MIDLAND, Mich. – Armin Mersmann, the AB Dow Museum’s Senior Visual Arts Curator, will depart Midland in July to take part in a highly-selective artist residency at Cincinnati’s acclaimed Manifest Gallery.
Over 120 artists from the United States and abroad applied for the one-year residency program. The two winners were selected by a 14-person panel comprised of Manifest Gallery staff, board members, and academic/professional advisors. Primary criteria for selection include quality and consistency of sample work; motivation and potential for the creation of excellent new work during residency; the degree to which the individual will benefit from the program and reciprocate with involvement and new positive energy; and the ability of the artist to take full advantage of the opportunity and utilize the program resources to maximize its benefits.
“Many of my fellow applicants were younger people in mid-career, and I thought my chances maybe weren’t so good,” said Mersmann. “Still, my work at the Center has given me invaluable experiences in installing exhibitions, running the Studio School, teaching classes, and most recently the opportunity to our curate exhibitions. So, I was able to use my age and experience as selling points. And as it turns out, my fellow residency winner – a recent college graduate – is at the other end of the spectrum and just starting her career.”
Mersmann began his career at Midland Center for the Arts over 30 years ago as a part-time Studio School instructor. For the past 19 years, he has been a full-time employee of the Center, including serving as Artist in Residence and Manager of the Center’s Studio School. In February 2017 he was appointed to his current role of Senior Visual Arts Curator providing the vision, direction, oversight and implementation of visual arts programming for the Center and the AB Dow Museum of Science and Art, as well as artistic leadership for the Studio School.
“We have been incredibly lucky to have an artist of Armin’s caliber leading our visual arts programs at the Center,” said Center President and CEO Terri Trotter. “His unique outlook ensured that we showcased interesting art in our museum and around the Center campus. Plus, he has inspired countless students as a caring and masterful instructor in our Studio School. We are so very proud of Armin and his accomplishments.”
An accomplished artist in graphite realism, abstraction, and digital photography, Mersmann is well known to Manifest Gallery. He presented a solo show, “A Walk in the Woods,” at the gallery in 2016, in addition to participating in group exhibitions in 2012 and 2014. Closer to home, he is well known for his ArtPrize 2014 entry, “Gabriella,” which finished in the top 20 of the international art competition.
“I feel extremely fortunate and proud to have such a long tenure at Midland Center for the Arts,” he said. “My time here has given me the opportunity to do what I love – work on my art – while also learning other important aspects of the art and museum business. This has truly been the career I always wanted. Now I’m looking forward to the year ahead and focusing on my work in graphite, experimenting with new art forms, teaching classes and giving talks around the Cincinnati region.”
Mersmann will be honored during a public reception on June 22 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the AB Dow Museum galleries inside Midland Center for the Arts.