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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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Coming up: March 2016

The spring exhibition season is kicking off with an incredible show and I'm excited to announce it today. I met (paper) artist Laura Makar just a few months ago when she submitted her pieces for consideration. I emailed her immediately. 

Sure-Lock , 2015, 29 x 42 inches, cut paper

Sure-Lock, 2015, 29 x 42 inches, cut paper

Her work isn't just about cut paper. Laura understands the broader sense of creating a moment, a composition larger than where the edges of the paper restrain our experience. The lines undulate in magically growing ways, but if you look really closely, you can see it's human-made. Incredible. 

The opening is on Friday, March 4th and we're making it an early evening so we can hop across the street to celebrate the new season at First Fridays Ypsilanti Gala, where I'll be the keynote speaker for the evening. So mark your calendars and wish us lots of luck for a beautiful night, celebrating visual arts, culture and friends in Ypsilanti. 

 

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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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Front Street: Celebrating Student Photographers

Last night Nick and I opened what we felt was the most successful (and most fun) opening thus far. Front Street featured 24 photographs by three Ypsilanti Community School students: Berek Clouse of Estabrook Elementary School, Sydney Johnson of Washtenaw International Middle Academy, and Martell Johnson, a recent graduate of Ypsilanti Community High School. The theme was left open to interpretation of each student photographer and while we saw certain elements of Ypsilanti — the river, train tracks, buildings — composition and weight of importance differed greatly. 

Each student had worked with Nick previously and were chosen based on their affinity to the medium and potential. We talked to them about what to photograph and then spent collective hours curating each artist's eight photos, out of over 1,400 images. After titling and setting on a price, each was framed and installed.

Last night students presented their work and even "worked the room" a bit, interpreting and selling their works, moving half of the show out the door! 100% of sales went directly to the photographers. 

This entire project was made possible by Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and facilitated by Russ Olwell, Director of Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities at Eastern Michigan University. We want to thank all the families and friends which participated in this process and supported the students last night. They are truly exceptional and we see wonderful things happening for each budding photographer. Congratulations, Berek, Sydney and Martell!

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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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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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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, email yenazzaro(@)gmail.com

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Stan Malinowski: Icons of Fashion opening

Update: These photos (courtesy Jacob Wieringa) and an article about First Fridays Ypsi can be found here

Last night was our first First Fridays Ypsilanti participation and we're thrilled with the attendance and energy of the evening. Our show, Stan Malinowski: Icons of Fashion highlighted the supermodels of the late '70s and '80s and introduced everyone to an era of glamorous images pre-Photoshop.

Yen talking to a patron about the local art scene.

Yen talking to a patron about the local art scene.

First Fridays Ypsi organizer, Kayj Michelle with a friend, checking out Janice Dicksinson.

First Fridays Ypsi organizer, Kayj Michelle with a friend, checking out Janice Dicksinson.

Best dressed couple of the night. 

Best dressed couple of the night. 

Yen with community advocate and activist, D'Real Graham. 

Yen with community advocate and activist, D'Real Graham. 

The main question of the evening was, "How did you get Stan to do a show here?" There's a lineage of Chicago photographers that have worked in the commercial realm and Stan is one of them. Nick (being fresh and naive to the city), approached him for advice. Stan graciously told him stories, shared his expertise and ultimately the two of them had an exhibit in 2008 named From Fantasy to Fashion. We're so proud and appreciative of Stan's collaboration, a piece of fashion history in our studio.

Artist Ilana Houten, regal in designer threads.

Artist Ilana Houten, regal in designer threads.

Nick speaks with artist and photographer, NIKI.

Nick speaks with artist and photographer, NIKI.

Graphic designer Anne-Marie Kim of Genui Forma checks out Iman. 

Graphic designer Anne-Marie Kim of Genui Forma checks out Iman. 

9 S. Washington St.

9 S. Washington St.

Artist Jermaine Dickerson converses with a patron. 

Artist Jermaine Dickerson converses with a patron. 

Thanks to everyone that joined us! the exhibit is up through the end of April and available to view by appointment. If you're interested in price list or details on photographs available to add to your collection, give us a call at 734-929-2498 or email us. 

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