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UICA curates thoughtful ArtPrize Eight exhibition

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The future is already here with the FUTURE TALK exhibit featuring a brief survey of recent digital and new media works and presents 15 works by 16 American artists whose media, materials, and content are reflective of and responsive to their time.
One Thousand Shacks by Tracey Snelling

One Thousand Shacks by Tracey Snelling /Courtesy of the UICA

Underwriting support from:

UICA ArtPrize Hours

*General admission fees apply during dates outside official ArtPrize Eight.

Monday—Saturday: 12 p.m. — 8 p.m.

Sunday: 12 p.m. — 6 p.m.

UICA Member Hours: Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Let's Dance America! by Jeffrey Augustine Songco

Let's Dance America! by Jeffrey Augustine Songco /Courtesy of the UICA

SetOutputWorld (called with a world of the wrong size) by Kayla Anderson

SetOutputWorld (called with a world of the wrong size) by Kayla Anderson /Courtesy of the UICA

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), Michigan’s largest contemporary art center, looks toward to the future for its 2016 ArtPrize presentation. Its exhibition, "FUTURE TALK," is a brief survey of recent digital and new media works and presents 15 works by 16 emerging, mid-career, and established American artists whose media, materials, and content are reflective of and responsive to their time.

“As it is applied to the creative process and output, new media is rapidly becoming traditional media,” said Heather Duffy, UICA Exhibitions Curator. “Digital technologies mediate almost every aspect of our lives, and we’re seeing artists explore ideas, ask new questions, and present artworks that challenge the traditional gallery and art viewing experience because of the freedom that comes with this expansive creative territory. In many ways, the future is already here, and "FUTURE TALK" is a selection of works by artists who are writing a visual language that we can decode now to understand our collective trajectory and begin the conversations that will impact our future.”

The ambitious exhibition curated by Duffy presents a variety of mediums, from sculpture and projection work to interactive installations. The exhibition, located in UICA’s first floor and Lower Level galleries, is a thoughtful presentation that considers the time in which we live as well as how our present will impact the future.

Duffy continued, “We knew that this particular exhibition would run during a very specific window of time; that it would coincide with ArtPrize and would take place in nearly exact equidistance between the end of the Olympic games and the United States presidential election. It’s likely that many of us will be at a boiling point of disagreement with “the other side,” as it applies to the political perspective, charging and challenging many of our experiences - including art-viewing.  We will unite, and we will disconnect, and together we will be coming down from the fervent patriotism, enthusiasm, and aesthetics of the Olympics. These moments will challenge and energize us and we will have “experienced” nearly all of this through screens. We will have collected a vault of shared mythology via “viral” moments.“

Artists participating in FUTURE TALK:

Kayla Anderson, SetOutputWorld (called with a world of the wrong size), 64067

Jessie Belanger, Macrocosm, 64218

Collin Bradford, End Light, 64000

Eric Dickson, Wars and Rumors of Wars, 63091

Derek G. Larson, Talking Material, 63797

Julie Malen, Gravity Rainbows, 64549

TJ Mathieu, Funky Town, 64571

Tracey Snelling, One Thousand Shacks, 64159

Jeffrey Augustine Songco, Let's Dance America!,  63932

Eric Souther, Search Engine Vision "ISIS", 63366

Anne Morgan Spalter, Color Voyage, 64395

Three Studio: Will Olson and Nicholas Tisch, V.I. , 64338

Lisa M. Williamson, Re-Rooted, 64115

Alice Pixley Young, Transience, 63586

Justin Young, Infinite Frame / P0RTRA1TS 016, 64481

UICA’s ArtPrize exhibition extends beyond the gallery walls. Visit the satellite site on the exterior walls of the Grand Rapids Ballet Company building at 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Louise ‘Ouizi’ Chen’s large-scale mural is part of UICA’s ongoing public art initiative, the Exit Space Project. This mural is an official ArtPrize entry, and a permanent addition to Grand Rapids’ public art collection. ArtPrize goers can catch Louise ‘Ouizi’ Chen working at the mural site from September 27 - October 3 during ArtPrize Eight.

Guests of UICA can enhance their ArtPrize experience by scheduling a tour of "FUTURE TALK" or UICA’s special exhibition, "superusted: The 4th Midwest Biennial". Tours include a welcome from UICA staff/docents, self-guided time in the galleries, an ArtPrize map, and Boxed Water. Tours must be booked at least 48 hours in advance.

Duffy shared, “Despite the broad variety of materials and processes used to produce the works in "FUTURE TALK", and perhaps because of the diversity in thematic content, the exhibition is really a larger manifestation of what we’re all doing already anyway: processing our experiences, expressing our responses, sending out hope; alone and all together in a curious and wild community of strangers.”

"FUTURE TALK" is on view September 13 – October 16, 2016 at UICA. Visit for more information.

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