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Art & Soul - The Visual Arts: Community Through Art

WSG Gallery

On this week’s Art & Soul: The Visual Arts, 89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry and Culture Source’s Omari Rush speak with Valerie Mann, who runs the WSG Gallery in Ann Arbor, and is the co-founder of Salt Valley Arts in Saline.

Mann talks about the founding of Salt Valley Arts.  It was formed from a group of teachers from the 212 Arts Center, which was closing, and they wanted to see if they had the energy to open a new arts center.  They found the Evangelical Home of Saline, which had taken over the old Saline hospital and had some space which they wanted to open to a group with a dedication to “whole health.”  Their director thought that an arts center was perfect for whole health and offered them the space for cheap.

Mann also talks about how the arts center contains displays, classes, and clubs, such as the Cake Eaters Club, which actually formed at the 212 Arts Center.

She talks about the concept of finding power through art.  She mentions the healing power that all forms of art provide, and how the people who come to the center find that healing power.

Credit Valerie Mann
Valerie Mann

Mann then talks about the classes offered at the center, including glass fusing, watercolors and drawing, color theory, soap making, knitting, and others.  She talks about where you can find out about all the classes, and apply for them.

Rush also talks about some of the arts events happening around in our community.  The Ann Arbor Arts Center’s 95th Annual All Media Exhibition is opening December 15, and runs through January 13.

Culture Source is partnering with Quicken Loans for a project called “Random Acts of Culture.”  People are invited to submit ideas for having surprising pop-up activations of public spaces in Downtown Detroit.

Rush also gives a shout-out to Tamara Real, the first executive director of the Arts Alliance, who served as a mentor to Omari and Valerie.  She passed away in November.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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