Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ 2020 Theme Introduced: “Identity”
The Saugatuck Center for the Arts has announced an unprecedented slate of exhibits surrounding the theme of identity. Ambitious in scope and tone, this collection of works begs important questions of viewers. Who are you by yourself? In a group? How have you built your identity? What of you is permanent and what can be remade?
Further, this selection of exhibits asks us how personal constructs of identity influence the ways in which we interpret and react to art. How we are seen, how we see ourselves, what we present to the world, and what we choose to keep hidden all come to bear on the unique experience each individual will create.
In its Midwest debut, this exhibit of photography is a “work in progress” that casts portraits of volunteers, devoid of any classification by race, age, gender, nationality, class or religion, against a backdrop of their skin’s Pantone® color. This ever-growing variegation catalogues these portraits in a random, yet rigid structure that strips away the false notion of superiority related to skin color.
Winner of the 2018 ArtPrize Installation Public Vote Award, Altieri plumbs the abundance and richness of individual lives. Altieri hand-stamps snippets of conversations, collected randomly throughout her day, onto articles of found clothing which she suspends across the gallery from a clothesline. Alone, each piece is a reflection of a moment that stands as a totem of an entire life; together, they inspire communion and connection over our shared humanity.
The Michigan debut of this ongoing community mail art project mines the honesty to be found in anonymity. Devoid of any restrictions aside from complete truthfulness, people from around the world decorate postcards that disclose never-before-revealed secrets. From the humorous to the painful to the criminal, these confessional mementos exist in the convergent locus of our fears, embarrassments, hopes and desires.
Flanking Veterans’ Day, the debut of this traveling exhibition is the culmination of a two-year journey made by co-founder of the [HAS HEART] organization, and his partner/wife. In every state, the pair partnered one Veteran with one artist to tell each Veteran’s story via art, design and fashion. In addition to the visual collection displaying the Veterans’ designs, stories, and design processes, there will be meaningful products for sale. Proceeds will benefit [HAS HEART], a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the Veterans whose stories they share.
Each 2020 exhibit will be augmented by a curriculum that gives students a platform for their own voice as well as space to create original works inspired by and in response to the art and the questions raised.
“Art is a universal language with the power to transform lives. Shows like these are not only an honor to curate, but they allow us as a community-based art center to throw open doors, initiate meaningful, vulnerable and timely conversation for all kinds of audiences.” – Whitney Valentine, Education & Exhibitions Manager