KCC exhibiting Holly Stephenson’s ‘Reflections of Identity’

Detail from artist Holly Stephenson's "Will You Buy My Wares...."

Kellogg Community College will host Kalamazoo native Holly Stephenson’s exhibit “Reflections of Identity” at the College’s Eleanor R. and Robert A. DeVries Gallery Feb. 10 through March 21.

The exhibit – which will be free and open to the public for viewing at the gallery – will feature mixed media pieces incorporating handmade paper, as well as photographs, several wet-plate collodion images and a large sculptural piece involving a historical mannequin frame.

The DeVries Gallery is located in KCC’s Davidson Visual and Performing Arts Center on the College’s North Avenue campus in Battle Creek. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held in the gallery from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.

In her artist’s statement for the exhibit, Stephenson says she is haunted by the anonymity of the old photographs she incorporates into her work, and that she strives to “begin a new visual dialog that honors and gives meaning and identity to those whose image has been frozen in time.”

She says her work often explores the commentary between the common and the unique.

“An image and often objects, sometimes combined with words, evoke new representations and become an excuse or reason for me to make a visual comment,” Stephenson says. “Perhaps in the end my work is simply a reflection of my own identity.”

Stephenson received formal art training at Michigan State University and Western Michigan University, where she majored in ceramics, art history and art education. She was the curator of the Permanent Art Collection at WMU for 17 years and taught art for 38 years before retiring from Kalamazoo Public Schools in 2010.

Now living in Three Rivers, Stephenson continues to teach art and papermaking out of her studio, and is an active member of the Kalamazoo Paper Guild. Her work has been exhibited at the Carnegie Art Center, the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, the Portage Public Library, the National Art Education Association and as part of many group shows locally.

Pictured above is detail from Stephenson’s handmade paper piece “Will You Buy My Wares….”

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