Museum exhibition features local artist, educator

Brian Elder gives a lecture about his paintings and the inspiration behind them. Students had the opportunity to examine his work and ask questions about his processes. Vanguard Photo | Kyle Will

SVSU held an art exhibition for Brian Elder on Thursday, April 4, at 4 p.m. in the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.

Elder is an artist and educator from the Mount Pleasant area. He also taught art at Central Michigan University.

Elder was inspired to create his Nantes series after he visited a friend in Nantes, France.

Tisch Lewis, the coordinator of the university art gallery and a former mentee of Elder’s, spoke about the intentions behind the exhibit.

“We put this exhibition on mainly for the students,” Lewis said. “Our students need to see what they could potentially accomplish with their own work.”

To open the exhibition, Elder held a lecture so students could take a peek into his thought process when it came to creating the Nantes series.

All of his paintings were on display during the lecture, and participating students had the opportunity to ask questions
about details he put into his paintings.

Elder dove into different concepts with the students, including his work exploring location and how people place themselves in their surroundings.

He said he loved that so many people came out to see his art series.

His exhibition featured many mixed-media paintings.

He combined styles of collage and acrylic on archival paint to make fantastic works of art.

Elder touched on how his creative process evolved while he was in France.

“In developing this project, the theme of memory became most important,” Elder said. “I had no predetermined plan for how it would look or what would be left for the viewer to recognize from earlier states.”

Students filed in and out of the art gallery to witness the paintings. Many of them took pictures of their own or took selfies next to the paintings.

Lewis loved the turnout for the event and couldn’t contain her excitement.

“I couldn’t wait for this day to come,” Lewis said. “Both our art students and students from all around the campus came to see
great pieces of work and were inspired by them in their own ways. Brian was able to walk around and talk to the students, as well. It was a great event, overall.”

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