Gifts of Art's exhibitions bring culture to U-M Hospital


A collage of Gifts of Art exhibitions running through March 2018

We typically choose to see art by seeking it out at a museum. We want to be there.

Nobody wants to be in a hospital.

But if you are cooped up in the world of doctors and nurses, it's nice to have some high-quality culture to take your mind off your ailments.

Gifts of Art is Michigan's Medicine's way to assist healing by offering music performances and art exhibitions to its patients. But you need not be checked into University Hospital to enjoy the sights; Gifts of Art is open and free to all daily from 8 am-8 pm.

Visit for a full list of the performances. For a sneak peek at the exhibitions running through March 11, most of which feature works by Michigan-associated artists, read on.

Dinah Washington by Nicole MacDonald; Zimmerman by John Pappas

Detroit Music Legends by Nicole MacDonald
Detroit-based MacDonald makes large-scale public paintings featuring city luminaries past and present on reclaimed materials. These portraits are 6-feet x 8-feet, which is the size of the windows where they will be installed in late 2018 on the Detroit Savings Bank Building, at 6438 Woodward Avenue.

Ink Portraits by John Pappas
Based out of Chelsea, Pappas draws portraits with ink on a variety of surfaces including paper, basswood, and aspen panels in an offbeat style that leans heavily on pointillism and crosshatching. The subjects range from athletes to musicians to personal friends.

Light by Daniel Sidoli; Motawi Tileworks tile

The Desert Southwest: Photography by Daniel Sidoli
The Flint-raised Sidoli moved west to get a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It was when he was out that way that he fell in love with the landscape of the American Southwest.

Distinctive American Art Tile by Motawi Tileworks   
The Ann Arbor-based Motawi Tileworks makes art from a porcelain hybrid clay, a recipe unique to the company. The raised lines on each tile require a hand glaze technique to pool the glaze between the lines. You can also see 17 permanent Motawi art tile murals throughout Michigan Medicine. 

Fair by Joan Painter-Jones; Bull by Jean-Marc Fontaine

My Playground: Assemblage Sculpture by Joan Painter-Jones
The Milan-based Painter-Jones began working in watercolor but now focuses on sculpture. This is because, in part, because she has an eye for reusing found objects -- rusty, broken, or otherwise -- and refashioning them into pleasing new forms.

From Mud to Beauty: Ceramics by Jean-Marc Fontaine
Fontaine is a French-born research scientist at the U-M Medical School in biochemistry. His ceramics works are inspired from 10th-8th century BC to the present day.

Clearview by Desiree Warren; Roof Tile by Hiroko Lancour

Prairie Mantras: Paint and Vinyl on Aluminum by Desiree Warren
The Kansas City-based Warren is the only non-Michigander exhibiting with Gifts of Art this time around and she uses the surroundings where she lives and grew up as inspiration for her works.

Contemplate the Calm: Mixed Media by Hiroko Lancour
Royal Oak-based Japanese native Lancour is a mixed media artist with cross-cultural aesthetics. She often uses repetitive patterns and processes with natural materials such as paper and fiber.

Gifts of Art Gallery's latest exhibitions run through March 11 at University Hospital, Taubman Health Center and Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor. Free. Open daily from 8 am-8 pm. Visit for more info.