Decay by Michael Khalil installed in Dry Goods Gallery

Art Windsor-Essex
3 min readAug 17, 2022

AWE’s second emerging artist-in-residence focuses on environmental degradation in Windsor-Essex and beyond

This is an exhibition you won’t soon forget.

Drop by the Dry Goods Gallery inside of Chance Coffee to see Michael Khalil’s hauntingly poignant window exhibition, Decay. The exhibition focuses on “Mother Earth and the decay she suffers”, giving voice to both the planet and its people who have grown weary of climate inaction.

Learn more about Decay below.

About the exhibition

A figure on a long green dress sits amid greenery. The figure’s body is human, but its face is the silhouette of a longhorn, and it has silhouetted dragonfly wings.
Michael Khalil, “An Omen of Beauty”. Featured in the exhibition “Decay”, 2022.

The installation of Decay is a sculptural representation of urban decay and its effects on the body. Urban decay is a concept in sociology that describes a once thriving city that is slowly falling apart. While the wealthy continue to profit off of industrialization, it is the working people who suffer the most. Under capitalism, urban decay is inevitable, but even after we are gone, mother Earth will stay.

During their residency, Michael takes walks across the city, taking notes and creating quick sketches of the environment. Through photography, digital art, and sculpting, Michael attempts to capture Windsor’s personality and the people in it. Inspired by Windsor’s environment, the piece shows how affected by the heavy pollution, the three skeletons are slowly returning to Earth. All the elements in the installation work together to tell a story of death and decay.

Decay is on display at 1012 Drouillard Road until October 3, 2022.

About the artist

A figure wearing overalls with long brown hair stands in a glowing forest. The figure’s face is covered by a black inky skull, and it has long black horns sprouting from its head.
Michael Khalil, “Faun”. Featured in the exhibition “Decay”, 2022.

Michael Khalil is a 22-year-old artist currently living in Windsor, Ontario. The ongoing theme in Michael’s work focuses on life around him. Michael attempts to capture how often we forget to admire the things we cannot see, like forgotten plants and animals, and to bring concepts found in sociology to life. Michael currently holds two BAs in Criminology and Psychology (2021). Self-taught, Michael has no formal training in the arts but has been a practicing artist all their life. Slowly joining the art community of Windsor, Michael is open to all new artistic experiences.

About the Residency:

Three emerging artists from Windsor-Essex are set to complete a 3-month residency at Art Windsor-Essex over the course of 2022. The AWE Emerging Artist Residency is a paid opportunity for early-career artists in Windsor-Essex who want to learn, grow, develop, and show their art while engaging with the public in a series of community programs. In addition to creating new works of art in AWE’s Education Studio, the artist will create digital content and install an off-site window solo exhibition at the Dry Goods Gallery at 1012 Drouillard Road in Ford City.

This program is generously sponsored by the WindsorEssex Community Foundation.

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Art Windsor-Essex

Art Windsor-Essex (AWE) is a non-profit public art gallery that uses the power of art to open hearts and minds to new ideas. Change happens here.