WSG's "Sixteen Plus Sixteen" pairs gallery members & their selected artists

VISUAL ART REVIEW

Stewards of Creation, La Palouse, WA photo by Nina Hauser

Nina Hauser's Stewards of Creation, La Palouse, WA; iPhone photograph printed on archival paper using pigment inks; 5"x7"; 1/10.

The annual Sixteen Plus Sixteen features the work of WSG gallery members and their chosen guests. The 16 invited artists’ works are then shown alongside the works of WSG’s 16 represented artists.

As stated on WSG's website, the showing is “always an exciting art-filled time with lots of vibrant new pieces.” The gallery certainly represents many vibrant works, representing a diversity in practice and media. The show includes paintings, sculpture, ceramics, fabric, photography, books, and much more.

Tangled Dreams: Jim Cherewick exhibition at Ferndale Library

MUSIC VISUAL ART PREVIEW INTERVIEW

Jim Cherewick, two paintings

Some art exhibitions are carefully curated to represent a theme or mark a period of time in an artist's working life. Other exhibitions are based on practicalities, such as Ypsilanti artist Jim Cherewick's show at the Ferndale Area District Library.

The paintings there are "whatever I haven’t sold yet or to show before the owner buys it," he said via email. "Mostly watercolor and ink drawings I’ve been painting lately."

Crayons are another medium in the exhibition, with neither an oil or acrylic painting in sight.

UMMA's smaller exhibitions still make a big impact

VISUAL ART PREVIEW

UMMA's Japanese posters

Left: Shigeo Fukuda, Kyogen, 1981, offset print. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion, 2017/2.88. © Shigeo Fukuda, 2017. Right: Kazumasa Nagai, Ueno Zoo, 1993, silkscreen. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion, 2017/2.71. © Kazumasa Nagai, 2017.

The main draw at the University of Michigan Museum of Art right now is Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection.

And rightfully so since it features little-seen works by two masters. (John Cantu raved about the exhibition in his Pulp review.)

Meanwhile, Aftermath: Landscapes of Devastation is a breathtaking collection of "images of the aftermath of events spanning over 2,000 years of human history -- from ancient Pompeii to September 11, 2001."

But there are several other UMMA displays worth your time, even if there's not enough there there for a full review. 

Here's a look at some of the smaller exhibits currently at UMMA.

Resistance Paintings: Juliet Seignious' "Over/Come(ing)" at AADL

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Juliet Seignious, Overcoming - Injustice painting

Juliet Seignious' Over/Come(ing) #16, mixed media on tarpaper, 21.5" x 11"

In 1958, Juliet Seignious was a founding member of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. It was during her time in this groundbreaking modernist dance troupe that Seignious started to explore her African-American heritage, which stretched from the Harlem of her youth to her parents’ roots in Edisto Island, S.C., which was a frequent landing spot for slave ships and, eventually, the home of escaped former slaves.

Once her dance career was over, Seignious turned her attention to another form of artistic expression: painting. But her desire to delve into African-American history continued unabated. A 1990 exploratory visit to Edisto Island inspired Journeys, which is comprised of 15 brightly colored but mysterious acrylic paintings and one pastel drawing.

"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

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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.”