Fall 2019 Exhibitions at the Dennos Celebrate Art & Craft

The Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College will present two temporary exhibitions from September 22 to December 29, 2019.

The exhibitions feature a collection of 74 works in wood from The Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia, and 24 quilted works from Detroit-based artist Carole Harris. A variety of programs will occur throughout the fall to connect audiences of all ages with these great exhibitions. More information can be found online at

Exhibitions at the Dennos Museum Center are made possible with support provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Robert T. and Ruth Haidt Hughes Memorial Endowment Fund, with media support from TV 7&4 and TV 9&10.

Explorations in Wood: Selections from the Center for Art in Wood
The Explorations in Wood traveling exhibition is sponsored through a generous grant from The Henry Luce Foundation.

Explorations in Wood, in the curator’s words:
“Our dependence on–and love for–wood cannot be overstated. It is integral to our very existence in a range of ways, encompassing our man-made environments as well as both utilitarian and decorative items. The organic qualities of wood, our ability to manipulate its shape, its abundance, and its renewable potential are among the reasons wood permeates our culture–including the art world. The 74 objects comprising Explorations in Wood are a small sample of the work in the collection of Philadelphia’s Center for Art in Wood, gathered over a forty-year period.

These works stem from a love of wood and display a rich variety of wood types. Processes are varied, too, including wood-turned vessels as well as more sculptural forms. Many celebrate the natural beauty of wood, evident in rich warm-brown tones and assorted grain patterns, typical of materials gathered around the globe.

While many of the artworks might beg to be touched due to the enticingly tactile nature of wood, it is the design and form of each that guided my selection. Variety and handling also were important criteria. Many artists have maximized the manipulative qualities of wood and then used paint to highlight an object’s form. Others combine multiple wood types, creating forms with contrasting colors or manipulating shapes to expose varied natural and machined textures. These approaches and others highlight the diversity and unlimited potential of wood.

The Center for Art in Wood encourages an international roster of artists to not only explore the many facets of wood, but continues to challenge artists to discover the inherent and dynamic possibilities of the medium.” – Andy McGivern, Curator of Exhibitions, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum & curator of Explorations in Wood

Exhibiting Artists: Gianfranco Angelino (Italy); Mark Bishop (Tasmania); Ed Bosley (US); Miriam Carpenter (US); M. Dale Chase (US); Frank E Cummings, III (US); Mike Darlow (Australia); Ron David (Canada); Michael de Forest (US); Virginia Dotson (US); Jean-Francois Escoulen (France); Al Francendese (US); Dewey Garret (US); Malcolm Martin & Gaynor Dowling (UK); Andrew Gittoes (Australia); Michael N. Graham (US); Reed Hansuld (Canada); Stephen Hogbin (Canada); Michael Hosaluk (Canada); Todd Hoyer (US); Ted Hunter (Canada); William Hunter (US); Amber Johnston US); Ron Kent (US); Max Krimmel (US); Bud Latven (US); William Leete (US); Mel Lindquist (US); Zina Manesa-Burloiu (Romania) & Adrian Segal (US); Thierry Martenon (France); Terry Martin (Austria); Hugh McKay (US); Gael Montgomerie (New Zealand); Ed Moulthrop (US); Rolly Munro New Zealand); Liz & Michael O’Donnell (Scotland); Sean Ohrenich (US); William Patrick (US); Michael Peterson (US); Peter Petrochko (US); Hilary Pfeifer (US); Dennis Carr (US); and Neil Scobie (Australia); Carl R. Pittman (US); David Pye (UK); Wayne & Belinda Raab (US); Marc Ricourt France); Allen Ritzman (US); Hap Sakwa (US); Betty Scarpino (US) & Remi Verchot (Australia); David Sengel (US); Michael Shuler (US); Jack Slentz (US); Hayley Smith (US); Butch Smuts (South Africa); Alan Stirt (US); Bob Stocksdale (US); Tim Stokes (UK); Marcus Tatton (Tasmania); Joel Urruty (US); Maria van Kesteren (Netherlands); Derek Weidman (US); Hans Joachim Weissflog Germany); Jakob Weissflog (Germany); Vic Wood (Australia); and Malcolm Zander (Canada)

Carole Harris: Art Quilts
Carole will present an illustrated lecture for the public on Saturday, November 16 at 2pm in Milliken Auditorium. General admission rates apply. Free for Dennos members, NMC students, and NMC faculty.

This retrospective exhibition by Detroit-based artist Carole Harris features 24 fabric works from 1991 to present. Carole is captivated by the interplay of hue and pattern, often drawing inspiration from the color, energy, movement, and rhythms of ethnographic rituals and textiles; as well as the music of and changing rhythms and history of the city of Detroit where she lives with her husband, Bill.

Carole’s mother introduced her to needle arts at an early age, teaching her embroidery and crocheting. Sewing classes in elementary school increased her skills. It wasn’t until she received a BFA in art from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1966 that she began to explore fibers as an art form. “Many of my early quilts have architectural and geometric themes, which I am sure is influenced by my years as an interior designer, working with architectural forms,” she says. Carole enjoyed a career as an interior designer for over 45 years, 33 as president of Harris Design Group, LLC (HDG) the interior and graphic design firm she founded in 1976 and dissolved in 2009 to devote full time to her studio art

“I now draw inspiration from walls, aging structures, and objects that reveal years of use. My intention is to celebrate the beauty in the frayed, the decaying, and the repaired. I want to capture the patina of color softened by time, as well as feature the nicks, scratches, scars, and other marks left by nature or humans on constructed and natural surfaces. I want to interpret these changes and tell these stories of time, place, and people in cloth using creative stitching, layering, and the musing of colorful and textured fabrics.”

As to her technique: “I primarily use the commercially printed cotton, silk, hand dyed, and vintage fabrics, which I often alter by over-dyeing or painting. Recent investigations have led me to employ found objects, paper, rust dyeing, collage, and even burning as techniques. These materials are cut up, overlaid, and repositioned until I know I have arrived at my destination of a densely layered collage. This top layer is then sewn to an inner layer and back by machine using traditional and non-traditional quilting techniques and hand embroidery.”

Carole’s work has received numerous awards including a 2015 Kresge Visual Arts Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries nationally and internationally, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, in Washington D.C., the Museum of Art and Design, and the Folk Art Museum (both in New York City), and galleries in Europe, Japan, and South America. She continues to be honored with multiple solo exhibitions. Her work has been published extensively, and she is in much demand as a lecturer and juror.

The Dennos Museum Center is open daily 10 AM to 5 PM, and Sundays 1-5 PM. For information on the Museum and its programs, go to or call 231-995-1055. The Dennos Museum Center is located at 1410 College Dr., Traverse City, MI 49686, at the entrance to the campus of Northwestern Michigan College.