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Mr. Atomic among 30 artists in ‘Mine Yours’ project

By Sarah Ottney |


Two Toledo artists will be among those featured at an exhibit at an Ann Arbor gallery.

Twin brothers Mark and Michael Kersey, who paint under the moniker Mr. Atomic, will be among the 30 regional, national and international artists featured in a multimedia show called “Mine Yours” at Gallery Project, a nonprofit fine art collaborative.

The show, which will feature a variety of mediums, including paintings, photographs and video projections, will run through April 3.

 “Mine Yours” will explore possession, boundaries, privacy and encroachment at various levels, including interpersonal, group and international, said Rocco DePietro, co-founder and co-director of Gallery Project along with Gloria Pritschet.

Human pathologies, such as hoarding, resulting from some of these phenomena as people retreat further into real or imagined safe havens will also be explored, DePietro said.

The idea came out of discussions about current events, greed and the changing relationships between governments and citizens, including surveillance in the age of terrorism, globalism and information technology, DePietro said, adding that the Kersey brothers’ work was a welcome addition to the show.

“They’re thinking artists,” DePietro said. “They have content in the work. They are very much aware of the social and political milieu and they respond to it in their own creative way. They are very talented painters, both of them.”

The Kerseys contributed several acrylic paintings that “fit the theme like a hand in glove,” Mark Kersey said.

“One is called ‘Motel Polaris,’ which involves a man in the background ascending up an infinite staircase into the heavens in the presence of a mystic eyeball, so kind of far out,” Kersey said. “Then we have ‘The Burning Man,’ in which there’s a window through him you can look through into other worlds, so I guess that’s not your common, ordinary, run-of-the-mill painting either.”

The brothers, who call their colorful style “pop surrealism,” paint from their imaginations, Kersey said.
“We’re really superinventive and we like to show what you couldn’t possibly see on your trip out to the country or your trip to work in the morning. I think that we borrow from all the little things we see and read about and kind of create our own little tapestry,” Kersey said. “We’re extremely versatile. Our paintings are always breaking new ground. No two are ever anything alike. We definitely make bold statements, but pleasingly bold. We don’t do it for shock value.”

The brothers, graduates of Start High School, prefer to leave their pieces open to interpretation.
“We like to leave a lot of question marks floating so people can have the freedom and enjoyment of interpreting it on their own,” Kersey said. “I think that’s more rewarding than telling them how to see it.”
Kersey and DePietro both said they hope visitors come away with fresh ideas about the topics explored in the show.

“I hope they go and tell their friends and say ‘I just saw something I’ve never seen before and it’s exciting and I want you to come see it too,’” Kersey said. “We hope it stimulates their imaginations.”

Other contributors include DePietro, Pritschet, Adrian Blackwell, Tom Carey, Renee Dooley, Alonzo Edwards, Daniel Farnum, Diane Farris, Jason Ferguson, Todd Frahm, Mark Hereld, Megan Hildebrandt, Jane Hutton, Joe Johnson, Joseph I. Insley, Christopher Lee, Tom McMillen-Oakley, Janice Milhem, Mario Moore, Erin Moran, Sabrina Nelson, Lori Nix, Daniel Pitera, Tim Pewe, David Reuter, Mona Shahid, Peter Williams and Viktor Witkowski.

Winter hours at Gallery Project, 215 S. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor, are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The gallery is closed on Mondays.