New Artwork Hides in Woods Waiting For You

Adventurous guests will discover a new and fascinating project by artist Amy Reckley, hidden amongst the trees within the thirty-acres and two-miles of trails at Michigan Legacy Art Park in Thompsonville, Michigan.

Can you find it? (hint — you’ll have to venture into the heart of the park along the Stockade Trail)

“Amy Reckley’s piece ‘Slip.Shift’ playfully challenges traditional artistic practices and approaches to both sculpture and painting. Traditional sculptural practice is realized in three-dimensional space through tangible, solid materials placed in either a “natural or a designed (e.g., architectural) environment. Conversely, Painting is an illusionary representation of three-dimensional space on and within a two-dimensional surface. In the 1960s and 1970s, the rising artistic Land Art movement began to blur the distinctions between the art object and its environment by utilizing the environment itself as the artwork. A seminal example of this is ‘Spiral Jetty’ by Robert Smithson, located on the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Also noteworthy are the Wrapped Objects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. In Reckley’s piece, the painted canvas is draped in, around, and over the wooded natural landscape, creating an immersive experience blending Sculpture and Painting to both delight and confound the viewer, as it breaks down real and perceived barriers between the environment, the artwork, and the viewer.” Brian Ferriby, Invitational Curator

“Slip.Shift” is a new four-part experimental and temporary installation of paintings that will change seasonally from October 2020 to the summer of 2021.

Shift speaks to the color and mark making in these abstract paintings, their relationship to the environment as it changes throughout the year, and the references to past movements in the history of painting. The paintings are intended to appear and disappear, blend in and clash, feel harmonious and foreign. They are both a secret and a realization within the surrounding landscape.

“Slip.Shift” by Artist Amy Reckley, now on display at Michigan Legacy Art Park

Slip refers to the slippage that occurs when the visual language and expectations of painting change once the works become three dimensional in their presence and attitude. In some ways the paintings become sculptures, architecture and forms in space.

“As I was installing the first three paintings on October 10, it was interesting how the labor of art and the physical effort involved in the installation became so much a part of the entire work. Dragging the paintings across the floor of the wooded landscape felt performative, sometimes wrong and exhilarating all at the same time.

The work is not just the paintings — it is the slope of the landscape, the changing light, the natural preserve and the viewer’s discovery as they walk on the trails.” — Amy Reckley

“Slip.Shift” by Artist Amy Reckley, now on display at Michigan Legacy Art Park

Art Park Note: “Slip.Shift” is one of five new works from five “Downstate” Michigan artists that will be installed over the next year as part of an invitational show curated by the park’s Conservator, Brian Ferriby. The project is supported by the new Charles McGee Art Fund, designed to bring new and emerging voices to northern Michigan. The park is open every day of the year, from dawn to dusk. Suggested admission is $5 for adults, and children are always free.

“Slip.Shift” by Artist Amy Reckley, now on display at Michigan Legacy Art Park

Where Art, Nature and History Meet