WMU News

Gallery II show features art by four MFA candidates

Nov. 13, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The School of Art at Western Michigan University is presenting a group exhibition by its M.F.A. degree candidates in painting and printmaking in Gallery II, Sangren Hall.

Student-artists in the show are Adam Hodges, Brian Manley, Michael Northrop and Debra Wade. The free exhibition is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, Nov. 18 through Dec. 5, except during Thanksgiving recess, Nov. 26-28. An opening reception for the show will be held Monday, Nov. 17, in Gallery II from 4 to 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend and there is easy access for the handicapped.

Adam Hodges is from West Virginia and has a B.F.A. degree in sculpture and an M.A. degree in painting from Marshall University. Since entering the WMU program in 2002, Hodges has been director of the Student Art Gallery in East Hall and an active exhibitor both on- and off-campus. This past spring, he had a solo show, "Food for Thought," at the Carnegie Center for the Arts. Also, his work was in subsequent exhibits there during the summer, the regional juried competition and "Art Interprets Music."

Hodges says, "I am interested in memory. Each of the objects in these paintings holds deep personal significance, which is not completely shared with the viewer. Memory is something that viewers will bring to my work. I believe that by using simple objects I have the ability to connect with a wider audience in regard to their own memories."

Brian Manley has a B.F.A. degree in painting from Andrews University. He says his objective is "to build bridges of understanding between cultures by promoting cross-cultural acceptance globally." He has been interviewing international students during the past year and finds that these exchanges are influencing his paintings and drawings. The layers of dialogue, concepts, ideas and identities correlate for him with layers of pigment and interpretations. Committed to figurative painting, he strives for content and craftsmanship that will compliment each other. Manley has exhibited regularly in campus exhibits since 2001 and in the Berrien Springs area prior to that. Since 1998, he has received five painting commissions. In the early 1990s, he was a staff artist for the Horn Archeological Museum in Berrien Springs.

Michael Northrop teaches and is Art Department director at Glen Oaks Community College in Centreville, Mich. A His primary interest is in developing the oil painting techniques of the old masters. He has the B.M. degree in vocal and instrumental music from Olivet College and has studied painting primarily as an apprentice and in classes at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and the Artisan Studio in Santa Fe, N.M. This summer he studied lithographic techniques at the University of New Mexico, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, N.M. Also, Northrop is on the board of directors at the Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers, Mich., where he was acting artistic director from October 2002 to February 2003.

"It is my belief," Northrop says, "that art should not make bold declarations that simply demonstrate the artist's opinion, but should make inquiry of the viewer. How we respond to questions tells us much about ourselves and conclusions we reach in answering those questions are much more likely to create an enduring impression than the assault of a didactic statement."

Debra Wade entered the WMU art graduate program this fall, coming from Shawnee State University with a B.F.A. in painting. She is a recipient of a WMU Graduate Fellowship Award from the Graduate College. Wade's additional studies have been in ceramics and music, and musical instruments appear frequently as the subject of her paintings.

"I find older objects elicit fascinating questions and theories about their prior functional and emotional significance," she says. "Be it musical instruments, glass bowls, plastic milk bottles or copper pots, I can never put aside any critical information or feeling. I intensify the effect by placing my objects in a reflective environment, such as in front or on top of mirrors and glass. Much like Janet Fish, I allow for the interplay of light and color on the subject."

For additional information, contact the Exhibitions Office at 269 387-2455.

Media contact: Jackie Ruttinger, 269 387-2455, jacquelyn.ruttinger@wmich.edu

WMU News
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