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by Kelli Kolakowski |

Other Art Events | by Andrea Filter

SiTE:LAB 2 East Fulton (the old JA building), Grand Rapids April 15, 5 p.m.,

In its second installment, SiTE:LAB will take up residence at the old JA build- ing in downtown Grand Rapids. The one-night event uses local artists to help create temporary site-specific art projects aimed at facilitating dynamic collaborations between the art, educa- tion, business and cultural communities of Grand Rapids. This month’s event will be in conjunction with Art.Downtown, a city-wide art hop.

ASSOCIATIONS Urban Institute for Contemporary Artists April 15-May 15, (616) 454-7000

A selection of artists that have previously shown at UICA will return for an encore presentation involving work association. In turn, each invited artist will choose another artist to participate as a means of encouraging new connections and collaboration. Experience the diverse material that the element of artist asso- ciation brings to this fascinating exhibit.

Flippers and Flash: The Art

of Pinball Muskegon Museum of art April 14-July 31, (231) 720-2570

Flippers and Flash at the Muskegon Museum of Art features 12 pinball ma- chines dating primarily from the 1990s that were selected for their design savvy, sound and light quality and popular culture appeal. Game themes are derived from movies, television, sports, comics, current events, rock star personalities and other aspects of everyday life.

and ArtPrize artist Ladislav Hanka. Along with his series, The Crooked Tree


H ROUGH MAY 2 2 , the Grand Rapids Art Museum hosts Meditations on Michigan’s Land, Lakes and Rivers, a selection of nearly 50 etchings by Kalamazoo printmaker

Prints, inspired by his documentation of the Land of the Crooked Tree in Charlevoix County, the exhibition also contains his ArtPrize 2010 entry, Kalamazoo River Songline, which was awarded a Curator’s Purchase Award by GRAM. “I look forward to having a

large installation of Lad’s work so you can really appreciate his technical achievements and ar- tistic achievements,” said Cindy Buckner, GRAM associate cura- tor. “As far as I know, it’s his largest one-man exhibition, so I am looking forward to seeing his work all in one show.” Hanka, who holds degrees

in printmaking, biology, and zoology, and has studied in

Germany and Austria, was an apprentice to an engraver of stamps and currency in Prague, Czech Republic. After his exploration into the world of science, Hanka longed for something more. “Every time you start to really look into

something, you start to see its shortcomings,” he said. “I found that with biology; you get all excited about saving eagles but then you get assigned as a rabbit cop.” Thirty years later, Hanka is still as deeply

dedicated to his craft as the day he discovered it, struggle and all.

“I’m among those people

MEDITATIONS ON MICHIGAN’S LAND, LAKES AND RIVERS Grand Rapids Art Museum Through May 22 $8-$5, members free, (616) 831-1000

Gallery Talk: April 1, 7 p.m.

who tends to see things through to fruition,” he said. “You’re al- ways fighting that battle between finishing things and keeping it fresh and new. Society’s ex- pectation that you repeat your successes is part of the battle. I try to not be completely art ref- erential. I don’t want to make art about art; I’m much more inter- ested in bringing in something from the outside, which is why

I travel. It forces me to think in a completely different way.” And although creating an etching is such

a rigorous process — Hanka spent five months on his ArtPrize 2010 entry — he still gets a thrill out of letting accidents manifest and the uncertainty of the final unveiling. “With most of my etchings, I’ll let the

plate get chewed up a bit,” he said. “You can’t just take what you get once or twice out of the acid; you have to work with it. Things take on an evolution of their own throughout the process.” Ever the idyllic thinker, Hanka poses the

important question, “What matters enough to do in the limited time I have on this earth?” He then takes time to explain. “There are very compulsive people who sit

in a studio just cranking stuff out and they are very good at it but there’s something so sterile about it,” he said. “There are other people who are like will-o’-the-wisps who never really produced anything, it’s sad. Who knows what comes before and what comes after? I don’t know where it all started and where it all ends, but I’m here to extend the middle out a bit.” n



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