Michigan Artists Partner with MSU RCPD for a Dynamically Inclusive ArtPrize Entry

With a large demographic of the population that can be excluded from a variety of art forms, a group of artists known as The Diatribe took on the challenge of changing how art can be accessed. These Grand Rapids natives’ passion to expand the limits of accessibility to art inspired them to create their own exhibit at ArtPrize, the world’s largest public art competition. While hosting ArtPrize, the city of Grand Rapids becomes home to a diverse collection of independent artist’s work from 45 states and 47 countries. The Diatribe felt that ArtPrize was far too important of an event to still be inaccessible to some very large demographics. They set out to change this through their spoken word and in particular their exhibit, The Word of Mouth. Their piece will feature live portions of their poetry, along with videos, Braille text, murals, and visual art pertaining to sight, speech, or hearing. The videos will feature sign language and/or captions of the group’s spoken word. When faced with the challenge of making an entirely accessible exhibit, one of the collaborators turned to the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities when doing research. After a meeting, RCPD was left in awe of the work that these artists were doing and was ecstatic to be able to help them through the captioning and building tactile and Braille elements of their work and spreading the word about their exhibit. The biggest way you can help them spread their words and share in their art is by attending ArtPrize and voting on site for their exhibit. ArtPrize runs September 18 - October 6, 2013 and The Diatribe’s shows will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-8 pm.

Parent’s Corner: Art Attack

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from language to tantrums to potty training to homework. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

Many children enjoy drawing or sculpting with Play-Doh. Their little hands and minds are ever creative and always imagining. AADL has some books that may help in facilitating their enjoyment of the arts with ideas on how to nurture this interest and enjoy art together. Check out Creative art & activities: fun with art!, Picture books plus: 100 extension activities in art, drama, music, math, and science, as well as Young at art : teaching toddlers self-expression, problem-solving skills, and an appreciation for art.

For more Parent Shelf finds on other topics see here.

Meet Mochimochi Land Creator & Fiber Artist, Anna Hrachovec!

Sunday July 14 | 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm | Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room | Grade 6 – Adult

Spend the afternoon with Anna Hrachovec - famous Brooklyn knitter, fiber artist and creator of the amazing Mochimochi Land world of tiny knitted toys, creatures and spectacular installations.

Anna will do a fun slideshow presentation, answer questions, and talk about the amazing world of tiny knitting she has created. Anna finds inspiration in Hello Kitty, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, and illustrators like Dr Seuss and Mary Blair, and in 2007, launched Mochimochi Land as a place where knitted toys and people can live together in a spirit of tolerance. Anna's knitted toys have been featured on The Martha Stewart Show, all around the web, and in print. You can find Anna's books, kits, and downloadable knitting and cross-stitch patterns on the mochimochiland.com website .

Anna's three books will be on sale from Literati Bookstoreand she will be signing after her presentation.

Summer Game Players take note: the 1st Mochimochi Land exhibit is UP in the Downtown Youth Department case! And it includes a gamecode!

Late breaking news flash! The next Mochimochi Land installation is UP! Take a trip Downtown to Liberty between Main and 4th and stop and look at the new window display at 826MI's Robot Supply & Repair store. You will find a wonderful world of kawaii and a game code!

Call for Entries from Gifts of Art- DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL MAY 31st

As one of the first and most comprehensive arts in healthcare programs nationwide, Gifts of Art brings the world of art & music to the University of Michigan Health System. The exhibit program is designed to enhance the health system’s environment of care and help calm and bring comfort to patients, visitors and staff. All Gifts of Art programs are intended to assist and complement the healing process and reduce the stress and anxiety often associated with a healthcare setting. Gifts of Art is currently accepting proposals for the 2013-14 exhibit year. Individual artists or art organizations may apply. The galleries display both 2-D wall mounted art and 3-D works in display cases. Submissions may be made online or by mail. Please read the requirements and instructions carefully. Only submit images that reflect the proposed exhibit. Successful exhibits have a cohesive focus, theme or feel. Submissions must be received or uploaded by May 31, 2013. Final notifications will be sent by July 15, 2013.

First Position

First Position is a documentary about determination and drive. This film follows six young competitors in the very prestigious Youth America Grand Prix. You will sit on the edge of your seat as you watch these dancers pour their heart and soul into ballet. Their passion for the art is evident in their diligence as well as their final dances. For some the competition is about being able to make a career out of dancing and for others it is a way to ensure a good future, but for all of them the competitions represents a chance to have their passion for ballet affirmed and prove that their hard work was worth it.

Even though the young dancers come from very different backgrounds and their ages vary, all of them have families that support their desire to dance. Almost always this means making financial sacrifices and dedicating large amounts of time to driving the dancers to practice. In a few instances the families relocate in order to be closer to a prestigious trainer. One thing that becomes evident is that ballet is not just a hobby for these young people and their families, it is a lifestyle.

This documentary is beautiful and uplifting. I was amazed at the intensity the dancers had and at times cringed at the things they would put their bodies through in order to preform better. One of the nice aspects of the film was that none of the parents seemed too crazy. They did not push their kids to do something they did not want to do but rather worked to support the dreams that their kids already had. The one family that I thought might head in the crazy direction, in the end proved me wrong, allowing their child to quit ballet while his sibling continued on. His mother did cry, but she did not (at least on camera) beg him to continue dancing.

If you like watching ballet you should click here to see what other videos and other materials we have on this beautiful dance. Or perhaps you just like documentaries about people putting their heart and soul into something. If that is you, you’ll want to check out Kings of Pastry.

From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism

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It is hard to realize that Impressionist paintings, which are so beloved in our time, looked strange and radical and unfinished in the time they were created. How this painting style was born, out of the turbulence of France’s Second Empire, the rebuilding of Paris, the rejection of the official school of painting represented in the Salon, the unfolding view of modernity, and the creative impulse of painters experimenting with the representation of light and color is the subject of the Great Course DVD, From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism, Parts 1 & 2.

The lecturer of this DVD series is art historian, professor and author Richard Brettell. He is an excellent presenter – very well informed, easy to listen to and passionate about his subject, he places Impressionism and its famous painters in the context of the history of France and the history of art. Brettell also takes a close look at the lives of the painters and examines and analyzes their paintings with practiced expertise. I feel like I can “see” the paintings differently, knowing more about their creation, technique and the statements the artists were trying to make. The close collaborations and bonds of friendship between artists, how older ones mentored younger ones, how they formed their own society (known as the Anonymous Society of Sculptors, Painters and Printmakers) to exhibit and sell their art, how they nurtured and challenged each other's artistic growth, and ended up making such a dramatic swerve in the history of artistic expression, makes for a fascinating story. Other Great Courses topics by Brettell include, Masterpieces of the Louvre and Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – your own tour through the collections of two great museums.

Great Courses is a treasure-trove of information on so many tempting subjects it is hard to choose just one at a time. Available in DVD format and also BOCD, you can invite university professors, who are experts in their fields, into your living room for private classes. Each course is made up of half-hour lectures on the topic and can range from 10 – 40 lectures in all. Peruse our catalog, or browse the shelves in the DVD & BOCD sections downtown, to find a subject you have always wanted to know more about.

By the way, the picture is the self-portrait of my favorite Impressionist painter. Can you guess who he is? Look here for the answer.

Inside|Out's Rogue Paintings Around Town

I was walking down Liberty St. yesterday, and as I passed the alley next to Kilwin’s Chocolate Shoppe, I stopped dead in my tracks. There was a painting on the alley wall. I took a closer look and read that it was ‘Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes,’ by Artemisia Gentileschi. It was put there by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The DIA placed this painting and six others in places around Ann Arbor as part of their Inside|Out program. Now in its fourth year, the Inside|Out program brings reproductions of masterpieces in DIA’s collection to more than a dozen cities in the metro Detroit area. You can find maps of all these impromptu outdoor galleries at the Inside|Out program’s web page.

If seeing these paintings inspires you to learn more about art and artists, take a look at AADL’s art print collection. You can take home a fully framed painting and make your own home a gallery. Also, check out AADL’s collection of huge, beautiful art books. You can take home the entire collected works of your favorite artist!

Kids! Submit Your Art for Jurying for the 2013 Kids Art Fair

Sunday May 5, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original, is calling young artists from Washtenaw County in 3rd - 8th grades to submit their artwork to be juried for the 2013 Kids' Art Fair (to be held at the Townie Street Party on the evening of Monday, July 15.).

You need to attend only one of these three drop-in sessions at Pittsfield Branch. Interested young artists should arrive with 4-6 samples of their original artwork and be prepared to show and discuss their art with Jurors. Artists will have ample opportunity to show and discuss their art work with Jurors.

This is the last of the three drop-in sessions.

Kids! Submit Your Art To Be Juried for the 2013 Kids' Art Fair

Wednesday, May 1, 2013: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original, is calling young artists from Washtenaw County in 3rd - 8th grades to submit their artwork to be juried for the 2013 Kids' Art Fair (to be held at the Townie Street Party on the evening of Monday, July 15.).

You need to attend only one of these three drop-in sessions at Pittsfield Branch. Interested young artists should arrive with 4-6 samples of their original artwork and be prepared to show and discuss their art with Jurors. Artists will have ample opportunity to show and discuss their art work with Jurors.

An additional drop-in session will be held on Sunday, May 5 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Draw Robots with C. Jason DePasquale!

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Do you love robots? Artist C. Jason DePasquale digs robots too! As a teacher and longtime robot fan, Jason has had plenty of chances to perfect his robot drawing — through his work with Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair and beyond!

Saturday, March 16, 2-3 pm, come to the Downtown Library and watch Jason draw some simple robots, get ideas, follow along, and create colorful robo-drawings of your own to take home!

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