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The Fed Galleries @ KCAD Announce New Exhibitions for Spring 2017

Posted February 9, 2017 in Gallery

Powerful work from nationally and internationally-acclaimed artists is coming to West Michigan this month in three new exhibitions at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD’s) The Fed Galleries @ KCAD. Left Behind | Work by Jennifer Loeber, The Shape of Self | Work by Riva Lehrer, and Sentimental Ornamentation will run from February 14, 2017 through April 8, 2017.

Left Behind | Work by Jennifer Loeber will showcase New York City-based documentary and portrait photographer Jennifer Loeber’s archival photo series birthed in the wake of her mother’s passing and the ensuing process of sorting through the possessions she left behind. By thoughtfully pairing photographs of her mother taken throughout her life with images of her mother’s possessions, Loeber lays bare the emotional pull of memory we experience in the face of loss and grief.

Blush by Jennifer Loeber"Blush" by Jennifer Loeber (image courtesy of the artist)

“Jennifer has translated her experience of dealing with the loss of her mother into a visual language that speaks volumes about the connection between memory and coping,” says Curator of Exhibitions Michele Bosak. “Paired with expressive personal photographs of her mother, the images of material possessions seem to take on a life of their own.”

Elsewhere in The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, The Shape of Self | Work by Riva Lehrer will feature the critically-acclaimed visual art of Riva Lehrer, an artist, writer, and curator whose work examining the social implications of physical identity is at the forefront of the field of disability culture. Previously shown in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, among other venues, Lehrer’s portrayals of the socially challenged body reveal assumptions about beauty, worth, and visual pleasure. The Shape of Self forms the cornerstone of the 2017 DisArt Symposium: Disability Arts Now!, coming to Grand Rapids April 6-8, 2017.

Eli Claire by Riva Lehrer"Eli Claire" by Riva Lehrer (image courtesy of the artist) 

“We’re very excited to see the critical conversations surrounding art and disability that were raised during the inaugural DisArt festival in 2015 continue through this exhibition,” says Bosak. “Riva is one of the most important voices in contemporary art, and we’re proud to welcome her work to West Michigan.”

The third exhibition, Sentimental Ornamentation, unites nine artists from the U.S. and one from the Netherlands in an exploration of the cultural link between Victorian mourning practices and aesthetic objects such as jewelry, clothing, or other mementos that belonged to a deceased individual.

work by artist"Objects of Mourning - Veil 3" by Renée Zettle-Sterling (image courtesy of the artist) 

“As photography was still in its infancy, these objects became a way to honor and remember loved ones on a daily basis. Clothing and jewelry channeled personal grief through a visible expression, giving way to the flowing patterns, intricate details, and excessive ornamentation we recognize today as motifs of the Victorian Era. Over the last decade, the era's impact on art and design has resurfaced time and time again,” says Bosak.

The artists in Sentimental Ornamentation converge Victorian mourning practices and motifs with contemporary renderings in a variety of artistic media, from photography and sculpture to ceramics and jewelry. Exhibiting artists include:

Elizabeth Heyert
Nene Humphrey
Anya Kivarkis
Yuni Kim Lang
Spencer Merolla
Tim Powers
Jonathan Wahl
Marcel Wanders
Renée Zettle-Sterling

All three exhibitions are free and open to the public. A closing reception for the exhibitions will be held on April 8, 2017 at 6 p.m. inside The Fed Galleries @ KCAD. For more information visit kcad.edu/galleries.