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?

Check Out a Museum Adventure Pass!

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Looking for some indoor fun this winter? Come to any of our branches and check out a Museum Adventure Pass! There are over 30 museums you can visit, and the passes admit 2 or 4 depending on where you're headed. A new participant this year is the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, where you can explore the exhibitions of contemporary art in a renovated auto dealership. MOCAD also offers public programs including lectures, musical performances, films, literary readings and educational activities for children.

Take Part in Art -- Mix It Up

Wings by Laineys RepertoireWings by Laineys Repertoire

Mixed Media Art combines more than one medium -- painting, drawing, collage, stenciling -- to make something unique and new. You can always visit the Art Table downtown to make some cool mixed media art, or you can follow along at home!

Making mixed media art is as easy as can be. Pencils, markers, crayons, interesting magazine pictures, paper scraps and paint -- you can use anything, in any combination! Think about combining different materials to make a picture, or tell a story -- or just have fun with patterns, colors and shapes. For more ideas, check these websites by Kinderart and PBS. An excellent and detailed introduction to mixed media is Donna Hugh's Collage Art For Kids DVD series. This series has four volumes, everything you need to become a mixed-media maestro!

Adults interested in making their own mixed media art can check out Creative Collage by Marie Browning, or maybe stop by the University of Michigan Museum of Art's Mixed Media Workshop Series. To learn more about two excellent mixed media and collage artists read Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories by Jan Greenberg and Ooh! Matisse by Mil Niepold.

What’s So Funny at The Gallery Project?

GalleryProjectTeresaPetersenGalleryProjectTeresaPetersen

The Gallery Project is an art gallery in Ann Arbor that features rotating art exhibitions with a different theme running through the pieces included. “Gallery Project is a fine art collaborative. Its mission is to provide a venue for contemporary art that is culturally aware, individualistic, courageous, and thought provoking.”

The newest exhibit, What’s So Funny?, is a multimedia show featuring the artwork of local and national artists. “This exhibition invites each artist to offer expressions of humor with or without a point, humor that is for some reason is funny to them or makes sense in the broader cultural milieu.” It opens today! And runs from October 20 – November 28, with an opening reception this Friday, October 22.

To see what’s been shown in the gallery in previous shows, check the exhibit archive to see what sort of fun and interesting things have been on display.

The thumbnail image is by Detroit artist Teresa Petersen whose work is included in the current exhibit.

The Gallery Project | 215 South Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor | Oct. 20 – Nov. 28 | Free

Hidden Gems: Books Unjustly Dusty #10: Lost, Stolen and Found Treasures

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A significant amount of art stolen by the Nazis during World War II has never been returned to its rightful owners.

The London Daily Mail reports a new online database Database of Art at the Jeu de Paume cataloguing more than 20,000 stolen art pieces (mainly stolen in France and Belgium) that Holocaust survivors, their relatives and anyone else can search. Viewing what has been stolen is sobering when you think about the reasons why the rightful owners so far have not been found.

The efforts to save the great art of Europe during and after the war makes for compelling reading.

These three titles are unjustly dusty!

The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War details the pillaging of great art across Europe. It is also available on dvd with incredible film footage of the Allies discovering and safe-keeping great art as they crossed the continent.

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History recounts the special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, attached to the US Army. When the Allies gained ground, the Monuments Men were some of the first arrivals to find and secure great works of art.

Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art - America and Her Allies Recovered also covers the story of the Monuments Men with gorgeous photographs, many published here for the first time.

Sculpture and Poetry in Nature

TransformationsTransformationsOaken Transformations, an innovative integration of "art and poetry in a natural environment to promote community, support of the arts, and preservation of wilderness places," hosts its grand opening on Sunday, October 17, 1:00-4:00. Oaken Transformations was borne of Dr. Fred Bonine’s experience of the transformative and healing qualities of art and nature. Dr. Bonine invites the public to share in this experience by walking the .4 mile nature trail behind his office, throughout which are installed original sculptures and poetry from local and nationally-renowned artists and poets including John Sauve, Kate Silvio, Janet Kauffman, and Robert Fanning. This free exhibit will run for one year in Brighton, at 6893 Grand River Road, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but will be closed for holidays.

We have a Winner!!! ArtPrize 2010

ArtPrizeWinnerArtPrizeWinner

With nearly 450,000 votes cast over a two week period, the ArtPrize winners were announced last night at the Steelcase Ballroom at DeVos Place, Grand Rapids. For more information on ArtPrize, see previous blog.

Home-grown artist Chris LaPorte took First Place (cash award $250,000) for Cavalry, American Officers, 1921, pencil on paper (image shown).

Among the top 10 winners are 2 other Grand Rapids artists.

Wander Martich's giant coin constructed from layers of actual pennies is entitled Helping Mom One Penny at a Time.

SteamPig, a 3-D, large-scale multi-media sculpture is by SteamPig Experiment(AAG) - a collective of artists, designers, engineers, fabricators, model-makers and builders, in the vein of 'steampunk' or a mix of turn-of-the-century architecture and elements of the industrial revolution much like images from novels by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.

All entries, including the winners will remain on view until October 10.

The Art of Couture in Ann Arbor

rebeccarebecca

Enter the sophisticated world of couture when Rebecca Lambers, “Couturiére,” Fashion Designer and Exclusive Dressmaker visits the Downtown Library at 7:00 p.m. on September 29th.

One of Ann Arbor’s unique treasures, Ms. Lambers’ is an exclusive dressmaker and fashion designer, who specializes in creating unique custom clothing for women. She was showcased at the Detroit Institute of Arts in conjunction with fashion photographer Richard Avedon and was profiled in the May 2010 edition of Hour Detroit Magazine. Current Magazine calls her 'the fanciest stitcher between Chicago and New York.'

Rebecca will talk about her life in art – showing images, garments and presenting a few live models to illustrate her process of connecting with the ideas of each client and highlight the value of useful, tangible, beautifully made objects.

Calling all filmmakers!

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is seeking applications for the 49th annual festival, to be held January 2011-February 2012. The standard deadline for entries is October 4th. All genres, styles, and formats are welcome, but films must have been completed no earlier than 2009. For more details and entry forms, visit AAF’s web site.
Not ready for this year's AAFF? Get some practice through another Ann Arbor film project, the Cinema Nightly Project, which screens local independent films right here at AADL!
If you’re more of a film connoisseur than a filmmaker, you can view a sample of past films in AAFF’s online media archive, check out the 46th Ann Arbor Film Festival DVD, or join us for one of the upcoming screenings in our Films and Discussions series.

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