Stamps Gallery launches its second annual "Envision" exhibition, which highlights Michigan-based contemporary artists


Three pieces by Stamps' Envision 2023 finalists.

Left to right clockwise:
➥ Bakpak Durden, Double Crown of the Distant One, 2022, Khēmia Series. Oil and archival ink on wood panel, 48” x 72” Diptych. Image courtesy the artist.
➥ Levon Kafafian, The Summoner, Hyürabed, 2020. Handwoven cotton, rayon, silk, wool, dye, found fabrics, beads, leather, metal, and wood, 5’7” x 20” x 10.” Image courtesy the artist. 
➥ Parisa Ghaderi, For Dancing in the Streets, 2023. Video installation. Image courtesy the artist. 

The University of Michigan's Stamps Gallery recently opened its second annual exhibit Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative 2023, featuring works by contemporary artists living and working in the state. 

But the finalist for the $5,000 grand prize won't be announced until June 29 at an awards ceremony.

Parisa Ghaderi, Levon Kafafian, and Bakpak Durden are the 2023 Envision finalists and you can see their multimedia pieces on display through July 29. All three artists will make individual appearances at Stamps in July to discuss their work.

You can learn more about the artists and watch four short videos documenting the Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative 2023 below:

Bakpak Durden is a ​“self-taught” multi-hyphenate antidisciplinary artist and alchemist. Pulling from various figurative art techniques, including hyperrealism, baroque, and veristic surrealism, Durden employs a wide range of mediums — oil and acrylic paint, graphite, film photography, and the written word — to construct their hyper-surrealistic and conceptual works of art. 

Levon Kafafian is a Detroit-based Armenian-American weaver working the narrative threads of costume, artifact, ritual, and installation into stories about possible worlds and potential futures. They infuse their stories and cloth with future ancestral practice, hybridity, and magic.

Parisa Ghaderi is a visual artist, curator, educator, and filmmaker. She earned her BA in Visual Communications from Art & Architecture University (Tehran, Iran) and her MFA at Stamps School in 2014. She works across different media. Ghaderi has made four short films and two animations and recently directed a performance about the border situation in the U.S. for Iranian immigrants. 

"Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative 2023" is at the University of Michigan's Stamps Gallery, 201 South Division Street, Ann Arbor, through July 29. The awards ceremony is Thursday, June 29, 6-8 pm. Both the gallery and the ceremony are free and open to the public. Visit for more information. 

The artists will also visit Stamps to discuss their works:
➥ Envision Conversations: Bakpak Durden - July 6
➥ Envision Conversations: Levon Kafafian - July 19
➥ Envision Conversations: Parisa Ghaderi - July 27