By Micah Davis
Listen Up, Lansing
After leaving an impression, it became time for the The Women We Are exhibit to say goodbye to Lansing, but maybe not the surrounding areas.
The thought-provoking exhibit that was temporarily located at the AA Creative Corridor on 1133 S. Washington St., came to an end on Thursday, March 5.
Documentary photographer Amanda Grieshop said the closing week of her nude thought-provoking exhibit filled her with a range of emotions, from pride to frustration and disappointment to happiness and exhaustion. Not to mention a big crowd to end the week off with.
“A large handful of community members came to see the show in the last few days it was up and that felt great,” the photographer said. “Most people wanted it to remain up longer so as to bring friends and loved ones by and wondered where it would show next. I wondered the same.”
However, Grieshop also said if she could go back, she would most likely do a couple of things differently.
“I definitely would have sought a venue to exhibit the project that supported it 100 percent and one that would not censor the work,” Grieshop said.
Grieshop said that the woman who manages the venue had personal issues and concerns with nudity in the exhibit, but continued to go through with showcasing it.
“I thought she had come to some resolution within herself about the exhibit and assumed that with her agreeing to exhibit the work, she supported it 100 percent…when in fact, she was still grappling with the nudity,” Grieshop said.
Grieshop said that she felt the facility manager did not fully support the mission of the project.
“The project was not supported 100 percent, and thus was unavailable for full view the entire month. I learned a lot about the process of exhibition.” Grieshop said.
AA Creative Corridor manager Ariniko O’Meara said that the gallery is a multi use space that holds baby showers, child photographers, family photographers, theater productions aimed at family audiences that rented the space during The Women We Are exhibit.
“I don’t think the issue was the amount of nudity, I think any issues that arose stemmed from the fact that there was nudity,” O’Meara said.
O’Meara said that this was the issue with censorship and that this was not the first time.
O’Meara also said that there was no truth to the exhibit getting closed down early, and that the exhibit was actually extended an extra week due to increased interest from the community.
“There was an understanding from the beginning with the exhibiting artist that at some times some or possibly all the art would need to be taken down or covered. This was a conversation that happened early and often,” O’Meara said.
Grieshop can keep that in mind for her next project, which she said would be releasing in March 2017.
“I have learned a lot from The Women We Are, from very general bookkeeping skills to marketing to promotions and advertising to showing the work,” Grieshop said. “I will definitely be doing many things differently with the men’s project.”