Born Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1971/BA, Wheaton College, Illinois; BFA, University of Colorado at Denver; MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art/Lives in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Marcelyn Bennett-Carpenter would like for you, the viewer, to be involved. Engagement with her work, ideally, goes beyond aesthetic appreciation; her pieces are designed for physical interaction: wearing, blowing, navigating, and especially stretching. Tension is the fundamental quality of weaving; as a fiber artist, accomplished weaver, and instructor at Cranbrook’s Kingswood Weaving and Fiber Art Studio, Bennett-Carpenter’s work is fraught with a baseline tension that is belied at first blush by soft palettes and inviting surfaces.
Born Louisville, Kentucky, 1974/BFA, Rhode Island School of Design; MFA, Cranbrook/Lives in Detroit
Four years into an architectural program at RISD, Addie Langford found herself confronting a hard truth: she missed making things. All the theoretical design emphasis in her formal studies could not replace the importance of the hands-on process of creation that had always been a fundamental part of her practice.
Born Detroit, 1970 / BA, University of Michigan / Lives in Clarkston, Michigan
Greg Fadell’s work and his persona can be seen as a series of deliberate choices. The work of some artists begins and ends within the frame, but for Fadell, wall, lighting, surfaces, and gallery are just as important as the pieces he brings to hang…and all that before his attention to the forces that shape the art world itself. Every aspect of Fadell’s practice is deeply considered, even those that might read as casual or irreverent vestiges of his early pro-skater career and personal aesthetic. His body of work draws in the viewer with its ostensible simplicity, but ask an informed question and be astonished by the volubility and the substance of his answer.
Born Detroit, 1977 BFA, Bennington College; MFA, Columbia University Lives in Hamtramck, Michigan
“I am trying the least-hard to be an artist of anyone you’ve met,” says Ben Hall, by way of contextualizing art in the diverse constellation of his interests and responsibilities. Like most things Hall says, there are varying degrees of truth to this complicated matter. Fanatical about language, obsessive about details, and meticulous in his planning, Hall is clearly moving toward something with great determination—and that something includes receiving an MFA from one of the country’s most prestigious universities. But a deeper look at the projects and lifestyle infrastructure that Hall has constructed indicate that he is not, as he says, trying to “be an artist,” and especially not trying to make things that “look like art.” Rather, art is just one of a number of mechanisms—one with which, it must be noted, he manipulates with dexterity—that he’s using to drive toward bigger priorities. Continue reading
Born Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico, 1976 / BFA, Universidad del Sol, Cuernavaca, Mexico / Lives in Ferndale, Michigan
For artist Kia Arriaga, there are ways in which existing is an act of resistance; Arriaga deeply identifies with her Aztek roots, and works in multiple media to, “rescue the traditional ways of the original people of Mexico.” Continue reading
Born Chicago, IL 1975 / BA Hampshire College; MFA University of Michigan, Ann Arbor / Lives in Hamtramck, Michigan
Printmaker Toby Millman is not one to talk unless you are listening. Her presence, like her work, is often quite understated, indicating not a lack of depth, but confidence in what you will find when you take the time to notice. One thing you will find is a body of work that interjects quiet reflection into scenes of active conflict— Continue reading
Born Detroit, 1972 / Bachelor of Architecture, University of Detroit / Lives in Royal Oak, Michigan
On the game board shelf in Andrew Malone’s living room, stuck in between Castle Blast and Where in Space is Carmen Sandiego?, is a nondescript wooden box containing a game of his own creation, called X+ (Ex-Cross). Continue reading
Born Royal Oak, 1956 / BFA, Wayne State University / Lives in Royal Oak, Michigan
Let’s begin with a few words with which Mary Fortuna does not appreciate being associated: multicultural, Arts vs. Crafts, ‘women’s art,’ and ‘art dolls.’ And a few things she is: generous, frank, inclusive, and deeply intuitive when it comes to locating source material at the very core of human existence. Continue reading