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Ann Arbor Art Center to debut Millennial Pink on Friday

New multimedia art exhibition explores gender identity, pop culture

Artists explore the color pink and its meaning in Millennial culture (Photo: Gabrielle DeCaro)
Artists explore the color pink and its meaning in Millennial culture (Photo: Gabrielle DeCaro)

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Millennial Pink is the new multi-media art exhibition by the Ann Arbor Art Center that explores gender identity, pop culture, sexuality, politics and shades of Pantone pink.

Much has been written about the generation of Americans dubbed “millennials.” Born between 1981-2001, this highly reported-upon group has been much maligned (“Blame it on millennials!”), rarely lauded (“Millennials are actually good workers”) and mostly misrepresented through its over-representation. 

One surprisingly simple trend identified among millennials is the prevalence of the color pink in online media and consumer culture. Millennials are the first generation in living memory to see pink as a gender-flexible color that pervades contemporary fashion.


Organizers say pink has been a unifying theme in millennial culture (Photo: Nicole Dyar)

Hip-hop, dominated by hyper-masculinity, has also been dominated by pink for more than a decade. Kanye West, Jaden Smith and Young Thug frequently style themselves in women’s wear, yet pink has also been embraced by many contemporary feminists as witnessed by prevalence of pu**y hats at the Women’s March. 

The artists in this exhibition embrace any combination of color formalism and abstraction, iconography of the internet, personal identity politics, gender liberation and celebratory critiques of consumerism. This exhibition portrays a series of crystallized moments in a spectrum of shifting cultural norms all unified by a single color. 

Millennial Pink opens with a free, public kick-off party on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Art Center (117 W. Liberty St.), with food provided by Tavolina Catering and a special-release pink beer courtesy of O & W Inc. Party-goers are encouraged to wear pink.

Exhibiting Artists:

  • Ash Arder (Detroit) 
  • Heidi Barlow (Detroit) 
  • Emmy Bright (Detroit) 
  • Carson Davis Brown (Los Angeles) 
  • Anna Campbell (Grand Rapids, Michigan) 
  • Debbie Carlos (Lansing, Michigan) 
  • Gabrielle DeCaro (Pasadena, California) 
  • Nicole Dyar (Houston) 
  • Riley Hanson (Philadelphia)
  • Shaina Kasztelan (Detroit) 
  • Jeff Kraus (Brooklyn, New York)
  • Chelsea Lee (Richmond, Virginia) 
  • Elise Mesner (Los Angeles) 
  • Victoria Shaheen (Detroit) 
  • Sophie Yan (Detroit) 

For more information about Millennial Pink, visit the exhibit's website

To learn more about the kick-off party, visit the event's Facebook page
About the Ann Arbor Art Center

For 107 years, the Ann Arbor Art Center has been sparking creativity in people of all ages and artistic abilities. Its mission is to be a contemporary forum for the visual arts through exhibition, exploration, and education, and to expand perspectives and ignite growth in students, artists, and the community. 

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