I was honored last week to participate in an exhibition and silent auction in honor of Detroit’s 314th birthday.
All the works in the exhibit related to the city’s early history as a French colony; participating artists were asked to create artworks relating to legends of old Detroit. The legend of the Nain Rouge and the tale of the Loup Garou were two favorites among many others that the artists chose for their commissioned works. My own picture “At Askin Point” relates to the tale of La Chasse Gallerie (The Wild Aerial Hunt).
Like many other arts-related events in Detroit, this was a one-night affair held at the Jam Handy, a former historic movie studio turned events venue. In addition to the art exhibit and auction, the “Fest d’Anniversare” featured a lecture by Amy Elliot Bragg, author of Hidden History of Detroit, on the early history of the city, beer by Brew Detroit and cash bar, a strolling dinner of French-inspired cuisine created by Upriver Local and music by DJ Erno.
The event was a collaboration of the Detroit Drunken Historical Society and Corktown Studios. To see pictures of the event:
Sorry for the rather poor quality of this photo, but I took this picture on my phone while walking around in downtown Ann Arbor. This is an installation by talented A2 artist Mike Sivak whose beautifully crafted artworks often refer to devotional objects such as reliquaries and altars, all in the service of his reverence for art.
This installation is part of an ongoing program of Ann Arbor Art Center which selects artworks to appear in the “Aquarium” microgallery on Ashley Street near Liberty, adding some much-needed visual liveliness to an otherwise featureless city block. The space is 8′ x 8′ x 2.5′
To quote the accompanying wall copy:
The Aquarium is a microgallery that hosts ten exhibitions annually. The mission of the Aquarium is to showcase the work of regional artists working with alternative media such as installation, moving image and performance. Artists are invited to fill the gallery in its entirety with a work of art that is unconventional and fun.
I noticed that the windows project is funded by an organization called the Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation which I had never heard of. Upon a little investigation I found out that this group provides mini grants to support the “creation of awesomeness in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area” Their recent grants, in addition to the Aquarium project, include funding a mural on the Dos Hermanos Market in Ypsilanti. They have also recently funded projects by Bike A2 and Abundant Michigan Permaculture Ypsilanti. For more: http://a2awesome.org/
Play Time opened on May 22 at the Toledo Museum of Art. The exhibit celebrates the art of diversion and the value of play to both refresh the human spirit and inspire creativity. Unlike “look but don’t touch” exhibitions, this interactive, family-friendly, hands-on exhibition enables visitors to immerse themselves in contemporary art as they may never have done before.
“This show is not only about play in the traditional sense, but also the idea of being in the moment, of inspiring wonder, of invoking your natural curiosity,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, who is co-curating the exhibition with the Museum’s associate director Amy Gilman.
“It’s an experimental exhibition that aims to defy traditional ideas of viewing art by providing interactive experiences. The exhibition is not confined to a single gallery, and in fact, it will change throughout June, July and August so viewers will need to come more than once to see it all,” said Norton-Westbrook, who is the Museum’s Mellon Fellow and associate curator of contemporary art.
Major works in the exhibition include room-sized Harmonic Motion by artists Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam and Charles Richard MacAdam, which was initially commissioned by Enel Contemporenea in Rome. The colorful, multi-sensory installation allows children and adults to climb and play inside its hand-crocheted hanging nets.
Play Time continues through Sept. 6. The exhibition is sponsored in part by ProMedica and made possible with the support of Museum members and the sustainability grant program of the Ohio Arts Council. In addition to works of art being added and subtracted from the exhibition during its run, a wide range of exhibition-related programs is planned. A list of programs follows. For more information, visit http://playtime.toledomuseum.org/. The Museum is open every day except Monday and will be closed on Memorial Day and on Labor Day.
I went to the Painting Now exhibit at the Ann Arbor Art Center last week mostly to see work by Toledo area artist Tim Gaewsky, whose paintings I like. But I got way, way more than I bargained for. The show, in the second floor gallery at 117 W. Liberty St. in Ann Arbor is a knockout— a rich, kaleidoscopic cornucopia of wildly divergent painting styles, subjects and approaches that makes it a feast for the eye and mind.
Notes on the exhibit state that “Painting in 2015 is characterized by its inclusiveness of genres, styles, aesthetics, concepts, materials, and processes. There is no single direction, but multiple vectors of highly energetic artistic expression. The result is a continuing flowering of independent, eclectic, and significant art works that characterize the American art scene.”
The exhibit lives up to this description in every way imaginable. Juried by Peter Williams (http://goo.gl/b8FfXo), no painterly stone is left un-turned by these accomplished artists, chosen from over 400 entries. Figurative work appeared to be slightly favored, probably reflecting the available pool of Midwestern talent.
I’ve included a few of the paintings I like below, but these selections are very far from exhausting the pleasures, both intellectual and visual, of this exhibit.
Drawing and paintings, step aside. Sculpture will take over the gallery at Gordy Fine Art & Framing, 224 E. Main Street, Muncie Indiana, thanks to Toledo area artist Chet Geiselman. The exhibit will run May 7-30. The artist describes himself as, “a creative problem solver, a collector and arranger of objects and information, a fabricator of visual forms, and a lifelong student of spiritual and human nature.” Bauhaus design has served as a beacon for his personal creations made of wood, steel and “re-contextualized found objects.” Each of Geiselman’s pieces suggests a formal relationship to the space it inhabits and alludes to the potential functionality of the objects that compose it. The full title of this exhibit, is, “Minding the Gaps in the Foundation of the Sensual.”
The gallery hours are: Monday-Friday 9-5:30, Saturday 9-3.
TA artist Margi Weir has been promoted to Associate Professor of Art at Wayne State University in Detroit as of April 20, 2015:
“The Dean informed me today that I was awarded promotion and tenure! Hurray! 6 long year’s of work paid off. I didn’t have an appropriate outfit to celebrate this special occasion, so Will put rabbit ears on me. Maybe that suits the title, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR!”
This is a well deserved honor for Weir, as tenure is awarded less and less at universities nationwide.
POP X is a new public art program that combines art exhibitions and events in purpose-built architectural pavilions. Sponsors include the Ann Arbor Art Center, the University of Michigan School of Architecture and the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. Ten spaces are available to an artist or a group of artists during this cultural festival, to be held October 15-24, 2015.
According to the recent Ann Arbor Art Center press release:
“Artists and curators are invited to present concepts for exhibitions inside of 100 square foot pavilions that form the core place-making and presentation vehicles for the inaugural POP X Festival in Ann Arbor’s downtown Liberty Plaza”
Pop X is open to all artists, but is probably most suitable for work that involves performance and/or installation. There is a $35 entry fee, and the deadline for proposals is April 26th. For more information and a prospectus go to:
My work will be in a group show at Motor Row Gallery, 2345 S. Michigan Avenue March 18-April 12. The opening is Friday, March 13, 5-9. There will be live music, a beer tasting, and most important of all, lots of art.
Opening weekend hours: Saturday, March 14, 3-7 p.m., and Sunday March 15, 12-5 p.m. Regular Gallery hours: Monday-Saturday, 9.a.m.-3 p.m.
The Ann Arbor Art Center is redesigning and and re-thinking its programs for professional fine artists. This exhibition might be worth applying for.
Entries Submission Deadline EXTENDED: Sunday, March 15
The Art Now Series is an expansion of The Print. This Annual Series creates focus on other media as well as printmaking. We are pleased to present this year’s exhibit which features innovative work in PAINTING. Cash prizes are totaling more than $700 being awarded.
Eligibility: Artists nationwide may submit a maximum of three entries. For this exhibit painting can be interpreted widely. Artists working with new genres such as installation, digital process, or collage are welcome to apply, as well as artists who work with traditional paint medium. Entries must incorporate paint in some capacity. All work should be created within the last two years. Works submitted must have not been previously shown in any competition at the Ann Arbor Art Center.
Chuck Mintz will be showing 20 of his photographs of Lustron Houses at @PUBLIC, 131 W. Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202 (Whiskey Row Lofts, Second St. & W. Main St.) from February 27-March 28, 2015. Opening is February 27, 5-7 p.m., Gallery Talk March 14, 12:00p.m.T he project is featured currently on Lenscratch: http://lenscratch.com/2015/02/charles-mintz/.