Current and Upcoming Exhibits at the Ann Arbor District Library

Banner Moments: The National Anthem in American Life

Now through August 30, 2015 -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room Exhibit

Celebrating the bicentennial of the U.S. National Anthem, this exhibit illustrates through interpretive panels, historical documents and photographs, the cultural 200-year history of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1814–2014). The tale that emerges demonstrates the power of music and poetry to spark the social imagination and thus create a sense of shared community.

The year 2014 marked the 200th birthday of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the national anthem of the United States of America. Inspired by the successful defense of Baltimore, Maryland from British attack on September 13 & 14, 1814, lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key penned his now famous lyric. Rather than extraordinary, Key’s creative impulse was typical of early America’s broadside ballad tradition in which new words were written to fit well known tunes. The result, however, was far from everyday—Key could not have predicted that his song would survive the moment, yet become his nation’s singular anthem.

Follow the “The Star-Spangled Banner” from the moments leading up to September 14, 1814 through the present day and explore the social history of our national song.

Food of Love: Paintings in Various Media by the Painting Section of the U-M Faculty Women's Club

Now through July 30, 2015 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

This group exhibit of 35 paintings features the collected works of the Painting Section of the University of Michigan’s Faculty Women’s Club (FWC) covering a large variety of styles and media.

The theme of this year’s exhibit is “Food of Love”, taken from the Shakespeare quote:
“If music be the food of love, play on…” The works in this show are meant to be an embrace of the sensuous: love, food, music and a reminder to enjoy beauty in life. As artists, we felt free to base our paintings on any or all facets of the Bard's idea of “food of love”.

The FWC is a cross campus organization, offering members acquaintance and fellowship. The members of the Painting Section have been “painting” together regularly since 1929, creating award-winning pieces in a wide variety of media, and learning from one another at weekly gatherings in their homes. Sharing experiences with new media, critiquing one another’s work, and encouraging exploration in artistic expression are the basic elements of their continuing study of the visual arts as a group. Shows of their works have been displayed for the past 44 years at venues in the greater Ann Arbor area, including art fairs, art galleries, banks, churches, and libraries.

The members of this group strive to enrich the cultural life of the Ann Arbor area by raising awareness of, and by encouraging active participation in, the visual arts.

The Pleasure of Portraits: Paintings by Bertie Bonnell

Now through August 30, 2015 -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Exhibit

Ann Arbor artist Bertie Bonnell’s evocative acrylic paintings, in colors often glowing, at times brooding, are atmospheric interpretations of each person and their surroundings.

She comments, “I’ve endeavored to capture the expression and the chromatic essence of a person, to create a tightly woven composition, and to knit the figure seamlessly into the background. The brushwork is spontaneously messy when seen up close, but from a few feet away seems realistic.”

Bonnell, a lifelong painter and third generation artist, attended New York City’s School of Visual Arts before she moved to Ann Arbor. In 2006, her “Porches and Gardens” series was exhibited at AADL.

The AADL Staff Awesome LEGO Exhibit

July 31, 2015 through August 30, 2015 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases

Summer 2015 is all about LEGO at AADL!

Thursday, August 6 is our 10th Annual LEGO Contest, hosted at Kensington Court in Ann Arbor for kids, teens and adults! Every year a few children of Library Staff enter the LEGO contest and sadly, no matter how awesome their project is, they can't WIN. To rectify this and to show off the awesome creativity and LEGO enthusiasm of AADL staff, we're filling the Downtown Library display cases with lots of LEGO awesome projects!

AADL staff, family, and friends of staff worked hard to show off their work with unique LEGO structures, built with pieces from favorite sets and everything in between!

This special LEGO display is also part of AADL’s Summer Game 2015! Game codes and other clues will be hidden in the display and LOTS of points will be earned! Go to for more information about the Summer Game and to learn about earning LEGO badges!

Totems, Trees, and Birds

August 4, 2015 through September 10, 2015 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

This dual painting exhibit by Joyce Tinkham and Betsy Beckerman features thirty-five works in a variety of media, including watercolor, acrylic on canvas, mixed media on wood, and collage.

Joyce Tinkham is an award-winning artist, and a graduate of the University of of Michigan School of Art & Design. Her work features pieces in acrylic paint on canvas and watercolors. Joyce Tinkham's heritage is Nisga'a Native American, a factor that, as she puts it, "creeps into my work. "My paintings sometimes have Native American themes, and sometimes American native designs."

Betsy Beckerman is a musician and an artist. She features watercolors, mixed media on wood and collage in this show. Most pieces have nature themes or depictions of birds.

Betsy and Joyce are friends and are in two art groups together: AAWA and SaturdayforArt. Both have previously had solo shows at the AADL and with similar tastes and themes decided to mount this collaborative show.