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The Fed Galleries @ KCAD Ring In 2018 with Pair of Exhibitions Showcasing the KCAD Community

Posted February 13, 2018 in FacultyGallery

Curious collections and academic investigations from the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) community are coming to West Michigan this February in two new exhibitions at The Fed Galleries @ KCAD. Focus on KCAD | Collections and Focus on Faculty | Sabbaticals will run from February 20 through April 7, 2018.

Focus on KCAD | Collections will showcase KCAD faculty, staff, and students who have amassed quirky collections that reflect their personal identity in powerful and intriguing ways. Sculpture and Functional Art Assistant Professor Natalie Wetzel, for instance, shares her collection of childhood toy figures from 80s pop culture TV shows, which has influenced both her personality and her artistic practice.

Wetzel’s collection has inspired her to write scripts, design sets and costumes, and create films mimicking the wacky world of Pee-wee's Playhouse, the colorful fearlessness of Rainbow Brite, the harmless mischievousness of Punky Brewster, and the unique narrative of Alf, an alien living among humans.

Antique dolls placed next to one another in front of a vibrant backgroundAssistant Professor Natalie Wetzel's collection of toy figures from 80s pop culture (credit: Mark Andrus) 

“The exhibition grapples with this idea that we are what we collect, and that those collections become an extension of the collector’s vision and identity. Collections serve as social connectors, question our notions of value, create order from perceived chaos, and provide a richness that is immaterial,” says KCAD Curator of Exhibitions Michele Bosak. “We invite everyone to get to know the KCAD community through the objects and possessions they hold dear, while exploring the art and the act of collecting.”

Collections of one-of-a-kind dolls from around the world, vinyl records from the 1950s to the present, souvenir “floaty” pens, and many more will be on view.

Elsewhere in The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, Focus on Faculty | Sabbaticals will feature work by five tenured KCAD faculty members: Brad Yarhouse (Digital Art and Design), Stephen Halko (Drawing), Gayle DeBruyn (Collaborative Design), Jay Constantine (Painting), and Jason Alger (Graphic Design).The results from their recent sabbaticals will be shared through the exhibiting of new work along with lunch time lectures that will delve more deeply into their individual experiences and academic research.

Group of people standing in a gallery space at Kendall College of Art and Design Visitors to The Fed Galleries @ KCAD explore work from KCAD faculty members during a previous faculty sabbatical exhibition in 2015

Constantine created a new series of paintings titled “Anti-Icons.” He utilized his sabbatical to research long-standing conflicts found between science and religion, as well as historic controversies concerning heresy and orthodoxy. His paintings appropriate imagery and portraits from various time periods, creating a historical memorial of those who have been persecuted. This critical examination in the realm of religion inspires reflection upon some uncomfortable realities of Christian history as well as indirectly commenting on the contemporary rise of religious extremism.

Yarhouse was equally busy, taking on a variety of roles from concept creator to animator to director to producer. His animation, music videos, and writings explore the relationship between time and space–the building blocks of sequential mediums. Yarhouse worked with The State of Michigan to develop an anti-bullying commercial, created an animated music video for local band The Crane Wives, and delivered and published a paper, “Examining Film Through the Visual Language of Comics,” at the 2017 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association(PCA/ACA) National Conference.

“KCAD values the work of its faculty. Sabbaticals are essential for faculty to pursue research, develop new bodies of work, or to deepen and enrich their teaching practice,” says Bosak. “This valuable time empowers faculty to pursue their own scholarly agenda, gain a fresh perspective, and increase their impact on both their students and the college as a whole.”

Both exhibitions are free and open to the public. A joint opening reception, also free and open to the public, will be held on February 20, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. inside The Fed Galleries @ KCAD. Details on the Sabbaticals faculty talks can be found on the exhibition page. For more information visit kcad.edu/galleries.