‘Made in Michigan’ exhibit at FIA features artwork from artists across the state

FLINT, Michigan — One of the current exhibits on display at the Flint Institute of Arts (FIA) is the ‘Made in Michigan’ exhibit that opened to the public on Aug. 19, 2023. Located in the Dow Gallery, the collection features an array of 17 artistic works by artists with deep connections to Michigan. These connections range from their birth, work, or residence within the state, reflecting a broad spectrum of local artistic talent.

Significantly, 16 of these art pieces are integral parts of the FIA's collection. Rachael Holstege, Associate Curator at FIA, stated that the response to the exhibit has been hopeful for local visitors.

“We have had a great response from the public,” said Holstege. “I think it's inspiring for them to see artists from their area and the creativity that flourishes within the state.”

A notable work in the exhibit is the furniture piece titled Roadscape which makes a bold statement without falling into the norms of the art world. 

“One of the newest additions to the exhibition is Roadscape by Chuck Sharbaugh,” said Holstege. “It is a wooden cabinet that references both historical furniture styles and our contemporary industrial landscape. I think people will appreciate it because it is not a traditional painting and studio furniture may not be something they are familiar with as an art form.”

Robert Gniewek. American, born 1951. Rialto, 2001. Oil on linen, 14 × 20 in. (35.6 × 50.8 cm). Gift of James Pearson Duffy 2015.4.Another highlight in the exhibit is Detroit-based artist Desiree Kelly's depiction of Flint's own Claressa Shields, simply titled Shields. Kelly's 2018 creation, a blend of oil and spray paint on a traffic sign, strikingly portrays Shields in her boxing gear.

John Dempsey, another Detroit-born artist who later resided in Flint, contributed the exhibition's largest piece. This acrylic on canvas painting illustrates the sprawling expanse of Buick City in Flint, a significant General Motors manufacturing plant currently undergoing redevelopment. 

When asked what she would like visitors to take away from the exhibit, Holstege replied, “I would like people to leave with a sense of pride for the state of Michigan and an appreciation for all of the different styles and techniques artists of the past and present are working in.”

The ‘Made in Michigan’ exhibit is on display from now until June 2, 2024.

To learn more about FIA’s newest exhibit and upcoming events, visit: flintarts.org
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