Stony Expressions: New Exhibit at UMMA!

Chinese SculptureChinese Sculpture

If you haven't yet visited the University of Michigan Museum of Art post-renovation, here's a little bit more incentive. A new exhibit has just opened at UMMA, called Treasures Rediscovered: Chinese Stone Sculptures from the Sackler Collections at Columbia University. It runs through August 16th, so you'll have most of the summer to check it out! There are a number of other exhibits on display, if stone sculptures aren't your thing. And, if you'd like to do a bit of summer reading on Chinese art, the AADL has a selection of books that might just suit, such as The dynasties and treasures of China.

Ink Drawings on Paper by Aleksis Lahti

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Aleksis Lahti was born in Ann Arbor and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1963 with a BS in design. He also attended the Accademia Di Belle Arte in Florence, Italy. He has been self-employed since 1967 doing architectural, interior, product, and graphic design, and has taught drawing at Lawrence Technological University for more than thirty years.

According to the artist, "These new drawings just happen. I add small elements of line or color a little at a time. Any of these drawings could go on and on. They are finished only because I stop drawing. The line or color cannot be removed. I can only go forward not back." The drawings will be on display at Malletts Creek Branch from May 2 through June 16, 2009.

An Enduring Gift of Art

Traverwood PaintingTraverwood Painting

If you have visited the Traverwood Branch, it is likely that you would have admired the still life painting near the program/playroom. It is the work of longtime U-M professor Mignonette Cheng who died April 23rd at the age of 76. (See news article). The painting is a gift of the Ladies Library Association.

A gifted artist, a respected educator and a gracious individual, Professor Cheng will be greatly missed. You can see more online images of her recent work and check out her Watercolors of Italy (the catalog from her one-woman show at the University of Michigan Museum of Art ) in the library's collection.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 1432 Washtenaw Ave. in Ann Arbor.

Visit the Detroit Artists Market

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Take a trip to the Detroit Artists Market for the 2009 All-Media Exhibition. The show kicks off DAM’s spring season with a juried exhibition of contemporary art by 48 Detroit and Michigan artists. The exhibition will be on display until June 6. Since 1932 the Detroit Artist Market has been rooted in the history of Detroit art and culture, and continues today to be a community organization promoting contemporary art. As a bonus, check out a Museum Adventure Pass before you go and get a 10% discount on DAM merchandise.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Student Art Exhibit

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Each year, the Ann Arbor Public Schools come to the Library to showcase the work of their students. Once again, the developing talents of students in kindergarten through fifth grade art classes will be displayed throughout the Downtown Branch. The current exhibit will be up through May 28. Artwork will be on display at the Downtown Library in the Multi-Purpose Room, Lower Level Glass Display Cases, Third Floor Exhibit Area & Youth Department

Loot

Love museums and antiquities? Ever wonder how the British Museum ended up with the best stuff from every country colonized in the name of the Queen? The Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Vatican and the J. Paul Getty Museum were in on the game too.

Loot by Sharon Waxman is a fascinating, well-written account of how Egypt, Greece, Italy, Turkey and others have been plundered of their masterworks by treasure hunters, museums and nobility bent on creating personal collections. She aptly describes the history of this high-stakes conflict that includes lawsuits, grave robbers, international thievery and personal and professional ruin.

Many pieces have been returned over the years but not without a fight. The major museums of the world insist that world cultural heritage will be damaged if the art is returned to their country of origin because fewer people will go to smaller museums in the host countries.

Surrealist? Dadaist? Rebel?

Today, April 20 is the birthday of Spanish artist Joan Miro. Known in some circles as a surrealist, Miro himself denied any labels and rejected any political or social influences on his work. Known primarily as a painter, Miro's canvases were inhabited by whimsical sticklike figures, floating objects and playful interactions among the many personalities he created. He also was a sculptor, creating "The Wall of the Moon and Wall of the Sun" at the UNESCO building in Paris. He also made a tapestry for the World Trade Center and a sculpture called "Miro's Chicago" in the Loop business district.

"The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I'm overwhelmed when I see, in an immense sky, the crescent of the moon, or the sun. There, in my pictures, tiny forms in huge empty spaces. Empty spaces, empty horizons, empty plains - everything which is bare has always greatly impressed me." - Joan Miró, 1958, quoted in Twentieth-Century Artists on Art.

The University of Michigan Museum of Art Reopens This Weekend

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On March 28, 2009, after nearly three years of restoration and expansion work, the University of Michigan Museum (UMMA) reopens. Many of the current undergraduate students have never set foot in the Museum, so it is most befitting that they were the first group of guests invited in for a sneak preview.

To welcome the community back, the Museum (525 South State Street) is planning a 24-hour open house beginning at 6 p.m. on Satudray, March 28th. Listen for the bells and carillon across campus to peal just before the start of all the (FREE) festivities. There will be performances, dancing, poetry, games, art and jewelry making, taichi, yoga and a scavenger hunt for the little ones. For many, It's a Dream Fulfilled. Let's celebrate!

AADL Productions Podcast: Festifools

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A festival of fools will descend on Main Street for the third annual Festifools event next Sunday, April 5, from 4-5 p.m. Last week, we had the opportunity to interview Mark Tucker, the creative force behind Festifools, at his studio. Mark talks about his background in float building, this year's Festifools theme, and he takes us on tour of the studio and the various stages of creating a papier-mâché puppet.

Happy Birthday Diane Arbus!

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March 14, 1923 was the birthday of one of my favorite photographers, Diane Arbus. Born in New York City, she ran a fashion photography studio with her husband for many years before starting the work which she is best known for - portraits of people outside of the mainstream, often on the fringes of society (think families, giants, creepy socialites, circus freaks, and normal people in unusual and/or disturbing situations). Here at the AADL we have several options for you to investigate the world of Diane Arbus. Check out Diane Arbus:Revelations for a hefty retrospective of her work. You can also try Untitled/Diane Arbus, Diane Arbus:Family Albums, Diane Arbus or Hubert's Freaks:the rare-book dealer, the Times Square talker, and the lost photos of Diane Arbus for a glimpse into her offbeat photography.
For a fictional account of Diane Arbus, check out the DVD Fur:An imaginary portrait of Diane Arbus, which stars Nicole Kidman as Arbus and is loosely based on Patricia Bosworth's Diane Arbus : A Biography.

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