPlacido, a visual artist and curator from Northern California; Karen Hampton, fiber artist and professor; and Monica Moses, the former editor-in-chief at American Craft magazine and award winning designer and publisher.

Excellence in Fibers V is underwritten by Fifth Third Bank.

The Land: The Art of Bill Hosterman and Ed Wong-Ligda

September 19 through December 15, 2019

Michael and Kay Olthoff Gallery

The Land: The Art of Bill Hosterman and Ed Wong-Ligda is the result of several years of independent experimentation by printmaker Bill Hosterman and illustrator and painter Ed Wong-Ligda and the artists’ shared conversations regarding the visual, expressive, and thematic potential of the land and the flora and fauna that populate it.

How we perceive, interact with, and shape the natural landscape informs Hosterman’s and Wong-Ligda’s prints, drawings, and paintings. Hosterman’s twisting, fantastical landscapes are entwined with lush vegetation, jagged rock faces, birds, boats, and forests, representing his thoughts on the human form and human desires and how both directly affect the land. For Wong-Ligda, the elements of the landscape become characters in a literary or theatrical drama as he explores the choreography and pacing of their visual interactions in dreamlike expanses. Combined, the artworks of these artists offer an invitation to consider the classical landscape in new ways.

Bill Hosterman is an Associate Professor of drawing, printmaking, and foundations in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Grand Valley State University and Faculty Director of the GVSU Padnos Student Visual and Media Arts Gallery. Now retired, Ed Wong-Ligda was a Professor and head of the illustration program at GVSU. He has worked with numerous clients and participated in multiple artist-in-residency programs as a professional painter and illustrator.

Bill Hosterman, Guide, etching and watercolor, 2014-2017

Ed Wong-Ligda, Black Hills Birds, oil on canvas, 2014


Opening Event
Thursday, September 19
5:30 pm Reception | 7:00 pm Lecture
The MMA invites the public to the opening reception for The Land: The Art of Bill Hosterman and Ed Wong-Ligda. The artists will talk about their work at a lecture after the reception, starting at 7:00 pm. Event is free and open to the public.

Little Landscapes Super Saturday
Saturday, October 12
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free Family Fun Day–Experience landscapes at the MMA with a family film, exhibition tours, and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) landscape art activity in the classroom. Free admission and activities are underwritten by Arconic – Whitehall Operations.

Undying Traditions: Memento Mori

September 12 through January 5, 2020

Robert Steven Connett
Acrylic on wood panel
Courtesy of the artist

Alcoa Foundation Gallery

Memento mori (which translates to “remember death”) is a Medieval Latin Christian philosophy that encourages reflection on mortality, on the inevitability of death, and the transience of mortal pleasures and accomplishments.

The memento mori is typically expressed through the still life, incorporating the human skull with various symbols of time and decay. This tradition includes the danse macabre, a skeletal Death dancing away with the rich and poor alike, and the vanitas, a memento mori that depicts objects associated with physical pleasures such as musical instruments and food. In the Christian tradition, memento mori artworks were intended to remind the viewer that their death was assured and their focus should thus be on the spiritual and not the earthly.

Contemporary artists continue to explore this rich tradition in images that strongly reference their precursors. Skulls and flowers continue to fascinate artist and viewer alike. Organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art, Undying Traditions: Memento Mori brings together artists from across the United States currently exploring themes of death and earthly pleasure. From intricate paintings, to photography and sculpture, these artists offer us insights into our collective fascination with death.

Maria Tomasula, Anatomy Lesson, 2019

Featured Artists

Landis Blair, David Cahill, Robert Steven Connett, David Gluck, Kate MacDowell, Jeanette May, Chris Peters, Daniel Sprick, Katherine Stone, Paulette Tavormina, Maria Tomasula, and Will Wilson

(C)Paulette Tavormina (American, born 1949)
Vanitas IV (Dreams), After A.C.
Archival pigment print, 2015
Museum purchase, through the gifts of the Bob and Mary Sandling Estate, Ruth Frank, Kent and Gayle Brown, Mrs. Walter Shirlaw, and Mr. I.L. Butterfield, by exchange. 2018.5
Image courtesy the artist and Robert Mann Gallery, New York

Will Wilson
Oil on linen
Courtesy of the artist

Kate MacDowell
Memento Mori 2
Hand built porcelain, glazed
Courtesy of Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, FL


Opening Event
Thursday, September 12
5:30 pm Reception | 7:00 pm Lecture
Join us for refreshments and a lecture by Art Martin, MMA Director of Collections and Exhibitions/Senior Curator. Event is free and open to the public.

Open Mic Night with Kumasi Mack
Thursday, October 10
6:00 – 8:00 pm, doors open at 5:30 pm
Join us for our second open mic night hosted by local poet Kumasi Mack. Kumasi, alongside his DJ and two featured artists, will provide a night of spoken word at the MMA. Spoken word pieces will relate to themes explored in the Undying Traditions exhibition. Crowd participation welcome. FREE.

Brown Bag Film
Food for the Ancestors: The Mexican Celebration of the Days of the Dead
Thursday, October 24
12:15 pm, doors open at noon
Food for the Ancestors explores the fabulous festival, Day of the Dead, as it is done in the culturally rich state of Puebla. Learn about special holiday foods, rituals, artwork, and more. Free admission, coffee, and cookies. Paid admission required to enter galleries.

Passion and Perversity: The Inner Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe
Conceived, Arranged, and Performed by Tom Harryman
Saturday, November 2
5:00 pm Cocktail Hour
6:00 pm Performance
This one act play examines the inner workings of this master of suspense through Poe’s letters, stories, & poems including The Imp of the Perverse, Lenore, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and others.
$12 advance / $10 MMA Member / $15 at the door. Call 231.720.2580 to order advance tickets.

Passion and Perversity: The Inner Chambers of Edgar Allen Poe
Courtesy of Tom Harryman