The North of the 45th is an annual juried exhibition of artists living North of the 45th Parallel from Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Each year a different juror from outside of the area, but within the Midwest, is asked to select pieces for the exhibition from an open call for entries. The jury process is anonymous and based on image, title, media and dimensions. This year's exhibition is juried by Wally Mason, director of the Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
This year, Stephanie and I entered artwork, and both of us were selected to be a part of the exhibition! It's an honor to have our art hanging at the DeVos Art Museum, so this is pretty exciting. Steph's piece, Bloodthirsty, is from her recent and ongoing series of paintings that explore the human perception of Coyote. My piece was taken back in October of 2010, at Pinckney's graveyard of poached deer. Photographed with the medium-format Ciro-flex, it's something that I haven't posted here before:
I had the photograph printed at twenty inches square – the largest print I've ever ordered! This is the artist's statement that I supplied for the exhibition:
My body of work explores a world not often seen or sought. For years I have been documenting dead animals, in an effort to portray decomposition as a beautiful, fascinating, and ecologically crucial process. Accustomed to photographing natural and accidental animal deaths, I was thrown a curve when, on State land, I encountered a veritable deer graveyard. It was a place where poachers had dumped the remains of their spoils, with no regard to law or human decency. It was a disturbing, ugly scene, one that spoke volumes of waste, greed, and disrespect. Yet, in the end, and in the eyes of Nature, these poached deer were no different from any other dead animal: their bodies would decompose, feeding generations of insects, before returning to the earth.
The opening reception for the exhibition was held on Friday evening. There were lots of people at the gallery, along with some great music courtesy of Kerry Yost and, of course, The Chanteymen!
The North of the 45th Parallel Exhibition runs through August 5th. If you're in the Marquette area, be sure to stop by! This is a great show, and there is some truly unique artwork on display.