Today we begin a new monthly feature on WEMU's All Things Considered called Art and Soul.
It's a look at the visual arts experience in our community. We're going to focus on the rich and vibrant arts scene available locally because of our area's firm embrace of the arts and culture. Omari Rush, Curator of Public Programs at Ann Arbor Art Center will guide us through some of the great new and wonderful artistic opportunities to be found around Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.
The Ann Arbor Art Center
For over 105 years, the Ann Arbor Art Center in downtown Ann Arbor has been sparking creativity in people of all ages and artistic abilities. The Ann Arbor Art Center is one of the oldest arts institutions in the state, which actually predates the art curriculum in the University of Michigan, who they initially shared space with. Their mission:
“to be a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition, and to engage minds, expand perspectives and inspire growth in students of all ages, teachers, artists and the community.”
The Art Center offers innovative programming, thought-provoking exhibitions, a gallery shop offering locally-made artworks, and a variety of hands-on learning opportunities. Not only does the Art Center engage over 120,000 people annually in a variety of ways who are inspired to explore the power of the visual arts, but they also contribute to enriching the lives of countless members in a wide variety of ways through the years.
A Virtual Tour of the Center
Once you walk in the building, you're immediately and wonderfully smacked in the face with tons of art. From there, you can walk in to the left to the 117 Gallery Shop were 175 Michigan artists have paintings, jewelry, tile, and a variety of other artwork available.
On your right you'll find opportunities to actually make art - you have the ceramics studio. Omari says, "It's super dusty because people are always working in there, spinning on wheels, hand building - having lots of fun." One the second floor, you'll find the 117 Gallery where 8-12 shows are featured a year. There you'll find all kinds of mediums with both local and national artists from around the country. There's something for everyone.
Interesting Upcoming Visual Experiences
Wish List" September 11 - October 17 Gallery Project presents Wish List, a dual-site, multi-media exhibition in which 50 local, regional, national artists share their visions for a desired future state. In Toledo, Ohio, Wish List opens on Saturday, August 1 at One Lake Erie Center (600 Jefferson Ave) and runs through August 31 (with the opening reception: Saturday, August 1 from 6-9pm). In Ann Arbor, It opens at the Ann Arbor Art Center at 117 W. Liberty on Friday, September 11 and runs through October 17. Open to the Public (details)
Grand Rapids ArtPrize September 23 - October 11
The Ann Arbor Art Center will be taking a bus to ArtPrize on October 1st. ArtPrize is a radically open, independently organized international art competition and a non-profit organization. For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, become an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown, and it’s all free and open to the public.
It’s unorthodox, highly disruptive, and undeniably intriguing to the art world and the public alike.
Drop in during this free community event to browse the galleries and enjoy new special exhibitions including The Art of Tyree Guyton: A Thirty-Year Journey featuring the work of the renowned artist best known for the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art environment on Detroit’s near-east side; a multi-format photography and video installation by filmmaker Jem Cohen; rarely displayed World War I posters supporting the war effort and Americanism; and the radically unconventional work of the pioneering and controversial contemporary painter Julian Schnabel. Enjoy live jazz music by the Michael Malis Trio. Exuberant, buoyant, and soulful, the trio will perform original compositions rooted in the jazz pianist-composer tradition and drawing inspiration from the musical legacy of Detroit. Curators’ conversations and light refreshments round out the event.
PopX - Popup Art Pavelons October 15-24
POP·X is an annual ten-day festival of small pavilions that serve as pop-up art exhibition spaces throughout the Ann Arbor area. Created by architects and artists, these pavilions use their interiors to show a focused and engaging expression of contemporary art and use their exteriors to host a curated set of activities that may include demonstrations, performance, lecture, or participatory art making.Nine of the pavilions will be grouped in a downtown Ann Arbor “village” setting (Liberty Plaza Park).
Art and Soul is a new feature on 89.1 WEMU that will focus on our vibrant visual arts community. Lisa Barry, host of WEMU's All Things Considered, will work with Omari Rush from the Ann Arbor Art Center to bring you stories about the art and artists that you can see, feel, touch and experience right in your own neighborhood. Each segment will feature an in depth look at a particular event, installation, artist, etc. along with news and tidbits about what's happening in art around town. In addition to regular airings on WEMU, Art and Soul will also be a regular web feature with dynamic content with pictures and videos that will help bring the art to life.