Sophia Marisa Lucas, Curator
In collaboration with Kalamazoo RESA's Education for the Arts (EFA) program and the WMU Frostic School of Art's Art Education Program.
This collection of the work of Barbara Ellmann is presented as an open book, without words. The exhibition is meant to be "read" via visual or overall aesthetic language so any narratives will arise from viewer response to, and exchange with, the works. On many levels Ellmann's work is about the ways in which democratic communities and interactions might emerge. Her paintings are discreet works, but they are displayed in grids, in galleries and on her studio walls. It is in these communities that their qualities are revealed. Parallel to the dynamics of human social groups, the character of each grid can be altered with a single change in its constituents. The exhibition's emphasis on viewer subjectivity is indicative of Ellmann's merit as an aesthetic educator, and the profound influence her concerns and principles as painter and as instructor have had on one another. In order to fully explore opportunities for collaboration and the transaction of ideas, viewers will be able to interact with an installation of contextual materials. Visitors will be invited to submit a digital rearrangement of PICTURE IT, one of the grids installed in the exhibition itself. At intervals Ellmann will select a submission to be reflected on the gallery wall, and all submissions will be available to view online, producing a record of visitor subjectivity.