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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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U.P. artwork on display at DeVos Museum

The current exhibition at the DeVos Art Museum displays the artwork of local Upper Peninsula residents and an NMU professor.

The U.P. Focus Exhibition is currently available for viewing with free admission and will be displayed until April 8.

The artwork in the exhibition comes from U.P. artists Susanne Kilpela of Hancock, and married couple Russell Prather and Carol Phillips of Marquette.

“My more ambitious pieces take over three months to complete, as I work almost exclusively on one piece at a time,” said Prather, an English professor and M.A. Program Director. “I primarily make artwork from layers of transparent acrylic plexiglass with acrylic film in each layer, creating multiple layers that are visible through the transparent part.

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“Some of my art has 13 layers, sticking out six inches,” Prather said.

Within the past six years, it has been in a group show at Truman State University in Missouri and was in its own show, “Transparent Things,” last year in the William Bonaface Fine Arts Center in Escanaba.

“I have been making visual art since high school, but it wasn’t until 10 years ago I developed the technique of acrylic on plexiglass,” Prather said. “I invented the technique but through trial and error I learned how to make them look how I imagine them looking in my head.”

Carol Phillips is the director of the Liberty Children’s Art Project. Her most common medium is oil on wood and clay. Her work has been featured in Seattle and, more recently, the Marquette Arts and Culture Center.

“My work is more figurative than literal,” Phillips said. “It references identity and memory rather than adhering to reality.

“It provides an open-ended narrative, leaving it more open for suggestion and interpretation for the viewer.”

Prather and Phillips create their artwork in their private residence. Their home has a studio for each of them where they are able to create their work.

“I was in part inspired by William Blake as well as the intricacy and complexity of things in the world,” Prather said. “My work looks nothing like Blake’s but in ways not so obvious to the viewer, it inspired and informed me.

“Visual art is more of a moment of a narrative rather than a whole narrative found in more traditional art.”

Both Prather and Phillips have been involved with art for a long time and continue to create new works of art.

“There’s a little psychology in the paintings, making my inspirations harder to explain than things in the physical world,” Phillips said. “The inspiration is kind of subconscious and involves emotions, where you fit into surroundings and the effect on identity.

“It’s like a type of narrative in an abstract form.”

For more information on the U.P. Focus Exhibition, e-mail Melissa Matuscak, director and Curator of the DeVos Art Museum, at [email protected].

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