A Guide to 'Jerry’s Map' and Creative Cartography
There’s a new exhibit open at the Dennos Museum Center from artist Jerry Gretzinger called simply, elegantly and accurately: “Jerry’s Map.” The unlikely mixed-media project is, and always will be, a work-in-progress (and there’s no end in sight even after 60 years).
Part fascination with cartography, part imaginary world, and now a blend of abstractions and emotional inner life, “Jerry’s Map” contains over 4,000 individual panels or iterations since he began it as a young man.
Contributor Joe Beyer previewed the installation, and says guests to the Dennos Museum will see just the latest exhibition featuring Gretzinger’s unique and wild world, which has been installed in various ways in Edinborough, Paris, and MASS MoCA among other places around the world. Gretzinger even has a devoted following online through Reddit, dedicated to his work. Fans even coined a new verb for the act of creating their own fantasy worlds in art and navigation: #JerryMapping.
Born in Grand Rapids, Gretzinger’s career also included a stint as a fashion designer in New York, before he and wife Meg Staley relocated to Northern Michigan. The map project was inspired by his childhood wanderlust, along with a prompt from his son, who pulled the art out of their attic and rekindled his interest in the project.
The dazzling and intriguing selections from “Jerry’s Map” runs now through September 17 in Traverse City, with the artist in conversation with Dennos Museum director Craig Hadley in a special artist opening event on June 15 at 7 p.m.