An installation can be defined as a site-specific,
three-dimensional work designed to transform the perception of a space, says
Reflection Gallery director, Finlandia Art & Design student Shaela Morin.
Parker's primary installation medium is the t-shirt, which
she cuts, then weaves, to create her installation piece, Morin says. In her
installations, Parker explores contemporary issues while also seeking to
illustrate connections between 'the personal and political, the historic and
"Margaret Parker strives to portray life as we live it
today," Morin notes. "Her installation will not only by eye-catching, it will
be socially relevant."
"Since 9/11, I've been exploring what it means to be human
in a global age, and what kind of space can help us create an understanding of
global humanity," Parker writes in her artist statement. "What consumes me when
I make art is how to express these themes that are so complex and so pressing.
If art is not attempting to engage these themes, it is not reflecting our
According to Parker, "Perfection in art doesn't really
interest me, I'm more interested in something that reaches for what's hard to
say, something more rough and more human. T-shirts have given me a way to show
how individuals have been utterly altered by two wars in the Mideast and the
era of terrorism."
Viewer participation is very important to Parker's intent.
She explains, "Once the viewer sees the piece is made from a T-shirt, they must
figure out how it was taken apart. I'm very interested in that spatial
reasoning because it pulls the viewer backwards into the creative process,
making an image that reverberates in the memory."
Parker has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of
Michigan School of Art, Ann Arbor. She has created sculptures and art
installations in Michigan, New York, and Maine. Her work has been exhibited
nationally and internationally and is included in the collections of the United
States Capitol, the State Department Art Bank, the Maine Maritime Academy,
University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, Chelsea Medical Center, and
many private collections. Visit Parker's website at www.margaretparkerstudio.com.
Parker helped found Art Pro Tem, a community-based
non-profit organization established in 2004 that sponsors experimental art in
non-traditional spaces. She is a founding member of the Women's Caucus for Art,
Michigan Chapter; a member of the Arts Alliance of Washtenaw County; and has served
on the City of Ann Arbor Public Art Commission since 2004, chairing the
commission from 2006 to 2010.
The Reflection Gallery is located on the second level of
Finlandia's Jutila Center campus, 200 Michigan St., Hancock.
For additional information, please contact Yueh-mei Cheng,
professor of studio arts, at 906-487-7375 or e-mail FinlandiaReflectionGallery@gmail.com.
"Abu Ghraib" Margaret
"E Pluribus Unum" Margaret
"Army Time" Margaret