The 5th Beatle

Looking through the new DVDs list in the catalog, I was excited to see that AADL will soon have copies of the movie, Backbeat! As a huge Beatles fan, this is one of my favorite movies because of how funny and also fairly accurate it is in its portrayal of the early days of the group.

In general, the story follows the band's start in the seedy nightclubs of Liverpool and Hamburg. More specifically, it chronicles the close friendship between John Lennon and "Fifth Beatle," Stuart Sutcliffe. The film is touching in its honesty towards this relationship and Lennon's struggle with Sutcliffe's decision to leave the Beatles in order to pursue a promising painting career (you can view some of his art at the link above...). Sometimes with all the "peace and love" Lennon tributes and memorials out there, it's easy to forget that the icon was once an angry, smart-aleck teenager with all kinds of abandonment issues. For me, understanding this Lennon makes me appreciate all the more the person he grew into later in life.

"Backbeat" is R-rated and as gritty and raw as the streets in which it takes place. The music, of course, is great. It's well worth checking out (if only to learn all about how the group got its famous hair-cut...), along with other John Lennon videos and albums. Or you can always buff up on your Beatles history with the wide range of books and videos at the library. And, of course, there will ALWAYS be the music.

AADL Talks To: Gary Grimshaw

Gary Grimshaw is one of the most renowned and recognizable poster artists to come out of the 1960s. His most prolific period as a graphic artist was his time spent with John and Leni Sinclair in the mid-1960s and early 1970s, first in the Detroit-based Trans-Love Energies commune and then in Ann Arbor with the White Panther Party/Rainbow People's Party. In this interview we talk with the former White Panther Party Minister of Art about creating art for the Grande Ballroom and the White Panther Party, the night John Sinclair met both him and the MC5, and how he made his art then and now.

Attachment Size
AADL_Talks_To-Gary_Grimshaw.mp3 17.32 MB

Art in the Park

More than 25 independent local artists will show and sell their art at the Art in the Park show, Saturday Nov 12, 11 am - 4 pm at the Ypsilanti Senior and Community Center. There is no admission charge, a raffle for fine art, and part of the proceeds benefit the Center. Get a head start on your holiday shopping, or just enjoy the local art!

A Winner Among Us

Of the 1,582 entries at this year's ARTPRIZE (see blog), 10 winners were voted in and among them is Ann Arbor artist Lynda Cole.

Taking 3rd place, her 3-D kinetic sculpture entitled Rain consists of 7600 squares of silver leaf on polyester film, and is suspended by aluminum monofilament within a 10 ft. cube of space and move with ambient air currents.

This photo at left represents one module. The Art Prize entry comprised of 25 modules. To see all of them, go to the artist's website or blog.

As our commitment to showcase and support local artists, The Ann Arbor District Library is proud to include two of Lynda Cole's work in our circulating art print collection , entitled Winter and Explore. Now you too, could live with great art.

A New Story Behind the Starry, Starry Night

For over 120 years, the world has thought it knew the story of the life and death of perhaps its most popular painter, Vincent van Gogh. But now, a new biography by Pulitzer prize-winning authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith may flip the art world's understanding of the troubled painter upside-down. After a 10-year forensic investigation involving a large team of assistants, the pair is questioning the until-now, accepted fact of Van Gogh's cause of death having been a suicide. They now believe he may have been shot by someone else.

A recent report from TV's 60 Minutes delves into the story behind the authors' research and why they've come to this conclusion. The story continues in part 2, and the website offers a virtual tour of some of Van Gogh's art.

Naifeh and Smith's new biography is being published today, so be sure to reserve your copy at the library for when it comes in.

In the meantime, check out these other great books about Van Gogh, his work or related movies.

Or take a look at some of Van Gogh's contemporaries and learn about some of the other impressionist artists and the movement itself.

Take Part in Art – Texture

Smooth, bumpy, gritty, soft – it’s all superficial! Texture can play a great part in art, from paintings by Vincent Van Gogh to sculptures by David Smith, to the surface of new and old buildings on our very own campus. Join us at the Downtown Youth Department Art Table to make rubbings with crayons and drawings on mini-chalkboards. Feel the texture!
The Ann Arbor Art Center offers wonderful pottery classes where you can get messy and dive your hands into cool clay. You can also check out the Chinese Woodblock Prints at UMMA. For one of the best reminders of the importance of texture, just walk up to your favorite tree and run your hands over the bark. Natural art!

Multiple Impressions: Contemporary Chinese Woodblock Prints

The exhibition Multiple Impressions: Contemporary Chinese Woodblock Prints opened without much fanfare this summer at The University of Michigan Museum of Art. Now that the fall semester is in full swing, interesting programs are popping up on the museum calendar.

The 114 works on view by 41 of China's leading contemporary printmakers showcase the extraordinary innovations, both in technique and conception while providing an important framework for understanding both contemporary art from China and contemporary Chinese society.

On Sunday, September 25 @ 2 pm, (Helmut Stern Auditorium) guest curator of the exhibition Xiaobing Tang will present noted printmakers Fang Limin and Zhang Yuanfan in a series of conversations. Both Fang and Zhang are teachers of the China Academy of Art, an important center for innovation in printmaking.

On Wednesday, September 28, @ 5 pm (Multipurpose Room), Chen Limin — one of the youngest artists in the exhibition, and one of only two women printmakers represented — will talk about her work, as well as the challenges and opportunities for women pursuing careers as artists in China today. Born in Hangzhou, China, Chen Limin was educated in China and France, where she now resides.

The exhibition runs through October 23, 2011.

ARTPRIZE 2011

If you are not planning on attending THE Game or the obligatory tailgate and would like a bit more elbow room on Saturday, you could do a lot worse than getting in the car and heading west.

ARTPRIZE turns the city of Grand Rapids (Michigan) into an art gallery for two weeks every fall. Billed as "a radically open competition", it opens today and will run until October 9. As an international art contest solely voted on by the general public, your votes are essential.

Here is how to vote, and a map to help you navigate all the venues.

The 10 finalists will be announced on Thursday, September 29, and the winners on Thursday, October 6.

The helpful folks running the show have put together some visitors' info. Make good use of it, including the free shuttle.

UM Emeritus Professor Charles M. Butter Discusses Art, The Brain And His New Book "Crossing Cultural Borders: Universals In Art And Their Biological Roots"

Monday September 19, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

How does mental imagery contribute to artistic creativity? Why are balance around the center, expressiveness, ornamentation and symbolic meanings found in the visual art of cultures separated in time and space?

Charles M. Butter suggests that answers to these questions may be found by examining the role of biological evolution in the making and viewing of art. Join us for a fascinating evening as he explores these issues and introduces his new book "Crossing Cultural Borders: Universals in Art and Their Biological Roots." This new book includes 52 works of art from cultures around the world from prehistoric to modern times. The event will include a book signing and books will be on sale.

Charles Butter is Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. He has taught and performed research on brain, behavior and mental processes for 38 years.

Take Part in Art - Art Squared in A2

Filling a dozen squares with colors and circles, Wasilly Kandinsky, created a rich and whimsical painting entitled Squares with Concentric Circles in 1913. Piet Mondrian was inspired to work with squares and rectangles filled with bright primary colors in his abstract paintings in the 1920’s.

You can make your own squares, filled with color and design, at the Downtown Youth Department Art Table, or create patterns with our colorful magnetic squares.

Imagine an A2 scavenger hunt for squares in art and architecture, from the paper work wall sculpture, entitled Winter Solstice by Sabra Richards, in the stairwell of the Downtown Library, to the Cook Law Quad, or Tony Rosenthal’s cube, Endover, near the Student Union. Of course a visit to the University Of Michigan Museum of Art will inspire you to search for various shapes within sculpture, painting and more.

SquaresSquaresSo many squares, so little time!

Syndicate content