From Jan. 10 until Jan. 31 the Riverside Arts Center held their most recent exhibit, entitled “Insecurity."
The idea behind the exhibit was to demonstrate the vulnerable side and thoughts of people in the community, those who don’t have a place to live, or enough food to eat. The intent of the theme was to bring the community closer together.
The idea of “Insecurity” in particular was thought of by the Ypsi Gathering Space (YGS). During the winter months the YGS hosts a warming station in the Riverside Arts Center. The YGS provide food, clothing and resources to people from December to April. The organization is entirely volunteer and donation based.
As a hub of artistic endeavors, the Center strives to serve and engage community members through the Arts. All themes are generated specifically for the community of Ypsilanti.
The Riverside Arts Center previewed the theme of “Insecurity” with a description on their website.
“A gnawing at the pit of a stomach might say, ‘Am I enough?’ Or, ‘Will there be enough?’ There’s a fear of being found out, a fraud. There’s a fear of basic needs not certain to be met. Feeling unsafe in our bodies, in our roles, profiles and accomplishments, and in the basics of life. What’s eating you?”
When asked about the message behind the theme, The Riverside Arts Center program manager, Trevor Stone, explained:
“We don’t have an agenda, our agenda is the community agenda. We explore topics here as an institute. What we explore here in the gallery as far as artwork, we also explore through civic events, through education programs that we do with the K-12 schools in Ypsilanti. Our topics and our themes are generated by the public. When picking out this years line-up, we emailed piles of people with pages of ideas, voted it down to a group and chose insecurity.”
The exhibit displayed the theme of “Insecurity” by featuring a wide variety of media and viewpoints. When entering the space, eyes first go to a giant Yeti, a mixed media piece designed by Lavinia Hanachiuc and Narooz Soliman. The piece allowed guests to stand in the mouth of the Yeti and take a picture. A collection of masks, complete with cascading feather accents, were located on pedestals and invited viewers to try them on if you were 18 years and older. Colorful, abstract woven works accompanied the other pieces, as well as various prints, mobiles, and even a digital slideshow.
The following artists contributed their creations to the “Insecurity” exhibit: RCKBNY, Taurus Burns, Lavinia Hanachiuc, Narooz Soliman, Helen Vachon, Amber Resseguie, Keena Winterz, Aaron Lamar, Morgaine Fambrough, Claire Moore, Jonathan Michael Korotko, King Kat, Saylem Celeste, Layali Alsadah, Ron Rash, Petra Kuppers, Gwynneth VanLaven, and Traci Shipley.
“We [The Riverside Arts Center] try to show a range [of artists] from local youth, to novist, to emerging, to people that have shown globally,” stated Stone.
The gallery was free to the public, but donations were encouraged to help support future programs the center plans to hold.
If interested in submitting artwork, visit the Riverside Arts Center’s website. Once on the website click “Exhibits” in the selection bar, then select “submit artwork.” Once prompted, you can enter your name, contact information, social media pages and choose the art exhibit that you think your art would be best represented in. Then, you are free to upload photos of the pieces you want shown, as well as a statement about them.
The Riverside Arts Center is located at 76 N. Huron St. in downtown Ypsilanti. For more information on how to get involved in Ypsi Gathering Space, visit their Facebook page. The Ypsi Gathering Space runs on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.