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KCAD Questions Currency, Consumption, and Value in ArtPrize 2014 Exhibiton “I Am: Money Matters”

Posted July 7, 2014 in Gallery

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD) ArtPrize 2013 exhibition, “Designed to Win,” proved that an exhibition which engages viewers on multiple levels can have both broad popular and professional appeal. As ArtPrize 2014 draws near, KCAD Curator of Exhibitions Michele Bosak is working to provide an even more enriching experience with this year’s exhibition, “I Am: Money Matters.”

“I Am: Money Matters,” will raise bold questions about currency, consumption, and value and explore their influence on human beings, our emotions, and our understanding of the world around us. The small but highly talented roster of artists will include, among others, groundbreaking conceptual artist Mel Chin, who was a juror for ArtPrize 2013, New York-based visual artist William Powhida, and New Orleans-based artist Dan Tague. Far from an artistic treatise on American capitalism, the exhibition will also feature work from two international artists, one from Australia and another from Mexico, and seeks to create a dialogue about the different ways in which human beings decide what does and doesn’t have value.

"The Formula" by William Powhida, featured artist in KCAD's ArtPrize 2014 exhibition, "I Am: Money Matters" (image courtesy of Platform Gallery)

Bosak deliberately sought out artists and work that would allow her to craft a cohesive viewing experience that will provide a number of different entry points so that anyone, regardless of their knowledge of or experience with art, can engage the exhibition in a deeply meaningful way.

“We want to maintain the high quality of our programming while also providing opportunities for people to create their own associations and forge a moving emotional connection to the work,” she said. “Value is not a black and white issue to any of us. There’s a huge gray area out there that we want to explore.”

"We Need a Revolution" by Dan Tague, featured artist in KCAD's ArtPrize 2014 exhibition, "I Am: Money Matters" (image courtesy of Dan Tague and Jonathan Ferrara Gallery)

During ArtPrize 2013, jurors and viewers alike praised the “Designed to Win” exhibition’s ingenious use of both materials and metaphors to inspire imagination and explore a diversity of ideas. As a result, KCAD took home the competition’s coveted “Outstanding Venue” award, and one of the exhibition’s pieces, “Through the Skies for You” by Kevin Cooley and Phillip Andrew Lewis, took home the juried award in the 3D category. 

But what distinguished KCAD wasn’t having the highest volume of work or the most talked about entry; it was the fullness of the experience that “Designed to Win” had to offer.

“There are over 4,500 sq. ft. of space in The Fed Galleries at KCAD, but we’re not keen on overcrowding the space with work just for the sake of drawing a crowd,” said Bosak. “Our shows are designed to give the viewer mental and physical space to really spend time with the work, think about its meaning, and consider how they relate to what’s being presented. Last year it was gratifying to have that approach validated by a jury.”

To ensure that viewers will be able to fully explore “I Am: Money Matters,” the exhibition will officially open on August 21, a full month before the start of ArtPrize. In addition, The Fed Galleries will operate with extended hours for the duration of the competition: Tues-Thurs from 10am-8pm and Fri-Sat from 10am to 5pm.