2014 People's Biennial at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit

The Sept 12 opening at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Detroit was great fun.  I was very happy so many people came to see my show at MOCAD.  It was a lot of work to plan and make the boxes and then fill them with copies of articles and photos and things that were important in my life.

Left wall of my exhibit at MOCAD People's Biennial 2014.  Puzzle table with Camp T box, in the corner puzzle table with 500 mile Ski Expedition to Lapland, center wall has puzzle table with 2 sections that extend out with a center area for moments and a drawer below full of photos.  Above this box is a rustic walnut Mantle shelf that holds two turned pieces and the walnut triangular shaped box I designed and built for my father's internment flag.  The walls have frames built with oak in a similar interlocking design as the puzzle tables.  Far left are 2 shelves.  The top one holds Bottle stoppers I turned and the lower shelf has some jewelry boxes i made.

Left wall of my exhibit at MOCAD People's Biennial 2014.  Puzzle table with Camp T box, in the corner puzzle table with 500 mile Ski Expedition to Lapland, center wall has puzzle table with 2 sections that extend out with a center area for moments and a drawer below full of photos.  Above this box is a rustic walnut Mantle shelf that holds two turned pieces and the walnut triangular shaped box I designed and built for my father's internment flag.  The walls have frames built with oak in a similar interlocking design as the puzzle tables.  Far left are 2 shelves.  The top one holds Bottle stoppers I turned and the lower shelf has some jewelry boxes i made.

 My mother saved everything so I had things like report cards and letters I wrote to her from my time at the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing.  I attended school there from 2nd grade to 11th grade. I wrote home saying I wanted to go outdoors and play.  (I still do)  I learned to cross country ski at MSB and it became a passion I pursued for many years.  I built a Hickory box that was made to fit an iPad into the top with a slideshow of the 500+ mile skiing expedition I took with several friends across Lapland in 1982  .

Hickory box with slide show showing a reindeer herd we encountered on a 500 mile trip across Lapland.  It is setting on a bungalow style puzzle table I designed and built. 

Hickory box with slide show showing a reindeer herd we encountered on a 500 mile trip across Lapland.  It is setting on a bungalow style puzzle table I designed and built. 

Hickory box with slide distinctive dark grain pattern.  

Hickory box with slide distinctive dark grain pattern.  

Side view of the Hickory box in closed position

Side view of the Hickory box in closed position

Side view of the Hickory box in open position. The iPad in the lid plays a slide show of my trip across Lapland and then a slide show of a trailer for "Maire's Journey"  a documentary made by Keith Famie about Maire Kent's losing battle with Cardiac Sarcoma and then follows a boat I built for her ashes as it made it's journey from launch at Cross Village, Lake Michigan all the way to the Atlantic Ocean where her ashes were released. 

Side view of the Hickory box in open position. The iPad in the lid plays a slide show of my trip across Lapland and then a slide show of a trailer for "Maire's Journey"  a documentary made by Keith Famie about Maire Kent's losing battle with Cardiac Sarcoma and then follows a boat I built for her ashes as it made it's journey from launch at Cross Village, Lake Michigan all the way to the Atlantic Ocean where her ashes were released. 

George Wurtzel and the boat he built for Maire's Journey now on display at MOCAD in Detroit

George Wurtzel and the boat he built for Maire's Journey now on display at MOCAD in Detroit

My father died when I was young.  He served in WWll and I designed this walnut box to hold his Military Flag.  The rustic walnut shelf is made from a tree that had grown too large for the space between a house and garage in Minneapolis.  

My father died when I was young.  He served in WWll and I designed this walnut box to hold his Military Flag.  The rustic walnut shelf is made from a tree that had grown too large for the space between a house and garage in Minneapolis.  

Side view of the Walnut mantle style shelf.  Notice the side brackets still have bark on them.   The piece on the right of the Flag Case is turned of oak with a lot of character.  The giant Cherry wood egg on stand won second place at the Minneapolis turner's meeting at Easter time.

Side view of the Walnut mantle style shelf.  Notice the side brackets still have bark on them.   The piece on the right of the Flag Case is turned of oak with a lot of character.  The giant Cherry wood egg on stand won second place at the Minneapolis turner's meeting at Easter time.

The tall red box I call "Self Portrait" holds a worn out pair of my bib overalls, a flannel shirt and a summer straw hat I wore to pieces along with a cane I have traveled hundreds of mile with.  On the left door are letter I wrote to my parents when I was in second grade, attending the MIchigan School for the Blind.  On the right door are photos of three of my students I taught with their projects along with a letter from a mother thanking me for helping her daughter.  

The tall red box I call "Self Portrait" holds a worn out pair of my bib overalls, a flannel shirt and a summer straw hat I wore to pieces along with a cane I have traveled hundreds of mile with.  On the left door are letter I wrote to my parents when I was in second grade, attending the MIchigan School for the Blind.  On the right door are photos of three of my students I taught with their projects along with a letter from a mother thanking me for helping her daughter.  

The oak bookcase hold a 3 piece dome top  turned jewelry box and a curly maple box on the second shelf.

The oak bookcase hold a 3 piece dome top  turned jewelry box and a curly maple box on the second shelf.

 Close up of a jewelry box with a  spalted birch top with ebony finial and a myrtle base.

 Close up of a jewelry box with a  spalted birch top with ebony finial and a myrtle base.

Spalted birch jewelry box showing all three pieces

Spalted birch jewelry box showing all three pieces

Three tiered oak box in closed position.  The walnut arms rotate to extend the top layer to the sides.

Three tiered oak box in closed position.  The walnut arms rotate to extend the top layer to the sides.

Three tiered oak box open.  The walnut arms rotate to extend the top layer to the sides.

Three tiered oak box open.  The walnut arms rotate to extend the top layer to the sides.

George Wurtzel on the right side of his exhibit at MOCAD.  In the corner on a round glass top table he built is a miniature walnut grand piano representing his 10 years attending the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing,   A small version of one George was commissioned to build as presentation gift for Stevie Wonder- a fellow alumni of the school.  The next table holds a puzzle like the one his grandfather made.  This puzzle was the design inspiration for all of the glass top tables in this museum display.

George Wurtzel on the right side of his exhibit at MOCAD.  In the corner on a round glass top table he built is a miniature walnut grand piano representing his 10 years attending the Michigan School for the Blind in Lansing,   A small version of one George was commissioned to build as presentation gift for Stevie Wonder- a fellow alumni of the school.  The next table holds a puzzle like the one his grandfather made.  This puzzle was the design inspiration for all of the glass top tables in this museum display.

Closed view of the rough cedar box of Camp Tuhsmeheta memories. 

Closed view of the rough cedar box of Camp Tuhsmeheta memories. 

Camp Tuhsmeheta hold a very special place in George's heart.  This box has snapshots of camp scenes on the inside of the lid,  inside there are lots of newsletters and articles about Camp T while George was executive director of the organization who ran camp for many years.

Camp Tuhsmeheta hold a very special place in George's heart.  This box has snapshots of camp scenes on the inside of the lid,  inside there are lots of newsletters and articles about Camp T while George was executive director of the organization who ran camp for many years.

close up of log foot on the Camp T box

close up of log foot on the Camp T box

Top cedar shelf showing bottle stoppers George turns.  Next shelf on right holds square cherry box with key joints on the corners and maple lid, next is turned walnut box with curly maple lid, and next is oak with box joint corners.  Lower shelf holds a flamed maple box with walnut top and corners, ash box with box corners, distinctive square pedestal  feet and hinged lid.  next is mahogany box with lift off lid.

Top cedar shelf showing bottle stoppers George turns.  Next shelf on right holds square cherry box with key joints on the corners and maple lid, next is turned walnut box with curly maple lid, and next is oak with box joint corners.  Lower shelf holds a flamed maple box with walnut top and corners, ash box with box corners, distinctive square pedestal  feet and hinged lid.  next is mahogany box with lift off lid.

5 turned bottle stoppers made by George Wurtzel at his shop in Minneapolis.   

5 turned bottle stoppers made by George Wurtzel at his shop in Minneapolis. 

 

Close view of a spalted maple bottle stopper turned in the shape of a hat.

Close view of a spalted maple bottle stopper turned in the shape of a hat.

Camp T Birdhouse and photo of the campers who built it.  Above that is an article about George that was published in the April/May 2014 issue of American Woodworker.

Camp T Birdhouse and photo of the campers who built it.  Above that is an article about George that was published in the April/May 2014 issue of American Woodworker.

My exhibit was one of 17 in the 2014 People's Biennial at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.  

Eric Soth and George Wurtzel - Illustration on the outside of my exhibit space.  Eric Soth, was the person who collaborated with me to make this museum exhibit possible.  

Eric Soth and George Wurtzel - Illustration on the outside of my exhibit space.  Eric Soth, was the person who collaborated with me to make this museum exhibit possible.  

This sign explains the purpose of the exhibit at MOCAD curated by Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffman

This sign explains the purpose of the exhibit at MOCAD curated by Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffman

MOCAD Teen Council and Youth Program Producer Tylonn Sawyer visiting my exhibit at the People's Biennial 2 in Detroit.

MOCAD Teen Council and Youth Program Producer Tylonn Sawyer visiting my exhibit at the People's Biennial 2 in Detroit.

Youth Program Producer Tylonn Sawyer at my exhibit in the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

Youth Program Producer Tylonn Sawyer at my exhibit in the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

MOCAD doorway on Garfield St in Detroit.  The Museum is on the corner of Garfield and Woodward just 4 blocks south of the Detroit Institute of Art

MOCAD doorway on Garfield St in Detroit.  The Museum is on the corner of Garfield and Woodward just 4 blocks south of the Detroit Institute of Art

MOCAD is on the corner of Garfield and Woodward in Detroit.  4454 Woodward to be exact.

MOCAD is on the corner of Garfield and Woodward in Detroit.  4454 Woodward to be exact.

The People's Biennial will be open at MOCAD from September 12, 2014 to January 5, 2015.

HOURS

Wednesday, Saturday, & Sunday: 11AM - 5PM
Thursday & Friday: 11AM - 8PM
Closed Monday & Tuesday

Special thanks to Jonathon Rajewski and Zeb Smith and the rest of the staff of MOCAD.  They were very welcoming and helpful during the set-up.  To Fred Wurtzel and Mike Ellis for recording and mixing a radio interview of me with music which plays in the piano.  Keith Famie for his help with  promotion and loaning Maire's sailboat for this exhibit.  Visit the website www.Mairesjourney.com to see more on her remarkable courage.

PLEASE visit my website GMWurtzel.com