Viewing entries tagged
Ann Arbor art

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UpsideDownTown

Last Friday was our first venture into art experiences rather than exhibits. While showing regional work for retail sale was important, it didn't feel fulfilling as a community contribution. When Nick started talking about doing a camera obscura a while back, we though it was the perfect opportunity to show our visitors that programming can be affordable, but highly enriching. 

We had two waves of people come through with free tickets, ready to experience the inside of the camera obscura, which translates to "dark room". If you make a box or in this case, a room, completely dark and only let in a pinhole of light, light fills the space with the exterior image, inverse and upside down. I still can't explain the physics of it but this is what happens inside our eyes, inside a camera, inside a pinhole camera. It's really quite extraordinary. 

The first experience yielded fairly good representation of the street and particularly the farmers' market building across the way. We learned that late morning light gave us the best image in terms of sharpness and vibrancy but people were in awe all the same. The second wave was not as strong as this time, the sun had moved lower in the sky (around 6:30 pm) and we were getting less of an image. But when people and cars went by, it was quite thrilling. And although we were the ones in the "box", it felt quite voyeuristic as people didn't know we were seeing them. Upside down. 

Here's a short visual story on the process. We want to thank everyone that took the time to come out and get locked in the studio with us. It was a wonderful learning and social experiment. Lots more to come! 

CameraObscura002.jpg
CameraObscura005.jpg

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Pop•X: panel discussion and coverage

Image: Current Magazine

Image: Current Magazine

Now that Nick's installation is in place at Pop•X, he can breathe a little easier. The photographs and sculpture came together without too much ado so that was a relief. The festival has been received warmly and we're grateful to Omari Rush and all the artists and organizers for their ardent efforts.

Below are a few places you can read and see photos of the festival if you can't make it. And I'll be moderating the Art for Innovators talk on Workspace Design tomorrow, Monday, Oct 19th. Should be a great time, see you there!

Detroit News

Current Magazine  

Current Mag Facebook page  

MLive  | MLive video

 

 

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Exhibiting, jurying and moderating at Pop•X

Our friend Omari Rush has been really busy over the last year. He's the Curator of Public Programs at the Ann Arbor Art Center and has been producing Pop•X, an arts festival of ten pop-up pavilions in Liberty Plaza. The public square is located at the corner of Division and Liberty Streets in downtown Ann Arbor and will be transformed starting next week, into a ephemeral playground of installations and happenings. 

We were lucky enough to take part on a few different levels. During the planning stages of the festival, I got to sit in on some preliminary meetings and then jury the exhibitors. And as it turns out, Nick is one of them. I won't give too much away, but his work will speak directly to the usual inhabitants of Liberty Plaza, a group of citizens that are often marginalized for various reasons, who will be displaced during the festival. You can see his pavilion and work on opening day, October 15th through October 24th. 

I'll moderate a talk, Workspace Design, on Monday, October 19th at the Ann Arbor District Library. I'm excited to sit down and talk to a group of innovative business owners in the area including Sava Lelcaj Farah: CEO, Savco Hospitality; Shane Pliska: CEO, Planterra; and Dug Song: CEO, Duo Security. It's a free event and fascinating topic so I'm certain this will draw a crowd. 

We hope to see you there! 

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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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Must Visit: Ringling Museum of Art

Seeing that it's in the 40s and raining right now, I'm dreaming about my time in the Tampa and Sarasota area last week. I got to take in some rays (actually, too much of it) and see some incredible art while attending fun events surrounding Sarasota Film Festival with my friend Chris, owner of Johnsonese Brokerage. We alternated days at the beach and art-going and the art was unexpected for more reasons than one. 

After doing a quick whirl through St. Armand's Circle, which I found to be mostly commercial and not terribly challenging, I was pleased to visit Ringling Museum of Art, part of the grounds which were built by John and Mable Ringling (yes, that Ringling). From their luxurious waterfront home to the secret garden and numerous banyan trees, there were little treasures to be uncovered at every turn.

The front entrance of Ringling Museum of Art

The front entrance of Ringling Museum of Art

One of the many cool things about the property is that you can explore the grounds or have a guided tour. And there are doors that open right into the middle of the museum, (where normally rooms don't have exits to the outdoors for liability or issues with stealing). From the middle of the courtyard, we entered right into Re:Purposed, a contemporary exhibition of found objects, reused materials, refashioned with newfound life. A couple of Nick Cages and El Anatsuis were practical and imaginative but I discovered Daniel Rozin, who's "Trash Mirror" simply blew me away. In its simplicity and execution, I was already enamored. But the interactiveness of the "clack clack" of the motion-sensored garbage planes made it addicting to come back again and again. (Unfortunately, no photos were allowed in this area). 

In another gallery was the fascinating and haunting exhibit,  Beth Lipman: Precarious Possessions. I had seen her work before at Milwaukee Art Museum but this time the scale of her work was more monolithic with the a baby cradle, buffet and crib. 

The grounds of the Ringling are incredibly well-groomed and offer an exceptional visitors' experience. And on a side note, we coincidentally visited on a Monday when the art museum and grounds are free to roam. I recommend this landmark as a "must see" on your visit to the area. I'll let the photos persuade you. 

The tower of the Ca'd'Zan, or "House of John", the Ringlings' home. 

The tower of the Ca'd'Zan, or "House of John", the Ringlings' home. 

Mable's rose garden. 

Mable's rose garden. 

Romulus and Remus. 

Romulus and Remus. 

The main entry of the museum leads right into these larger-than-life works. They had to have been at least fifteen feet tall, truly sublime.

The main entry of the museum leads right into these larger-than-life works. They had to have been at least fifteen feet tall, truly sublime.

The dock of the Ringlings' home. 

The dock of the Ringlings' home. 

Walkways were dotted with sculptures and this one had become entangled. We almost missed it. 

Walkways were dotted with sculptures and this one had become entangled. We almost missed it. 

The Ringlings bought up thousands of paintings, sculptures, and objects in Etruscan, Asian, European and American art. 

The Ringlings bought up thousands of paintings, sculptures, and objects in Etruscan, Asian, European and American art. 

I was examining their installation like a hawk. Notice the color-coordinated rods and wall tags on the fabric wallpaper. Seamless!

I was examining their installation like a hawk. Notice the color-coordinated rods and wall tags on the fabric wallpaper. Seamless!

A view of the art museum courtyard filled with sculptures.

A view of the art museum courtyard filled with sculptures.

Wandering down the corridor, we popped into the door on the left and walked right into a Nick Cage. 

Wandering down the corridor, we popped into the door on the left and walked right into a Nick Cage. 


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Art, Lately

After the winter hibernation, spring is one of my favorite times of year for art-seeing. There's revived energy, excitement and the exhibition season is taking off with high expectations with our first event tomorrow night. 

This past week has been a packed schedule of artist visits and just some cool pieces along the way. 

A detail of a painting by Molly Diana, our November 2015 artist.

A detail of a painting by Molly Diana, our November 2015 artist.

Screenprinted fabrics at Stamps School of Art & Design

Screenprinted fabrics at Stamps School of Art & Design

A piece from the MFA at Stamps

A piece from the MFA at Stamps

Another piece from the MFA show

Another piece from the MFA show

A few of the pieces from Margaret Hitch's 24 piece series. See it in its entirety this October.

A few of the pieces from Margaret Hitch's 24 piece series. See it in its entirety this October.

A piece from the Graduate show at Ford Gallery at EMU

A piece from the Graduate show at Ford Gallery at EMU

John Murrel at Ford Gallery at EMU

John Murrel at Ford Gallery at EMU

Get out there. See some art. Be inspired.

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