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The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

The student news site of Milwaukee Area Technical College

MATC Times

Are you looking up?

Photo by Christopher D’Allen
Artist Zion Marion explains the meaning of the artwork to visitors during the exhibits opening night.

MATC Create Gallery presents “Are You Looking Up” by artist Zion Marion, a love letter encouraging viewers to embrace their greatness. Marion’s creative journey, shaped by family, showcases pieces inspired by personal connections, from butterfly abstractions to interactive expression pieces. Marion’s exhibit is a celebration of self-discovery and personal expression. The exhibit runs until February 9.

In an exclusive interview, Marion discusses the inspiration and process behind her exhibition “Are You Looking Up.” Gain insights into the familial influences and personal connections that shaped her creative journey, as she shares the stories behind the butterfly abstractions and interactive expression pieces featured in the exhibition. This interview provides a closer look at the celebration of self-discovery and personal expression showcased in Marion’s work:

“The art exhibit “Are you looking up?” is kind of a love letter making sure that we own our greatness and that we were able to step up to that [greatness]. A lot of the time we look down at the ground when we’re thinking and whether that’s a confidence thing or an insecurity thing, Are you looking up? is titled to remind me to look up and to hold my head high, specifically because of the work that I do and the consistency that I carry.  “Are you looking up?” is specifically a love letter dedicated to making sure that I do what I need to do in life to take care of myself. 

Something about me is that I’ve been creating and found creativity, art specifically, at the end of high school. I was the only senior in a freshman art class so you can imagine how that was but it was kind of fun. Outside of that fell in love with [art]. Then I went to MATC and later transferred to UW-Milwaukee, but COVID happened and I wasn’t trying to do art [school] online. That just wasn’t for me. Luckily my uncle has an art curation business in Denver (shout out to Rob with Rob the Art Museum). He showed me the ropes and he showed me exactly what it meant to be an artist on a day-to-day basis. He’s a curator so obviously he had connections to everybody around town so he was able to show me what it took to actually make my [art] dreams come true.

I was there for three months and after that, I came home and decided to utilize my resources and decided to take my art seriously and to take myself seriously. All of this is not necessarily because of him, but it is. If it wasn’t for him, none of this would be completely possible so I would love to give thanks to him. I’d love to give thanks to all my family because a lot of these pieces came from their help. 

My grandmother helped me make this beautiful butterfly piece. I was making it in her house and one day as she went up the stairs, she took a little stop, took a little pause, and looked down at what I was creating and she said ‘Ohh, that kind of looks like a butterfly!’ I said to myself, this this lady don’t know what she’s talking about. You know I was in the middle of the zone, I’m working right now. But then I took a break and walked up the stairs and said, ‘Huh it does look like a butterfly,’ and as one should listen to their elders, I made it a butterfly and so that is one of my favorite pieces that my family was able to contribute. 

Some of the pieces also around here were made by my great-grandmother and I’m so glad that I was able to share that with my family and I hope I’m able to share that with the world.

Again Are you looking up? is a dedication piece to show people how to step into their greatness and how to own their greatness through work, through consistency, and belief in self. If you did miss gallery night, my first ever showing was Friday, January 19th and also Saturday, January 20th but if you missed the show, that’s OK I’m not that upset! 

We are here from January 19th to February 9th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. [in the MARC Create Gallery at the Downtown Campus]. I am in the gallery on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so if you wanna come to talk to me and get maybe a little tour to talk about my art, please come through otherwise I might make a couple of guest appearances.

Then, the last two things, if anybody is like really in love with your art and wants to follow you where can they catch more of your work are you actually on social media having an online presence or where can I check out your work. 

My Instagram handle is ZION_MARION and then if you wanna do the professional side, you can also catch me on LinkedIn at Zion Marion Bullock, my full name for government. I am active on social media mainly through my Instagram stories as I just had to restart my Instagram because it’s nice to cleanse it a little bit before each chapter.”

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About the Contributor
Christopher D’Allen, Editor-in-Chief
My name is Christopher D'Allen and I am the Editor-in-Chief for the MATC Times, a student run paper dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in scholastic journalism. The MATC Times stands as the voice of our students and a bastion of free speech for the communiy we represent. I joined the staff in my first semester at MATC and obtained my current position at the start of Summer '23. Here I am a photography student and hold a BA in Political Science and Spanish & Latin American Studies with a minor in Democracy and Justice Studies. I have worked an Administrative Assistant, World Language Instructor, a Head Lifeguard and Resident Assistant, but have found that my passion lies in the arts. As a photographer, I challenge myself daily to find a new perspective, capture a fleeting scene and turn moments into memories. As we work to relaunch the MATC Times website and grow our staff, I want to make joining our team as positive a learning experience and beneficial a work experience as possible. I strongly believe in the power of collaboration and inclusivity. As an Editor, I actively encourage diverse perspectives. Each student's unique viewpoint enriches our storytelling and fosters a sense of unity within our community. I aim to bridge the gap between words and images, revealing the untold stories that shape our community.