West Shore Community College (WSCC) is presenting an exhibition of artist Manierre Dawson’s works in the college’s gallery named after the artist.
The exhibition draws from WSCC’s collection of the Dawsons’s works that were donated by the artist himself, his family, and other private donors.
Four of the exhibited pieces are recent acquisitions and are being displayed for the first time in the gallery. In August, the exhibition will also add several works by Dawson which are part of Professor Emeritus Sharon Bluhm’s personal collection.
A fruit farmer who lived most of his life 15 miles south of the college in Mason County’s Riverton Township, Dawson is credited as America’s first non-representational abstract artist.
Dawson made his public debut as an abstract artist in the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art, exhibiting next to Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne who were also unknown at the time.
Yet through a variety of circumstances, Dawson was overlooked by art historians and is only now receiving recognition for his contributions a century after he began painting what was then considered a radical style of art.
Dawson is represented in numerous public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, Grand Rapids Art Museum, and Muskegon Museum of Art.
The exhibition runs through late-August 2019. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
A reception will be held in late-August to coincide with the unveiling of a reproduction of a large outdoor sculpture by Dawson. The plaza, which will serve as the framework for the sculpture, is in its early stages of construction on the north side of the Schoenherr Campus Center.
The Manierre Dawson Gallery is located in the Arts and Sciences Center. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Friday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., and during events held in the Center Stage Theater.