Detroit Art Press

Megan Stone

mary rousseaux

FRI, JUN 2, 2017 5:30 PM - SAT, AUG 26, 2017 9:00 PM

UICA celebrates 40 years of experimentation and growth with The Jump Off, a group exhibition that features multiple works by local, regional, and national artists. The artists included in the exhibition reveal the evolution within the creative process by presenting artwork that defines their current practice paired with earlier works - specifically, exposing the piece or pieces that served as the clear turning point; catalyzing the spark for their new work’s materials, visual or conceptual content.  

The Jump Off was curated by UICA’s Exhibitions Curator, Heather Duffy, from a national call for work. 

 Courtesy Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University

Mark Wolak

mary rousseaux

Mark Wolak claims he has always been an artist. He began began drawing again years after he originally put down the pencil as a child.Mark devoted himself to drawing, for up to 16 hours a day, where he focused on each and every nuance of graphite. His abstract works, with floating color fields and energetic swaths or brushwork, remind on of the great Romantic Landscapes of Turner and the Hudson River School.  Wolak's method of working which is uniquely his own. He makes each and every canvas unique, rarely  repeating himself. His unique method involves painting "wet on wet", which means he never allows the painting to dry while he is working. He rarely uses brushes. He prefers to use found objects, sticks, and other "tools" to get the desired effect.

we are excited to present a selection of Wolak's work at DAP. 

mark wolak

Alan Watson

mary rousseaux

One of the essential facts of our human condition is that we manufacture neither our bodies nor our brains. Nevertheless, it is from out of these physical things that we create our hopes, our dreams, and indeed our selves. My mixed-media paintings are designed in sympathy with this basic fact:  for each composition begins with elements that I did not self-manufacture but nonetheless manipulate to my own creative ends. These elements are usually “found” objects that no longer represent their original purpose in the world but are now employed for their shape, color, or texture.

Sometimes the objects remain wedded to the surface of the painting; at other times they are removed once their new-found purpose has been achieved. The latter technique is employed with such things as masking tape or factory -made stickers. Some of the shapes employed may be common symbols, such as stars, moons, grids, spirals, or even figures. Examples of objects that would remain in the painting include such things as drywall tape, broken toys, or pieces of tile.

I welcome various semiotic, socio-political, or metaphysical interpretations of my work but feel that these things are best left for the viewer to decide. For me, the main event is always the existential metaphor outlined above. As for formal matters, I generally like bold, vigorous colors and a variety of assertive textures. My compositions inevitably dwell in the realm of asymmetrical balance although I enjoy pushing them to the far boundaries of that domain. Unity in diversity is a challenge, not a compromise.

jim stella

mary rousseaux

Jim Stella was born in Detroit in 1954 and was attracted to art from an early age. He attended University of Detroit Jesuit high school where he was inspired by art teacher Jim Bridenstien. In 1973 he attended Pratt Institute, NY where he studied sculpture and anatomy. He later returned to Michigan to attend the University of Michigan on a medical illustration scholarship.

Stella graduated with high honors. He continued his artistic education at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, where he studied watercolor under the direction of Richard Jersey.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Jim worked in interior design and woodworking using a variety of materials and colors to execute his vision indoors.

He created a number of one-off projects involving mosaics and welding. For the better part of a decade, Jim left behind his formal training and embarked on the path of an outsider artist. Ultimately, he developed his style of large-format oil painting, which he has exhibited since the mid-1990s.

Stella™s compositions flow directly from his mind to canvas.

As he puts it, "The representations in my paintings are drawn from everyday life, but they are re-integrated to reflect how I see them, perceive them, or remember them. And I like the large format because thoughts flow in a lot of different directions and fast. The size is designed to take up your field of view, yet contain small elements your mind can follow."

Jim works out of Pyramid Heads Studio where he creates his unique and larger than life pieces of art.