Current and Upcoming Exhibits at the Ann Arbor District Library

Handbuilding with Clay: An Exhibit by Clay-Art-Friends

Now through October 15, 2015 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases

Featured Artists: Barbara Brown, Nancy Bulkley, Jeanine Center, Kim Scott, Caron Valentine-Marsh, Oni Werth, Lineke Zuiderweg, and Mieke Zuiderweg

When people think of ceramics, they tend to visualize the smoothly wheel-thrown shapes of vases, mugs, and plates. Ceramics built by slab, coils, or pinching tend to be off their radar, yet so many of the items that surround us in this world are made by these techniques. The eight Midwestern artists participating in this exhibition share a common bond of manipulating clay through similar processes, but their results could not be more different.

When looking at a ceramic object, we tend to get lost in the piece’s beauty, not its process. This exhibit hopes to capture the public’s interest in what’s behind the art façade. By showcasing a large variety of work and how it’s made, the medium’s mysterious nature will come to light:

• Bowls and figures by Nancy Bulkley are the perfect example of unknown process; the work is made by “pinching”, an incredibly ancient technique that still holds true to modern forms. The viewer can revel in the small imperfections of this process, literally seeing the hand of man upon its surface.
• Sophisticated pieces can spring from slowly building forms, as seen in Barbara Brown’s tall vases and 2 D sculptures featuring birds and natural elements.
• Slab building can yield results that both celebrate the form of the slab (Lineke Zuiderweg’s fairytale figures and Mieke Zuiderweg’s architectural forms) and intense texture as seen in Kim Scott’s “tree trunk vessels.”
• Caron Valentine-Marsh delves further into using slabs with a refined hand not often seen in clay - her “Nicho” constructions have both incredible form and function.
• Still further from the “traditional” vase, Jeanine Center creates clay jewelry that celebrates both detail and natural texture as well as her plates, while
• Oni Werth takes mixed media to a higher level with his driftwood and ceramic compositions.

We hope this show will not only open a new world of ceramics to people, but create enough intrigue that they want to try it for themselves. Handbuilding has an accessibility not found in any other art form, and should be tried by all!

The Individuality of Color: Watercolor Paintings by John David Macdonald

Now through October 15, 2015 -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room Exhibit

These twenty watercolor paintings are the goal of a training method begun many years ago to develop an intimate relationship with color in order to realize form and motif and the creative tendencies inherent therein. The exhibit ranges from nature moods to works where artistic fantasy weaves its way in without violating the above stated goal.

This method of training with color, through systematic and methodical exercises, has its chief exponent in the late Gerard Wagner (1906-1999), who spent a lifetime developing and expanding indications of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), who provided the foundation for this method.

John David Macdonald’s work with Gerard Wagner provided guidance to explore the limitless creative possibilities contained in one of nature’s primal phenomena

Kerrytown BookFest: The Art of the Book

Now through October 15, 2015 -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Exhibit

The Kerrytown BookFest celebrates all aspects of book writing and creation. This year, this annual exhibit at the Library showcases entries from the festival’s 8th annual Book Cover Design contest for high school students.

The contest, open to all Michigan High School students, asks the students to reimagine a cover for a chosen book and give a visual interpretation to the written word. The contest winners will be announced at the reception.

This year’s book is My Last Kiss, a young adult novel by Bethany Neal. Over 100 entries were judged by Bethany Neal, author; Paula Newcombe, graphic designer for the University of Michigan Press; and Melissa Weisberg, Macmillan Publishing Company representative.

Eight finalists were chosen on the basis of originality, execution, and understanding and application of the subject matter

The public is invited to an opening reception for the exhibit and the BookFest on Friday, September 11 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm on the third floor of the Downtown Library This event will include: elegant refreshments; exquisite music by harpist Deborah Gabrion; and remarks by Robin Agnew, Kerrytown BookFest President and owner of Aunt Agatha’s bookstore, who will present an overview of the exhibit and the book design contest

The Kerrytown BookFest, which will be held on Sunday, September 13, is an event celebrating those who create books and those who read them. The primary goal is to highlight the area’s rich heritage in the book and printing arts while showcasing local and regional individuals, businesses, and organizations. Since 2003, the BookFest has been growing, sharing, and discovering more and more about the rich book culture in this region.

Cuba: An Opening Door, Photographs by Sandy Schopbach

Now through October 29, 2015 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

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.

Artist Nancy Thayer Discusses The Drawing And Painting Arts and Presents Awards for the Ann Arbor Women Artists Fall 2015 Exhibit

Friday October 23, 2015: 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases and Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

In conjunction with their Annual exhibition, Ann Arbor Women Artists join the Library to present this lecture by Nancy Thayer, the juror for the Fall 2015 exhibit at the Library. Winners of the Ann Arbor Women Artists Fall 2015 Juried Exhibition will also be announced. The evening will begin with a 6:30 pm reception, where the public is invited to view the exhibition before the lecture and awards presentation.

Nancy’s talk will focus on her experience teaching classes in drawing and painting for non-art majors at the Stamps School of Art & Design. She will show some amazing images of work completed by students majoring in pre med., engineering, psychology, neurobiology, mathematics, and computer science. Examples will include mandalas, photo realism, self-portraits, and architecture.

The work of Nancy Thayer is included in numerous museum collections including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Muzeum Papiernictwa, Duszniki Zdroj, Poland, Foundation MINT ALAPITVANY, Budapest, Hungary, and in over 100 private and corporate collections throughout Europe and the U.S.

Ann Arbor Women Artists is a non-profit organization of approximately 330+ women and men with connections to Ann Arbor, ranging from beginning to professional artists. The purpose of the AAWA is to stimulate creative expression and sharing among its members in order to continually raise the quality of the art produced.

Each calendar year the AAWA holds two or three juried shows. A juror is invited to select from a large group of submissions a final show that is a reflection of the body of work produced by the membership, ranging from beginning to professional artists.