Running through July 1, the all-media show features 34 works by 27 artists in the Guild of Artists and Artisans’ storefront space. Built on a theme of “figurative artwork and body diversity,” the exhibit succeeds in offering an engaging mix of media, artistic styles, and subject matter.
A number of the works in the exhibition feature artist statements, often with compelling stories that provide depth. For example, April Shipp’s mixed-media piece The water returned Him is one of the more visually striking pieces in the exhibit, yet knowing the background of the global refugee crises and the story of one particular child who inspired it. Likewise, Jensen Ellington’s My Piece of Eden creatively combines fabric, tree limbs, and thread to connect the Biblical story of Adam’s rib to his own experience as a transgender man. Other pieces stand on their own, such as E. Ingrid Tietz’s elegant Porcelain Muses V which lets her subjects speak to each viewer individually.
Any visitor to the exhibit is likely to come away with a renewed appreciation of the diversity of the human form as well as of the artists and artworks that celebrate it. Noted local artist Nora Venturelli juried the exhibition, and she agreed to answer a few questions about it:
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features chakra-aligning ambient from Golden Feelings, just intonation explorations by Duane Pitre, industrial-tinged techno by X-Altera, sparse experimental jazz by Benjamin Miller, and a synth-pop song about Iggy Pop by Lloyd Cole.
The international Make Music Day offered sumptuous sounds for the summer solstice.
The inaugural Ann Arbor edition on June 21 included nearly 30 acts at 13 venues across town and celebrated a variety of genres, including jazz, Indian classical, folk, blues, power-pop, R&B, flowerpot music, electronic, and more.
The Ann Arbor District Library coordinated the free daylong music event, which featured amateur and professional musicians performing at theaters, parks, art galleries, coffee shops, and other community spaces.
AADL and the local community captured videos and photos from the Make Music Day performances:
Jason Guenzel has a passion for exploring the cosmos with his camera.
The Michigan-based astrophotographer will appear at the Ann Arbor District Library's Downtown location at 7 pm on June 29 to discuss his love of astrophotography. Guenzel will talk about his journey to the stars, the equipment he uses, and how you can get started in this discipline, which mixes science and art. He'll also present many of his fascinating photos of the cosmos, explaining the specialized techniques he used to capture these breathtaking images.
I spoke with Guenzel ahead of his AADL appearance.
Follow the Reindeer: Hanna Pylväinen's novel tracks missionaries and herders living on the Scandinavian tundra in 1851
How do you know when an action is a mistake or a choice?
As character Risten Tomma reflects on her decision to marry Mikkol:
But was that all it was, then? You said a thing and then it all changed, you lived with another man now, someone else came into your lávvu and slept with you across the fire from your parents. There would be a new dog, and even their dogs would have to learn to get along.
Some changes are anticlimactic, while other changes are catastrophic.
The sweeping, well-paced novel is set in 1851 in the Scandinavian tundra with missionaries and reindeer herders both vying for their ways of life. Another one of the main characters, Willa, the daughter of the pastor Lars Levi Laestadius, faces numerous life-altering decisions over the course of the book. Early on "she was a kettle left at a gentle boil, and with her heat she did nothing more than make coffee or tea.” Yet, when she starts encountering Ivvár Rasti on her walks, a stronger wave begins to roil in her for him, despite the fact that he calls her “a good little báhpa nieida, good little church-girl.”
Willa steps deeper and deeper into an irreversible series of events in which:
Between the Lines: The City Lines use a mix of Americana, power-pop, and punk to explore emotional 'Memories' on second album
The City Lines’ vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter Pat Deneau links personal stories as a father, husband, firefighter, and tribal member into a perceptive collection of songs on his band’s latest album, Analog Memories.
“Particularly, I like the idea that every song—kind of like city lines—butts up to each other … and continues some sort of throughline,” said Deneau, who is a firefighter with the Ann Arbor Fire Department and a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
“I like how the first tune ‘Different This Year’ opens up with this thought like, ‘OK, a fresh start,’ and I reference [our first album] Waiting on a Win in the second line. It’s this idea of ‘I’m tired of waiting on wins; I just gotta go out and get one.’
“That feeling is carried through to the end of the record on the final song [‘Finding a Way’] where I’m singing to my daughter. The notion there is I have to be better for her and how do you get there? You just have to find a way.”
While wrestling with existential ideas on Analog Memories’ seven tracks, Deneau finds his way forward through spirited choruses, propulsive power-pop-punk instrumentation, and a touch of classic Americana twang.
“There’s a line from ‘Far Enough’ that says ‘Looking back far enough / So I can move forward,’” said Bob Zammit, The City Lines’ drummer. “If you’re going to grab a lyric and be like, ‘Here’s the creative brief for what we’re doing here after the fact,’ I think it’s that.”
The City Lines will bring their Analog Memories tracks to life on June 21 outside the Downtown Library for Make Music Day, a free musical celebration with concerts by musicians across the city on the summer solstice.
Bandmates Skott Schoonover (bass), Jason Rhoades (lead guitar), and Megan Marcoux (acoustic guitar, backing vocals), will join Deneau and Zammit for the performance.
We recently spoke to Deneau and Zammit about their backgrounds, the band’s formation, the creative process for Analog Memories, select tracks from the album, their Make Music Day performance, and upcoming plans.
The summer solstice is a day of maximum tilt.
Not just because the Earth's northern hemisphere comes closest to the sun on June 21 but also because cities around the globe will be turning things up to 11 for Make Music Day, which encourages a celebration of sounds in plazas, parks, and porches by artists of all genres—all presented for free.
Make Music started in 1982 as Fête de la Musique in France and has expanded internationally to more than 1,000 cities in 120 countries. The first Ann Arbor edition debuts June 21 with 29 musical acts at 13 venues across town, including the Ann Arbor District Library, which is also the local coordinator of Make Music Day.
The Make Music website allows you to filter artists by genres and the shows by venues, so I went through and made my own personal festival guide, one that takes me from a forward-looking jazz trio to a forward-looking world-jazz quartet with some Indian classical, Latin-classical, techno, electronic pop, power pop, flower pots, and indie rock in between.
Friday Five: The Biscuit Merchant, Audion, Noah Fishman & Baron Collins-Hill, Time Creep, The Mercer Patterson Quintet
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features melodic death metal by The Biscuit Merchant, stripped-down techno by Audion, bluegrass by Noah Fishman and Baron Collins-Hill, indie rock by Time Creep, and jazz by The Mercer Patterson Quintet.
Stamps Gallery launches its second annual "Envision" exhibition, which highlights Michigan-based contemporary artists
The University of Michigan's Stamps Gallery recently opened its second annual exhibit Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative 2023, featuring works by contemporary artists living and working in the state.
But the finalist for the $5,000 grand prize won't be announced until June 29 at an awards ceremony.
Parisa Ghaderi, Levon Kafafian, and Bakpak Durden are the 2023 Envision finalists and you can see their multimedia pieces on display through July 29. All three artists will make individual appearances at Stamps in July to discuss their work.
You can learn more about the artists and watch four short videos documenting the Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative 2023 below:
The University of Michigan's North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) is a place for scientists and businesses to develop ideas and projects that can affect real-world change.
The NCRC is also the home of two low-key galleries that run regular exhibitions featuring artists with connections to Michigan (the state and/or the university).
On June 15, 4-7 pm, the NCRC will host a reception for three new exhibits running in the Rotunda and Connection galleries through August 11:
Read more about the artists and their works below: