Category Archives: Events

Current and Past Events at MICA Gallery

Megan Hildebrandt | One New Day, Jan – Feb 2016

One New Day is a solo exhibit by artist Megan Hildebrandt, it was curated by MICA’s Director, Katrina M. Daniels. This ehibit was on view from January 15 to February 28, 2016.

Megan Hildebrandt studied and received her BFA at the renowned University of Michigan and continued her life’s journey to the University of South Florida, where she obtained her MFA. During this time Hildebrandt’s arresting works of art have appeared from coast to coast in both solo and group exhibitions with pieces residing in both public and private collections. From New York City to Austin, Texas her work can be found in featured spaces ranging from the Museum of Contemporary Craft to the John Hopkins Medical Center. Her repertoire also includes performance pieces that have been showcased at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Hildebrandt’s work has also been exhibited internationally in Canada and Panama. When she is not traversing the globe with her art exhibitions she is a professor at the acclaimed Interlochen School in Northern Michigan.

One New Day showcases existing and new work from the artist and includes a site specific installation which the show is named after. The constants in this show are the material (the entire show is made of paper) and the aspect of repetition that the artist uses to an almost obsessive level to explore a variety of themes. This show is also autobiographical, Hildebrandt uses her visual work to explore her geographical relocations, her marriage, motherhood and her life as a cancer survivor.

‘How Many Days Until Something Is A Habit’ is a series of work that Hildebrandt began when she was pregnant. At this time the artist began to explore what she was giving up during pregnancy and what habits she was developing for this new child. This work symbolizes the human form and the holes represent what the artist gave to her new child. These pieces are acrylic paint on cold-press paper that has been cut with an x-acto knife. In it’s finished form the work is 2-D however the artist manipulates the work when it is hung so that the end result is a site-specific 3-D sculpture.

One New Day
‘How Many Days Until Something Is A Habit’, acrylic on cold-pressed paper

Another series of work that we have drawn from for this show is ‘Waiting Room’. This series was created during the artists diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Chemotherapy was used as a treatment and as a result the artist lost all of her hair and became bald. ‘Rub’, ink on bristol, explores the moments when people (often strangers) would touch the artists’ bald head without her consent. Notice the disembodied hands that enter the space. Hildebrandt reflected on a similar experience when she was pregnant and people would touch her stomach without her consent.

‘Rub’, bristol on paper

DANCE Lansing: The Community Dance Project is a collective of dancers and choreographers that bring Contemporary movement into nontraditional spaces. This group performs monthly at MICA Gallery. For the February performances the choreographers and dancers reflected upon Hildebrandt’s work to explore the themes of Health and Healing. Throughout the ages, cultures have relied on dance to convey emotion, tell stories, communicate and to treat illness. The power of dance to communicate, express, and restore, underlies the ability of dance therapy to heal to this day.

Modern dance therapy, also called dance/movement therapy, finds its origins with modern dance pioneers like Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey. They transformed dance from stylized forms like ballet into a self-expressive, spontaneous form, where individuality was encouraged. The image below showcases a moment from a performance that was inspired by Hildebrandt’s work ‘Rub’, the dancers used movement to express touch, pain, and repetition.

Dancers perform a piece inspired by Hildebrandt’s work ‘Rub’

MICA’s Director, Katrina M. Daniels, uses innovative programming to foster an understanding of the visual exhibits and to create a connection between the artist, the work and the community.

Katrina Daniels | The Art of Gifting, Nov – Dec 2015

The Art of Gifting
The Art of Gifting

The Art of Gifting is a multi-media exhibit that celebrates contemporary craft and fine art created by artists and makers, many from the Greater Lansing Community. This exhibit was curated by MICA Director Katrina M. Daniels, this is on display from Nov. 6 – Dec. 23, 2015.

During the Holidays many of us shop and purchase gifts for our community. The Art of Gifting exhibit creates opportunities for the community to purchase beautiful, locally sourced and handmade, art.

The goal of this exhibit is also to showcase the artists and makers that are behind the objects and tell the story about the amount of talent and time that it takes to create these objects whether it is a Holiday card or an oil painting. The work that is showcased during this exhibit are made by people living and working in our community, not mass produced by machines and then shipped here from abroad. To help emphasize this point, artist and printmaker Kimberly Lavon created hand made block print cards at the opening reception. By having the artist present and creating work in front of the audience it emphasized the talent and skill that is necessary for creating a piece of work. While Lavon worked during the event guests had the opportunity to speak with her directly, ask questions or simply enjoy watching the process.

Programming is an important part of MICA, it allows us to connect with our audience in a variety of ways while exploring the concept of the exhibit more thoroughly. Director Katrina Daniels developed the event the Art of Cookie Decorating to allow the audience an opportunity to explore the culinary arts while trying their hand at cookie decorating. Professional pastry chefs were brought in from the gourmet bakery at Dusty’s Cellar to teach the audience how to decorate cookies with pastry bags, tips, royal icing, etc. This event also served as a fundraiser to allow our organization to continue to produce free programming for the community.

nutcracker balletAn annual tradition started in 2014 is to bring the Nutcracker Ballet to the MICA Gallery in early December. The Greater Lansing Ballet Company performed an abbreviated version of the classic ballet entitled the Nutcracker in a Nutshell. The Ballet Company selected portions of the ballet to perform at MICA Gallery and the Director explained the story behind the movement to the audience.

This family friendly performance is free to the public and it creates access to a classic ballet that may otherwise be cost prohibitive to an individual or family. After the performance the audience was invited to ask questions and interact with the dancers and choreographers.

Katrina Daniels | Curating Roots, Sept – Oct 2015

Artist Spotlight: Katrina M. Daniels discusses Curating Roots | Sept. – Oct. 2015

Poster Design: Emma Foley
Poster Design: Emma Foley

Curating Roots: The Art of the Local Movement in Lansing was a multi-media exhibit that used visual art to celebrate the vibrant local food movement in the Greater Lansing Community. This exhibit was curated by MICA Director Katrina M. Daniels with assistance from intern Emma Foley, this was on display from Sept. 4 – Oct. 31, 2015.

As the Director of MICA, Daniels also curates exhibits and develops corresponding mission-based programming. The idea for this exhibit came from reflecting on the fact that September and October is a time of harvest and members of the Greater Lansing community would be harvesting locally grown food from their urban farms, shopping at one of the many farmers markets in the area or perhaps enjoying a meal at one of the areas farm to table restaurants. The local food movement is in Lansing is rich with community gardens, workshops, and sustainable food focused non-profits. Daniels wanted to use art to celebrate this beautiful and unique aspect of Lansing, MI, thus Curating Roots: The Art of the Local Food Movement in Lansing was developed.

This is a broad topic to discuss and Daniels knew that she wouldn’t be able to fully explore every aspect of this movement, however, the exhibit could still be used to create awareness, start conversations and lead the community to other resources and information. For this exhibit Daniels decided to use art work to represent the connection between food and community, non-profit organizations such as the Allen Neighborhood Center, the Roots Farm, the Hunter Park Garden House as well as some of the individuals who are involved. Included was a series of work from artist Amanda Greishop who used photography to document a year long cycle of a family owned and run Urban Farm and a CSA (community supported agriculture) program.

#ShareAMealWithMICAHistorically food has been a common subject of art; it is possible to argue that “food art” (the representation of food in art) is as old as art itself. In order to further engage with the community inside and outside of the gallery space, Daniels chose to utilize technology and social media; specifically Instagram. Since it’s inception in 2010 images of food and meals have been a prominent feature. In the 21st Century technology has allowed us to capture images of our food and share them publicly. Daniels asked the community to take pictures of their meals and use the hashtag #ShareAMealWithMICA, resulting in an Instagram wall of printed photos in the gallery. The utilization of this hashtag allowed the community to actively contribute to this dialogue of food and art.

In addition to the physical exhibit, Daniels also developed programming that celebrated the same themes. The robust and innovative programming began at the opening reception. The opening was a multi-sensory experience that celebrated the connection between food, art and music. Musician Chelsea Koziatek and band played a repertoire of chamber music while custom made tapas dishes from the farm to table restaurant Soup Spoon Cafe which had been created based on the music, were served.

Listen to a podcast from Current State here that includes interviews and sound bites from the opening reception.

"Roots" Dance Performance
“Roots” Dance Performance

Each month MICA Gallery hosts a dance performance at the gallery, the dancers show that contemporary movement is often inspired by contemporary art. In October, the performers of DANCE Lansing choreographed a performance entitled Roots. This performance used movement to address the themes of agriculture, harvest, gathering and community – some of the subjects that ground us to our planet. The photograph to the right shows dancers performing a ballet inspired by the traditions of harvest and gathering.

An important element of the local food movement that Daniels also wanted to showcase was the fact that it is a circle that includes a market for the food and goods to be purchased, this movement doesn’t end with the harvest. In that vain, Daniels partnered with Bloom, a local coffee roaster for two tasting events that offered the community an opportunity to taste artisanal coffee and locally sourced food pairings. The proceeds from these events were then given to the Cristo Rey Community Center a basic needs center to help support their food justice programs.

Curating Roots: The Art of the Local Food Movement used art and programming to engage with the community, create awareness about food justice and the local food movement all while supporting our local farms and businesses. Daniels feels strongly that art is a powerful tool to create conversation and community engagement.

The Lansing Public Media covered the opening reception of Curating Roots and created a video with interviews and more, please watch below:

CLIP Curating Roots @ MICA Gallery from Lansing Public Media on Vimeo.