The Medieval World

Mandylion of EdessaMandylion of Edessa

Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe is a new British Museum exhibit that runs through Oct. 9th. It is a collection of incredible objects, many rarely on public view, from the Vatican, British Museum, European churches and museums.

The practice of using devotional objects or relics purportedly from saints for worship became popular during the Middle Ages. Fragments of the True Cross, the St Baudime Reliquary and the Mandylion of Edessa are just a few of the opulent treasures that will be on display.

To celebrate the opening a list was created to highlight related items in the library's catalog. Take a look and enjoy this fascinating time: The Medieval World!

Artist Discussion: The Creation of Amococo With Representatives From Architects of Air

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Amococo is an enchanting luminarium maze of winding paths filled with radiant light and color. Linking 86 three-sided domes in a monumental labyrinth, designer Alan Parkinson creates an architectural marvel in which visitors are encouraged to wander, relax, meditate and enjoy the magical ambiance of Amococo. The exhibit will make its Ann Arbor debut on Palmer Field near Top of the Park during the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

Architects of Air, creator of the luminarium, is a British company renowned for their inflatable, walk-in sculptures. Learn about the design, fabrication and installation process of this exhibit from the Architects of Air exhibition manager, James Stephenson.

From the Guggenheim in Spain to the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the enormous, interactive sculptures of the UK's Architects of Air have astounded audiences across the globe - here's your chance to learn more about it before or after your own local tour!

Saturday June 25, 2011: 10:00 am to 11:00 am -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Take Part in Art -- The Art of Words

image by Umair Mohsin, Flickr.comimage by Umair Mohsin, Flickr.com
Did you think you had to write a novel to make art with words? Think again! From calligraphy to graffiti, people all over the world have figured out ways to make art from letters and words. You can come down to the youth art table to have fun making art from words with us, or you can join in at home:

Kids:
Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad – A young boy finds shelter from the chaos of war in the act of creating calligraphy.
My First book of Chinese Calligraphy
Calligraphy for Kids
Here are some ideas for word art activities for kids.

Teens:
Stencil Graffiti by Tristan Manco will give you tips to create your own hip stencil graffiti.
The Graffiti Verite DVD series explores the culture, history and techniques of graffiti art.

We have plenty of books for grown-ups, too!

To hone your technique, try:
Chinese Calligraphy Made Easy by Rebecca Yue.
Zen Brushwork by Tanchu Terayama.
All About Techniques in Calligraphy
To learn more about the history of calligraphy in the Islamic world, read:
Islamic Calligraphy by Shiela Blair.

National Library Week Event: Kids! Submit Your Art for Jurying for the 2011 Kids Art Fair

Kids art fairKids art fair

Calling all young artists: The Kid's Art Fair is Back!! The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair will be accepting artwork from young artists in 1st - 8th grade to be juried for the 2011 Kids' Art Fair. The Kids' Art Fair provides young artists from Washtenaw County with the unique opportunity to learn how to showcase and sell their original artwork in an art fair setting - just like a professional!

Interested young artists should arrive with samples of their work and be prepared to talk to judges. You need to attend only one of these two sessions - - Wednesday, April 13 from 5 pm to 8 pm, or Sunday, April 17 from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Please arrive at least an hour before the session closes to make sure you have time to show and discuss your art work with each Juror.

Wednesday April 13, 2011: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm & Sunday April 17, 2011: 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Many Ways of Seeing

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The Detroit Institute of Art presents Many Ways of Seeing: Artwork by Blind and Visually Impaired Children and Youth from the Detroit Area. The exhibit will take place at the Walter Gibbs Gallery from April 8 to 15. The DIA Learning and Interpretation Department, in collaboration with the UM School of Art and Design, recently began an art-making program for students in Detroit Public Schools and Lincoln Park Public Schools who are blind or visually impaired. This exhibit presents the local blind and visually impaired youth’s work, shedding light on the many ways of seeing that exist.

Discussion: The Art Of The 2011 Ann Arbor Women Artists' Exhibition

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Friday April 1, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Tour the Ann Arbor Women Artists' Exhibition right here at the downtown library! Then hear Eastern Michigan University Art Professor Jennifer Seibert's insights about art.

Professor Seibert is the juror for this year's exhibition and at this event, the exhibition winners will also be announced.

Bring along your art-loving friends, tour the exhibit and stay for an enlightening discussion about what makes a piece of art interesting and captivating.

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.

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