New Exhibitions

No Boundaries: Outsider, Folk & Art of the Self-Taught

There are a myriad of terms used to describe art of the self-taught—Outsider, folk primitive, and/or vernacular. In essence these terms describe an unbounded attitude towards self-expression; no rules need apply. This exhibit seeks to explore the various approaches to art created by self-taught artists found throughout America and beyond its borders in its closest neighbors in Latin America. Co-curated by Brian Byrn and Todd Hoover, this exhibit will feature a variety of objects from public & private collections, including Ervin & Phyllis Beck’s collection of Mennonite & Amish objects. One of the most noteworthy & recent additions to the MMAA collection is the work of self-taught, street artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat (right), famous as the New York artist discovered by Andy Warhol. A special film about the artist will be shown in two parts in August. The exhibition will open July 14, 2017.

“Interpreting Marilyn: An Exhibit of Art about an American Icon of Film”,

This spotlight exhibit, “Interpreting Marilyn: An Exhibit of Art about an American Icon of Film”, will showcase the work of eight Michiana artists who were invited to participate. The works will be featured in the Keefe Gallery during the display of Seward Johnson’s sculpture, “Forever Marilyn”. The artists include: Neil Boston, Syracuse, IN; Todd Hoover, South Bend, IN; David Ladouceur, Granger, IN; Diane Overmyer, Wakarusa, IN; Joseph Schultz, South Bend, IN; Katharine Schmidt, Elkhart, IN; Robert Williams, Stevensville, MI; and, Kathy Zienty, Goshen, IN

Each artist has been asked to contribute one or two works in any media. Conceptually there will be a range of ideas presented. One approach uses a “stand-in” or “understudy” live model emphasizing the question of “identity”. Since there are many professional Marilyn and Elvis imitators it brings forth the notion of authenticity into the conversation in this age of celebrity. In other works, artists question the cheap nature of vanity or the commercialization of a celebrity’s “brand”

An American Icon like Marilyn certainly can be interpreted in many different ways. For the sculptor, Seward Johnson, it was a matter of formally interpreting an image that Bernard of Hollywood has under copyright. He was able to secure the rights to interpret that famous pose from the “Seven Year Itch”, but was not allowed to make replicas of his model for resale. He did however extend his normal edition of 7 to 15 due to the popularity of the subject— everyone wants a 450 pound Marilyn sculpture!

The exhibit will open July 14, 2017.