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The Eastern Echo Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

'12 at 22' exhibit showcases EMU graduate candidates' artworks

The exhibit at the 22 North Gallery in Ypsilanti showcases 24 artworks from EMU graduate candidates.

The “12 at 22” exhibit at the 22 North Gallery in Ypsilanti is showcasing Eastern Michigan University MFA and MA graduate candidates' artworks through April 23.

“12 at 22” showcases 24 pieces of art created by 12 graduate candidates at EMU who were selected for the gallery. Each candidate was asked to submit three to five pieces of work and two works were chosen from that pool.

Sandra Murchison, the director of art and design at EMU, and Nan Plummer, the 22 North Gallery director, curated the show with the selected pieces, having cohesion and variety in mind. 

There are a lot of concentrations in the exhibit, including photography, graphic design, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Each artist brings their own unique style forward, using many mediums like fibers, wood, collage, watercolor, steel, graphite, digital prints, and more.

Sonia Kraftson, a candidate being shown, sourced some of the materials they used in their pieces from peelings of a thrifted pleather jacket in their piece “Baggage” to a 100 used paper grocery bags in their piece “SeamLine.” Their piece includes nature scapes, figures, and hollow containers.

“The university and many of the staff have a connection to the community and local spaces, and the gallery itself seeks to provide exhibition space, exposure, and collaboration to emerging artists,” Beth Blackford, a MFA candidate in graphic design at EMU, said in a written statement.

An exhibition opportunity isn't always available, but EMU’s graduate art program strives for professional practices. They give students the opportunity to prepare artist statements, deliver “hang ready” work, and complete applications. An opportunity like the exhibit with 22 North Gallery is a valuable resource for students. 

“Being a part of the 22 North show is a major gift,” Kraftson, an MFA candidate focused on interdisciplinary studies in the School of Art and Design, said in a written statement. “The honor of seeing it up in the space and the enthusiasm of patrons allows me to believe I should continue to listen and make.”

“This exhibit was a wonderful opportunity not only to display our work but also to better understand the steps that go into curating and setting up a show,” Blackford said. “22 North allowed us to be a part of the process and utilize their beautiful space.”

This EMU program gave students a chance not only to showcase recent works but to actively participate in organizing and setting up the show. All MFA and MA candidates were invited to apply, and all are participating in the exhibit.

Those interested in the exhibit can find more information on 22north.org.