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Photo by UMMA Staff

You Are Here

Curated by: Jennifer M. Friess, Associate Curator of Photography
Through Summer 2023
Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Apse

Welcome back to the museum. We’ve missed you.

On March 16, 2020, we closed our doors, just six days after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. We didn’t know for how long. At that point there were twelve confirmed COVID-19 cases in Washtenaw County. We weren’t wearing masks because we didn’t fully understand how the virus is transmitted. We reopened to the public 488 days later, on June 17, 2021. While it is exciting to be together again and to see the world slowly reopen, we are also deeply impacted by what we’ve been through. This exhibition holds both of those feelings.

The works of art in this show were selected because you really need to experience them in person, to be immersed in their textures, patterns, colors, and ideas. The exhibition is designed to remind visitors to be present where they are: to look and feel and be at UMMA, in person at the museum. It also reminds visitors where they aren’t: at home, isolated, connecting with each other virtually.

The centerpiece of the exhibition—Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of Keshawn Warren standing in front of a vibrant floral background—exemplifies the idea of being present in oneself. Elsewhere you’ll find experiences for all of your senses. Come visit and play the Harry Bertoia sound sculpture to announce your presence in the gallery. After all, you are here.


Lead support for this exhibition is provided by Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch and the University of Michigan Office of the Provost.