Documentary Alert: Art vs. Art

The 2011 Oscar nominated documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop is about more than graffiti.

The film chronicles eccentric Los Angeles based French shopkeeper Thierry Guetta and his obsession with videotaping everything around him. This fascination leads him to filming one street artist, which leads to filming more street artists, and he ends up finding the secretive Banksy (a well known “commercial artist” of the underground street art culture who doesn’t reveal his identity) and ends up following him across the globe, filming his every move. After a decade of touring the globe filming street artists, Thierry becomes Mr. Brainwash, creating art of his own, which is a bit of an insane slap in the face to the street art world. A decade of videotapes chronicling the scene, with no end goal in mind, leaves Banksy with a desire to properly put Thierry's tapes to use, to display an important part in the history of street art culture. The cameras get turned to face Thierry and Exit Through The Gift Shop was born. The film is a provocative display of graffiti vs. art, honesty vs. selling out, and displays some fabulous street art in the process. Then of course there's the theory that perhaps this was all a hoax put on by Banksy . You decide.

When Banksy was nominated for the Academy Award there was a bit of a fuss since he doesn’t show his face in public and has been known to wear a monkey mask at rare public appearances. Inside Job won for Best Documentary, so the Academy was spared what may or may not have happened if he had won.

Performance: Metamorphosis by Aaron Dworkin

Aaron DworkinAaron Dworkin

Sunday March 6, 2011: 6:00-7:00pm -- University of Michigan Museum of Art Helmut Stern Auditorium

Artist Aaron Dworkin explores the modern aesthetic in this compelling multi-media presentation of visual art, spoken word, and music. "Metamorphosis" offers a synthesis of poetry, classical music and photography that all sketch important moments of the artist's personal story.

A lifelong musician, Mr. Dworkin is an accomplished acoustic and electric violinist, author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen and an avid youth education advocate.

Dworkin is the Founder and President of the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Organization, a MacArthur Fellow, and he was recently nominated to be the first member of President Obama's National Council on the Arts.

Join us to hear a University of Michigan alumnus perform back on campus!

Darwin: Rewriting the Book of Nature is on display at the Taubman Health Sciences Library

Darwin ExhibitDarwin Exhibit

February 14 - March 26, 2011. "Rewriting the Book of Nature: Charles Darwin and the Rise of Evolutionary Theory explores Charles Darwin’s vision—'from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved'—a vision that now forms the foundation of the biological sciences. Radical in sweep, Darwin’s idea of naturally innovating and endlessly changing webs of life undercut all previous sciences." For more information about this exhibit visit the National Library of Medicine page.

Take Part in Art -- Marvelous Masks

image by C. P. Storm, Flickr.comimage by C. P. Storm, Flickr.com
From masquerade balls to dramatic performances, from exuberant carnivals to solemn ceremonies, people all over the world love wearing masks. Why are masks so popular? Maybe because wearing a mask lets us transform ourselves into anything we can imagine!

If you love masks, you can come to the art table in the downtown youth department to make some with us. Or you can join in at home:

Read!
Niño’s Mask – A young boy is told that he is too young to wear a mask in his village carnival. Won’t everyone be surprised when he makes a mask and becomes el perro – the dog – all by himself!
Behind the Mask – Kimin wonders what to wear for Halloween. When he discovers a mysterious mask among his grandfather’s things, he learns more about his own past.
The Art of African Masks – Discover how different cultures make and use masks in Africa.

Do!
Masks – Make masks from all over the world!
About.com has tons of ideas for making masks from egg cartons, plastic jugs, paper plates and all sorts of other stuff!
At PBS you can learn more about African masks, or you can make your own!

Try a mask today – they work for superheroes and luchadores, so you know they've gotta be good.

Dream Seeding for Changing Realities : All Ages Art Show

Dream SeedingDream Seeding

The organizers of Dream Seeding are actively seeking submissions of art in ANY feasible medium from folks of any age or skill level for this year's Art Show.

The artist must feel that the work, in any conceivable way, "offers a vision of any aspect of a more peaceful, socially just, or ecologically healthy community or world, or offers some suggestion as to how we can move toward such a world." For more information on guidelines and submission, here is the contact.

Dream Seeding for Changing Realities All Ages Art Show will be open to the public at the Michigan Union Art Lounge (530 S. State St. on the University of Michigan Central Campus) from March 1st until March 31st.

Come join the Dream Seeding Reception on Saturday, March 19th, from 6 to 9 with music, dance, storytelling and food.

Snoopy the Flying Ace @ Ypsilanti District Library

snoopysnoopy

The Exhibit Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace is on display from February 3 through March 10 at the Ypsilanti District Library.

The exhibit consists of 40 digital prints from the original drawings done by Schulz, depicting Snoopy’s most exciting adventures in his transformed doghouse—now a Sopwith Camel airplane —from the time he faced a deadly bout of influenza to sparring with the Flying Ace’s archenemy, the Red Baron.

Minnesota cartoonist Charles M. Schulz based the universally-loved beagle on his childhood black-and-white dog, Spike. Watch this delightful YouTube video of Snoopy vs. The Red Baron. It guarantees a smile.

Check out the AADL collection of books and videos by Schulz.

ARTomatic

VSAVSA

The VSA Michigan: "Emerging Artists' Exhibit" is now on display through February 13, 2011, at the UM Taubman Health Sciences Library located on the 4th floor at 1135 E. Catherine in downtown Ann Arbor. This is a juried exhibit that features artists of all ages and levels of experience from across the state. "Since 1977, VSA Michigan has worked to create a society with access and opportunities for children and adults with disabilities so they may experience growth through the arts.” Come and enjoy this exhibit with the whole family! For more information contact: 734.936.1394 or thl-outreach@umich.edu.





Tuesday Brown Bag Lunch: Contemporary African Art

Here’s a chance to have lunch with fascinating people -- and to learn something, too. On Tuesday Jan. 18, from noon-1:30 p.m., enjoy a Brown Bag Lunch at the Institute for the Humanities, 202 S. Thayer, Room 2022. Atta Kwami, visiting artist from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, will be there to give a talk, “Concerning Contemporary African Art: A Critique and Variations on a Theme.” A wonderful opportunity to feed your brain and body at the same time!

Exercise Your Creativity at the AADL Kid-i-Cotts!

by Marc Davis, Flickr.comby Marc Davis, Flickr.com
The Caldecott Winners and Honor Books have been proclaimed, including A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Ann Arbor's own Erin Stead! Now it's time for you to get in on the action. Stop by the Downtown Library Multipurpose Room this Saturday from 1 to 2:30 to hear a storytime presentation of one of these fine books, followed by a creative craft. Let your imagination take flight!

Take Part in Art -- Art that Tells a Story

by "T" altered art, Flickr.comby "T" altered art, Flickr.com

People have been using pictures to tell stories since…well, forever! Cave paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and the Bayeux Tapestry are all ancestors of modern picture books and graphic novels. To explore the relationship between art and storytelling, you could always come visit the Youth Art Table downtown, or enjoy our abundant and awesome resources at home.

Some excellent artists – modern and historical – have focused on using art to tell stories. To learn more about these artists try reading:
Brueghel: A Gift for Telling Stories – about the life of Dutch artist Pieter Brueghel.
En mi Familia and Family Pictures by Mexican-American artist Carmen Lomas Garza.
Pretty much anything about Norman Rockwell.

To explore how artists tell stories using pictures, try these books.
Telling Stories in Art by Joy Richardson provides examples readers can use to create their own story in art!
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud describes how graphic novelists use pictures to tell their stories, and Drawing Words and Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel guides readers in creating their own graphic novels!
Read a wordless picture book to see how amazing a story without words can be.

If you have children ages 4-7, you can also attend one of the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s Storytime in the Museum programs starting January 8. University of Michigan students read stories related to the art on display at the museum to bring art to life!

Finally, to see how art can tell different stories to different people try Twice Told -- a collection of short stories based on paintings. The twist? Each painting inspires two stories by different authors. See how different stories based on the same picture can be! What story would you tell?

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