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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Peace March

Nick and I had the pleasure of being a part of the silent peace march that Ypsilanti Community High School art teacher Lynne Settles assembled this morning. We pulled up to the Ypsilanti Water Tower a few minutes before 9 am and wondered how many people would participate with the dreary gray, cold weather. By five after, the small patch of green at the foot of the tower was filled with parents, community members and students. We were 200 strong as we silently walked down Washtenaw to Michigan Avenue. Ypsilanti Police escorted us as we carefully made our way through the intersection during green lights. Leading the march was Rhea McCauley, niece of Rosa Parks and Ypsilanti resident!

Our ending point was the intersection of Washington Street and Michigan Avenue. The building at the corner (which houses Mix Clothing and Ypsilanti Experimental Space, aka YES) is the site where Frederick Douglass spoke 150 years ago to the day. I had no idea what to expect.  Artist Mark Tucker from YES had been working with Lynne's students for months and the result blew my mind. I've seen really good video installation done at art fairs before but Frederick Douglass was all at once quirky and historical and right in front of me

With Mark and Lynne's expertise, the students created a sculpture of Frederick Douglass. Then they had Herb Francois, a teacher at the high school, dress up like Mr. Douglass and read the speech “The Perils of the Republic” which filmmaker Donald Harrison captured. This was projected on the sculpture with the sound of the students taking turns reading the speech. It was transportive and eerily cool. As the light of the projection wrapped around the sculpture, you could then see it wasn't a perfect alignment but that only added to the richness of the viewing. For a moment, you feel as if you're watching footage of the real thing, but then you're snapped back into present day. It was, by far, one of the most memorable pieces of art I have seen in a while. 

Next door neighbor and owner of Go! Ice Cream, Rob Hess and his team, made an incredible donation of time and goodies on a day the parlor is normally closed.  Everyone had their share of hot chocolate and coffee (some of us had to have their delicious ice cream treats too) and students got to see their work hung in the new Go education/event space. Nick collaborated with all the students in concept, production and research of the projects. 

From what I witnessed, the day's festivities highlighted multiple mediums including photography, writing, film making, sculpture (and armature building), costume, make up, styling, performance art, video installation, and art activism. 

The march and exhibit highlighted the spirit of diversity and love that exists in Ypsilanti. It was a magical event in a magical place. Thank you, students, teachers and everyone involved. This day has imbued an even stronger sense of what this community is about and I'm so proud to be a part of it. 

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A Bear of a Time: On the Set with Filmmaker Gus Péwé

Our good friend, artist and sculptor Tim Péwé has a son who's equally as talented in another medium - film. Gus is still a student (he'll be attending California Institute of the Arts this Fall) but a budding filmmaker that's already debuted his works in various places. This past week N shot a costume that came to be with the help of his parents and producer Robert Hoxie, with spiritual guidance from Tommy Colangelo. It's a costume that will be used in his upcoming film, Same Ghost Every Night, which reached a successful Kickstarter campaign goal recently. The photos not only document how awesome the costume is but will be used for promoting the film.

There was a lot of horsing around in the studio.

Below, Gus, Tommy and Robert keep it real.

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Acting the Part

You may have seen some of these photos of N on our Facebook page, but we had to share them here too. He has a knack for creating gritty movie scenes and people love it. Thing is, we're still mostly getting requests for traditional portrait. So our question to you is, are you game for some dramatic fun? We're booking holiday sessions right now. A la carte packages include up to four "costume" changes, styling, lighting and multiple locations plus all rights and usage. It would be the ultimate present. Contact us for all the details.

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Enter Stage Right

Our friend Amanda has been acting for the last ten years and we recently saw her in a riveting performance of Antony and Cleopatra, at the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor. Her next role, however, is more behind the scenes: she's the director. The plays were written by local playwright James Ingagiola and will be performed as part of the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's Studio Series, October 19-21. Exploring the various styles of writers such as Pinter and Mamet, the production will prove to be an exciting interpretation of Shakespeare. We can't wait to see it! We were invited to snap some publicity photos of the amazing cast. Enjoy!

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