U-M Medical School's "Looking for a Silver Lining: Art in the Time of Covid" exhibit offers smartphone photography from the staff
It's easy to dismiss the Instagram-ification of the art of photography, but any democratization of creative endeavors should be celebrated. Smartphones allow everyone to chance upon one perfect shot and capture that moment, often with stunning results.
The University of Michigan Medical School's new online exhibit, Looking for a Silver Lining: Art in the Time of Covid, offers a collection of smartphone photography from those who work there, from doctors and project managers to nurses and administrative coordinators.
Art Coordinator Grace Serra writes:
The word "re-entry" has been popping up a lot as of late—and not just because two billionaires flew themselves into space.
It's because after the past 17 months of being in lockdown, many of us are re-entering society for the first time this summer. Going back to offices, reconnecting with friends and family, walking into places without a mask that we would have never considered entering even with one as the pandemic raged.
Amanda Krugliak, an arts curator and assistant director of arts programming for the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, had "re-entry" in mind when she came up with the idea of Daisy Chain, a video 'zine that features her taking to artists Ruth Buentello, Abigail DeVille, Hubert Massey, Shanna Merola, Scott Northrup, David Opdyke, Shani Peters, Sheida Soleimani, and Jeffrey Augustine Songco. Krugliak described the video this way:
On Friday, July 23, at 7 pm, join the Ann Arbor District Library for the dedication of the Black Lives Matter Mural newly installed on Library Lane.
This mural showcases the work of eight Black artists who show what the phrase Black Lives Matter means to them. This project was commissioned by the Ann Arbor District Library in the summer of 2020 as part of its Call for Artists.
Even with everything starting to open up again—including the University of Michigan Museum of Art—you may understandably still feel a little weird about spending time indoors with other people. But two new outdoor sculpture exhibitions offer the delights of visual art alongside maximum air circulation.
Last year was supposed to be the 60th annual Ann Arbor Art Fair, but it was canceled because of the pandemic. It looked like the 2021 edition wasn't going to happen either, and it was even officially called off for a while, but once it looked like Michigan would start opening up again for the summer, the Art Fair was reinstated and takes place July 15-17.
By this point, you know the drill with Art Fair: parking is difficult, you love or hate the crowded streets, it's usually hot and muggy. But if you need a quick guide to parking and a map of the 2021 event, MLive has a brief article with both.
And if you're wondering what goes into Art Fair prep for the creatives, landscape painter Karin Wager Coron talked to WEMU's David Fair about her routine.
But if you're wondering a bit about the history of the Art Fair, in 2009 the Ann Arbor District Library's archives team put together a wonderful collection of photos, posters, and more on the occasion of the event's 50th anniversary of its conception—conceived in 1959, launched July 20-22, 1960:
A recent issue of Hour Detroit magazine asked its freelancers for things they've missed most while the world shut down for the pandemic. Here's one of the items I submitted:
Like many museums, the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) navigated the pandemic by putting its exhibitions online. But art is a dimensional experience, and pieces come to life when viewed in person, offering textures and nuances that are muted on a webpage. UMMA is a 10-minute drive from my front door, a five-minute walk from my office, and yet it has felt a million miles away for the past year. I look forward to shortening the distance between us once again.
Well, the wait is over.
UMMA is open.
Timed-entry reservations are required, but otherwise, Ann Arbor's little gem of an art museum is ready to receive your appreciative glances.
Here's what's currently on display, some events/activities, and what's coming soon:
Using archival materials, photos, and art, Stamps Gallery's "Halal Metropolis" explores the Muslim world of Southeast Michigan
Dearborn has one the largest Muslim population in the U.S. and Michigan as a whole is in the top 10, but the faith's followers are sometimes overlooked when discussing culture and presence in the Southeastern part of the state.
University of Michigan's Stamps Gallery has hosted an exhibition, Halal Metropolis, since May 22 that explores the Muslim world in Southeast Michigan, blending "archival materials, social and political artifacts, photography, and art to explore the congruent and contradicting ideas, aesthetics, and cultures working to make the halal metropolis both a real and imaginary entity," according to the gallery's webpage.
Halal Metropolis features works by Amna Asghar, Qais Assali, BGIRL MAMA, Nour Ballout, Adnan Charara, Kecia Escoe, Parisa Ghaderi, Anthony Keith Giannini, Razi Jafri, Osman Khan, Maamoul Press, Endi Poskovic, Haleem ‘Stringz’ Rasul, and Reem Taki.
“This is part of a series of exhibitions we’ve presented in recent years that looks at the visibility, and in some sense, the invisibility of the Muslim population in our state,” artist and co-curator Omar Khan told the University of Michigan News in a recent article. “They’re very visible, but in the Detroit narrative, they’re sort of lost.”
In the same piece, artist Razi Jafri said, “Often stories about Muslims in America in general are not very nuanced. They’re presented as monolithic or single-minded. What we want people to really take away from this exhibition is an understanding of how diverse, multiethnic and multicultural we are—and we also want to highlight how Muslims are inextricable from the cultural fabric and of American history.”
I've not had a chance to see the exhibition yet, but it was recently extended to July 20, so it gives us all a chance. The show is free and the gallery is open to the public but it's still appointment only on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with advance registration.
In June, Stamps hosted four Zoom chats discussing elements of the show and interviews with some of the artists, creators, chefs, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, co-curator Sally Howell, and more. We've collected those videos below along with some images from the gallery and additional short video interviews with some of the artists.
Helicon Haus is a student-run organization associated with the History of Art Undergraduate Society at the University of Michigan. The group hosts annual pop-up art exhibits, publishes writings, and creates arts-related world travel opportunities for its members. But for Helicon Haus' annual art exhibition, anyone may enter.
This year’s call took place in April 2021 and resulted in the online exhibition Into the Abyss, which is the second year in which the submissions were presented a virtual format.
For photosensitive viewers, there is a warning: “This website features flashing images.”
The title Into the Abyss is derived from the French term “mise-en-abîme,” which means “placing into the abyss.” Though each finished work suggests its own interpretation of the abyss, the Helicon Haus collective outlines their definition of the abyss in their “Thoughts on the Abyss.” The Abyss refers to nesting heraldic imagery or the “image within the image.” Artists “dove into the abyss of digital space to create their synergistic works. Displayed virtually, these works are placed into the abyss themselves.” The internet and virtual spaces are defined as an abyss within the parameters of the project. Visually, the concept of the abyss is reinforced with the inclusion of the “black hole” portals on the exhibit homepage.
Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan has put out a call for artists for its Gifts of Art 2020/2021 exhibition season:
CALL FOR EXHIBITS 2021/22 – GIFTS OF ART - MICHIGAN MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
The Gifts of Art Program is seeking submissions for solo and group art exhibits for the September 2021 to August 2022 exhibition year. One of the first and most comprehensive arts in healthcare programs in the nation, Gifts of Art brings the world of art and music to Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan. Our nine 2-D and 3-D galleries throughout the medical center are viewed by approximately 10,000 people a day and display over 30 exhibits a year.
Gifts of Art’s rotating gallery program is intended to support the healing process by calming nerves, lifting spirits, engaging minds and thereby reducing the stress and anxiety often associated with healthcare settings. At Michigan Medicine, inclusion is a core value with the goal of fostering an environment where every individual has a sense of belonging. This value is reflected in the artwork we select for our galleries: art that welcomes, art that amplifies voices, and art that reflects the community we serve at Michigan Medicine. People of all races, ethnicities, ages, genders, sexual orientations, religions, beliefs, abilities, socioeconomic statuses and levels of education are welcome to apply.
For more information about our mission and other Gifts of Art programming, please visit www.med.umich.edu/goa.
To see the full prospectus and submit to this call, please visit: med.umich.edu/goa/CallforExhibits.htm
Following the Ann Arbor District Library's Call for Artists in 2020, AADL installed a Black Lives Matter mural on the south side of Library Lane on Friday, May 21 featuring the works of eight artists.
Below is our interview with muralist and AADL Black Lives Matter Mural Artistic Coordinator Avery Williamson.