Exhibition Dates:  February 7 – March 22, 2015
Art Members’ Opening Reception:  Friday, February 6

MR. MDWST (a truncation of Mister Midwest) is a continuation of the adventures of Beverly Fre$h—a stylized autobiographical character that doubles as an artist persona and stage name for Zack Ostrowski.   Like a postmodern tale of the picaresque, Fre$h has traveled extensively over the last two years on a quest to understand, reconfigure, and interrupt the social constructs and cultural rituals of the rural Midwest.  He created impromptu, site-oriented performances alone and with strangers at carnivals, country fairs, front yards, and back roads, which were recorded for a documentary titled The Outskirts (2014).   This exhibition presents a series of new works inspired by his performative research in the region and features four character tropes he met during his travels: The Badass, The Innocent, The Professional, and The Seeker. 

Zack Ostrowski is a contemporary artist and musician raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently lives and work in Chicago, Illinois.  He has a BFA in Graphic Design/Interactive Media from the College for Creative Studies and an MFA from the 2D Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he was the 2009 recipient of the Daimler AG Emerging Artist Award.  He is an Assistant Professor and Area Head of Graphic Art at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. He has exhibited and performed throughout the United States and internationally, including China, Japan, Peru, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic, and Germany.

Mr. Mdwst – A Real Good Time by Beverly Fre$H was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Laura Mott, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design. The exhibition is part of an ongoing series that presents the work of vibrant emerging and mid-career contemporary artists with a special focus on graduates of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Detroit-based artists. Cranbrook Art Museum is supported, in part, by its membership organization, ArtMembers@Cranbrook; the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

As part of the exhibition, Ostrowski will stage a series of public performances. These performances all take place against and on top of the sculptural stage he has created in the Art Museum.  The performances include:

Friday, February 6 at 6:30pm: Premiere at the ArtMembers’ Opening Reception
Sunday, February 8 at 5pm: Encore performance following a series of afternoon lectures
“MR. MDWST” is a forty-minute performance created from documentation and field notes taken during phase one of “OUTSKIRTS,” an ongoing series of site-oriented performances to understand, reconfigure, and interrupt the social and cultural rituals of the rural Midwest. Building on the tradition of the “one man show,” “MR. MDWST,” aims to both entertain and challenge the audience by drawing from the field of oral tradition and exploring devices that allow cultural material to be transmitted such as songs, jokes, sayings, and stories.

AFTER LAUGHTER Presented by BEVERLY FRE$H, Featuring Lynne West
Sunday, March 1 from 12:30pm-1:30pm
Beverly Fre$h presents “AFTER LAUGHTER” a guided session in Laughter Yoga (Hasyayoga) conducted by certified Laughter Yoga Leader Lynne West, “The Mistress of Mirth.” This afternoon workshop will explore the various methods and benefits of prolonged voluntary laughter. There will be no complicated poses, just laughter and a real good time. Comfortable clothing and yoga mat suggested.

LANGUAGE IS A HOUSE Presented by BEVERLY FRE$H, Featuring Bry’n Lambert
Sunday March 1 from 4:30-5pm
“LANGUAGE IS A HOUSE” is an inspirational keynote presentation that wanders the unsteady ground between nightmare and ecstasy. Inspired by Heidegger’s claim that “language is a house in which man dwells,” this program demonstrates how language calls together our basic exigencies and builds a place for us to reside. In this presentation, Beverly Fre$h will introduce Bry’n Lambert, a former reporter who has reinvented himself as a visionary real estate agent. Bry’n will take the audience down his path of reinvention and present some of his latest concepts. This event is open to the public – real estate agents, architects, contractors, and interior designers are especially encouraged to attend.

Note: On March 1, between Ostrowski’s two performances, Cranbrook Art Museum will host the Ann Arbor Film Festival from 2-4pm. 

Ostrowski will also host the following public lecture in deSalle Auditorium:

Sunday, February 8

Using Power Point, a state-of-the-art presentation software designed especially for effective communication, Beverly Fre$h (Zack Ostrowski) will discusses his most recent work including “OUTSKIRTS” and “MR. MDWST.” These works expose audiences to new methods of examination, focusing on the peripheral elements of American culture and the often-marginalized context of the rural Midwest.



Bent, Cast, and Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia
Exhibition Dates:  March 14 – November 29, 2015
Art Members’ Opening Reception:  Friday, March 13, 2015

In commemoration of the centennial of the artist’s birth, Bent, Cast, and Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia is the first museum exhibition devoted to Harry Bertoia’s designs for jewelry. The former Cranbrook Academy of Art student and metalsmithing instructor has received international acclaim for his metal furniture and sculpture, but his exploration of the medium originated in jewelry design while still a high school student in Detroit. Out of the hundreds of jewelry pieces attributed to Bertoia, the majority was produced during his years at Cranbrook, and this display of over thirty works offers an early glimpse of a creative vision that would crystallize as his career matured.  Additionally, several early monotype prints are featured to illustrate how the artist harnessed the same intuitive and experimental approach to making in his planographic compositions. The objects in this exhibition highlight Bertoia’s investigations of form, dimension, and material on a concentrated and bankable scale—establishing him as a pioneer of the American Studio Jewelry movement and a master of elevating fashionable adornment to objet l’art

Bent, Cast, and Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Shelley Selim, the Art Museum’s 2013-2015 Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow. The exhibition is sponsored, in part, by Wright Auction House, Kim and Al Eiber, and the David Klein and Kate Ostrove Exhibition Fund. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue published by Cranbrook Art Museum.

2015 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art
Exhibition Dates: April 19 – May 10, 2015
Opening Reception:  Saturday, April 18, 2015, 6-8pm


Nick Cave: Here Hear
Exhibition Dates:  June 20 – October 11, 2015
Art Members’ Opening Reception:  Friday, June 19, 2015

Photo by James Prinz Photography. Courtesy of the Artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

African-American artist Nick Cave is famed for his embellished costumes titled Soundsuits staged in public spectacle. The artist conceives some as fragile sculptural totems, and others as wearable costumes designed for sound, mobility, and dance. Though influenced by a vibrant palette of African art, armor, found objects, fashion, and textile design, the origin of the Soundsuit is rooted in social critique.  Cave first created a suit in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating in 1991, envisioning an emotional shield that protected one’s race or gender while still expressing individuality.  As Cave’s artwork began to resonate with vast audiences, the artist saw the Soundsuits as powerful agents to capture the public imagination on a monumental scale. Cave’s artistic practice now advocates the vital importance of collective dreaming, which he actualizes through large-scale performance.

The vision for the exhibition at Cranbrook Art Museum includes collections of sculptural Soundsuits and new artworks arranged in dynamic vignettes throughout the galleries.  The North Gallery will feature a new wall-based tapestry and nine Soundsuits created specifically for Here Hear.  In an additional gallery, a Map in Action room will display the wearable Soundsuits that will come and go for a performance series in locations throughout the city of Detroit.  Videos of the performances will be added to the room throughout the duration of the show, thereby becoming a living document of the entire project. 

Nick Cave: Here Hear was organized by Cranbrook Art Museum and curated by Laura Mott, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design.  Cranbrook Art Museum is supported, in part, by its membership organization, ArtMembers@Cranbrook; the Museum Committee of Cranbrook Art Museum; and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.




Future Exhibitions