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DIYpsi

DIYpsi is such a fun, momentous event for artists and patrons in Ypsi. It was this weekend and we got to make a quick run through it Saturday morning. (I think I appeased our son with ice cream for breakfast...brunch?) It was at Corner Brewery again with indoor and outdoor spaces as well as some awesome live music. Check out some of the highlights.

Save the date...

Save the date...

Our friend Cre Fuller and his Angry Tin Men.

Our friend Cre Fuller and his Angry Tin Men.

Getting some beauty goods with Shevaughn at ANEL, A Naturally Empowered Life. 

Getting some beauty goods with Shevaughn at ANEL, A Naturally Empowered Life. 

Beautiful hand dyed bags at Moonbeam. 

Beautiful hand dyed bags at Moonbeam. 

Handmade products at humble. 

Handmade products at humble. 

Curated goods at Friend's Closet.

Curated goods at Friend's Closet.

Go! Ice Cream. Yum. 

Go! Ice Cream. Yum. 

Our buddies at Hyperion Coffee.

Our buddies at Hyperion Coffee.

Hooray for First Fridays!

Hooray for First Fridays!


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First Fridays Ypsi: An Evening with Emily Fineberg

The activity last night was bustling, in and out of the studio. Emily Fineberg and her husband Zach brought in a beautiful set up of packaged books and materials for demonstration. We had some new faces and luckily, lots of families because we brought our son Tai for his first First Fridays Ypsi opening. He had a blast, especially when artist Tim Householder showed up with an arsenal of chalks for outdoor art at each FFY venue. 

Afterward, we visited our friends at Ypsilanti Running Co. and the shiny, new salon Betty Green Salon. Another great night! See you in September for Jessica Tenbusch's Lacuna: Life Through Death opening on a non First Friday (we're going out of town the week before), Thursday, September 10th. 

Ballers in the house (or Tyler Weston).

Ballers in the house (or Tyler Weston).

Stitching signatures.

Stitching signatures.

Just a few of Emily's perfectly handbound books. 

Just a few of Emily's perfectly handbound books. 

Emily and Zach chat with our dear friend Hedger. 

Emily and Zach chat with our dear friend Hedger. 

Ypsilanti Community School's superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson brings a special delivery. 

Ypsilanti Community School's superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson brings a special delivery. 

Jeweler Lorraine Kolasa and Bekah Wallace from  Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse admire Emily's work. 

Jeweler Lorraine Kolasa and Bekah Wallace from  Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse admire Emily's work. 

Tim Householder beautifying the sidewalk. 

Tim Householder beautifying the sidewalk. 

#FirstFridaysYpsi

#FirstFridaysYpsi

Mark Maynard and his daughter learn about the book binding process. 

Mark Maynard and his daughter learn about the book binding process. 

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A Walk Through Boston

I just got back from my first trip to Boston and I absolutely loved it. Since the time in the city was a quick day trip (before heading to Marblehead to see a dear friend), I didn't do any public trans and put a real wear on my Birkenstocks. I was ready to consume as much public art as I could in a few hours. I'll have to hit up the ICA the next time I'm there and have an entire day to commit.  

Tourist note: One of the things I was really set on seeing was the Janet Echelman installation As If It Were Already Here. I asked a couple people where the "Janet Echelman was" and they gave me the weirdest look before going, "Oh yeah, the big net thing-y is this way..." So just use the word "thing-y" and you'll be fine. 

I heard the time to see this is at night. It's pretty spectacular all the same. 

A dear "old friend", American impressionist Childe Hassam. 

A dear "old friend", American impressionist Childe Hassam. 

Thank you, Ian, for charging my phone. #solarpower

Thank you, Ian, for charging my phone. #solarpower

Washington

Washington

Performance art, sorta, in the North End.

Performance art, sorta, in the North End.


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#YCS: Your Committed Superintendent

The culmination of the experiences over the last four years has led us to a project that we feel personally vested, more so than any other we've worked on before. We are humbled and happy to announce that Ypsilanti Community Schools is our newest client. 

I met Dr. Benjamin Edmondson, or "Dr. E." as students call him, two weeks ago during the buzz of his imminent appointment as the new superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS). I heard of his no-nonsense but encouraging approach when dealing directly with students and his uncanny ability to remember students' names when out and about.

I was looking forward to telling him about our academic approach to championing the arts including Nick's latest venture, the student photo incubator. Upon meeting, I learned that he was looking to not only change the schools from the inside out, he wanted a complete rebranding of the YCS image. We immediately started brainstorming, citing the recent history of the schools and the community-chosen colors. At our next meeting Nick and I shared our experience as new parents and the gnawing question of where our son would attend school three years from now. 

Ben's ideas are backed up by immediate action. He's making the rounds at YCS schools to meet students, faculty and staff, giving frank talks about his expectations and what the students can do to succeed academically. He also recently attended a City Council meeting to introduce himself to the community and talk about his first 90 days as superintendent.

As Ypsilanti business owners we feel a commitment to making our surroundings not only culturally engaging but socially and economically vibrant and viable for families of all backgrounds. Ben's hope, and ours as well, is to invigorate a partnership between businesses and families including mentoring students after school, donating in-kind services for school functions and more. These are all actions we not only stand behind but have been doing already. 

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Nick and I had the privilege of getting to spend time with his sons this past weekend and they are absolute gentlemen, charismatic and well-mannered beyond their years. It gives me so much to look forward to with our son! 

You'll be seeing more about our work with Ben and YCS, particularly as we near the start of the school year. We joke that we have three years to make YCS a viable choice for us. But all know — that we're not joking at all. 

Here's to the man that we believe will be the energy and leadership the community has been looking for. 

 


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#RunYpsi: Ypsilanti Running Co.

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to be more mindful about my physical activity (or in my case, the lack of it) and took up the friendly-paced running group at Ypsilanti Running Co. Owners Mike Nix and his wife Alison have become incredible supports and friends during the process. Recently, they hosted a pre-party for The Color Run and we had a ton of fun with selfies and a big giveaway. 

This past Sunday, they held their first fundraiser for the adoption of Frog Island at Corner Brewery. They'll be cleaning up the outer perimeter of the running track, keeping walkways clear, and renewing all the areas of the picturesque park that just needs a little love. A special IPA was brewed, a live band played, and a grand time was had by all. Check it out!

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We can't recommend YRC enough for your running, fitness and retail needs. It's a wonderful family business and we feel so lucky to be a part of their movement to get people moving and healthy. Their 1 year anniversary is this September and we're looking forward to what they have in store next. 

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#StandWithCharleston

We can no longer pretend a pandemic doesn't exist in our country. The hateful rhetoric and the violence which follows it can not be normalized - it would be irresponsible for us to allow it. 

It is time to engage in authentic conversation followed by meaningful action. Band together. Embrace the discomforts, the questions which arise. Encourage curiosity, growth, acceptance of those that are not like us. 

#BlackLivesMatter #StandwithCharleston #EnoughisEnough  

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Natural Selection opening with Megan Williamson

This past Friday I got to see my dear friend and talented artist Megan Williamson. We're showing her exhibit Natural Selection, fifteen recent works,  through June 30th. She and her son Gavin drove in from Chicago for the opening to talk about a variety of landscapes, still lifes and floral paintings. (There were also two drawings done in her signature sumi ink on Claycoat paper and an abstract oil of a storm, aptly titled Storm). 

I first met Megan through a friend of a friend and was immediately taken with her aesthetic. I showed her work back in 2009 and it's a pleasure to champion her work which belongs in over 100 private and public collections throughout the world. She's been featured on Design*Sponge and has limited editions on Artfully Walls.  Her work is beautiful and immersive. 

Megan Williamson talks about her latest landscapes with Executive Director of Riverside Art Center, Will Hathaway.

Megan Williamson talks about her latest landscapes with Executive Director of Riverside Art Center, Will Hathaway.

We had enthusiastic crowds throughout the evening and lots of activity on the street – another successful First Fridays Ypsilanti!

We urge you to stop in and see this exhibit. Megan is truly a master of color, line and form and this is a show not to be missed. This is our last exhibit of the spring season and we'll highlight previous artists for upcoming FFY nights (with an art sale on July 10th and August 7th). Thanks to everyone that has been a patron the first four months of our exhibition history. It's been a blast!

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Recap: First Fridays Ypsi with Jessica Krcmarik

This past Friday we opened Feast: A Visual Spread, a collection of illustrations from Detroit artist Jessica Krcmarik. We got to show off her new series of everyday objects and delicious foods. Titles include What He Likes (which was sold that evening) and What Kids Like. Cute, eh? We were also lucky enough to have her live drawing the entire night as people watched in awe of her handiwork. 

Our artist info sheet and price list. To receive one of your own, please email us.

Our artist info sheet and price list. To receive one of your own, please email us.

Moments before opening, the studio flooded with light.

Moments before opening, the studio flooded with light.

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful evening. 

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful evening. 

Delicious cookies from Terry Bakery

Delicious cookies from Terry Bakery

Jessica got right to work on a still life set up as people looked on curiously. 

Jessica got right to work on a still life set up as people looked on curiously. 

If you're interested in acquiring one of Jessica's illustrated gems, feel free to give us a call at 734-929-2498 or email us to see photos. Stay tuned for details on our June artist, Megan Williamson, before we take our summer break from art openings. 

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The Elbow and Progress Room

I recently met a very energetic, young Ypsilanti business owner. Andrew Epstein is the man converting the old Elbow Room on South Washington Street into something amazing. And he gave me a sneak peek at it's current state.

The view across the street is spectacular!

Remnants of a past life are scattered throughout. Some good...

And others up for debate.

The upstairs will be live spaces. Despite neglect from previous owners and fire damage, some of the original work remains intact.

And don't get me started on the character and detail!

There's no doubt there's much work to be done, but Andrew's the guy to do it. And there's a supportive community behind him. There are two things I'm certain of: you and I will enjoy a drink at the bar here this year...

And this couch is epic.

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Course by Course with Paesano Restaurant

I've been going to Paesano for as long as I can remember. The food, the ambiance and service has kept my family returning for years. Experiencing it when we returned to the area was no different. Owners Michael and Bridget Roddy always go out of their way to take care of their customers (and we hear this extends to their employees as well)! 

Nick and I love to go there even though it's removed from the downtown scene, or more likely because it is removed from the downtown scene. When we dine there, we know it's a destination experience where we'll linger through the courses. The service is impeccable and the flavors are always exciting. We had an unforgettable pappardelle dish as one of our courses during their Carnevale celebration a couple months ago. The ragu was perfectly savory with a touch of sweetness. We later discovered the sweetness was from sautéed grapes — so delicious!

Nick shot their seasonal menu a couple weeks ago and we were delighted with how beautifully each dish was plated, perfect for photographing, which isn't always the case. With their travel excursions, Italian classes, movie nights and birthday cards, they truly make you feel like part of the family. We can't say enough wonderful things about the restaurant and we're really honored to be working with them. 

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Why Book a Graphic Recorder?

First of all, what is Graphic Recording? 

During Graphic Recording I listen to your presentations and conversations, synthesizing the content into images and text on large sheets of paper or board during. At the end of the meeting, the large drawings can be photographed for future use (marketing, internal, website, press) or translated into digital drawings for even more in-depth use. 

Why hire a Graphic Recorder?

Glad you asked! Have you ever worried if your colleagues didn't understand or agree with your concepts, or the listeners were more visual learners, or worse yet...everyone is dosing off? Remedy all those situations with a graphic recorder who will engage the viewers as they watch the presentation ideas being reiterated before their very eyes. 

I've recorded and digitized presentations for Ross Business School, medical departments within the University of Michigan, TEDx, Detroit Future City and more. For more information, shoot us an email at info@chin-azzaro.com


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Photos at Nolas Underground Salon

Our friends and clients Nic, his partner Dani and newest addition Amy, make up Nolas Underground Salon. They're underneath the restaurants along North U but once you go downstairs, you're in a chic gem of a space. I would say they're the best kept secret in Ann Arbor but they're booked weeks out (I had to book a month out this time to get in with a friend)! 

With just a few precious square feet, they transport you from campus experience to coifed and pampered. Nick captured some of the highlights recently and we just go them up on the website. If you're looking for a new spring style with lots of special attention, book with the pros at Nolas! 


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