Museum features contemporary Artists

An exhibition featuring the works of twenty-eight contemporary artists officially opened Sunday, July 17 at The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum. The show runs through the remainder of the museum's 2011 season, closing October 9. Pieces in the invitational show were selected from more than 90 two-dimensional works submitted by artists from across the country and had to feature ''Mackinac'' as their theme. Jurist for the exhibition was Robert Wilbert, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art and Art History at Wayne State University. In commenting on his process for selecting the works, Professor Wilbert noted, ''it is important in an exhibition such as this to recognize in a work its originality as well as the skill displayed.'' He also looked for ''evidence of the artist's effort to tackle the problem in making a work that is original in its concept as well as it execution.'' Professor Wilbert also selected the ''Best of Show,'' as well as second place and third place winners. The awards will be announced at the opening reception. Each includes a cash prize, the Best of Show winner also receiving the ''Manoogian Medal.'' Mackinac Arts Council sponsored the Best of Show prize, Grand Hotel the second-place prize, and Mackinac Associates the third-place prize. ''We are extremely grateful to the Arts Council, Grand Hotel, and Mackinac Associates for sponsoring the prizes,'' says Phil Porter, director of Mackinac State Historic Parks. ''Their generosity displays great support and commitment to the new art museum.'' An invitational show of Mackinac art was featured at the museum last year, commemorating the opening of the museum. A show featuring the work of artist Richard Wolfgang preceded this year's invitational. An exhibit of contemporary photographic works will open in early August and will run in conjunction with the current show until the end of the season. From Native American baskets to present-day paintings of the island, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum highlights treasures in Mackinac State Historic Park's collection and inspires creativity in others. The art museum, generously funded by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation, brings together Mackinac art created over the centuries. The art museum, located within the historic Indian Dormitory building, is open daily through October 9. General admission to the art museum is $5.00 adult, $3.50 youth ages 5-17, and free for children 4 and under and Mackinac Associates members. Also included with admission from mid-June to late August is ''The Kids' Art Studio,'' a hands-on art learning center, located within the museum. For more information on The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum and The Kids' Art Studio, visit Mackinac State Historic Parks, a family of living history museums and parks in northern Michigan's Straits of Mackinac. Its sites?which are accredited by the American Association of Museums?include Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island State Park, Historic Downtown, and The Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum on Mackinac Island, and Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park in Mackinaw City. Mackinac State Historic Parks is governed by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, established in 1895 to protect, preserve and present Mackinac's rich historic and natural resources for the education and recreation of the public. Visitor information is available at 231-436-4100 or on the web at Copyright © 2011 State of Michigan Published: Mon, Aug 1, 2011