Spring 2017

Leadership Arts in Africa

April 25-May 14, 2017
Burton D. Morgan Gallery


Tuesday, April 25, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Presentations by student curators at 7:00 p.m. in the gallery during the opening.

Leadership Arts in Africa is a student-curated exhibition organized by students enrolled in Assistant Professor of Art History Kara Morrow's African Art course. The exhibition will explore both centralized and village-based traditional leadership structures in Africa. Works in the exhibition are selected from the CWAM's permanent collection.

2017 Studio Art Senior Independent Study Group Exhibition

April 28-May 14, 2017
Sussel Gallery

  • Foster Cheng
  • Emily Glickman
  • Cassidy Jester
  • Mariah Joyce
  • Abbey Partika
  • Theresa Spadola

Fall 2017

After the Thrill is Gone: Fashion, Politics, and Culture in Contemporary South African Art

September 12-November 12, 2017
Sussel Gallery and the Burton D. Morgan Gallery

After the Thrill is Gone:  Fashion, Politics, and Culture in Contemporary South African Art features fourteen artists who read the political climate of post-apartheid South Africa through fashion’s embrace of the “new.” Signaling an end to race-based legislation and the often violent, discriminatory practices of apartheid and its colonial antecedents, Nelson Mandela’s victory in the 1994 elections marked the transition toward a new South Africa.

Similar to the use of quotation and repetition in fashion—modes endlessly reiterated each season—South Africa’s continued legacies of dispossession and inequality render the present day country insubstantially different from its apartheid predecessor. These cycles of repetition expose the reality of South Africa’s social conditions. And yet, despite fashion’s appearance as unchanging, its capacity to anticipate the future endows it with a power to radically transform the present.

The artists in After the Thrill is Gone use fashion to shape narratives of representation, identity, memory, xenophobia, violence in the domestic sphere, and allegories of nationalism.  Both individually and collectively, these artists locate fashion as a political language and reinterpret the historical terrain of South Africa after the thrill of apartheid’s end is gone. 

Artists in the exhibition include Kudzanai Chiurai, Julia Rosa Clark, Hasan & Husain Essop, Pierre Fouché, Gabrielle Goliath, Haroon Gunn-Salie, Daniel Halter, Nicholas Hlobo, Gerald Machona, Mohau Modisakeng, Athi-Patra Ruga, and Mary Sibande.

Organized by the James W. & Lois I. Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University. Andrew Hennlich, Ph.D, Curator.

Spring 2018

Doug McGlumphy: Sculpture

January-March, 2018
Sussel Gallery

2018 Studio Art Senior Independent Study Group Exhibition

April-May, 2018
Sussel Gallery

Fall 2018

The Ocean After Nature

September 11-November 18, 2018
Sussel Gallery and the Burton D. Morgan Gallery

“Our premise is that the sea remains the crucial space of globalization. Nowhere else is the disorientation, violence, and alienation of contemporary capitalism more manifest, but this truth is not self-evident, and must be approached as a puzzle, or mystery, a problem to be solved.”
— Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, 2010

For centuries, the ocean has prompted awe, figuring as a vast unknown space loaded with notions of the sublime and the exotic. In the past fifteen years however, global technological and economic shifts have triggered new concerns and understandings of the ocean. As we consider the future of our planet, today’s oceans reveal more about the consequences of human actions than ever before. The ocean and humanity, no longer thought of as separate, exist in a relationship of mutual and potentially destructive influence.

The Ocean After Nature considers the ocean as a site reflecting the ecological, cultural, political, and economic realities of a globalized world through the work of twenty artists and collectives. These internationally established and emerging artists explore new ways of representing the seascape as a means to identify and critique the various interrelated and chaotic systems of power, such as land-sea divides, the circulation of people and goods, and the vulnerabilities of our ecosystems. Featuring work in a wide variety of media—including photography, video, sculpture, music, and design—the exhibition proposes that seascapes do not only reflect power but can be instruments of power themselves.

Invoking personal themes of identity and migration, alongside more universal concerns related to tourism, trade, and the exploitation of natural resources, the artists in The Ocean After Nature respond to the intertwined factors that define this new understanding of the ocean.

Accompanying the exhibition is a publication edited by the curator and designed by Geoff Kaplan; including texts by Negar Azimi, Ursula Biemann, Yonatan Cohen and Rafi Segal, María del Carmen Carrión, Övül O. Durmusoglu, Kodwo Eshun, Patrick Flores, Ed Halter, Ebony L. Haynes, May Joseph, Amanda Parmer, Lisa Le Feuvre, Lucy R. Lippard, Andrey Misiano, Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, Lanka Tattersall, Virgil B/G Taylor, Jordan G. Teicher and Sarah Wang.

The Ocean After Nature is an exhibition curated by Alaina Claire Feldman and organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York. The exhibition is made possible with the generous support from ICI's International Forum and Board of Trustees.