The material objects that our various cultures create are imbued with incredible power. Domestic objects – family photos, furniture, spoons, and mirrors – become essential in our daily lives and suggest where we live, define class and power, and root us deeply in cultural identities.
Material. Culture. features the works of McColl Center’s Fall 2022 Artists-in-Residence Bebonkwe Brown (she/her), Myles Calvert (he/him), bree gant (they/them), and Shoshanna Weinberger (she/her). These artists use everyday objects, and the commercial technologies used to manufacture these objects, to trigger memories, examine concepts of beauty, build community, and expand how artists work.
First Nations artist Bebonkwe Brown (Plains Cree/Anishnawbe Nations, she/her) celebrates ancient creative traditions in contemporary ways. Her painted color fields are combined with what she calls “interTribal” patterns drawn from historical and contemporary First Nations traditional items. Inner tubes, spoons, and other recycled objects in her mixed media works reference hybrid identities that are tied to rich pasts and the present.
bree gant’s (they/them) work documents cultural histories and collective happenings of intimacy in their hometown of Detroit. Rooted in filmmaking, their performances and installations use, video, photos, and personal objects to consider how our understanding of self affects our relationships to others and to our environments, and further, why displacements from those environments impact how we interpret our identity.
The question of self is central for Shoshanna Weinberger (she/her). Her paintings and collages use a distilled visual language of legs, red lips, stripes, and crooked teeth to create work that investigates the complexity of heritage and identity. Interested in the role that industrial technologies such as laser cutters and 3D printers can play in making art, Shoshanna integrates new materials in her inquiries of beauty, womanhood, and commercial standards.
Printmaker Myles Calvert (he/him) holds a similar interest in industrial technology and its impact on manufacturing and artmaking. His prints often reference traditionally and regionally designed domestic furniture whose patterns and forms place them in a specific cultural place and time. Myles’ prints are experimental, using contemporary technologies including neon inks, screen printing, plotters, and laser-cut printing plates to create works that question class, location, and gender identity.
Material. Culture. is a part of the Artist-in-Residence Program at McColl Center.
Myles Calvert is supported as a McColl Center Artist-in-Residence in partnership with Windgate Foundation.