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by Kelli Kolakowski |

Other Art Events | by Nikki Robertson

We Are the Ship: The Story

of Negro League Baseball Muskegon Art Museum Through March 13 Adults $5; 17 and under, students, members free (231)-720-2570

Baseball fans will have the opportunity to view We Are the Ship, featuring illustra- tions of the history of the Negro League of baseball. Artist and author Kadir Nelson worked for more than a decade research- ing, writing and illustrating this history of Negro baseball and is presenting 33 paintings from his book and 13 sketches speaking of the surprising success of the Negro League. Along with Nelson’s story of overcoming, success and segregation, some of Nelson’s other paintings include Satchel Page, Jackie Robinson, James “Cool Papa” Bell and others.

Cyril Lixenberg: Selections from the Print and Drawing

Cabinet Grand Valley State University, Allendale

“Star Messenger” painting from HyperBaroque ST-2 2008 78"x96", oil on canvas


ICHIKO ITATANI, WHOSE works are featured at the Kendall Gallery, admits that most of her art is struggle; the struggle to create as well as the struggle to understand

the human species. “I think 80 percent of my time I struggle

and 20 percent is a kind of ecstasy,” she said. “But struggle is a part of it.” On display are large-scale oil paintings in

two series of work, HyperBaroque and Moon Light/Mooring. These works stemmed from Itatani’s interest in depicting the space that lies beyond our grasp, a fascination that bloomed after Sept. 11, 2001. “I felt a keen disappoint-

ment about the human species,” she said. “Greedy, self-centered … I didn’t feel anything good about us. I started to think about what is good about us. The essence of what I like is our ability to try to know, a longing for knowledge. Also, our ability

COSMIC THEATER II Kendall Gallery at Kendall College of Art & Design, Grand Rapids March 22-April 20 FREE!, (800) 676-2787

Through April 29 FREE!, (616)-331-2563

and curiosity and desire to reach out to what we don’t know.” This concern is what led Itatani to begin a

quest to represent her personal parallels in paint. “One is outer knowledge, out in our uni-

verse,” she said. “On the other hand, we need to know how our mind works and who we are.” Itatani, who teaches advanced painting at

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, says it is through this process that she attempts to come to terms with the complex reality of the 21st century. Her paintings, some of which can take her as long as a year to complete, are partly inspired by her love of the written word. “In my youth, I wanted to be

a writer,” she said. “My process of painting corresponds to my process of writing. They are similar to each other. Everything comes from my daily experience. I identify a focus and research and photograph and do drawings and diagrams, and then my process starts.”

Itatani conceptualizes symbolic space that

represents a person’s looking out and looking in. At times, this space is imagined, and other times it may be represented through actual space. “I’m interested in inviting my viewers to participate,” she said. “So I have something

“I think 80 percent of my time I struggle and 20 percent is a kind of ecstasy. But struggle is a part of it.”—MICHIKO ITATANI

to say of course — that’s the reason I made those paintings — but I am inviting the viewers to bring their own experience. The artist, the painting, the viewer…when that triangle exists, I think that painting exists. As an artist, I invite the viewer to read the painting on their own.” Join Itatani for the opening reception on

March 23 from 5–6:30 p.m. and a gallery talk on March 24 from 12-1 p.m. n


Amsterdam-based Cyril Lixenberg has become a member of the West Michigan community with his most recent sculp- ture, Steel Water, on display along the Grand River. He’s also donated some of his original pieces to Grand Valley’s Print and Drawing Cabinet. Lixenberg’s prints, drawings and even small models of large sculptures will be on display until April 29 at Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus.

An Evening with Documentary Photographer

Ryan Spencer Reed Kent District Library, Grandville March 24, 6:30 p.m. FREE!, (616)-784-2007

The Grandville Branch of Kent District Library will present photojournalist and top 25 ArtPrize contestant Ryan Spencer Reed on March 24 at 6:30 p.m. for a talk about his experiences in Sudan. Through a slideshow Reed will present his exhibit “Sudan: The Cost of Silence.”



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