Artists Treading Water Exhibition

An exhibition of students, alumni, faculty and community artists is on view at the UCEN Fine Art Gallery June 13 – 22, in the Harding Mott Building at the University of Michigan-Flint.  The theme of the show, Artists Treading Water, in response to the Flint Water Crisis, includes Photography, Painting, 3-D Installation and Poetry by artists represented in a chapter of the upcoming book release by student and author, Gale Glover called, “Flint: The Death and Rebirth of a City.” It is the first time a partnership of this kind has been displayed in the gallery and represents a unification between the university and the community toward a common goal to raise awareness, and to share the Flint Water Crisis experience through artistic expression.   Meet the artists and enjoy refreshments on 6/15 Weds. 5 -7pm or visit the gallery Monday – Friday 8-5pm.





Will Alston, Capturing the Moments of the Flint Water Crisis,









Will Alston, Capturing the Moments of the Flint Water Crisis,








Jjenna Hupp Andrews, …and the children shall inherit a land flowing with milk and honey,

Industrial felt, beeswax, Flint water, water bottles, bowls, Installation.








Jjenna Hupp Andrews, The Second Grace:  Purity,

Steel fence, water bottles, justice scales, Flint water, 30 pieces of silver, Installation.









Jim Cheek, Protecting the Innocent,








Leon Collins, Flint River: Damn Bars,

Digital photograph with oil paint filter, $50.







Leon Collins, Flint River: Pollution Green Sludge,

Digital photograph with oil paint filter, $50.






Leon Collins, Flint River: Red Drinking Water,

Digital photograph with oil paint filter, $50.






Leon Collins, Flint River: Contamination, Hope for the Future,

Digital photograph with oil paint filter, $50.






Leon Collins, Flint River: Bar Code Red,

Digital photograph with oil paint filter, $50.








Tracy Currie, She Flint,










Robert Downer, Down the Drain,

Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 in., $150.









Robert Downer, No Bathwater,

Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 in., $150.






Pauly M. Everett, The Great Wave (Flint Remix),

Mixed-media on wood panel, 30 x 40 in., $200.






Pauly M. Everett, Native Girl,

Mixed-media on wood panel, 30 x 40 in., $200.








Gale Glover, Genocide,











Gale Glover, Rebirth,










Rhonda Jones, Scattered Voices 1 (blue), Scattered Voices 2 (red), Scattered Voices 3 (yellow),

Mixed-media, 15 x 16 in., $50 each.








Criss Kelly, Trapped,

Acrylic on canvas, 15 x 30 in., NFS










Criss Kelly, Submerged,

Acrylic and ink wash on paper, 12 x 18 in., NFS







Janice McCoy, Free Water,

Acrylic wash, charcoal, Flint water on canvas, 18 x 24 in., NFS









Carrie Riley, The Real Crisis,










Ashley Thornton, Ambition,

Acrylic on canvas, 3 x 5 ft., $850.






Artists Treading Water is an exhibition representing the artists featured in a chapter of the upcoming book release of “Flint: The Death & Rebirth of a City” by Gale Glover, a current student at the University of Michigan Flint.

Gale's Event poster




Photographer Takes a Stand

Kimberly Weymers_flyer

The UCEN Fine Art Gallery at UM-Flint proudly presents a very moving exhibition by Kimberly Weymers, titled, “The Scars Left Behind” which confronts the viewer with an important social issue that most of us have experienced at one time or another during our lives.

Weymer’s focus is on children and teens is described in her Artist Statement.  Her presentation of this issue struck me, in particular, with the way she placed the ‘hurtful words’ distinctly at eye-level.  I found this to be a very provocative choice in her curation because it evoked that “in-your-face” feeling that essentially duplicates the experience that these children and teens have when these words are said to them.  The images and quotes are heart-piercing, they are large and hung in such a way that one gets that sense of being surrounded, much like these kids do when they cannot escape the continual bullying.

Weymer’s has taken a social issue and put it in our faces to make us aware.  She has given us real faces to relate to and she successfully communicates her poignant message that words are not simply words….the have meanings that cut deeply and become a pain that can linger for a lifetime. This Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibition has brought us to a new level for what these exhibitions can provide.  This artist has used the opportunity to create an experience for social change.  I invite you to see it and let it change you as well.

Kimberly WeymersArtist Statement

This ongoing series of portraits were made shortly after one of my son’s friends from school committed suicide.

Since the inception of this project, he has currently lost three more friends and a family member all under the age of sixteen.  As teenage suicide becomes more prevalent, it became apparent that I had to create something to bring awareness to how bullying profoundly affects everyone, young and old.

When someone is bullied, the scars it generates will haunt them for the rst of their lives, as they are left behind in the unconsciousness of our minds.  The hurtful and insensitive words can penetrate even the most mundane of activities until you reach a breaking point.  Children are not mentally ready to appropriately cope with the continuous name calling and insults thrown at them on a daily basis.  Therefore, they succumb to depression, cutting and in extreme cases, suicide.

Drawing inspiration from my own children who have been greatly impacted by the endless barrage of bullying allowed to occur in our public school system.  I would like to give a voice to those who have suffered as my children have.  I asked each participant to write their most hurtful “bully” word on a white board for the world to see and to face the camera.  I asked them to think about how they felt when someone called them this word.  Looking at the images, you are immediately aware of their pain and can recognize the discomfort in their eyes.  This raises the question, “Why are we, as humans, inclined to wound one another in this way and how can we stop it?”————-Kimberly Weymers

See more of her work at:  kimberlyweymers.weebly.com





Student Awards!

The University of Michigan-Flint’s Annual Student Art Exhibition presented the following awards on May 13, 2016: 

  • Janice McCoy – Outstanding Achievement in Visual Arts – The recipient of this award is an extraordinary student who not only is a master in one medium, but also demonstrates excellence in other media; or, a student who demonstrates excellence in a combination of art and art historical acheivement.  Recipients of this award have also exhibited a passion for the visual arts.
  • Lena Gayar and Mary Kelly – Excellence in Civic Engagement – The recipients of this award balance academic performance with significant contributions to local or regional communities.  Helping non-profit organizations, collaborating with charities, might be examples of this kind of achievement.



 AWARDS IN ARTISTIC DISCIPLINES – Visual Arts achievement awards celebrate students of high academic achievement who have demonstrated creative / academic excellence in an award category. These artists are exemplary in their field.

  • Heidi Hals – Excellence in Design
  • Alexander Theodoroff – Excellence in Media Design
  • Alicia Music Shaver – Excellence in Photography
  • Ashley Thornton – Excellence in Painting
  • Kerry Ann Morey – Excellence in Drawing
  • Symantha Foreman – Excellence in Ceramics
  • Rachel Pappas – Excellence in Sculpture
  • Emily Legleitner – The Martin Anderson Excellence in Printmaking


aaa STRIPAWARDS IN FIELDS OF STUDY – Recipients of the awards in art history and art education are leaders in their fields both academically and in terms of overall achievement in the discipline.  Such students demonstrate a love of learning for the discipline, and a talent for its study. *Academic awards are based on recommendations from faculty in art and art history.

  • Cheyenne Serrato – Excellence in Art Education
  • Taylor Fritz – Excellence in Art History



ACHIEVEMENT IN RESEARCH –  In recognition for their successful presentation at this year’s symposium.  Each presented undergraduate or graduate research of the highest caliber to the Flint community at the Flint Institute of Arts.

  • Angela WhitlockTony Shafrazi and Guernica:  How Museums Can Benefit from Acts of Vandalism and Prevent Future Incidents
  • Mary KellyOverlooked Ornamentation:  Italian Devotional Paintings as Images of Power
  • Leon CollinsModern Day Renaissance Men
  • Marta WattersChardin:  An Innovative Mind


aaa STRIPJURIED AWARDS – Juried awards are selected by representatives from the academic offices, or by this year’s external juror Donovan Entrekin, Director of the Art School at the Flint Institute of Arts.


  • BEST IN SHOW – Sarah Coulter, “Map,” Cast Glass.
  • EXCEPTIONAL MERIT – Janice McCoy, “Carousel in Motion,” diptych, Oil on Canvas
  • ARTIST’S VOICE – Emily Legleitner
  • PATTY MORELLO MEMORIAL AWARD – Nicole Fenech, “Octavia,” Mixed Media Sculpture
  • BEST ART-HISTORICAL RECREATION AWARD – Kerry Ann Morey, “Cleopatra Recreated,” Oil on Canvas
  • ARTS IN LEGISLATURE Award – Breanna Kerrison, “Bits and Pieces,” Digital Print
  • CHANCELLOR’S CHOICE Award – Rachel Pappas, “Magical Forest,” Stained Glass and Wood
  • PROVOST’S CHOICE Award – Wendy Brown, “Imagine, Believe, Achieve,” Digital Print Collage
  • DEAN’S CHOICE Award – Linsey Cummings, “Lego Logan,” Digital Print
  • LIBRARY COLLECTION CHOICE Award – Sarah Coulter, “Map,” Cast Glass


aaa STRIPACKNOWLEDGEMENTS – Certificates of Appreciation for Community Partners


  • Greg Fiedler, President of the Greater Flint Arts Council
  • Buckham Art Gallery
  • Flint Institute of Arts
  • Flint Public Art Project
  • Megan McAdow of the Applewood Estate
  • Mary Black, Jacob Blumner, and Mona Younis at UM-Flint University Outreach
  • Neighborhood Engagement Hub & Friends of Max Brandon Park
  • Ryan Kelsey of Davison Community Schools
  • Thumb Correctional Facility Program Director Wendy Conner



Exhibition Poster DesignHeidi Hals

Exhibition Program Design – Emily Legleitner in collaboration with Heidi Hals


Exhibition Organizers

  • Cristen Velliky, Associate Professor of Art;
  • Jessica Schatko, Master of Arts Administration Graduate Assistant



An Extraordinary Evening

Tim and Dr. L_4It was no ordinary, windy evening in Flint.  Downtown, ArtWalk had drawn people out for numerous events, restaurants were poised for hungry customers, signs had appeared on sidewalks and buildings. a wedding party had just stepped outside of a church for photos and a band was setting up at the GFAC Gallery.  It was here, that UM-Flint students, faculty, guests, friends, family and ArtWalk enthusiasts gathered to get a look at what the art, design, and art history students have been working on throughout the year. It was one event on a long list among others.  Looking down Saginaw street, people passed along the sidewalks, some dressed in their everyday clothes, others dressed in formal attire, all with places to go and things to see.  The wind blew them about, persuading them toward the gallery where something special was taking place.

Inside, people stood nearly shoulder to shoulder admiring the work, balancing their refreshments on small plates and hoping not to spill their drinks as they nudged their way through.  Their conversations merged and the space brimmed with a hum that increased in volume and movement as faculty members formed a line alongside of the lucky few who had claimed seats facing the stage.  It was no small feat to gain the attention of the crowd.  Many ArtWalk enthusiasts were unaware of this special night.  The faculty-formed border surrounding that space carved out for the Awards Ceremony to recognize Student Achievements and Juried Awards for the exhibition.  Those in the crowd who understood the significance of these Artshow-Posterapplauded and cheered as each award and name was announced.  Cellphones were raised from every angle to capture the elated smiles of the students who came forward.  The crowd was urged several times to quiet and the hum lowered to some degree, as the program continued, but among them, embedded in this throng, were students….students who had been sworn to secrecy!

“Why” you ask?  (Don’t deny it, I heard you.)  What happened next was something that had never happened before at the Annual Student Art Exhibition.  It’s purpose is to recognize students after all. But, this year was different.  This year a group of students and alumni got together, on their own, and decided it was time to recognize two faculty for continually going above and beyond to benefit the students.  It took numerous discussions, the tossing of numerous ideas back and forth until, they came up with something that expressed the heart-felt gratitude they have for these faculty members, Tim Kranz and Dr. Sarah Lippert.

Tim Krantz_Awards  Each of them were presented with a Certificate of Award, in appreciation for their selfless dedication and commitment to the art students at the University of Michigan-Flint, given by the students of the Visual Arts Program.  In addition to this, Tim Kranz and Dr. Sarah Lippert now have Stars named after them.  Yes, there are now stars in the actual sky that now bear their names!  They were both presented with star certificates which bear the ‘coordinates’ of their stars in space, complete with their registry number and a star-chart for locating them.  These two faculty were then presented with journals in which students signed their names and wrote personal messages to describe the impact that Tim and Sarah have made indelibly upon their lives.

The evening of May 13th was a most memorable evening, filled with excitement, anticipation, and a blustery sensation that something different was in the air.  It was the annual high-point for students to showcase the best of their work and be recognized, but more than that, it was an opportunity for them to come together in one voice, to give something back….and what they said in that one voice was loud and clear.

They said, “Thank you, Tim Kranz and Dr. Lippert, for giving us your best.”









Our Biggest Art Event!

It’s finally here!  Our biggest art event of the year, The 2016 Annual Student Art Exhibition takes place May 13th at the GFAC Gallery. It is the culmination of our student’s best work spanning the courses of the Visual Arts & Communications program here at the University of Michigan-Flint.  Student work was chosen from each class by faculty and then once installed at the Greater Flint Art Council’s Gallery at 816 S. Saginaw St. in downtown Flint, by faculty, the exhibition was subject to a jurying process by Donovan Entrekin, Director of the Flint Institute of Arts – Art School.

The show begins at 6:00pm, and the Awards Ceremony will take place at 6:30pm, where awards will be presented to outstanding students in a number of categories.  It will be a night to remember!  Congratulations!!!

*Photo Credit: Darryl Baird.



Alumnus Sarah Austin – MFA Thesis Exhibition

Congratulations to Sarah Ann Austin on her MFA Thesis Exhibition!
The University of Alabama Department of Art and Art History is pleased to announce Sarah Ann Austin’s MFA thesis exhibition, After Eighteen Forty Two – Works by Sarah Ann Austin, May 6-30, 2016, at Harrison Galleries in downtown Tuscaloosa. There will be a reception on First Friday, May 6, 6-9 p.m. The public is cordially invited to attend. Read this online: http://art.ua.edu/news/sarah-ann-austin-mfa-thesis-exhibition/
The exhibition will highlight Austin’s most recent investigations with cyanotype photograms, handmade paper and other alternative image-making practices.
Sarah Ann Austin teaches beginning darkroom photography, intermediate photography and advanced photography as a graduate assistant in the UA Department of Art and Art History. She received her BFA in photography from the University of Michigan. Two of Austin’s photographs were accepted into the 2015 SPE Combined Caucus Juried Exhibition at the Society of Photographic Education Conference, Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, in March of 2015, juried by Deborah Willis and Carol McCusker. Austin received an SPESC Student Scholarship Award at the Regional Conference of the Society for Photographic Education in October 2014, where her photograph strung was also exhibited at the members’ exhibition. Her work was chosen for the 2015 Joyce Elaine Grant Photography Exhibition at Texas Woman’s University juried by April Watson, curator of photography at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. More of her work is here.
Harrison Galleries is located at 2315 University Boulevard in downtown Tuscaloosa and is open Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 5:00 pm, and by appointment: (205) 464-0054.
The thesis exhibition is in partial fulfillment of the Master of Fine Arts degree in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Alabama. For more information on our graduate programs, visit this link: http://art.ua.edu/academics/graduate-programs/art-requirements/.
 Exhibition:   After Eighteen Forty Two – Works by Sarah Ann Austin MFA Thesis Exhibition
Dates:            May 6-30, 2016
Where:          Harrison Galleries, 2315 University Boulevard, Tuscaloosa
Reception:   Friday, May 6, 6-9 p.m., Harrison Galleries (First Friday)

Figuratively Speaking….


The University of Michigan-Flint Visual Arts Program proudly presents:

A BFA Solo Exhibition, Figuratively Speaking by Kat Sheldon

On view, May 2-13, in the UCEN Fine Art Gallery, in the Harding Mott Building, 1st floor.

Artist’s Reception on Tuesday, May 10th from 6-8pm and again on Friday May 13th 5-8pm.

Don’t Miss Out!  It is a great opportunity to start or add to your art collection!


Figuratively Speaking is an overall figurative show metaphorically depicting the often uncomfortable environment minorities experience throughout the rural Midwest.  As the show’s title hints, these issues are addressed subtly through extended metaphors and symbolism.  Much like in real life, viewers are forced to look past the general appearance in order to understand what the pieces are actually about.

The rural Midwest is grounded in its conservatism.  People are good and honest and faithful to a fault.  Certain Christian tenets, such as obedience to authority, are sometimes taken too literally and as a result many people in these areas face prejudice based on their gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.  Because of my own personal experience with tradition, many of the paintings in the collection reference Catholicism.  Certain symbols (such as the palm branches) have been directly lifted from Christian art, while others (such as Simon’s ear) were created for this show.

While the collection falls into the category of a figurative show, it does also feature some landscape paintings.  These were included in order to further express the feelings of emptiness and solitude found in the Midwest.  Although these pieces lack figures, their absence is felt within the work.  Ultimately, these landscapes are not concerned with specific places, but rather people (or the lack thereof).

Kat Sheldon is a contemporary realist painter from Lapeer, Michigan.  Her art is generally figurative although she does enjoy painting landscapes.  Kat begins each piece with a strong vision of its composition but often lets the colors and textures dictate themselves naturally. Her work is characterized by variations in texture, controlled color palettes, and attention to light.

Kat is currently a BFA candidate at the University of Michigan-Flint.  Previously, she studied at Mott Community College where she obtained an Associate in Fine Arts.  She has exhibited work locally and has won many awards through the universities she has attended.  Kat plans on continuing her education by pursuing a master’s degree in the coming years.


Congratulations 2016 Grads!

It has been a long tough climb to the top, to finally graduate!  You have come so far since you took your first course at the University of Michigan-Flint.  You have grown so much and now you are ready to step out into the world and make your mark! We wish you all of the Best in your future endeavors!





Annual Student Art Exhibition

Coming May 13, 2016 the Annual Student Art Exhibition will showcase works from our Visual Arts & Communication programs.  This event is a juried exhibition and will include a Special Awards Ceremony to recognize outstanding students from every category offered, here at the University of Michigan-Flint.

The exhibition will take place during ArtWalk night at the GFAC Gallery (Greater Flint Arts Council)

located at 816 S. Saginaw St.

Opening Reception will begin at 6pm

Awards Ceremony will begin at 6:30pm

Please join us for some free food, music and fantastic art works!

A Special Thank You to Design student, Heidi Hals for her Poster Design for this year’s exhibition!



Hallway Treasures

New additions to the Hallway Exhibit on the 4th floor of the William S. White building feature works from Calligraphy 103 class.  This new course, taught by Professor Wagonlander, a specialist in Art Education, has inspired students to explore the Art of Writing.  Calligraphy is an art form that has held the same status as painting and sculpture in civilizations throughout history.  The Western, Arabic and Chinese traditions of Calligraphy are prime examples of the expression of culture and of the human spirit.  In Albertine Gaur’s A History of Calligraphy, she “defines calligraphy as “an expression of harmony as perceived by a particular civilization. The calligrapher is in harmony with his script, his tools, the text and his own spiritual heritage.” The students of Calligraphy 103 have discovered that there is much more to writing than simply ‘lettering’ and have done an outstanding job of sharing what they have learned with this exhibition!

Please check out these works by Cindy McClane, Laura Force, Tammie Graves, Alexis Mullard, Julia Haubenstricker, Andrew Cymbalski, Tyler Elias, Bobbie Proffer, Amanda Cribley, Amanda McConvey, Derek Dodge, Amnen Sheikh Khalil and Anna Schuller.

Albertine Gaur, A History of Calligraphy, Cross River Press, 1994.