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.

Dream Seeding for a Better World Art Show

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The public is invited to a reception of the Dream Seeding for a Better World art show on Saturday, March 7th, from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Michigan Union (530 South State Street). There will be music, storytelling and food. Free.

The show is organized by dreamseeding.org and showcases creative work that helps us visualize and create a more peaceful and ecologically healthy community.

2009 Ann Arbor Women Artists' Exhibition and Discussion

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In conjunction with their Annual Spring exhibition (which will be on display at the Downtown Library through mid-April), the Ann Arbor Women Artists and the Library will present a lecture/reception at the Downtown Library on Friday March 6, 2009, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm with the juror for this exhibition, local arts educator Ellen Wilt. The winners of the 2009 Ann Arbor Women Artists’ Exhibit will be announced and Ms. Wilt will use the art as a focal point as she leads the audience in a community discussion.

A ferrofluid Magnetoscope at the AADL? Come check it out!

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Control powerful magnets and levitate a puddle of ferrofluid in this new hands-on exhibit by inventor, Michael Flynn. Ferrofluid is a nano-engineered oil containing magnetic particles that are only 5 nanometers in diameter. Rapid advancements in nanotechnology are harnessing many other surprising properties from nanoscale physics for use in our normal, full-scale experience. You can learn more about this exhibit at www.FunExhibits.com, and during the month of March you come see it in action at the Downtown AADL!

"Hope" in Dispute - Copyright vs. Fair Use

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Street artist Shepard Fairey who created the famous Hope image of Barack Obama sued The Associated Press, claiming his use of an AP photo in creating the poster did not violate copyright law, because he has dramatically changed the nature of the image and therefore, is protected under the so-called "Fair Use" provisions.

The AP said it is owed credit and compensation for the artist's rendition of the original photo taken by Mannie Garcia who was on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club. (Read the whole story).

Just today, Mannie Garcia discussed on NPR his own legal battle with the AP, claiming the photo was taken while he was working as a freelance photojournalist.

Maybe reading Elizabeth T. Russell’s Art Law Conversations : a surprisingly readable guide for visual artists (2005) might help clear up the muddle? But I doubt it.

BTW...signed originals of both the Hope poster and the Garcia photo have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

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