Constructed Realities: Artist’s Dioramas

Friday, August 23 through Friday, September 20, 2013

Closing Reception Friday, September 20, 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Part of the Downtown Rochester Fall Gallery Stroll

Gallery Talk Saturday, September 21, 2:00 p.m.

Many of us grew up visiting museums devoted to science and natural history, or spent time in local history museums, nature centers and other institutions on family vacations. Some of the most irresistible features of such exhibitions are the dioramas created to educate visitors on flora and fauna, ancient civilizations, environmental features and the like. Whether built as life-size representations or scale models, these isolated environments present whatever reality their creators wish to display.

For this exhibit, we have chosen seven artists who build their own versions of reality, and others who seek out these constructions wherever they’re found and photograph them. They work in a variety of media to explore the parameters of their invented worlds and bring them to life.

Participating artists include:

JenClare Gawaran (Sterling Heights) earned her MFA at Wayne State University. She is the President and Board Chairperson at Whitdel Arts, a non-profit art center in Southwest Detroit and is an adjunct professor of art at Wayne State University and at Macomb Community College. JenClare has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Interestingly enough, one of her prints is displayed in the Guangdong Museum of Art in China, while another print in that same edition hangs in her parents’ basement in the midwestern suburbs. She uses traditional printmaking techniques to create works that exist somewhere between multi-layered prints and three-dimensional constructions.

"King of the Impossible"

“King of the Impossible”

Adrian Hatfield (Ferndale) received his MFA from Ohio University in 2003. His painting based multimedia work examines the modes of visual communication developed within religion, science and fine art and the role they play in humanity’s attempt to understand itself and its place in the universe. He has been showing his work both nationally and internationally for almost 10 years. Solo and two-person exhibitions include King of the Impossible at the South Bend Museum of Art, Altered States at Jack the Pelican Presents in Brooklyn, NY, Recent Work at ARC Gallery in Chicago, IL and Suitable Illusions at the Northern Arizona University Art Museum. Recently, Adrian took part in the SIM Artist Residency in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Cyrus Karimipour (Bloomfield Hills) received his MFA in Photography from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. His photographs have been exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Light Work, and internationally in galleries Germany, Austria, Lithuania, and China. His work has been published in Harper’s Magazine and Contact Sheet, and can be found in the collections Light Work in New York, The Center for Contemporary Art in New Mexico, and The Lishui Photography Museum in China. Recent work is currently on view at La Fototeca, in Guatemala, and David Klein Gallery in Birmingham, Michigan.

Michael McGillis (Royal Oak) earned his BFA from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally and has created numerous sited outdoor works all over the world. He has been awarded numerous residencies and grants. Of his work for this exhibit, he says “With my smaller pieces and dioramas, I’ve inverted the scale of my sited work; fixating instead on concepts of omniscience, the impermanence of natural places and the representative potential of minor materials.”

Azucena Nava-Moreno (Royal Oak) has an MFA in sculpture from Wayne State University. She has exhibited her work all over Michigan and has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. She works with wood, metal and other materials to create artworks that incorporate images with three-dimensional objects. She describes herself as “a painter, a sculptor, a visual story teller and an object maker.” Her artworks sometimes draw on her Hispanic heritage.

Scott Northrup (Dearborn) earned his MA at New School University in New York. His varied body of work includes assemblage, photography, film and video as well as other non-traditional media. His work has shown in galleries, museums and alternative spaces including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, NYC), the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD, Detroit), vOID (NYC), and the Max M. Fisher Music Center (Detroit). He currently is an Assistant Professor at the College for Creative Studies teaching courses in Video Art & Production. He says, “While the scope of my work is broad in form – assemblages & photographs, films & videos, hand-stitched stories & embellishments, books & installations – throughout it, I am most interested in and inspired by the big abstract questions of romance, loss, and longing – the feelings we secretly harbor for each other.”

Christopher Schneider (Hamtramck) has an MFA in photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He teaches at colleges and universities all over the Detroit area. He is the Founder and Program Director of the Cranbrook Summer Art Institute, and a founding member and President of HATCH, a Hamtramck art collective. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, and his photographs have appeared in numerous publications. He says, “In my art, my aim is to exploit the absurdities of this world—to laugh at it, revel in it, rage against it, and wonder at it.  It is my way of making sense out of it all, of enjoying what I do, and spreading this sense and enjoyment to you.”

Please join us for a closing reception on Friday, September 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This reception coincides with the Downtown Rochester Fall Gallery Stroll. The public is also invited to attend an informal gallery talk on Saturday, September 21 at 2:00 p.m. The gallery talk is a good opportunity to participate in a conversation with the artists and explore their work in a little more depth. The closing reception and gallery talk are free and open to the public.

This exhibit is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Kresge Foundation.

 PCCA exhibitions are sponsored by Dokka Fasteners, the International Academy of Design & Technology, Rochester Hills Spine Care, Whims Insurance Agency and WiT.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at

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