"Pre-Fab/Post-Fab: Art in a Readymade Era" both celebrates and critiques modern consumer culture

VISUAL ART PREVIEW

Artist Bailey Scieszka as her Old Put character. Photo by Nicholas Calcott.

Artist Bailey Scieszka as her Old Put character. Photo by Nicholas Calcott.

In some eras, artists were inspired by new techniques or materials. Now, it's mass consumption -- and we're not talking tuberculosis.

In the new U-M Institute for the Humanities exhibition Pre-Fab/Post-Fab: Art in a Readymade Era, three Detroit-based artists showcase works that speak to them growing up "with the influences of mass consumption, internet shopping, the glut of plastic toys, baubles, and tchotchkes."

Heidi Barlow, Shaina Kasztelan, Bailey Scieszka take these everyday objects and twist them into new forms to comment on pop culture, gender, and politics. 

From the press release:

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

VISUAL ART PREVIEW

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 med.umich.edu/goa/performances 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.

Two winter exhibitions open at U-M's North Campus Research Center

VISUAL ART PREVIEW

Rainbow by Dalia Reyes; Unholy War by Joyce Brienza

Rainbow painting by Dalia Reyes; Unholy War triptych by Joyce Brienza.

U-M's North Campus Research Center (NCRC) houses two galleries that might be off the radar for some folks, but the spaces are always bubbling with compelling (and free) exhibitions that run for months at a time. 

Two new winter exhibitions opened Jan. 15 and continue through April 16, allowing you plenty of time to take in the sights.

Woven Together: Threads All Arts Festival returns for 2018

Threads All Arts Festival

The Threads All Arts Festival has finally been rescheduled. The second edition was originally set for August 2017 at the Ann Arbor Distilling Company, but when the city put a temporary kibosh on live events at the artisanal spirits space due to parking issues, Threads was called off. It took the U-M student-run festival a while to reorganize, but it has now found a home in Ypsilanti’s Historic Freighthouse and will present its rangy mix of live music, dance, film, poetry, and art on March 10-11.

The idea for Threads began in 2015 when Nicole Patrick (U-M 2016, percussion and jazz and contemporary improvisation) and her friends "wanted to find a way to share, with many people, all the amazing art they saw coming out of their friends and neighbors," they told Pulp contributor Anna Prushinskaya for piece meant to preview the 2017 edition.

But along with the break came a new mission statement that shows Threads has expanded its focus:

A2 Art Center's "Favorites’ Favorites" kicks off Jan. 19 with a party

VISUAL ART PREVIEW

Mark Lyon, Dr. Lustbader DDS, Exam Room, 2012, archival pigment print

Dr. Lustbader DDS, Exam Room by Mark Lyon, 2012, archival pigment print.

The Ann Arbor Art Center exhibition Favorites’ Favorites opens Friday, Jan. 19, kicking off with a free opening night party from 6-9 pm. The artists will be in attendance, and you can ask them why they chose their individual pieces in the show.

That's right, though there was a curator who chose which artists would exhibit, it was the creators who picked what would be displayed in Favorite Favorites.

Lyrical Lines: “Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly" at UMMA

VISUAL ART REVIEW

Lemon and Mimosas by Henri Matisse

Sketch for the Painting "Lemons and Mimosas on Black Background" by Henri Matisse; ink on paper, 1944.

Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly at the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s spacious second-story A. Alfred Taubman Gallery is proof that less is more when it comes to art.

Principally managed by the UMMA’s Assistant Curator for Western Art, Lehti Mairike Keelmann -- herself working from the late-Ellsworth Kelly’s instructions -- this exhibit of 45 Matisse drawings (with an additional nine Kelly lithographs) from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection cuts an artful swath across this French master’s career.

“This exhibit reflects the imaginative artistic rapport of two celebrated artists through lyrical line and efficiency of gesture," Keelmann said in a recent interview. "But how they get to the place where they intersect is the subtle underpinning of this deceptively complex exhibition.”

Margaret Condon Taylor's photographs capture a lost Seoul

VISUAL ART

Margaret Condon Taylor, An Accidental Photographer: Seoul 1969

So much Seoul: Margaret Condon Taylor took photos in South Korea when she worked for the Peace Corps nearly 50 years ago.

Margaret Condon Taylor is not a typical photographer. The University of Michigan alumna gained a Ph.D. in psychology, which she currently still practices. So, in the spirit of Taylor's day job, the viewer may feel the need to ask probing questions about the photographs on display in An Accidental Photographer: Seoul 1969 at U-M's Institute for the Humanities Osterman Common Room, such as: What do they tell us? And why is the project “accidental”? 

Although the title of the exhibition raises questions, one does not need to look far for answers.

Contemporary History: Ann Arbor Art Center's 95th "All Media Exhibition"

VISUAL ART

Lisa Marie Barber's Brownish-Girl, Ann Arbor Arbor Art Center's 95th All Media Exhibition

Lisa Marie Barber's Brownish-Girl Arbor won first prize at the Ann Arbor Art Center's 95th All Media Exhibition. Recycled clay multi-fired with glazes, underglazes and slips.

The 95th All Media Exhibition marks the continuation of a tradition established in 1922 when the Ann Arbor Art Center was known as the Ann Arbor Art Association. There are 29 artists’ works on display through January 13, with a large portion from Michigan and others from surrounding areas including Illinois, Indiana, New York, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The Ann Arbor Art Center’s previous shows have illustrated its commitment to exhibiting an extensive variety of contemporary artwork, and the All Media show is no exception.

Pop-up exhibit "What Were You Wearing?" at UMMA examined sexual assault

VISUAL ART REVIEW

What Were You Wearing?

More than 500 people pondered the pointed question, "What were you wearing?" at the exhibition of the same name. Photo by Sherlonya Turner.

The last time I asked myself, “Was it what I was wearing?” was last Friday. I had been eating my dinner at the bar of a local restaurant when a man struck up a conversation with me. Eventually, he made a joke to the bartender about bringing me a “roofie colada.” The bartender responded disapprovingly. Then, the man doubled-down on his joke, adding, “Don’t worry; she won’t remember a thing.” As the evening went on, I couldn’t quite shake that joke. [https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/powerful-art-exhibit-powerfully-an…|What Were You Wearing?] is a pop-up installation that sets out to challenge the idea that sexual assault is somehow about clothing choice. On Monday, Dec. 4, this exhibit was at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, brought there in partnership with the [http://www.heforshe.org/en|HeForShe] student organization.

Craft Services: A peek at Winter Art Tour 2017

PREVIEW VISUAL ART

Winter Art Tour 2017

The second annual Winter Art Tour spans 10 locations across Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

For the past few years in Washtenaw County, the second weekend of December has been the time to shop for wonderful handcrafted goods from local artists at pop-ups, craft fairs, and studio shows.

An easy way to find out what’s happening where is to check out the stops on the second annual [http://winterarttour.com|Winter Art Tour], which takes you to 10 venues across Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti where you can shop handmade goods from over 300 artists during the weekend of Dec. 8-10. There's a passport to get stamped as you visit each of the tour's locations, and if you hit at least four spots, you have a chance to win beautiful handcrafted prizes.

The event features two large craft fairs and several smaller studio sales across Washtenaw County: