As an art student, it is inevitable to meet people with different art practices and messages. As an art student at the U of M… this theory is further expanded because the art school is within a larger university. There is an infinite amount of opportunity here and one of my favorite parts about being a student in Ann Arbor is getting to see others use art as a form of discussion and watch them grow at the same time as myself.
One of my favorite artists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting is Ariel Friedlander. I met her in my 2D Studio course that we were both taking as a requirement. I learned that she is both an art and art history major and I grew to like Ariel not only because of her personality and artwork but also because of her innate ability to constantly challenge our assignments and professor. Her confidence with what she was creating inspired me and continues to inspire me and how I create my own work.
In class I watched Ariel make art pertaining to her Jewish, queer, and diabetic identities. I loved watching her connect these ideas and start discussions about intersectionality as well as also focusing on pushing boundaries of other topics. My favorite moments were when she made individuals in our class and our professor question what something meant and then hear her educated and organized response back.
Ariel is always churning out a multitude of work at a time and is constantly updating her social media with the work she creates. It is great to watch her build a community with her art especially when she posts about her travels.
She recently has been working on curating a portrait photography and text series, “Queer As In”. In this project, she explores, “the nuances of queer identity through collaboration with self-identified queer individuals.” Ariel had noticed banners and pickets with slogans like “Queer as in fuck you” or “Queer as in abolish ICE” from activist experiences. This inspired her to create this series and have the model she photographed “fill in the blank with a
word they feel is important to their LGBTQ identity.” The color on the portraits are chosen by the model as the color they believe connects the most with their word. The final arrangement shows the photos creating one large pride flag.
Tonight from 7-9pm in the Michigan League’s first floor lobby is the opening of her “Queer As In” art exhibition on campus. The show will be up from February 11th until March 13th and is sponsored by Spectrum Center and RC.
As a community, it is important to show up to events and art shows like this to show support and interest. The effort of trying to learn and have an open mind is what sometimes is the most important part of the shows themselves. Ariel’s work is 110% worth the time to check out and I recommend you all go either tonight or within the next month to see her stunning curation.
Hope to see you there! 🙂
P.S. Check out her cool ass earrings on her Etsy account!
P.P.S. Photo creds to her Instagram!