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Art for purchase

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Art Around Town: A New Social Enterprise Changing the Face of Art Education in Local Schools

Nick and I have been working on something exciting with The B. Side, a program within the Office of Academic Service-Learning at Eastern Michigan University for a few months and the news was announced in local media today. Art Around Town is a new social enterprise that provides supplies for students to create art products.

We help them learn the consigning and art retail process, exhibit the work, sell it—raising funds to buy more art supplies and give them choices on how to spend the money whether it be field trips, guest speakers...anything is possible. Nick's been capturing the art pieces for their auction catalog and website and I've been consulting and working on marketing, brand and publicity.

The full article can be found here in Ypsilanti Courier and we've included a few photos of student work below. In May, a series of events will celebrate the launch of student work being sold in a retail setting at Riverside Arts Center as well as online. 

May 2nd is First Fridays in downtown Ypsilanti and an opening to the public will coincide. 

May 3rd is the Auction and some of the best pieces will be available for bidding. 

 

We already have our eyes on some incredible paintings and drawings and we urge everyone, whether you're an avid collector or have never bought a piece, to come out and support this incredible program. See you in May!

If you're an artist looking for creative publicity, we handle all aspects of art marketing, branding and press releases. Email Yen here

Press + media: There is a private event on Thursday, May 1st with photo opportunities where we will highlight student artists. For more information or images, please contact us

 

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Cold? Make art.

I've had the pleasure of working with Tim Péwé (and his son Gus) multiple times now. Tim is a sculptor, welder, wood-worker, illustrator, inventor... I could keep going... Most recently I worked with Tim on one of the coldest nights of the year, in his amazing barn-turned-workspace.  Although he had his wearable wood burning stove fired up, the temp inside peaked around 45˚ (note the jackets in the pics, which were taken by Gus).

Getting approval from Tim.

Getting approval from Tim.

I've photographed many works for Tim, ranging from a larger than life skeleton to a puppet named Neandro. The objective this time: a wearable candelabra.

The shots below showcase some of the details.

Because Tim is more prolific than most artists I know, there's always something else that can be photographed. A punching bag...

Or a demon dragging a man down to hell.

I'm excited to see what's next!

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Vintage Hollywood V - Pop-Up for a Great Cause

Nick's been editing like crazy and I've been working on lots of small projects. One of which is our next pop-up. This time we're partnering with Neutral Zone for their annual fundraiser next Friday, Vintage Hollywood. In its fifth year, VH is a night of glamour (this year's theme is The Great Gatsby), food, entertainment and a great social gathering all around. Everything benefits NZ, which is an incredible teen center with a stage, music recording studio, art studio, kitchen, hang out spaces... basically everything you ever wanted when you were hanging out with your friends growing up.

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We'll be there from 7 to 9 pm photographing everyone in their best attire for a super, discounted rate of $10 each for this special night. Each participant will receive a lightly retouched and processed, digital image via email delivery. And, we'll donate a portion of the evening's proceeds to Neutral Zone. 

If you're free the night of March 7th, come out and celebrate for a great cause. Tickets are still available but they'll most likely sell out! See you there.

 

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Our Favorite Art Books [for Babies]

Diapers and clothing definitely came in handy but some of the most rousing gifts we received when we had the baby were books. And now that he's old enough to flip through the pages, (and not just munch on the corner although he still does that), his favorite by far is the Pantone: Colors book. It introduces just a few of the color swatches that this company researches, forecasts and produces products in. 

He'll sit and stare at all the shapes and colors for  minutes -  quite a feat for a 10 month old.

He'll sit and stare at all the shapes and colors for minutes - quite a feat for a 10 month old.

Art for Baby board book is filled with black and white images from contemporary artists. From shapes to faces to representative art, each page is full of contrast to keep babies curious. There's also a wonderful set of friezes in the back of the book, twelve panels to put up around the nursery of the same renderings of works by Takashi Murakami, Josef Albers, Bridget Riley and more. 

Recently when we were at the library, we discovered that they've made a second version of this book full of faces for baby to stare at and learn - so important for their development.

Based on the studies and invention of the motion picture machine called a zoopraxiscope, Eadweard Muybridge is given credit in the children's book Gallop, an engaging collection of animals that trot, swing and hop across the page as you turn it. I just saw that there's a Santa one too - a great gift for the holidays. 

What are your favorite children's books?

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Why the Selling of Pieces From the DIA's Collection Might Not Be the Worst Thing After All

The threat of pieces from the Detroit Institute of Arts being sold off popped up in the news again today. I've been stewing over my professional response for a few months. (I used to curate exhibitions and deal American works of art — artists like Alexander Calder, William Merritt Chase, Mary Cassatt with "mid level" price points, $30,000-500,000. One of my previous clients is a well-known collector and avid supporter and lender to the DIA).

When asked, I gave my personal response. Personally, I was adamantly against it. It seemed like a cop out to commodify our regional treasures. Like many in the art community, and particularly those of us that have visited the DIA and relish memories and works from the collection, I was vehemently against this ghastly idea. At first. 

Now don't get me wrong. I still think it's terribly sad and agree with the Museum that it may have a detrimental effect on Detroit's daily and longterm economy but there are a few silver linings, at least from an art world standpoint. Here are a few reasons why.

WE DON'T GET TO SEE MOST OF IT ANYWAY. Museums are fancy storage facilities with exact humidity and temperature control. Some things they show, the majority they do not. They simply can't. During conversations with colleagues in the industry, I've heard estimates that the Art Institute of Chicago shows less than a quarter of its collection. The DIA has 66,000 of which 35,000 are said to be owned by the city and being evaluated for condition and appraised by Christie's. I don't know exactly how much of their collection but we are indeed missing the bulk of it when we visit. 

THESE ART WORKS WILL GET THEIR DUE SPOTLIGHT. Auctions are the barometer of the art industry accounting for about 25% of the market. Even though only a minute percentage will ever dabble in multi-million dollar bidding wars, when auctions do well, the trickle down effect for the art industry is a good one. It's estimated that in 2012, the art industry did $64 billion

If and when the DIA's paintings, sculptures, drawings and objects go to auction they're going to be waltzed across a global stage. Every collector that will potentially ever want that piece is going to be watching and that's just what those pieces deserve.

AND, WAR PUMPS UP SALES FOR ARTISTS. EVEN FOR US LITTLE GUYS DOWN HERE. Let's look at an example. Maybe twenty people in the world that collect art want this triptych:

Francis Bacon,  Three Studies of Lucian Freud 1969 (Christie's.com)

Francis Bacon, Three Studies of Lucian Freud 1969 (Christie's.com)

But only seven* of them can afford it. Five of them have capped themselves. That leaves two bidders (on the phone, have a dealer bidding for them on the phone, are sitting on the internet or waving their paddle wildly in the crowd) to fight over it. That's how much a painting is ever worth - how ever high two people with an agenda are willing to go. 

When people start to read about art being used as a commodity, our ears can't help but perk up and we start to take more interest. People start to notice their blank walls, think about acquiring art at the next fair, see themselves joining the exclusive club. Being a "collector" is a status symbol and we all want to be a part of it. With the sale of DIA works, we're going to think twice about taking our public collections for granted. Or so the recent media attention says.

*There were indeed seven battling bidders that pushed the Francis Bacon to break the record for any piece ever sold, ending at $142.4 million at Christie's earlier this month (this includes the 12% buyer's fee).

YOU (OR YOUR GRANDKIDS) WILL SEE THE WORKS AGAIN. AT ANOTHER MUSEUM. Museum-goers (aka common folk like me) sometimes complain that when things are bought privately, we never get to see prized works ever again. Recently, certain tax laws have made it less savory to donors to bequeath their paintings, but there are and will always be collectors that want to leave a legacy. And because art is cyclical in nature (i.e. genres come in and out of vogue, estates unearth works of art to be auctioned off or bequeathed to museums, children sell their parents' collections, curators thrust exhibits into the limelight requiring loans of works from private collections) it's likely your favorite DIA piece will one day see the light of day, at a museum, again.

GOING BACK TO START. I don't like the idea of pieces being sold because they have to be either. I love the feeling of going to the DIA. I don't even have to look at any one work for a long amount of time, I just like to breathe in the atmosphere of the American wing and odors of oil. I just have to remember and keep telling myself, the DIA won't go away and the sale of many pieces would be a PR boon (albeit another sad one) for Detroit. I've decided to look at this like everything else that involves the impending bankruptcy, brazen upstarts and savvy entrepreneurs — this could be an opportunity for the Museum to garner new art, new donors, a fresh start.

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Tiny Expo 2013 at Kerrytown Shops

We're so excited to be a part of Tiny Expo again, what they cleverly call "Ann Arbor's biggest little indie arts & crafts fair!" This year it's moved to the popular Kerrytown Shops and we'll be selling our wares on Saturday, Dec. 14th with a fun preview and set up the night before. 

Nick will be selling a new series of toy-themed photos and I've been working on original watercolors of...food! So mark your calendars, bring your eyes and feast on a bevy of new inventory for a whole new season of gift-giving. 

And don't forget  — the week before, Saturday the 7th, we'll be at Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair for our first ever pop-up event benefitting all the awesome programming done at 826michigan. Lots of fun and photos and activities will be had by all!

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Photographs for Emery

We met Austyn two years ago when she was shooting our friends Rachel and Mike's wedding. Not only did she take breathtaking photos of their special day, she was a delight to have at our table. I had heard about her and her beautiful daughter Emery from Rachel and have continued to follow their incredible story

On November 6th, 2010, Austyn gave birth to Emery Rain, weighing 1 lb 10 oz and measuring 12.5 inches in length. She was only at 25 weeks. Now, almost three years, 9 brain surgeries and multiple hospitalizations later, Emery is home and happy! 

This is where we come in. If you've ever wanted to have a photo session taken by a true artist, book Austyn to do it. She'll travel (client must cover lodging and transport) but if you're lucky to be in one of the locations that she'll be at this upcoming year (Chicago, Wisconsin-Fox Valley area, San Luis Obispo), you can book her for an exceptional shoot. Or, purchase some art prints. All the funds go toward paying Emery's hospital bills. And really, what's better than creating beautiful memories with your family and helping out this precious child?

Nothing.  

 

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Mi Familia: A Family Portrait Session

Vince and Lisa (parents to yesterday's adorable Luigi) came out to the studio for their first family portrait session with us.

Not only were they a really photogenic family, they wasted no time getting into character and making eyes at the camera.

They felt right at home with each other and we got to see some goofy shots.

And some very sweet ones.

And no one had to hold a gun to dad's head for him to get silly.

For your family portrait session, give us a call at 734-929-2498 or email info@chin-azzaro.com

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Playtime: Old School with Mario + Luigi

Press 'play' on the video below. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpOAYDkeCtQ]

There. Now you have the perfect soundtrack for today's post.

Over the weekend we headed over to Photo Studio Group to photograph a pair of cousins. But it wasn't just your typical session. They wanted to play dress up...

Pretty darn adorable, don't you think?

There was a bit of vying for the Mario costume.

But sometimes a little competition is healthy.

To have your child photographed in costume, shoot us an email info@chin-azzaro.com or call 734-929-2498

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First Date Jitters: Engagement Photos at The (Espresso) Bar

My sister Alice just got engaged to her beau John and we couldn't be happier, especially since they decided to have their engagement photos taken at one of the most authentic and delicious spots for coffee in town (their first date was here), the (espresso) bar. As it happens, coffee is good for you and the owner, Sandy, is the kind of person that remembers your drink even after a pregnancy hiatus.*

N got to catch some great shots of the couple in the well-appropriated space as well as enjoy some beautifully-crafted drinks.

Thank you, Sandy and the (espresso) bar staff for letting us take over your space. Check back for more photos from their new brunch menu soon. And Like them on Facebook for yummy updates everyday!

To book your engagement shoot, give us a call at 734-929-2498 or email at info@chin-azzaro.com

*Their affogato is crazy good.

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Contest: Senior Portrait Package

Aaahhh...memories of senior year. You take all your tests, you find out if you  "got accepted" to your first choice and of course, you plan what you're going to wear for your senior photos. What if we told you that you had a chance to win a senior portrait session unlike anyone else's? We specialize in capturing personalities in the most creative way. One lucky winner will win the full package with us. Simply go to our Facebook page or email us at info@chin-azzaro.com and tell us why you deserve to win. (Parents, you can enter your son or daughter too)! Check it out and pass it along to all the Class of 2014 seniors you know (in the Ann Arbor area). Enter now through June 30th. But if you can't wait to win and want to book your session now, see your choices below. Good luck!

SeniorPortraitContest

SeniorPortraitPriceList

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