Muskegon Museum of Art winter exhibitions and the questions and toil of cotton

Business News |Dec 5, 2017|3 min read


The Muskegon Museum of Art opens two new exhibitions, Sarah Wagner: Vegetable Lamb of America and Southern Roots: The Paintings of Winfred Rembert, on Thursday, December 14, 2017. The MMA invites the public to an opening reception and a talk by artist Sarah Wagner that evening. The reception will run 5:30 to 7:00 pm and Wagner’s talk will begin at 7:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public.


The exhibitions examine, in various ways, the influence of cotton upon history, economics, and the environment.


Sarah Wagner: Vegetable Lamb of America 

Sarah Wagner sculpts in wood, metal, and fabric, creating animals and environments that address the fragility and resilience of Nature and humanity’s impact on its surroundings. Her art is inspired and informed by the city of Detroit, where she lives and works. For her Muskegon Museum of Art exhibition, Wagner is creating a new installation inspired by the history of the cultivation of cotton, and its impact on the development of capitalism and industrialism around the world. Support for Sarah Wagner: Vegetable Lamb of America has been provided by MMA Michigan Artist Series Media Sponsor Blue Lake Public Radio.


Southern Roots: The Paintings of Winfred Rembert 

Winfred Rembert works in the medium of carved and dyed leather, creating vibrant and rhythmic imagery of his life in 1950s Georgia. A storyteller, Rembert reveals images of culture, community, family, and struggle through intense color and repeating patterns. His most recognizable pieces depict pickers at work in the cotton fields, a grueling task the artist himself experienced in his childhood and later on a prison chain gang. Over 25 works, including the premiere of several recent paintings by the artist, are featured in the exhibition. The artworks in Southern Roots appear courtesy of Adelson Galleries, Boston, and the artist.


Special Program

The MMA will present a screening of the documentary about Rembert’s life, All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert, following a special reception on Thursday, February 8, 2018. The reception will start at 5:30 pm and the film will start at 7:00 pm. Winfred Rembert has a lot of stories to tell, from his childhood on a cotton farm to his near lynching during the Civil Rights Movement; his life experiences are the bed of work that inspires his artwork. This film documents Rembert’s life and how his tooled leather artwork has become his biography and therapy. The film was directed by Vivian Ducat of Ducat Media. She and artist Winfred Rembert will join us for the screening, followed by a Q & A with artist Winfred Rembert following the film.


Southern Roots: The Paintings of Winfred Rembert is underwritten by the Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Foundation and PNC Bank. Additional support has been provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts.


The Muskegon Museum of Art is located next to Hackley Public Library in downtown Muskegon. Call 231-720-2570 or go to for visitor information.



Image Credits




MEDIA CONTACT: Marguerite Curran, tel. 231.720.2574,

Muskegon Museum of Art office secretary: 231.720.2571