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Learn from the Best: Visual Arts professor Matthew Schenk’s ArtPrize entry depicts an apocalyptic future

Sept. 16, 2022, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Grand Rapids Community College is an ArtPrize venue this year, but the college this year has connections beyond the entries in the Paul Collins Art Gallery.

GRCC assistant professor Matthew Schenk has entered his work, “Twin Apocalypse - Latoya Whispers to the Old Masters,” into ArtPrize this year. You can find it in downtown Grand Rapids at the Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum.

Schenk has taught in GRCC’s Visual Arts Department, part of the new School of Liberal Arts, since 2019.

He shared the motivation for his ArtPrize entry in his artist statement:

“In 1839 the late French painter Paul Delaroche was the first to say ‘painting is dead.’ In 1915 Kasmir Malevich's Black Square heralded the end of painting. The abstract expressionists told us that imagery in painting is over.

“There is talk of the Anti-aesthetic in Postmodernism.There is Post-Postmodernism.

There is Odd Nerdrum and Kitsch.

“There is a constant debate of ‘What is Art?’ and what isn't, ‘Who is an artist?’ and who isn't. Much of this discussion is handled by the ‘Art World.’

“There has been dialogue concerning the end of art and the loss of aesthetic import (Donald Kuspit) and of art being replaced by ‘Postart’ (Alan Kaprow).

“Art is over. “The media informs us that this is the End of Days and the social and economic state of the world is in ruins. I am painting in the Apocalypse”.

Before joining GRCC, Schenk taught illustration and medical illustration at Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design for 11 years.

From 1997 to 2005, he was a coordinator and production supervisor at Columbia Tristar Children’s Entertainment, now Sony Television Animation, where he worked on “Jackie Chan Adventures,” “Men in Black: The Animated Series” and “Jumanji.”

Schenk received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Michigan State University and a master’s in figurative painting from Academy of Art University. You can learn from Schenk in AT 130 Two-Dimensional Design I, AT 131 Color, AT 132 Digital Foundation, and AT 216Digital Painting.

Schenk is respected throughout the Grand Rapids art community. He has been invited by Kendall College to be a visiting artist on Oct. 28.

Join the conversation and learn how art and culture have influenced the world. Enroll in AT 106 History of Art Since 1400 - a seven-week class taught by GRCC adjunct instructor Elizabeth Raubolt starting on Oct. 18, 2022.

The Paul Collins Art Gallery is hosting three ArtPrize entries, showcasing digital animation, pen and ink technique and acrylic painting.

ArtPrize 2022 runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 2 and features 750 entries in the interactive art competition.

The Collins Art Gallery is found on the fourth floor of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, 143 Bostwick Ave. NE. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 2, the gallery will be open from 1-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Guests visiting during the weekend should enter through the doors on the south end of Finkelstein Hall Level G2, near the iconic lion fountain, or through the skywalk connected to Parking Ramp A. Signs or staff will direct you to the gallery.

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