N45: North of the 45th Parallel


Have you ever wondered what Galileo’s dreams are made of, or what birds see when they fly? At “North of the 45th,” the latest exhibit in the DeVos Art Museum, you can see for yourself what some artists living north of the 45th parallel have envisioned. The exhibit features 26 different artists from Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Yvonne LeMire, a local artist from Marquette crafted a sculpture depicting what Galileo might dream of, titled “The Space between Galileo’s Dreams.”

One of her favorite things about her sculpture, besides photographing it, is that that every angle shows something different, she said.

“What I really like about the piece is you can stand and look at it facing the front and it looks completely different as you walk around it,” she said.

LeMire said she was very excited that she was chosen for the show and that the idea to include more artists than just those in the Upper Peninsula was a great idea.

“It’s a broader area; I was glad to see names of people I went to school with,” she said. “They expanded the geographical cutoff line and took [the exhibit] outside of just the U.P.”

Melissa Matuscak, the DeVos Art Museum Director and Curator said the show is very diverse and offers a number of different exhibits, including a video installation which an artist constructed, documenting a performance, paintings, sculptures, print-making and photography.

“I think viewers will see that you can live in a really geographically remote area and still make just as good of art as someone who lives in a major city,” Matuscak said.

Matuscak added that after this show, the exhibit will become a yearly production, followed up by a solo or small group show focusing strictly on artists whose influences are living in the Upper Peninsula.

Linda King Ferguson, an artist from Munising, submitted a drawing entitled “What Birds Fly Through.” She got the idea for her piece from living in the woods, and used the landscape outside of her windows to create the piece.

“I’m really focused on the graphic qualities of the linear lines of the tree trunks and the spaces between them and so consequently the title expresses that,” she said. “It’s about the atmospheric quality and structure of the woods.”

In Ferguson’s drawing’s, she first draws the woods very realistically, then erases parts and then adds more detail, repeating this process until her drawing resembles what looks like a scene from the woods as a bird would see it whipping through the trees.

“The [drawings] become very expressive, and focus on the structure and the pattern of the trees and space between them, that’s the way I create them,” Ferguson said.

There is a variety of people in the exhibit, ranging from Minneapolis to Republic, so Ferguson said she was excited to be recognized in the show.

“Because the show drew from a wide range, which included a number of urban areas with a lot of artists, I felt very honored to be a part of it,” she said.

The pieces selected in the show were sent to a juror in Chicago who viewed all the submissions and selected them anonymously, Matuscak said.

“I wanted to open it up a little more and make it more regional, just to see what’s going on North of the 45th and see if there are any links between artists living in this really gorgeous environment that’s still a really diverse area.”

The show runs from June 2 through July 5. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.