Library Art Exhibit: Salvaging Dreams and Channeling Motion into Art

The mission of The Ferndale Library’s Art and Exhibitions Committee’ is to promote and foster an appreciation of two and three-dimensional art for library patrons, through exhibits, lectures, and an expanded collection of art books.

The Ferndale Public Library art collection and exhibits seek to represent a broad spectrum of artistic expression, with an emphasis on local and Michigan artists.

This can be a bridge to the arts community, greeting regular library patrons who are otherwise just looking for something new to read with hung works of various mediums from a range of artists and enriching their visit by-way-of alighting them a sample of local culture.

Founded in the Spring of 2012, the Ferndale Library’s Art & Exhibition Committee has, among many things, 1.) created the “Corridor Gallery” – a versatile exhibition space,
2.) curated more than a dozen exhibitions, hosted special artists’ talks, receptions, concerts and other events,  3.) facilitated “Two Twenty Two,” a circulating sketchbook, which, itself, is a jewel amid an already impressive “Community Art Collection” of books purchased with a grant, that feature local artists, historic Michigan artist, books on art marketing, and insightful texts into skills of specialized interest. And…! So much more!

Here are some images from the newest exhibition: “Urvakan,” an exhibition of drawings and paintings by Berkley-based artist Mark Benglian, from December 4, 2016 – January 14, 2017.

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Benglian’s work focuses primarily on intuitive mark-making and storytelling. The images he conjures can be whimsical and haunting at the same time, while working in almost a trancelike state with a captivating milieu of muted tones, curious/unique entities and transfixing collages.

For the past 14 years Mark has been an accomplished graphic designer, teacher and fine artist and carries a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts Degrees from Michigan State University. His work draws largely from dreams and the subconscious. His creative process thrives upon kinesiology, particularly his own uninhibited movements, which are aggressively recorded on a myriad of surfaces from tabletops and doors to paper and plywood.

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Benglian’s influences include primitive sculpture, cave paintings, children’s drawings and the drawings from his own childhood. Most of his pieces are created using salvaged or re-purposed materials and are created with whatever mediums are at hand; ranging from fabric, baseball innards and 2×4’s, to acrylic paint, crayons and charcoal.

Benglian could at times also be considered a philanthropic artist, often donating a large percentage of the proceeds from art sales to nonprofit organizations, animal rescue/protection initiatives including; Stiggy’s Dogs, The Michigan Humane Society and the ASPCA. His work has been exhibited in both group and solo shows across the metro area including Plymouth, Ann Arbor, East Lansing and Birmingham.

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