Main Galleries

WANDERING SPIRIT: AFRICAN WAX PRINTS


March 23-June 17



This exhibition is a tribute to the century-old handmade designs and patterns on textiles that originated in Indonesia and were copied and industrialized by Europeans and exported to Africa. Wandering Spirit: African Wax Prints traces the developmental pathway of the African wax print and tells how these fabrics reflect the stories, dreams, and personalities of the people who wear them.
 
Batik is a Javanese word that refers to a traditional technique of wax-resist dyeing, in which a pattern is made on both sides of cotton fabric with warm liquid wax applied by a tjanting, a small brass cup with a spout. After the wax cools and solidifies, the cloth is dyed with a primary color and the wax is then removed, revealing the pattern where the wax had once been.
 
The success of the wax prints in Africa is driven by many factors, such as the culture, taste, and desires of African consumers. Clothing in Africa serves an important means of communication, sending secret messages and retelling local proverbs. Clothing also depicts a person’s social status and position, political convictions, ambition, marital status, ethnicity, age, sex, and group affiliations. The names and stories associated with the fabrics differ from country to country and region to region. One fabric may have different names in different countries, depending on the symbolism that the consumer can read in the fabric.
 
The history of the African wax print is a history paved along colonial trade routes and globalization in the post- colonial era. Though not originally African, these textiles have become ingrained in African culture and society, and loved and identified as their own.
 
The exhibition Wandering Spirit: African Wax Prints is curated by Dr. Gifty Benson and organized by ExhibitsUSA/Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO.

kings-chair-dress.jpg
King's Chair Dress Form, introduced in 1980; Courtesy of Beatrice Benson Collection

Coming Soon

2018 Biennial Sculpture Invitational


June 1-September 1


Opening Party: Friday, June 15 - 6:00 pm

Since 1996, the Krasl Art Center has been celebrating art and community with its Biennial Sculpture Invitational. The Biennial places large-scale contemporary sculpture outdoors throughout the cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan - along the scenic waterfronts and parks, and integrated throughout urban and artist communities. This special exhibtion shows the finest artworks by today's public artists. It is accessible, engaging and fosters exploration of both fine art and its surroundings.  

The 2018 Biennial Sculpture Invitational is supported by civic partnerships with the cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, and cultural collaborations with the New Territory Arts Association and the Box factory for the Arts. 

INVITED ARTISTS:
BIGthink (Michigan)
Bill Boyce (Benton Harbor, MI)  
Isaac Duncan, III (Chatanooga, TN)  
Albert LaVergne (Paw Paw, MI)  

THE KRASL COLLECTION JOINS THE BIENNIAL
As the Krasl Art Center grounds are under construction this summer as part of its Sculpting Community project, the KAC permanent collection moves offsite and joins the Biennial Sculpture Invitational in the community. New surroundings for familiar artworks provide fresh contexts, encourage seeing the works anew and celebrates over 35 years of collecting sculpture. 

OPENING PARTY: JUNE 15, 6-11 PM
KAC PARTY SITE: TERRITORIAL ROAD AND 5TH STREET IN THE BENTON HARBOR ARTS DISTRICT
The 2018 Biennial Sculpture Invitational Opening Party is part of a multi-city arts and culture celebration. Sharing the night wit the Art Hop in Benton Harbor and the Michiana Annual Art Competition (MAAC) at the Box Factory for the Arts, this is an evening everyone will want to experience. Exceptional artworks by artists near and far will be on view indoors and out. Biennial Sculpture Tours will be travel from the KAC Party Site, throughout the Arts District, to the Box Factory for the Arts and along the waterfronts. Knowledgeable guides will speak about the artworks as passengers sit in the comfort of a passenger bus especially for them. 

BIGthink
BIGthink is a Michigan-based artist collaborative and they are the hosts of this year's opening party. Through sound, light, projection and performance, BIGthink will creatively activate the shipping container and surrounding green space at the corner of Territorial Road and 5th Street. Special thanks goes out to The Prairie Group for making this property available for this dynamic event. 

FUN SQUAD
Last summer the FUN SQUAD took the arts district by storm. They are back again for the June 15 ArtHop with new artworks and new antics in the Ghostlight at 123 Hinkley Street. As part of the Biennial and ArtHop celebration, KAC is sponsoring the entertainment for the FUN SQUAD after-party, starting at 9:00 PM. 



 

bigthink-artprize-i.jpeg
Detail from BIGthink installation at ArtPrize 2009 (Copyright BIGthink)

SUMMERTIME IN THE GALLERIES


June 22-August 26



As the Sculpting Community project is underway outdoors at the Krasl Art Center, the indoor galleries are your gathering place for hands-on arts exploration, informal art making and creativity. Guests of all ages and abilities are invited to participate and enjoy a unique, fun and playful atmosphere that is far from business-as-usual!

Please, Touch the Sculpture!
Oils from our hands damage artworks, preventing us from touching these ever-inviting tactile surfaces. This summer, the galleries will feature a special section of sculptures, complete with archivist’s gloves, that guests are encouraged to touch.

Let’s Build with Blocks
Last summer we introduced our fun, soft and totally buildable blue blocks (Thank you Berrien Community Foundation!) at various events and programs. This summer, the blue blocks move indoors where guests can shape and form to their hearts’ desire. 

Sculpture Selfie Site
This summer the KAC will be in the heart of constructing its newly designed grounds, the focal point of which is a new, stunning sculpture by world-renowned artist Richard Hunt. Before the sculpture is installed in September, experience its monumental scale and dynamic twists and turns in the galleries via a life-size silhouette.

 

touchtheart.jpg