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UICA exhibit "Chroma" changes perspectives on color

The UICA’s exhibit ‘Chroma’ engages and interacts with viewers, questioning beliefs and ideas about color.
Anna Kunz's "Juliet's Corner" in the UICA

Anna Kunz's "Juliet's Corner" in the UICA /Emilie Pichot

Exhibit Details

WHERE: Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts

              2 Fulton West

              Grand Rapids, MI 49503

WHEN: May 31, 2013 - August 18, 2013

             Monday, closed

             Tuesday - Thursday, 5 - 9 p.m.

             Friday - Saturday, 12 - 9 p.m.

             Sunday, 12 - 7 p.m. 

call 616-454-7000 for more info

cost is $5 for non-UICA members

more info

the piece by Liz Miller

the piece by Liz Miller /Emilie Pichot

Greg Fadell's exploration of the lack of color

Greg Fadell's exploration of the lack of color /Emilie Pichot

After a hard day’s work, my brain was beginning to call it a night. I expected to look at some art that had a clear narrative and spoke to me loud and clear. I didn’t expect to discover that most of the narrative was going to be of my own making.

Looking at Greg Fadell’s bare and simple canvases of color, my brain began to make noises: seagulls, wind, cicadas, water and white noise. The painting seemed to be a mirror and was reflecting whatever was on my mind. My thoughts seemed to become louder and my mood became more apparent. I was forced to confront my state of mind, my history and my culture. Fadell’s color landscapes became mine in front of my very eyes.

Not only did the art reflect the viewer observing it, but it also interacted with its surroundings. "Juliet’s Corner" by Anna Kunz involved a study of the UICA building itself and also the look of the natural light throughout the day. The color palette Kunz selected is directly inspired by these observations and the final product is an active participant in the space.

Most of the work in the exhibit is thought provoking. Phoebe Stubbs’ "Redder" explores how much we depend on color: once the arm in the film is completely engulfed in the red paint and starts to make its way out of the can slowly, the viewer begins to distrust what they know as true and fear what will come out of the can.

“The artwork UICA exhibits is non-traditional and pushes the boundaries either in terms of materials and or subject matter and often presents ideas about contemporary culture,” says Elizabeth Goddard, curator of exhibitions and interpretation.

Stubbs’ "Redder" is an example of our constant desire to be in control and in the know.

By the fifth floor I had developed a keen sensitivity to color and was highly aware of its presence. Megan Abajian’s work, though wonderfully textured, seemed too violently colorful.

Each of the 11 works was clearly integral to the exhibit. Each of the works approached color and displayed it in a unique way. Some may be less intimidating than others but all treat color as a serious method of storytelling.

“People who feel they do not ‘understand’ contemporary art are sure to gain something rich and engaging with the CHROMA exhibition, even if they lack the vernacular we toss around in the art world. Our gallery visitors are responding very positively to the work and we hope that keeps them coming back,” says Goddard.  

Artist, art lover or not, everyone can visit this exhibit for a fresh look at color or for some new ideas.

The exhibit will be open until August 18, 2013. Go to be inspired to think differently and color outside the lines.

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