Cuba: An Opening Door

December 2, 2015 through January 14, 2016 -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room Exhibit

This exhibit includes 51 photos taken during Sandy Schopbach’s recent trip to Cuba.

Some are landscapes: the harbor and streets of Havana, the bay of Cienfuegos, the church and cobbled streets of Trinidad (the Cuban city, not the country), and the countryside in between. Others are snapshots of daily life: the vendors in the covered market of Cienfuegos, people watching the streets below from their balconies, students in uniform enjoying the end of the school day. Still others are portraits: the young singer in a restaurant, or the proud veteran with his many medals, or the woman-with-cigar posing for photos to earn extra money.

Cuba reminds Sandy of the America of the fifties. It’s a country perched on the precipice of the great changes that will come, now that relations have been re-established. A few young people are already walking around with their ears glued to a cell phone. And until mid-summer the U.S. Embassy in Havana flew no flag and was only a “U.S. Interests Office." Things are changing and perhaps they will change fast.

Still, she hopes that much will remain of the Cuba she saw during this magic visit to an island that has remained a Never-Never-Land for so many years.

Animals in Rhyme: The Friends of Mother Goose

December 2, 2015 through January 15, 2016 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases

This exhibit celebrates Mother Goose and the rhymes that bring humor and delight to early reading experiences. From Little Bo-Peep's wandering sheep to Mother Hubbard's demanding dog, visitors will find familiar (and some unfamiliar) animal friends in print and on parade. Come and explore over 100 years of illustrated rhymes from the University of Michigan Special Collections Library's Children's Literature Collection and the William A. Gosling Pop-up and Movable Book Collection.

Organized by animal species, each section of the exhibit presents both lesser-known rhymes and old favorites as interpreted by some of the most important children’s book illustrators of the past hundred years. Mervyn Peake’s “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross,” Jerry Pinkney’s “Three Little Kittens,” and Robert Sabuda’s pop-up “Itsy Bitsy Spider” are only a few of the visual delights on display.

This year’s exhibit is curated by Juli McLoone, Outreach Librarian & Curator of the Special Collections Library. Many thanks to Marieka Kaye of the Preservation & Conservation Department and Anne Elias and Karmen Beecroft of the Special Collections Library for their help in designing, preparing, and installing this exhibit, and to Beverly Black, Steve Daut, Laura Lee Hayes, and Jennifer Otto of the Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild for sharing their storytelling talent and expertise

Always Lost: A Meditation on War

December 11, 2015 through February 26, 2016 -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Exhibit

In 2008, Western Nevada College (WNC) sociology Professor Don Carlson was stopped in his tracks by The New York Times’ Roster of the Dead. “Four thousand faces of American military who had perished in Iraq stared at me,” he said, “and I realized that this war has been perhaps one of the most impersonal wars the U.S. has ever fought.” Carlson and English Professor Marilee Swirczek envisioned a literary and visual arts exhibition to personalize Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Kevin Burns, Major, USMC (Ret.) titled the exhibition Always Lost: A Meditation on War from an observation by American writer Gertrude Stein: “War is never fatal but always lost. Always lost.”

The heart of Always Lost is the Wall of the Dead: individual photographs with names of the more than 6,500 U.S. military war casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. The Always Lost project team is committed to keeping the Wall of the Dead current in honor of those who gave their lives and those who made it home.

Included in the exhibition, courtesy of The Dallas Morning News, is the 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of Iraq War combat photographs (Breaking News Photography) by photojournalists David Leeson and Cheryl Diaz Meyer, embedded with Marine units in Iraq in 2003. Accompanying each combat photograph is original literary work by WNC creative writers, veterans and their family members, and others from the Nevada writing community. Observations about the nature of war, from ancient philosophers to modern-day generals, offer thought-provoking meditations about the effects of war on each of us and our obligations to those who serve in harm’s way on our behalf. Interviews of WNC student veterans, representing service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, remind us of the hidden wounds of war. Army SPC Noah C. Pierce, who took his life after two combat tours in Iraq, represents the tragedy of military suicides through his personal story and original poetry.

The exhibition has evolved into a powerful meditation on the effect of war on each of us. It has become a sacred space in which to contemplate the personal costs and collective sacrifice of these particular conflicts, and consequently, of all wars. Always Lost: A Meditation on War is dedicated to those who gave their lives and those who made it home.

Always Lost is made possible through the generosity of The National Endowment of the Arts, The Dallas Morning News, Pfizer VIP: Veterans In Pfizer, Western Nevada College, Art Works and many more.

Image Credit: Photo (left): Courtesy of The Dallas Morning News/David Leeson

Always Lost Exhibit Reception

Friday December 11, 2015: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Open Area and Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

The nationally touring arts and humanities exhibition Always Lost: A Meditation on War, on display at the Downtown Library from December 11 through February 24, is a poignant memorial that brings home the costs of war and honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those who made it home.

Join us for the special opening program for this extraordinary and moving exhibit. The exhibit opening includes:
• 6:30–6:45 pm Opening Remarks & Acknowledgments – 4th Floor Meeting Room
• 6:45–7:00 pm Short Film Screening: The Story of Always Lost: A Meditation on War – 4th Floor Meeting Room
• 7:00–7:30 pm Special Processional: University of Michigan ROTC Color Guard • Local Veterans of Foreign Wars – Third Floor Gallery
• 7:30–8:30 pm Exhibit Viewing & Light Refreshments – Third Floor Gallery

Always Lost is made possible through the generosity of The National Endowment of the Arts, The Dallas Morning News, Pfizer VIP: Veterans In Pfizer, Western Nevada College, Art Works, and many more.

Image Credit: Photo (left): Courtesy of Western Nevada College

Winter Scenes

December 15, 2015 through January 28, 2016 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

These original pieces of artwork were created by men and women living with memory loss who participate in the University of Michigan Silver Club programs. The mission of the Silver Club programs is to build a community where people with memory loss make friends, share joys and fears, be creative and have fun through meaningful adult-focused engaging activities.

The exhibit consists of twenty-two artworks featuring a variety of media such as watercolor, ink, and acrylic. In addition, several unusual techniques are employed, including a stencil process using acrylic paint on a blue background and actual pine branches and berries, and a cyanotype photographic printing process, using cedar spring cuttings and sunlight.

Opportunities for Veterans: A Look at Housing, Employment and Your Rights

Tuesday February 9, 2016: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Join us for an informational panel discussion about resources for veterans and their families in Washtenaw County. Particular focus will be on housing, community re-integration, employment opportunities and supportive services.

Rebecca Rowland, M.S.W, Michigan Ability Partners. Rebecca is the Vocational Team Leader for MAP, and Co-Chair of the Hire MI Vet community initiative.

Heather Popkey, B.S.W, Michigan Ability Partners. Heather is a Veterans Services Case Manager, and administers the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program in Washtenaw County.

Sterling Meeuwen, works in Ypsilanti and is a current student at Eastern Michigan University majoring in History and Philosophy. Sterling was stationed at Fort Benning, GA as an infantryman of the United States Army from 1999-2003, serving as a combat engineer in the Republic of Korea.

Derrick Miller, Deputy Director for Community Action Network. Derrick is a 6 year Veteran of the Marine Corps, and has extensive experience working with low-income clients and service providers in the Ann Arbor area.

Peter C. Clark, Esq. Peter is a former federal prosecutor and US Army JAG attorney, and Ann Arbor native. Currently Peter works with clients to cover a wide variety of estate planning needs

Martina Wells, LCSW, LCAS- Transition & Care Management (TCM) Team Program Manager, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Martina oversees the TCM program which is committed to helping Post 9/11 and OEF/OIF/OND Veterans with a seamless transition to civilian life and accessing the VA Healthcare system. Martina is also an Air Force Reservist.