TAKESHI TAKAHARA: IN LOVE WITH THE PROCESS

REVIEW VISUAL ART

Out of the Mud XV by Takeshi Takahara

Out of the Mud XV by Takeshi Takahara is currently on display at the WSG Gallery as part of the exhibition Imperfection. / Image courtesy of Takeshi Takahara, through the [http://wsg-art.com/gallery/?page_id=3857|WSG Gallery].

KA Letts (of [https://rustbeltarts.com/|RustbeltArts.com]) has written a great review of the WSG Gallery's current exhibition.

"Takeshi Takahara believes in the handmade, the one-of-a-kind, the idiosyncratic. This might seem a counterintuitive attitude in an accomplished master of intaglio printmaking, a medium which embodies the aesthetic of the multiple and reproducible. But in his first solo show at WSG Gallery he demonstrates that his unique, eco-friendly hybrid intaglio/woodcut process for creating small print editions (often only 5 to 9 per title) can deliver artworks that pack all the punch of a one-of-a-kind painting. Imperfection, a meticulously curated and well arranged grouping of prints on the theme of the lotus, is on view in the WSG gallery from now until October 22."

Visit [https://rustbeltarts.com/2016/09/17/takeshi-takahara-in-love-with-the-p…|RustbeltArts.com] to read the review in its entirety.


[http://kalettsart.com|K.A. Letts] is an artist and art blogger. She has shown her work regionally and nationally and in 2015 won the Toledo Federation of Art Societies Purchase Award while participating in the TAAE95 Exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art. You can find more of her work at [https://rustbeltarts.com/|RustbeltArts.com].


Imperfection will run at the WSG Gallery, 306 S. Main Street, through October 22, 2016. The WSG Gallery is open Tuesday-Thursday, noon–6 pm; Friday-Saturday, noon-9 pm; and Sunday 12-5 pm. For information, call 734-761-2287.

Pulp Staffers' 2016 Art Fair Picks

Ferns Unfurling (left) by Katie Musolff and various pieces by Stan Baker.

"Ferns Unfurling" (left) by Katie Musolff and various pieces by Stan Baker.

Have you guys ever noticed that [https://www.visitannarbor.org/artfair/|Art Fair] is HUGE? Or that it's unbearably hot (not just this year, but somehow every year)? It can make it pretty difficult to hit all of the thousands of booths that are set up to find the best of the best. This year, Pulp staffers decided to help by heading out on opening day and finding our favorites. These artists are all definitely worth checking out, whether you are looking to buy or looking to look.

[http://www.higherspottery.com|Stan H. Baker]
Stan H. Baker, ceramic artist from Ann Arbor, was set up on Main Street selling his map plates and wall globes. The wonderful details of the wall-mounted half moons caught my attention – each one depicts a different phase of the moon. What drew me in further was when I realized that he is masterfully using the raku firing technique for the purpose of depicting the dark portion of the moon. He is also able to get beautiful iridescent glaze effects. I’m a big fan of maps and his didn’t disappoint. -Anne

[http://www.jenartwork.com/|Jen Callahan, Coastal Colors]
Jen Callahan is a Florida-based artist whose artwork looks like a paint-aisle explosion in the best way possible. Her artwork features beachy, seaside settings and underwater creatures, made all the more enchanting by her vibrant color palette that seems to include everything from tranquil blues and purples to luminous greens and pinks. If you've never seen a rainbow-coated jellyfish or a sea turtle painted like a stained-glass window, it's definitely time to upgrade your life. -Nicole

[http://www.dmwoodart.com/index2.html|D & M Wooden Flowers]
D & M is local, based out of Saline, and their brilliantly-colored wooden flowers are some of the most impressive wood carvings I have ever seen. Their basswood lilies, tulips, and daffodils are painted in sunny colors that render them bright, detailed, and so realistic that I almost can't remember why I bother to buy real flowers when I could be buying breathtaking wooden daises that my cats can't destroy and eat. -Nicole

[https://www.etsy.com/shop/Isms?ref=l2-shopheader-name|ISMS - Holly Ulm]
Minnesota-native Holly Ulm drew my eye through the natural colors of her incredibly delicate-looking butterfly jewelry and art prints. Her art is offbeat and whimsical, featuring things like a black and white cat with brightly-colored Monarch wings or a mermaid with a tail that changes smoothly into the wings of a moth. All of Ulm's art uses the wings of real butterflies who have completed their life cycles and died of natural causes at butterfly conservation farms. Ulm then uses what I can only imagine is a 100-bajillion-step process to preserve the wings in as close to their natural state as possible--and she does a beautiful job. Each piece of jewelry is gorgeous and every art print manages to incorporate the wings in a way that lets their natural beauty speak for itself. -Nicole

[http://www.katydidskritters.com/|Katydids Kritters]
Katydids Kritters is another local artist who makes art of the 3-dimensional variety. Her adorable hand-sewn wares are not only decorative, but functional! Owl-shaped doorstops, little critter sleep masks, and hot and cold therapy plushies that can be used on sore muscles and other pains. Because how could you possible still feel bad with an adorable stuffed penguin hanging out on your sore knee? You can't, that's how. -Nicole

[http://www.katiemusolff.com|Katie Musolff]
When looking through booths I might take a closer look at before going out (you've got to make a plan on these 95 degree days), Katie Musolff's work didn't make my list. Interesting photographs, but that's not really my thing. But this is because thumbnails don't do her work justice. Those plants and animals, all apparently photographed from above in museum cases or on kitchen tables, aren't photographs at all but exquisitely rendered gouache paintings. They are done with such skill that they appear at a distance to be the real thing, but this is not photorealism or trompe-l'oeil. Musolff has simply mastered her tools so well that her paintings communicate all the essence and form of her natural subjects. Mushrooms pop off the page and fiddlehead ferns are in their brightest April green. Musolff conveys the life of these items, freshly ripped out of the ground for their moment of immortality. As you look, you can almost smell them.
-Andrew

Works by Chris Rom & Geoff Buddie (left) and London, England by Kyle Spears.

Works by Chris Rom & Geoff Buddie (left) and "London, England" by Kyle Spears.

[http://mrisbeck.wix.com/michelinaportfolio#!graphic-design/cbgf|Michelina Risbeck]
Michelina Risbeck is a University of Michigan student. She creates mixed media works using household paint and joint compound on Plexiglass that explore the interplay of texture and color. Often reminding me of landscapes or abstract renditions of microscopic biological processes--like the division of cells--or the chaos that was the beginning of the universe. One of the artists I was totally blown away by in the Street Art Fair's New Art, New Artists (NANA) booth, selected to participate in this one-on-one mentoring program and are exhibiting for the first time at the Art Fair.-Anne

[http://www.thebinaryproject.com/www.thebinaryproject.com_II/home.html|Chris Rom & Geoff Buddie]
Ohio husband and wife team Chris Rom and Geoff Buddie are back for their ninth Ann Arbor Art Fair. Their work is a collaborative effort; they use porcelain, wood, fiber, and mixed media to create elegant minimalistic works. Repetition of shape creates visual interest and the hint of sequence. Their work ranges from familiar objects, such as bottles made of porcelain with a clear glaze and minimal black line decoration, to larger more abstract wall installations made up of repeating geometric 3D shapes. Intricate shadows add to the overall composition, which changes with the angle of light or the viewer’s angle of perspective. There is an order to their work that evokes a sense of calm. Though neither Chris nor Geoff would admit to an overtly mathematical background, they did mention that there is at least one engineer in their family. An earlier work of theirs is on permanent display at the Downtown Library (first floor near the new books). -Anne

[https://christineschub.artspan.com/home|Christine Schub]
Christine Schub has been showing at the Street Art Fair for about 20 years now, and there's a reason why she is a staple. Her work never disappoints in its intricacy and liveliness. Strictly nonrepresentational, her paintings lead the viewer to imprint their own loves on them; I see city buses, building facades, aerial views of landscapes, and geological layers, all dancing around each other. She says that hearing what people see is one of the most enjoyable parts of being a painter and coming to the Fair. There are certainly echoes of Mondrian before he went full-on neoplasticist, but you won't find any rigidly straight lines here. These paintings almost appear ready to drip right off the canvas, and it's that life and presence that has made Schub's work worth checking out all of these years. -Andrew

[http://www.kylespears.com|Kyle Spears]
I was drawn to the red phone box sitting like a Tardis at the center of Kyle Spears’ “London, England” color photograph. A string of white lights runs behind it and down the receding sidewalk, while further beyond lies the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament lit in bright blue. Other prints in Spears’s booth are similarly alive with color, light, and contrasting edges or textures, an effect enhanced through long exposure using a medium format film camera and a combination of traditional and digital printing techniques. A couple black and white photographs focus on what Spears calls “moments of beauty amid chaos”: In “Notions of Time, Paris, France,” an odd-shaped corner building and striped crosswalk precede a curved alley and a ghostly time-lapsed figure; in “Fragile, Tokyo, Japan,” a jumble of squares, rectangles, and lines define the back of a building complex while simultaneously framing a woman’s face on a billboard. Spears not only shows us the world we see, he shows us the world as we’d want to see it. -Amy

Hiawatha (left) by Laura Wilder Man | Impermanence #713 by Nha Vuu.

"Hiawatha" (left) by Laura Wilder and "Man | Impermanence #713" by Nha Vuu.

[http://www.nhavuu.com/Artist.asp?ArtistID=15708&Akey=5L235NVB|Nha Vuu]
Nha Vuu had a few different things on offer, including some beautiful, large-scale renderings of flowers and other plants that evoke traditional Chinese paintings, but the things that drew me in were the rooftops. Vuu has a number of large works that depict the roofs of crowded residential areas, just lines of ink applied with a brush that hint at actual structures, occasionally with a splash of color, all on handmade paper. These remind one a bit of those same traditional Chinese paintings, but also of Cezanne's Provencal landscapes, Russian Constructivism, and Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac. In the smaller works, the rooftops dissolve into unrecognizable abstractions, easy to take as being not at all representational, simply a pleasing arrangement of lines and shapes. Each of the works shows a mastery of composition, whitespace, and the daringness to eschew all but a very limited palette, used in a very limited way. The alleys and backstreets between these houses are ones you'll want to explore up close. -Andrew

[http://www.pergamenafineart.com/Artist.asp?ArtistID=34503&Akey=J5AE4DPN… Wheeler]
The best art is almost never the same piece at two feet away that it was at twenty. Christopher Wheeler's mixed media pieces fit this bill very nicely, changing as you approach, inviting you to come in closer, and then requiring that you back up again to take it all in. As you pass by the booth, his large pieces seem to just be paintings: flattened, geometric representations of trees and building facades. Lovely, but sterile in a midcentury modern sort of a way. But upon closer inspection, you find that those flattened shapes are not flat at all but made up of small pieces of paper, painted and then applied to make up a color area with subtle texture. Each of the birch limbs is a Matisse-like cutout, lightly painted in a way that, as you back up, makes you marvel that four cuts with scissors and one pass with a brush can give such a perfect illusion. It all combines to create works that draw you in to inspect, then pull back out to look at the whole again, then zoom in on another aspect. If you buy one, be sure to place it where people can look at it up close and where the light can show off those beautiful textural variations.
-Andrew

[http://snapshotjack.weebly.com/about.html|Jack White]
Retired engineer Jack White’s photography is sharp and full of wonderful contrasts. Though he’s from Pinckney, MI, his Rocks and Roots series was shot in New England. Tree roots and granite form a symbiotic relationship as they become entangled over time. Jack has an eye for framing the perfect shot and capturing just the right moment when the light hits it just so. Most of his photographs are black and white, but if you look closely you’ll catch a hint of color (added by hand) in some. Another of the artists I was totally blown away by in the Street Art Fair's New Art, New Artists (NANA) booth-Anne

[https://www.laurawilder.com|Laura Wilder]
I'm a sucker for block printing so as I was exploring the S. University Fair I was drawn to Laura Wilder's booth immediately. The intensity of the colors, contrast, and the use of negative space are magnetic in block printing. Wilder's work pulls you in and a close inspection is required. I was drawn initially to her depictions of nature, seasons, ferns, and other flora. I particularly liked her block print entitled [https://www.laurawilder.com/proddetail.php?prod=101230|Hiawatha Lake] because she uses the willow trees to softly frame the structure in the background. Once in her booth I was equally drawn to her whimsical and lovely serigraph, [https://www.laurawilder.com/proddetail.php?prod=101180|The Scottie], just one of her many dog breed pieces. Wilder's Seasons IV, a four-season woods/stream framed piece would make a dramatic and soothing addition to a room. The panoramic layout, the use of color and the intensity of the work evoke the movement and shadows in nature. My favorite pieces were traditional block prints. Wilder describes the process: usually created with wood or linoleum blocks; non-image area is cut away, leaving only the image surface raised above non-printing areas. The ink is usually applied with rollers; may be printed with a press, a baren, a rolling pin, or a wooden spoon. Wilder offered her work in lush wood frames as well as limited edition giclees, note cards, mini-prints, posters, and more. Wilder is from Rochester, NY, and some of her work is off landmarks and popular spots in that region. -Erin

[http://www.nickwroblewski.com|Nick Wroblewski]
Printmaker Nick Wroblewski’s woodblock prints are breathtaking. Obviously he is inspired by the Japanese woodblock tradition, but his subjects and colors are unmistakably North American. Beautiful forest scenes, wetlands, and birds are all masterfully recreated. He uses the reduction printing method where a multi-color print is created using only one block by cutting away more and more of the surface in-between each color printing. The block is ultimately destroyed as each new color is carved. He has an example of the carved blocks on display to illustrate the process. Definitely worth a look. -Anne


Pulp staffers declined to write about their real Art Fair Picks: water bottles, t-shirts, umbrellas, and shady trees.


The 2016 [https://www.visitannarbor.org/artfair/|Ann Arbor Art Fair] will continue through Sunday, July 24, 2016.

Review: Highlights from the Hop

REVIEW VISUAL ART

Westside Art Hop Highlights.

Art Hop directional lawn sign (top left), glass wind chimes by Sharon Linden of Ideal Glass (top right), pottery by Oran Hesterman (center left), sculptures by Larry Nisson in their backyard (bottom).

A rainy and colder-than-typical May Saturday didn’t stop people from checking out the Westside art scene. Ann Arbor is home to many artists in hiding. Bet you didn’t know that your neighbor moonlights as an artist! The Westside Art Hop is your chance to realize that art is all around as you stroll through the Old West Side of Ann Arbor with leisurely stops in homes, studios, porches, and yards. It happens twice each year, once in May and again in December. You'll find painting, photography, glass, metal and wood sculpture, jewelry, cards, mosaics, fiber arts, and crafts. There really is something for everyone, ranging from reasonably priced objects for daily use to museum quality pieces.

Larry and Lucie Nisson are well known advocates for the arts in Ann Arbor. If you walked by or interacted with the Pop•X event at Liberty Square last October, you’ve encountered one of the manifestations of their advocacy. It should come as no surprise to find that the Nissons helped bring about the Westside Art Hop as well. At its inception in 2012, the Art Hop featured 4 venues featuring 13 artists. The hop has grown to 11 venues and nearly 40 artists displaying their work. Conceived of as a neighborhood event designed to support local artists and provide a new slice to the Ann Arbor art scene, the Art Hop unambiguously frames artists as members of the community and gives the community a chance to support local arts.

The art advocates are artists themselves, and the work of both Nissans were on display at the Art Hop. [http://nissonglassart.com/gallery/|Larry’s glass art] was a collection of wonderfully organic sculptures that used light and gravity as a dancing partner, as well as drinking glasses composed of dream-like swirls of colors and patterns.

Larry Nisson and drinking glasses by Nisson.

Larry Nisson and drinking glasses made by Nisson.

[https://westsidearthop.wordpress.com/lucie-nisson/|Lucy Nisson’s mosaics] offered abstract and playful interactions between shape and color, but also some representational images that used texture and depth to invite a deeper investigation. At every turn of a corner one found more mosaic and glass art integrated into the home. Their backsplash was created by Lucie. They drink from Larry’s glasses. Their art isn’t adornment, it is a fully integrated part of their lifestyles.

Oran Hesterman’s work was shown at the Nisson’s home. By day, Hesterman is president and CEO of Fair Food Network, a national nonprofit that increases access to healthy food in underserved communities. By night he is a potter. His work is functional – bowls, vases, and mugs – meant for daily use. Hesterman has been a potter since he was 16 and realized that he had a talent for centering clay on the potter’s wheel. He and his wife Lucinda Kurtz collaborate on some of the pieces, her beadwork embellishes his designs.

Hallie Levine’s copper and enamel jewelry was shown at Gretchen’s House on Mt. Vernon Avenue. Her delicate looking jewelry consists of flat, organic shapes cut from copper and enameled in smooth muted tones. Many of her pieces are also embellished with subtle textures and delicate line pattern designs.

In front of Gretchen's House, and sheltered from the rain by a tent was Kim Ensch. Her layered paper and fiber collages create dreamlike landscapes with hidden messages and meanings. If you look closely, you can find faces and messages hidden within the organic lines. The tree imagery might give one the sense of being rooted in the family or stuck in the past.

Jewelry by Hallie Levine and Endeavor paper collage by Kim Ensch

Copper and enamel jewelry by Hallie Levine (left), and Endeavor paper collage by Kim Ensch.

Sharon Linden, a glass artist, was also showing her work at Gretchen’s House. She makes custom stained glass windows, which you may have seen if you’ve ever visited Boot Jack Tavern in Manitou Beach, Michigan. Her wonderful window design for the tavern incorporates Northern Michigan copper as the leaves of the trees. Linden was selling beautiful glass wind chimes made of pieces leftover from her larger stained glass works.

Across the street from Gretchen’s House, Sue Fecteau was set up under a tent in the rain with Sue’s Flying Fish. Fecteau creates Flying-Fish-on-a-stick and colorful mobiles to liven up your home and garden. Liz Davis, whom many of you may recognize from [http://annarborobserver.com/articles/liz_davis.html|Old Town], was selling her prints on Liberty. Totally a [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2bbnlZwlGQ|People in Your Neighborhood] moment.

If you missed the Spring Westside Art Hop, don’t fret! Another one is happening this December. Be sure to [https://westsidearthop.wordpress.com/|bookmark their website] or [https://www.facebook.com/WestsideNeighborhoodArtHop|follow them on Facebook] to get the exact date and time in the months to come.


Anne Drozd is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library


The [https://www.facebook.com/WestsideNeighborhoodArtHop|8th Westside Art Hop] was Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 11-5 pm in the Old West Side of Ann Arbor. Mark your calendar for the next one in December!

Review: Winteractive: The Art of Video Games

REVIEW VISUAL ART

Winteractive exhibition logo

Winteractive: The Art of Video Games is on display in the Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery through Friday, April 15. Image on the left is from Proteus, on the right is from Ballpoint Universe

Despite what Roger Ebert [http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/video-games-can-never-be-art|once said], video games can be art. Art is anything that conveys a universal truth and, as psychologist Daniel J. Levity says, “if successful, will continue to move and to touch people even as contexts, societies, and cultures change.” The exhibit [http://www.lib.umich.edu/events/winteractive-art-video-games|Winteractive: The Art of Video Games], currently on display in the University of Michigan Hatcher Gallery, has some great examples of games that do just that.

Flower

Flower is a video game developed by Thatgamecompany and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

In Flower, you are the wind, controlling the movement of a single flower petal through the air. Though no words are involved, the game follows a narrative arc that explores finding balance between nature and a constructed environment.

The Unfinished Swan

The Unfinished Swan was developed by Giant Sparrow for the PlayStation 3, released in October 2012 through the PlayStation Network.

The Unfinished Swan is an existential exploration into the equivalent of a Jackson Pollock painting. You, as the player, are a young boy chasing after a swan who has wandered out of a painting and into a surreal, unfinished kingdom. The game begins in a completely white space where you get to throw paint to reveal the world around you and venture into the unknown.

Passage

Passage is a 2007 experimental video game developed by Jason Rohrer.

Passage is a metaphor for the human condition that explores the poetry of experiences and consequences. Each play-through is a five minute "poem" in which you get to experience an entire human lifespan. Passage asks you to choose which goals are most important and demonstrates how pursuing one goal can make the pursuit of others more difficult. Do you seek companionship, treasure, distance? It's up to you, and your early choices alter your eventual experience.

Winteractive is a hands-on exhibition. Eight games in total are set up for you to play at demo stations throughout the [http://www.lib.umich.edu/location/gallery/unit/125|Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery].

Video games, just like writing and painting, are a creative medium. Early language existed as a means to communicate danger. Writing originated as bookkeeping. Painting began as an attempt to capture the reality of nature as seen by the human eye. It takes time to change the perception of an audience – sometimes many generations' worth.

Games can educate and often provide a means to escape your reality, but some can also touch your heart and connect you to the universe. Some games are art, as this exhibition clearly demonstrates.


Anne Drozd is a Production Librarian at AADL.


Winteractive: The Art of Video Games is on display through Friday, April 15 at the University of Michigan [http://www.lib.umich.edu/gallery|Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery], located at 913 S. University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. This exhibit was a collaboration between the Ann Arbor District Library and the [http://www.lib.umich.edu/computer-video-game-archive|University of Michigan Library Computer & Video Game Archive].

Preview: Fukushima Tribute Concert featuring Yamakiya Taiko Ensemble

PREVIEW MUSIC

The Yamakiya Taiko Ensemble will take the stage at the Power Center for a free concert on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

The Yamakiya Taiko Ensemble will take the stage at the Power Center for a free concert on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate life’s endurance through hardship and turmoil with a performance of the Yamakiya Taiko Ensemble at the Fukushima Tribute Concert March 22nd at the Power Center! Special guests include the Great Lakes Taiko Center - Raion Taiko from Novi, MI.

This youth ensemble, ranging in age from 12-21, was nearly hopelessly scattered after the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami. Their commitment to music and each other has kept them together, but some of the members are graduating from high school and preparing to move on. This concert will be, as they describe, “a thunderous expression of gratitude and optimism to the world - a concert in the US, that might encourage all to remember what Yamakiya members have learned to remember daily - namely, that which is precious in one’s own heart.”

If you can't make the Tuesday evening performance, there's one more opportunity to see them perform. The Yamakiya Taiko Ensemble was featured in the movie Threshold: Whispers of Fukushima, which will be screened at Stamps Auditorium on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm – followed by a brief post-concert by Yamakiya Taiko! You can watch the film's trailer [https://vimeo.com/103453868|here].

The group is here as part of the University of Michigan Center for World Performance Studies Artist Residency program. During their stay, the Yamakiya Ensemble will also conduct taiko workshops at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.


Anne Drozd is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


The Yamakiya Ensemble are performing a free concert on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at 7 pm at the Power Center (121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109). In addition to the concert, there is a free screening of the film "Threshold: Whispers of Fukushima" at Stamps Auditorium (1226 Murfin Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48109) on Thursday, March 24, 2016, at 7 pm. Both of these events are free and open to the public and are brought to you by the [http://www.music.umich.edu/index.php|University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance (SMTD)], the [http://www.lsa.umich.edu/cwps/|Center for World Performance Studies (CWPS)], and the [http://www.ii.umich.edu/cjs/|Center for Japanese Studies (CJS)].

Preview: Performing Arts Technology Seminar: DJ Carl Craig

PREVIEW MUSIC

DJ Carl Craig

DJ Carl Craig will give a talk at the Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium.

This Wednesday [b:1320486|Carl Craig], Detroit-based producer of techno music and one of the most influential members of the second generation of Detroit techno artists, will give a talk at the Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium on the North Campus of the University of Michigan. He founded the Planet E Communications label and, through this, has provided support for many young techno artists from Detroit and beyond. Craig's talk promises to be a free-flowing perspective, in a Q&A setting, touching on techno’s past, present, and future.


Anne Drozd is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


Craig's talk begins at 7:30 pm at the Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium, University of Michigan North campus, 1226 Murfin Ave. Free - no tickets required.

I'm Dreaming of Mortality

PREVIEW THEATER & DANCE FILM & VIDEO

Joseph Keckler

Performance Artist and Vocalist Joseph Keckler / Photo by [http://www.msharkey.com/|M. Sharkey]

If you’re growing weary of all the holly jolly happenings that this time of year has to offer, then it might be time to take a break to contemplate mortality. I mean really take some time, like four hours worth, and spend it observing a classically trained vocalist perform operatic death after operatic death.

In Let Me Die, Joseph Keckler ties together and performs hundreds of deaths from the history of tragic opera. The project also involves a series of videos, incorporating operatic fragments into stories and images of contemporary life, realized in conjunction with Holly Hughes' Interarts class. Performance and video will be shown, surrounded by an environmental installation that sparsely combines operatic set elements. Audience members are welcome to come and go as they please during the four hour performance. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. MOCAD galleries and Cafe 78 will be open during the performance.

Joseph Keckler has spent the last few months as Witt Artist in Residence at the University of Michigan working with students to create music videos and to delve deeply into the world of the tragic. He has spent endless hours researching operatic deaths and has expertly categorized them under such headings as “the Stabbies,” "the Sickies,” and “the Poison People.” You can read more about his process in this great interview by M. Starkey.

Still not convinced? Then watch this video as a preview of the greatness that you will witness. Keckler sings Schubert to a cat. Need I say more?

Death is, quite simply, what gives meaning to life. Shakespeare understood this well as he wrote in [b:1460992|King Richard II],
“O, but they say the tongues of dying men enforce attention like deep harmony.” Go to MOCAD this Saturday and face your mortal anxieties straight on.


Anne Drozd is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library and is mortal.


Joseph Keckler performs Let Me Die Saturday, December 12, from 1 – 5 pm at MOCAD, 4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201. In partnership with the Penny Stamps Speaker Series , the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), and the Roman J. Witt Artist in Residence Program. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Preview: The Seventh Westside Neighborhood Art Hop

PREVIEW VISUAL ART

Westside Art Hop logo

It's [https://westsidearthop.wordpress.com|Art Hop] time! Artists on Ann Arbor's Westside are opening their homes and studios to the public this Saturday, for viewing and sale of art and craft items. It's your chance to find that one-of-a-kind gift (and to enjoy the sun before Jack Frost comes to stay). Past Art Hops have featured everything from paintings and photography to 3D art–ceramics, wood sculptures, and blown glass. Items range in price from $3.50 to $350.00. Live music at some venues.


Anne Drozd is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


The Westside Neighborhood Art Hop is 11 am to 5 pm Saturday, December 5, 2015 in the neighborhood bordered by Liberty Street, 7th Street, Pauline, and Eberwhite Woods in Ann Arbor. The full list of artists is available on the [https://westsidearthop.wordpress.com/|Westside Art Hop site]. More info is on their [https://www.facebook.com/WestsideNeighborhoodArtHop/|facebook page].

Preview-Julian Schnabel in Dialogue with Peter Brant

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Divan, 1979, Oil, plates, bondo on wood, 96 x 96 x 12 inches, Photo by Farzad Owrang, Copyright Julian Schnabel Studio, Courtesy The Brant Foundation // Julian Schnabel on the set of Miral / Photo by Jose Haro

"Divan", 1979, Oil, plates, bondo on wood, 96 x 96 x 12 inches, Photo by Farzad Owrang, Copyright Julian Schnabel Studio, Courtesy The Brant Foundation // Julian Schnabel on the set of Miral / Photo by [http://www.joseharo.com|Jose Haro]

Julian Schnabel, painter and filmmaker, will take the stage at the Michigan Theater this Thursday evening as part of the [http://stamps.umich.edu/stamps|Penny Stamps Speaker Series]. Originally scheduled to kick off the Fall 2015 season in September, Schnabel’s appearance was rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances.

Schnabel’s paintings were on display at the University of Michigan Museum of Art from July 5–September 27 of this year. In case you missed it, they were huge. His paintings are made up of unexpected materials–including broken dinner plates and Bondo putty (yes, the automotive body filler)–and took up two galleries, engulfing the walls from floor to ceiling. He is a well-known figure in the Neo-expressionism art movement, but he may be better known for his films. Schnabel wrote and directed the films Basquiat, a biopic on the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat (1996), and Before Night Falls (2000), an adaptation of Reinaldo Arenas' autobiographical novel. He also directed The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) and Miral (2010).

The Patricia Urquiola talk originally scheduled for November 5 will take place as part of the Winter 2016 Penny Stamps Speaker Series, to be announced later this month. The Penny Stamps Speaker Series brings innovators from a broad spectrum of fields to Ann Arbor to conduct a public lecture and engage with students, faculty, and the larger University and Ann Arbor communities, and they are a great way to spend a Thursday evening.


Anne Drozd is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library and once owned a car that was 57% Bondo.


Julian Schnabel's appearance is Thursday, November 5, 2015. The Penny Stamps Speaker Series takes place Thursdays at 5:10 pm at the Michigan Theater, located at 603 E. Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, and all events are free of charge and open to the public. The entire lineup can be seen at the [http://stamps.umich.edu/stamps|Penny Stamps site].

Preview: POP·X

PREVIEW VISUAL ART


POP•X pavilions have popped up in Liberty Plaza / Photo by Tom Smith (CC-by-NC)

Art is popping up at Liberty Plaza that aims to expand the reach of creativity in our community. The 2015 inaugural [http://popxannarbor.com/|POP•X Festival], organized by the [http://www.annarborartcenter.org|Ann Arbor Art Center], will run from Thursday, October 15 through Saturday, October 24, 2015. This 10 day visual arts festival will include nine 10’ x 10’ structures or “pavilions,” which will each house a collection of works focused around various central themes. The work in each pavilion is created by one artist or a collaboration of artists. Artists will be on site throughout the event and many will be facilitating interactive activities.

Here are the artists and clues to what you’ll find inside their pavilions:

This event is packed full of art opportunities for the whole family. Stop by anytime on Thursday, October 15 to paint a butterfly with artist Chazz Miller. Then watch for these butterflies to appear around town. Other events throughout the 10 day festival will include Pop-Up Theater, Art for Innovators (a lunchtime discussion series at AADL), Back to the Future Day, [http://annarbor.nerdnite.com/|Nerd Nite] artist talks, live music (daily from 5–7pm), Family Drop-In: Cardboard Challenge, and special activities geared particularly towards kids. And, sign up to participate in one of the Pop-Up Picnics on Sunday, October 18 with local “celebrity” mystery guests and conversation cues provided by [http://www.civcity.org/|CivCity].You can see the whole lineup on the [http://popxannarbor.com/calendar/2015-10/|POP•X calendar].


Anne Drozd is a Production Librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library.


POP·X runs Thursday, October 15 – Saturday October 24, 2015 from 10am to 8pm at Liberty Plaza Park, 255 East Liberty St., Ann Arbor. To learn more visit [http://popxannarbor.com/|popxannarbor.com] or the [https://www.facebook.com/events/1690022531216784/|POP•X Facebook event page]. POP•X is free and open to the public.