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Art & Soul: The Visual Arts - Recycling & Creative Reuse, Meet Ann Arbor Dancer/Painter

Scrap Box

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the local visual arts scene.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with state and local arts leader Omari Rush and Kate Higgins from Ann Arbor’s “Scrap Box” about a new fashion show they’ve created with an environmental impact.  


Presented by Ann Arbor's Scrap Box, the event will take place on October 26th 2019 as a part of the annual Boo Bash at Briarwood Mall.  Participants will have the chance to explore their creativity and bring attention to the issues that impact our environment by designing and showcasing fashion made from reuse materials.  It's open to the public, and people off all ages can participate.


Credit 22 North Gallery / 22north.org
"Unraveling Racism: Seeing White"

"Unraveling Racism: Seeing White" (Now through October 20)

The voice of a unique art-making experience with a powerful podcast as its map, 20 Michigan artists tug at the hidden strands of systemic racism woven into the fabric of American society--focusing on whiteness.

"Design and Science" Exhibition at Eastern Michigan University(Now through October 17)

The exhibition, entitled “Design and Science,” will examine projects that merge design and science through biodesign. It will present “pictures” of data about natural systems, and other projects that connect design and science through 2-D and 3-D thinking models. 
"The Lucent Image: Memory and Light in Contemporary Photography" at EMU's Ford Gallery (Now through October 31)

Organized by Prof. Brendan Fay and curated by Kottie Gaydos and Kyohei Abe of Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography (DCCP), Lucent Image features the work of seven lens-based media artists that explore the boundaries of memory and light through the use of photography and related mediums.  Artists include Amy Friend (St. Catherine, ON), Regina DeLuise (Baltimore, MD), Alyssa Minahan (Massachusetts), Clare Gatto (Detroit, MI), Aline Smithson (Los Angeles, CA), Julie Weber (Chicago, IL) and Trisha Holt (Detroit/Toledo).



Peter Sparling
Credit Peter Sparling
"Mario" by Peter Sparling

Renowned Michigan dancer/choreographer and visual artist Peter Sparling partners with Gallery 22 North and Equality Michigan for a show of Sparling’s paintings and videos at Ypsilanti’s Gallery 22 North, 22 N. Huron in November, 2019.  Half of all proceeds from the month-long show will go to Equality Michigan. An Opening Reception will be held Friday, November 1, 7-10 p.m., to celebrate the show with members of Equality Michigan and the Southwest Michigan community.  There will be a private showing for Equality Michigan guests only with artist’s talk from 5-7 pm.  To sign up for reception, contact Erin Knott at Equality Michigan: eknott@equalitymi.org.

Gallery Hours:

Every weekend in November EXCEPT Thanksgiving weekend:

Fridays 6-9 p.m. (Opening night Nov. 1: 7- 10 p.m.)

Saturdays noon-5 p.m. (Closed Nov. 16)

Sundays noon-5 p.m. (Closed Nov. 17)

Additional hours by arrangement: petespar@umich.edu

Address: 22 N. Huron, ½ block north of Michigan Ave. Ypsilanti, MI.

For more information, contact petespar@umich.edu or 734-678-6212.

Peter Sparling
Credit Peter Sparling
"Davey Frieze" by Peter Sparling

Peter Sparling: Paintings & Videos 2019

As a solo dancer/choreographer, video artist and painter, I work to translate my own moving body into diverse media, to capture the one or a series of images that hold power and communicate how it feels to live in that instant. For my paintings, I begin by staging photo sessions in which I perform for the camera then curate from the resulting images those that most speak to me.  But the photo is merely a portal, an invitation or contour map for further excavations and reenactments of the often nude human form.  Acrylic paint and the stroke of the brush allow me to reanimate the photographed figure as I return to it my own body memories and sensations and invest in the painted image its lived, kinesthetic presence.

I also extend my painting practice into my videos by creating landscapes for the moving image.  In “Winterreise”, my moving figure often appears in the winter settings it originally danced within.  (That is the wonder of “screendance”: the portability of the camera allows me make any landscape or setting my stage or studio.) But video editing and greenscreen technology allow me to choreograph the screen with my solo dancing figure in more novel ways.  By dancing against a greenscreen then isolating my figure using chromakey effects in editing, I can paint myself into my own imagined landscape. I also multiply my solo figure into ensembles, and the resulting worlds, or “Clonal Renderings”, riff off Walt Whitman’s bold statement in his epic poem, “Leaves of Grass”:

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

About Peter Sparling:

Recipient of the 1998 Governor’s Michigan Artist Award, Sparling is Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus at University of Michigan.  A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School, Sparling was a member of the José Limón Dance Company and principal dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company.  He directed Michigan’s own Peter Sparling Dance Company from 1993-2008. His dances for video have been selected for numerous international festivals, including the 2007 New York Dance on Camera Festival, the 2008 & 2019 American Dance Festival Dance Film & Video Festivals, Lisbon’s InShadow Festival 2010, DANCE:FILMS Glasgow and 2017 Ann Arbor Film Festival.  His made-for-TV work, Climbing Sainte-Victoire, was broadcast on Michigan Television in 2009.  His screendance, The Snowy Owl, was featured in the Court Métrage of the Cannes Film Festival 2015.  In October, 2018, Sparling presented his first solo show of paintings at Gallery 22 North.  His work was selected for Ann Arbor Art Center’s ART NOW 2019 annual show of paintings and as the Benton Harbor OutCenter’s fall solo show.

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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 lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
Omari Rush has a continually expanding role of service as both an artistic administrator and community leader, in part through his work as curator of public programs at the Ann Arbor Art Center.
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