Shadow Art Fair

The Shadow Art Fair is being held this Saturday, July 19 from noon to midnight at the Arbor Brewing Company's Corner Brewery, in Ypsilanti. Meant to focus less on the national scope of this week's big Ann Arbor Art Fairs and more on our rich local arts scene, it's always a quirky and rewarding event. The Shadow is refreshingly human-sized, and a great way to find out what's happening with homegrown creativity.

Ready or Not, the Art Fairs are Coming!

Art Fair PosterArt Fair Poster

I must admit, I’m one of those people who loves the Art Fairs. I love the crush of people downtown, the car-free streets at nighttime, the fair food, and especially the sale where you get to dig through boxes of cheap clothes at Urban Outfitters. Even art on a stick makes my heart go pitter-patter.

One of the best things about the original Art Fair in recent years has been the addition of the Townie Party. This year’s event, on the evening of Monday, July 14, includes some interesting new features. First off, the event is working hard at being zero-waste in partnership with Recycle Ann Arbor. RAA will also play a part in a new tent at the Townie Party—the Arts Alliance will be hosting a special Creative Connections during which participants will work collaboratively to create a masterpiece out of discarded materials donated by the Reuse Center. They’ll also be providing local artists and arts and cultural organizations with a place to share their activities with the public, all under one (tent) roof. AADL will be among the organizations in the mix, so plan to stop by and say hello!

Ann Arbor Art Walk -- Deadline Extended!

Art WalkArt Walk

Now’s the time to join the Ann Arbor Art Walk! More than just an event this year, membership in Art Walk provides artists with a listing in a year-round guide to art and artists in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County as well as complimentary membership in Arts Alliance. Art Walk occurs this October 17 and 18 in locations throughout Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, and provides an opportunity to explore the area’s rich artistic talent. Many artists open their studios to the public for those two days only, and other organizations will hold parties and openings to celebrate the event. If you’re an artist in Washtenaw County, join the fun! There's still time--the membership deadline has been extended to July 8!

Paul Outerbridge - American Photographer

Paul OuterbridgePaul Outerbridge

"Art is life seen through man's inner craving for perfection and beauty--his escape from the sordid realities of life into a world of his imagining... To the artist is given the privilege of pointing the way and inspiring towards a better life." --Paul Outerbridge (1896-1958).

Paul Outerbridge: Color Photographs from Mexico and California, the 1950s, the current exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, is organized around Outerbridge's photographs of small towns along California’s coastline and Mexico’s Baja peninsula, showcasing "his virtuosic use of form, color and atmosphere from vernacular".
An opening lecture "In Praise of Shadows" by Brendan Fay, of Harvard University Art Museums and an alumnus of UM, will situate the work of Paul Outerbridge in the larger context of experiments with color photography at midcentury, on Friday, June 13, 5 p.m., 4448 East Hall, 530 Church Street, Ann Arbor. The event is free and open to the public.

Sancho's Scene: Community Events that Wander off the Path

Circle of ArtCircle of Art

I must confess to cheating a bit in my blog this week—one of these events is not in our community, not even close! But it’s in somebody’s community, and it’s so cool that I wanted to share it with you all.

At the prestigious Brooklyn Museum in NY, the curators are hanging up their hats in favor of an innovative and unusual approach: they’re foisting their curatorial responsibilities on you, the public at large. Their exhibit, Click, has been designed as an experiment exploring the “wisdom of crowds,” columnist James Surowiecki’s notion that a large group of people will make a better decision than a trained expert. Click the link and give it a try!

Closer to home, this Sunday marks the 4th annual Circle of Art Auction at the Saline Picture Frame Company. A benefit for Food Gatherers, Circle of Art features hundreds of small works of art up for auction. The bidding begins online and continues at the event, which runs from 12-5 on Sunday. It’s a fantastic event—a worthy cause, inclusive, anything but elitist—all art is welcome and the bidding starts at $10. Check it out!

Sancho's Picks for Weekend Fun!

Art of HealingArt of Healing

The Duderstadt Gallery once again has plenty to keep you busy this week: a fascinating exhibit on the design of objects, calling to mind Henry Petroski, who loves to write about things most people take for granted. Petroski has actually written entire books on pencils, the evolution of the bookshelf (note: there’s more to it than you’d think), and the toothpick (!). The gallery also features The Art of Healing, opening this Friday, May 2 from 5-8pm. Cosponsored by the Feminist Art Project, the Women’s Caucus for Art-Michigan, and the Therapy Center of Ann Arbor, The Art of Healing examines the thorny issues and experiences related to women’s health, showcasing fine examples of work by local artists.

Also on the calendar: Moonlight Delight, the annual spring incarnation of Midnight Madness in downtown Ann Arbor. Stores open late, sales galore: must I go on? See you there!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #110

According to a New York Times article, it took a citywide fund-raising effort for The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to raise the $68 million needed to keep a Thomas Eakins masterpiece - The Gross Clinic in the city. "The painting is widely considered to be among the greatest convases in American art".

Though Eakins' fame is "almost entirely posthumous and he was little known and admired in his native city" during his life time, but in Lawrence Goldstone's debut The Anatomy of Deception, Eakins is front and center in this highly readable, intriguing and historically well-researched forensic thriller. Also depicted are the real-life characters such as William Osler (the Father of Modern Medicine), famed surgeon William Stewart Halsted and the vibrant social scene of Philadelphia 1889.

Historical mystery readers, especially those of Caleb Carr and Matthew Pearl will find much to like here.

Umbororo Crossing

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Did you happen to miss the large, hooved mammals casually walking down State Street last Friday evening? Don't fret. You can still catch a glimpse of them as they continue their stroll in front of City Hall (100 N. Fifth Ave.) between East Ann St. and East Huron St. from April 19 - 27. These wonderful sculptures are the work of University of Michigan MFA candidate Elshafei Mohamed and are based on experiences with the Umbororo nomads of the Sudan.

Sancho's Scene: Weekday Events at the Dude

Kathryn Olson ImageKathryn Olson Image

There’s a lot going on this week at the Duderstadt Center on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. Remarkably multitalented School of Music graduate student, Kathryn Olson, will demonstrate her musical skill on the saxophone at a recital on April 10 at 8pm. She'll be playing original compositions as well as music by Thelonious Monk and others, as well as exhibiting her video and still photography in the center’s Video and Performance Studio. Her origami will also be on display (!) and the event will feature other talented performers, too.

This week also marks the opening of the third annual rEVOLUTION : Making Art for Change exhibit in the Duderstadt Center Gallery. A reception will take place on Friday, April 11 from 7-10pm to celebrate the exhibit, a collaboration between the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and SAFEhouse.

Jean Nouvel – the 2008 Pritzker Prize Winner

NouvelNouvel

French architect Jean Nouvel snatched this year’s top honor in architecture. The prize which includes a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion, is to be presented on June 2nd at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.

The Pritzker Prize “honors annually a living architect whose built work demonstrates talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.”

Nouvel, respected for his inquisitive and agile mind, takes great risks in each of his strikingly distinctive projects, expanding the vocabulary of contemporary architecture.

Examples of Nouvel’s works include 40 Mercer (SoHo), a luxury residence; Abgar Tower in Barcelona; the Guthrie Theater (photo at left); and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

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