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Gallery | Measured Space | Brian Caponi, Shawn Murrey, Thomas Schmidt

January 11 – February 16, 2019
Reception: Friday, January 11, 5-8 pm
Gallery Talk/Closing Reception: Saturday, February 16, 1 pm

Measured Space features the works of Brian Caponi, Shawn Murrey, and Thomas Schmidt. The work developed for the exhibition draws on the Scarab Club as both source and site. Working through diverse materials and processes, the exhibition, at its core, seeks to distill and recalibrate a focus on the body in space.

An image from a 1928 exhibition held in the Scarab Club gallery space was utilized as a particular moment the artists reinterpreted and dislodged as source. The original exhibition layout and a range of objects from the photograph become potent abstracted instances and studies, reimagined through both digital and analog fabrication processes.

Measured Space seeks to pull out this specific historical reference point, placed alongside other idiosyncratic approaches on the mediation of site and material, as marker for conceptual and physical embodiments of time.

Participating Artists

 Brian Caponi received his BFA in Sculpture from Grand Valley State University in 2007, and went on to earn his MFA in Ceramics from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2013. After graduate school, Brian traveled to South Korea, China, and India or various residencies, teaching appointments, and international symposiums. His work has been shown throughout the states and internationally, most recently at the National Museum of Slovenia, Simone DeSousa Gallery, Grottaglie Convento Italy, San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, American Museum of Ceramic Art, Janice Charach Gallery, and The Archie Bray Foundation. He is Chair of the Ceramics Department at the Royal Oak Campus of Oakland Community College, and has studios in Pontiac, Michigan and Jingdezhen, China.

Shawn Murrey is an Adjunct Professor as well as a Technical Specialist for the Ceramic Art Department at Alfred University. He has earned both his MFA (2008) and BFA (2004) from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Shawn has since exhibited his art work nationally and internationally, most recently at the Burchfield Penny Art Museum in Buffalo, New York and The Cross Mackenzie Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Thomas Schmidt received his BA at Loyola University Chicago, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and MFA in Ceramic Art at Alfred University. Thereafter, Schmidt taught ceramics for four years at the Alfred/CAFA Ceramic Design for Industry Program at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.  Schmidt’s solo work integrates ceramic processes with digital fabrication in a range of media to explore the boundaries between real and virtual experience.  He is currently Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary 3D Studio at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Lounge | The Other Dirty Show | Agnes Gira

Lounge Gallery
Friday, January 11 – Saturday, February 16, 2019
Reception: Friday, January 11-5-8 pm

The Other Dirty Show is a collection of photographs taken on the job, documenting violations and spanning decades of Agnes Gira’s work as a health inspector for the city of Detroit. She is careful not to reveal the location of any of the spaces she documents in this show. A consummate professional, she will never bring to light which kitchens did not pass inspection, but she will tell you her favorite dining locations. Her connection to the Scarab Club began with an inspection of its kitchen.

Agnes Gira received a Bachelors of Fine Art from Wayne State University in 2004, with a minor in Food Science. The combination of these two interests has had a strong impact on her work as an artist. As a health inspector for the city of Detroit she used her camera as a teaching tool, and to document violations in kitchens across the city. She took her position as a health inspector seriously, working to protect the public by holding those who serve food to high standards. Agnes retired in 2015 after twenty-five years.

Marilyn Zimmerman, one of Agnes’s professors at WSU, was the inspiration for showing this body of work. All proceeds from Agnes’s exhibition will benefit the Scarab Club.

Tasty Treats, photograph, 16” x 20”

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Historic Room

Historic Room | Selected Works from the Scarab Club Permanent Collection


In the historic room, you’ll find works from the Scarab Club’s permanent collection, including an original Robert Hopkin. Hopkin was one of Detroit’s leading painters in the mid to late 19th century in Detroit, producing seascapes, landscapes and decorative works, including the interior of the Detroit Opera House (1869). In 1907, the Detroit Museum of Art held an exhibition in his honor, at which time his fellow artists founded the Hopkin Club, which later became the Scarab Club.


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