Pilar-Brown showcases “Voluminous Care” art exhibit

Michaela Pilar-Brown’s “Voluminous Care” exhibit was available for display from Oct. 10-Nov. 10 in the Adele Kassab Art Gallery in the Hyman Fine Arts Center at FMU.  

Pilar-Brown’s exhibit explored the different emotions, aspects and feelings of caregiving and grieving through her art and photography.  

The exhibit featured two wooden church pews with piles of pink, blue, teal and white glass fragments piled around the base of each leg. Beside the glittery church benches were weathered window panes of brown, black and white on the floor, with panes hanging above them. On the surrounding walls were images from Pilar-Brown that worked alongside the center display.  

“My practice explores the body through the prisms of age, gender, race, sexuality and history,” Pilar-Brown said. “The work is at once confrontational and seductive.”  

A brand new collection from Pilar-Brown, the Kassab Gallery was the first to host the art display.  

“This is a new work, so we are seeing the first iteration of this installation,” Jessica Willis, a curator of galleries at FMU, who worked with Pilar-Brown to bring the exhibit to campus, said. “It deals primarily with grief and loss and the rituals of remembrance.”  

According to Willis, setting up the exhibit was a lengthy and detailed process with close work between the artist and curator to arrange the art pieces exactly as Pilar-Brown intended.  

“There are so many variables to consider between the schedule of the artist and the gallery: delivery and unloading, time and labor for installation, the realities of the space and the materials used for the installation,” Willis said. “It can be pleasantly cooperative as you explore the various options, and changes can happen quickly as the pieces are put into place.”  

Pilar-Brown studied art history and sculpture at Howard University and grew up roaming the halls of the museum where her mother worked. While she is primarily based in South Carolina, Pilar-Brown has worked around the world and uses her experiences to shape and influence her art.  

For just over a month, students, faculty, staff and the general public had time to roam the small gallery and take in the details of Pilar-Brown’s multimedia exhibit.  

“I want [students] to walk away asking questions about new images and materials they might be able to use in their own work with the inspiration to build their own unique vernacular and artistic voice,” Willis said. “I would love for students to walk away with the knowledge that an artist can live and work anywhere and be successful.”  

Pilar-Brown and her art and photography endeavors can be found on her Instagram, @michaelapilarbrown, or her website, http://www.michaelapilarPilar-Brown.com/.