Things to See: Pulp Art Exhibit Roundup for Fall


Peter Sparling's painting unveils his latest explorations in translating movement to acrylic paint and onto canvas.

Peter Sparling unveils his latest explorations in translating movement to acrylic paint and onto canvas for his latest exhibit, Dancing Up the Walls: Solos, Duets and Trios on Canvas at Ypsilanti's 22 North Gallery. Photo taken from 22 North's website.

There’s plenty of color, creativity, and innovation to absorb visually at several local art exhibits and events this fall. Peruse our comprehensive list for something that catches your eye and expands your mind. 

Penny Stamps Speaker Series: Refik Anadol
October 19, 5:30 pm-7 pm
Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

This University of Michigan Penny Stamps Speaker Series event raises the following question: If machines can “learn” or “process” individual and collective memories, can they also dream or hallucinate about them? Since 2016, world-renowned new media artist Refik Anadol has been exploring the relationship between the human mind, aesthetics, machine-learning technologies, and architecture to speculate responses.

Coining the terms “AI Data Painting,” “AI Data Sculpture,” and “latent cinema,” Anadol has been reflecting on new multisensory forms of narrating collective memory in physical and virtual spaces and inviting his audience to imagine alternative and dynamic realities.

Through October 19
Eastern Michigan University School of Art & Design, Ypsilanti

Bellwether is a two-person exhibition combining the photo collage work of Shanna Merola with Clara DeGalan’s landscape paintings. While DeGalan focuses on the spiritual and phenomenological aspects of humanity’s relationship to land, Merola’s work examines its socioeconomic impacts and ramifications.

Opposing Mirrors: A Pilgrimage Through Self-Portraiture
October 19-January 7
Argus Museum, Ann Arbor

The exhibit features self-portraits from artists Mary Buchanan, Katrine Eakins, and Madeleine Spinasanto. Self-portraits by contemporary and modern artists are often characterized by strong narratives from the artist’s own life, and many times, these narratives can resemble fantasies and role-playing.

Buchanan is an artist living with cancer and addresses her bodily and individual experiences with the disease while building a legacy for her daughter, family, and friends. Eakins creates surrealistic landscapes that represent a projection of herself, creating tension and then a balance between memory and dream with her Argus 75 camera and expired color film. Spinasanto creates self-portraits using her love of the neoclassical and Pre-Raphaelite art movements and takes inspiration from photographers such as Julia Margaret Cameron and Andre Tarkovsky.

The exhibit’s opening reception takes place October 19 from 6 pm-8 pm at the Argus Museum, 525 W. William St. in Ann Arbor.

Dancing Up the Walls: Solos, Duets and Trios on Canvas
Through October 20
22 North, Ypsilanti

Painter, dancer/choreographer, and video artist Peter Sparling unveils his latest explorations in translating movement to acrylic paint and onto canvas. Grouped in a series of twos and threes, the paintings suggest dynamic interactions and draw from a deep knowledge of how dancing bodies look and feel in space.

1968: A Folsom Redemption
Through October 20
Chelsea District Library, Chelsea

1968: A Folsom Redemption is a collection of photographs and memories of two journalists—photographer Dan Pousch and writer Gene Beley—lucky enough to be among a handful of eyewitnesses to the historic Johnny Cash concerts at Folsom Prison. The exhibit is available to view in the library's McKune Room.

Adrien Broom's photo, "Orange" is part of Ypsilanti District Library's "A Colorful Dream" exhibit.

Adrien Broom's photo, Orange, is part of Ypsilanti District Library's A Colorful Dream exhibit. Photo taken from Ypsilanti District Library's website.

A Colorful Dream
Through October 20
Ypsilanti District Library, Ypsilanti

A Colorful Dream is a family-friendly exhibition by fine art photographer Adrien Broom. Designed to evoke and capture a sense of childhood fantasy, Broom’s work is deeply rooted in fairy tales and mythology, taking the viewer on a journey through the entire spectrum of the rainbow. The exhibit is available to view at the Whittaker branch during library hours.

Westside Art Hop
October 21-22
West Side neighborhood, Ann Arbor

Bundle up and take a stroll through Ann Arbor's West Side neighborhood for the Westside Art Hop where local artists will display their work in or on porches, lawns, tents, open studios, and more. Check out the interactive map and plan your visit.

Community Recovery Artists: 3rd Annual Art Gala Showcase
October 21, 6 pm-10 pm
StudioStudio, Ann Arbor

The Washtenaw Recovery Advocacy Project is hosting Community Recovery Artists: 3rd Annual Art Gala Showcase to spotlight original paintings, prints, and artwork from local artists in recovery. The October 21 showcase runs from 6 pm to 10 pm and features live music, catered food, and mocktails.

Penny Stamps Speaker Series: Janie Paul
October 22, 3 pm-4:30 pm
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor

As part of U-M’s Penny Stamps Speaker Series, author Janie Paul and two formerly incarcerated artists will discuss the significance of making visual art in prison, with reference to Paul’s published book, Making Art in Prison: Survival and Resistance, and the artists’ personal experiences.

Using philosophical, aesthetic, and political lenses, they will share and explore various modes of resistance employed by imprisoned artists that combat dehumanization in prison and create paths toward meaning and purpose, and reflect on ways to be in solidarity with those who are incarcerated.

We are here because you were there
Through October 22
Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor

The exhibit explores the socio-political and cultural impact of post-colonial migration on the Asian-American diaspora. Curated by Chien-An YuanWe are here because you were there borrows its title from noted Sri Lankan Tamil activist A. Sivanandan’s (aka “Siva”) famous aphorism.

Six Asian-American artists—Kim Jackson DebordLaura KinaLarry LeeCori Nakamura LinOkyoung Noh, and Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe—narrate a process of understanding how they reclaim or interpret their lived histories within this post-colonial framework. 

Also presented as part of We are here because you were there:

Curator/Artist Talk
October 21, 11 am-12 pm
Ann Arbor Art Center Gallery

Moderated by University of Michigan’s Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies professor Manan Desai, the event explores how artists approach their studio practice and how they relate to the expansive, diverse narratives being told about Asian-American experiences in the U.S. Interdisciplinary artist and guest curator Chien-An Yuan also discusses building a solid network of Asian and Asian-American Pacific Islander artists in southeast Michigan.

Keeping It Weird: Celebrating 200 Years of Ypsilanti Greatness
Through October 23
Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti

This exhibit is a vibrant tapestry of local artistic expression. Lead curator Maggie Spencer assembled a collection that truly embodies the eclectic and diverse spirit of Ypsilanti. Local artists have come together to present a striking array of works, each a unique testament to their individual perspectives and inspirations.

Penny Stamps Speaker Series: Cannupa Hanska Luger
October 26, 5:30 pm-7 pm
Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

As part of U-M’s Penny Stamps Speaker Series, multidisciplinary artist Cannupa Hanska Luger will discuss his project You’re Welcome, which resides on the exterior of the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s building and responds to the question: “How do we remember this campus?” Luger’s work asks the campus and community to reconsider the memories molded into the museum’s stone—the perspectives that shaped those traditions and the stories that remain unseen in our façade.

This artistic interrogation dissects the colonialist norms of monument-making, explores the roles of buildings in upholding dominant cultural narratives, and offers an approach to memorials that centers Indigenous perspectives and collaboration to tell fuller stories and histories.

Light + Time: Animation and Gaming Technologies
Through October 27
Eastern Michigan University’s Ford Hall, Ypsilanti

The exhibit showcases a collection of professional artists, designers, and animators currently working in simulation, animation, and gaming technologies around Michigan and the Midwest. It provides students a small peek into the many possibilities, opportunities, and ideas this field holds.

Narrating Nubia: The Social Lives of Heritage
Through October 27
U-M’s Duderstadt Center Gallery, Ann Arbor

Narrating Nubia: The Social Lives of Heritage is a project funded by the U-M Humanities Collaboratory that focuses on developing ways to move beyond the colonial past of archaeology and cultural anthropology. It aims to develop collaborations with varied communities as it explores the meanings of Nubia in Egypt and Sudan—both ancient and modern—as a way of making its research “reparative.” 

Through October 29
Gutman Gallery, Ann Arbor

Juried by local artist and teacher Susan Mankowski, Dreamland includes 38 dream-inspired works from Washtenaw County artists ages 5-17. This youth art exhibit also features a kids’ yoga event, artist pop-ups on Saturdays, and a mural project during A2Artoberfest.

Roots Intertwined
Through October 29
Stone & Spoon, Ypsilanti

Artists Daniel Cicchelli, Calvin Waterman, and Caeleigh Gerard are featured as part of Roots Intertwined. The exhibit explores a curated body of work that expresses our growth over time as both individuals and a collective. As we learn about ourselves as artists through personal hardships, exuberance, and experiences, we, in turn, learn more about each other and how to communicate our art as a group to the audience in a cohesive way.

Ann Arbor’s Story – The First 50 Years
Starting October 29
The Washtenaw County Historical Society / The Museum on Main Street, Ann Arbor 

In celebration of the bicentennial, this exhibit looks at one of the many curious periods of Ann Arbor’s history: the first 50 years (1824-1874). Intriguing artifacts, objects, textiles, photos, and maps from the collection will be mixed with stories and more to show what life was like for the earliest residents. The bicentennial isn’t just a historic look back at the last 200 years; it’s understanding and appreciating the present while envisioning the best future possibilities for the next generations.

Nancy Wolfe's paintings are formed by her intuitive nature, and they serve as her visual connection to poetry..

Nancy Wolfe's paintings represent her intuitive nature. She works toward transparency by adding layers of paint on or rubbing paint off to reveal that which came before. Photo taken from Kerrytown Concert House's website.

Nancy Wolfe
Through November 1
Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor

The Kerrytown Concert House art gallery features paintings by Nancy Wolfe, a studio artist and educator at Detroit’s Hannan Center for Seniors. Wolfe’s paintings are her visual connection to poetry. Instead of words, there are shapes with color: in a relationship, in search of transparency, in search of connection, an introspective view.

Penny Stamps Speaker Series: Gabriela Ruiz
November 2, 5:30 pm to 7 pm
Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

As part of U-M’s Penny Stamps Speaker Series, Los Angeles artist Gabriela Ruiz conjures and explores a hybrid space, combining sound, video, and assemblage for the Institute for Humanities Gallery exhibition Digital Engrams. Ruiz’s immersive visual inquiry considers how images function on and off the screen, and how our memories real and curated are at the center of our personal and cultural identities: Who do we think we are in this life or our life on the eternal internet hereafter?

(De) Construction
November 3 to January 15
North Campus Research Complex Galleries, Ann Arbor 

Nour Ballout, a Detroit and Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist and curator, grapples with the ways looking can manifest as both resistance and violence while negotiating tensions among visibility, documentation, and surveillance. Through photography, archive, and space-making, their work interrogates the ways the naturalization of structures of power manifest within bodies, built environments, and communities. The gallery will host an opening reception for Ballout on November 3 from 4 pm-7 pm.

Holding Places
November 3-January 15
North Campus Research Complex Galleries, Ann Arbor

In her photographic exploration, New York City multimedia artist Satchel Lee investigates the profound connection between places and structures and the echoes of trauma that inhabit them. Holding Places is an exhibition that immerses viewers into a visual narrative, inviting them to witness the power of space as holders and conduits for personal memory. The gallery will host an opening reception for Lee on November 3 from 4 pm-7 pm.

2023 Autumn Instructor Show
Through November 4
Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor

The 2023 Autumn Instructor Show features artwork by a collection of dedicated instructors who create the vibrant arts education community at the Ann Arbor Art Center in downtown Ann Arbor. The exhibition is held in the Spotlight Gallery on the second floor of the center.

November 6-December 4
U-M’s Duderstadt Center Gallery, Ann Arbor

In conjunction with the Fall 2023 theme semester, Arts & Resistance and the U-M Arts Initiative, Respond/Resist/Rethink will include art from a variety of mediums and be displayed in four galleries across all three campuses—Stamps Gallery (Central Campus, Ann Arbor), Duderstadt Center Gallery (North Campus, Ann Arbor), Riverbank Arts (Flint), and Stamelos Gallery (Dearborn). The exhibit invites students to leverage their creativity to (re)imagine what they can do to create a more just and equitable community in the spaces that they inhabit.

Ted Ramsay explores the world of papermaking in "The Paper Quest: Global Journeys Making Handmade Paper" at Ann Arbor's WSG Gallery.

Ted Ramsay explores the world of papermaking in The Paper Quest: Global Journeys Making Handmade Paper at Ann Arbor's WSG Gallery. Photo taken from WSG Gallery's website.

The Paper Quest: Global Journeys Making Handmade Paper
Through November 18
WSG Gallery, Ann Arbor

This exhibit spotlights Ted Ramsay’s work as an artist and papermaker as well as a teacher and attendee at papermaking workshops around the world. Materials and techniques of sheet forming reflect the location of the mills Ramsay visited, ranging from ancient papermaking villages in Thailand, Myanmar, and China to contemporary mills in Spain, the Netherlands, Australia, Tasmania, Japan, and the U.S.

Black Grass Chernobyl Exhibition
Through November 19
Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor

Black Grassa multi-content exhibit, features Rachel Yurkovich’s botanical illustrations from the Chernobyl-exclusive zone of native plants, excerpts from the Voices of Chernobyl book, and a video presentation.

Cherie Haney
Through November 21
Chris Nordin Studios, Ann Arbor

Chris Nordin Studios is featuring metal works from award-winning metal artist Cherie Haney of Art & Element. Her work draws from the balance of opposing forces coming together to form a harmonious whole. Haney aims to achieve bold, expressive lines that create patterns, and with each patterned layer working in contrast, struggling to set itself apart yet finding completion within the whole.

Penny Stamps Speaker Series: Theaster Gates
November 30, 5:30 pm-7 pm
Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor 

As part of U-M’s Penny Stamps Speaker Series, Chicago artist and social innovator Theaster Gates will discuss the Arts & Resistance Theme Semester, which features the exhibition Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina, currently on view at UMMA. This landmark exhibition includes more than 60 objects representing the work of African-American potters in the decades surrounding the Civil War as well as several contemporary works from leading Black artists, including Gates, whose work connects the past to the present. 

The Stranger: A Mini Comic by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Through November 30
Ann Arbor District Library, Ann Arbor

Peruse the stunning illustrations and script from Rosemary Valero-O’Connell’s mini-comic The Stranger, a project commissioned by the Ann Arbor District Library for the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival: Small + Indie Press and Free Comic Book Day. This sci-fi romance touches on love, loss, and the ways changing technology can manipulate our emotions.

Current Exhibits
U-M’s Clements Library, Ann Arbor

U-M’s Clements Library features a variety of online exhibits, ranging from a century of collecting at the library to representations of empowerment and resilience in the Black experience to death in early America.

Simple Math, Too
Virtual exhibit
CultureVerse, Ann Arbor

Artist Nick Azzaro’s virtual exhibit examines the effects of state-mandated limitations of discussions in public schools on race, identity, and this country’s past and how they cause undeniable harm through repression while simultaneously encouraging prejudice and bigotry. His work is informed by contrasting the research that began when he started working in Ypsilanti Community Schools in 2013 with the biases he grew up with as a white man in America.

Evan La Ruffa
Virtual exhibit
CultureVerse, Ann Arbor

Photographer Evan La Ruffa’s virtual exhibit, Post All Bills, was born in New York City, where you can’t help but pass by various “Post No Bills” walls, of which everyone, quite predictably, posts bills. Ads for concerts, products, anything, really. As they are worn, tattered, torn at, and obliterated by humans, moisture, sun, and wind, they yield layers, segments, and compositions that please La Ruffa to no end.

MYPH Light in the Dark
Virtual exhibit
CultureVerse, Ann Arbor 

Together, CultureVerse and Mykolaiv Young Photography (MYPH) present a virtual exhibit of photography and technology that poignantly brings home the power of art, beauty, and creation to persist even as the horrors of war rage on in Ukraine. The true power of the exhibit emerges from CultureVerse’s recreation of the atmosphere of a memorable MYPH exhibit in Kyiv in 2020. At the time, the gallery had opened in the midst of a Russian missile attack during which one of the power plants was destroyed leading to a partial blackout in the city. 

Neutral Zone Potential Art Gallery
Virtual exhibit
CultureVerse, Ann Arbor

As the Potential Art GalleryThe Neutral Zone’s 40th annual art show features nearly 100 different pieces of artwork from Ann Arbor youth and beyond. Artwork includes photography, film, sculptures, multimedia, digital art, traditional art, and more.

Lori Stratton is a library technician, writer for Pulp, and writer and editor of