KIA to Open Suspended! Sculpture from ArtPrize 2015

Posted: November 27, 2015

Work hanging from above will spark wonder

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts will open a new exhibition December 11: Suspended! Sculpture from ArtPrize 2015.

Work by Joel S. Allen, Russell Prather, and Irene LaVon Walker will hang from above and invite viewers to engage from all sides.

The artists were recently exhibited at the ArtPrize venue hosted by Western Michigan University's Gwen Frostic School of Art and curated by KIA Director of Collections and Exhibitions Vicki Wright.

"Among the hundred artists whose work I had the pleasure of reviewing, these three really stood out," says Vicki Wright. "Not only do they have in common the way they are displayed, but they each explore unexpected materials and fabrications. Each offers work that is playful and energetic and sometimes mysterious. I was delighted to discover them, and the KIA is very happy to extend their exposure to new audiences through next spring.

The KIA will host an exhibition opening event Friday, December 11, 6-8 pm. The artists will present a talk at 6:30 pm.

Joel S. Allen creates hand-wrapped fiber sculptures, using yarn, twine, t-shirt material, wine corks, tubing, copper, acrylic sheeting, and wood.

He has said of his work, "I search for that intimate space between time and material where the rhythm of thought and dexterity intertwine in a lyrical dance. It is, for me, a most splendid romance between thinking and making."

Russell Prather creates simple forms and objects from acrylic paints applied in patterns to layers of transparent polyester film. What results are layers of two-dimensional surfaces -- a sequence of cross sections -- that collectively conjure a three-dimensional illusion.

Irene LaVon Walker uses traditional methods of weaving and felting, combined with modern materials, to create sculptural garments and environments.

She has said of her work, "These garments appear to be a distant reminder of a world that is not our own, but still feels familiar, like the hazy recollections of our dreams or the ever shifting shadows of memory. Drawing inspiration from nature, historical clothing, and the space between fantasy and reality, I strive to create a sense of discovery and wonder that transports the viewer to a different time, place and world."

The exhibition is sponsored by Greenleaf and AVB and continues through March 13, 2016.