The Land of Here & Now at KCAD Fed Galleries
by Aaminah Shakur
Beginning in the summer of 2011, a group of selected artists began spending a portion of late summer in Pentwater, Michigan, a small village on the Lake Michigan lakeshore in between Muskegon and Ludington. The village is known for its art galleries and excellent bed and breakfast accommodations. It’s a charming place with a population under 1,000 people, tw0-thirds of whom are over age thirty-five, and a regular tourist industry that routinely attracts people from Chicago looking to enjoy a bit of nature. It’s no surprise that artists are attracted to the area. Grand Rapids artist Eliza Fernand and her mother established a small residency program to provide space for artists to work. The resulting Shared Space Studio and Residency is a communal experience in which artists share space, supplies, food, and engage with the local community. THE LAND OF HERE AND NOW: Five Years of Artists at Shared Space Studio is a collection of works by twenty-seven of the thirty-four artists who have worked in the Shared Space Studio during its first five years. Featured local artists include Marlee Grace, Rose Beerhorst, Eliza Fernand, and Alex DiFiglia. Curated by Fernand and Residency Co-Facilitator Mary Rothlisberger, the show runs through July 23 at the KCAD Fed Galleries.
Shared Space Studio offers communal living and limited work space, so participants are encouraged to share resources and supplies. Artists create new work during their visit, inspired by the environment, interaction with fellow residents, and involvement with the local community. Collaboration and skill-sharing is encouraged as well. Participating artists come from all over the United States and Canada, from varied disciplines: musicians, ceramics artists, fiber artists, self-taught artists, fine artists from academic backgrounds, film-makers, dancers, performers, and more. Because of this variety of artists participating in the residency, there is an eclectic selection of work featured in The Land of Here and Now. Several pieces rely heavily on technology, while other artworks utilize reclaimed and upcycled materials to create new work. There are watercolors, quilts, mixed media paintings, dance performance videos, zines, and much more. Among the video installations is the “Beach-cam Variety Show,” a compilation of evening events and performances which took place on the beach at sunset. The majority of the Pentwater village community gathers on the beach for sunset every night in the summer, and Shared Space Studio Residency artists took turns putting together performances, taking advantage of the Pentwater Sunset Cam that provided live-feed of the beautiful sunset over Lake Michigan. Whatever your preferences, you are likely to find something in this show of interest to you.
There are several events scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition, all of which are free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities who require special accommodations to participate should contact the KCAD President’s Office at 616.451.2787 x1200 at least 72 hours in advance.
June 13th-17th, Gallery Residency with Eliza Fernand + Mary Rothlisberger
June 15th, 7-8:30pm Rerooting the Motor City: Notes on a City in Transformation , Public screening of documentary followed by Q&A session with Amanda Matles
June 22nd, 4-7pm New Orleans Artists Print Sale with Natalie Woodlock
June 24th, 7-9pm Pie Feelings Performance and Pie with Alex DiFiglia, Marlee Grace, and Andrew Dost.
July 16th, 12-6pm Grand Rapids Zine Fest
July 22nd 5:30-7:30pm Closing Reception with Emo-Func performance by Aliya Bonar and 1,000 Years of Trial Child- a one-person sc-fi, trage-comedy play by Scotty Slade Wagner
KCAD Fed Galleries
Wednesday thru Saturday 12-5pm (or by appointment)
Woodbridge N. Ferris Building
17 Pearl Ave NW