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

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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

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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.

Take Part in Art -- Self-Portraiture

charcoal sketch by freeparkingcharcoal sketch by freeparking
Making a self-portrait is almost a psychological exercise -- a way to examine questions of identity, do some introspection into yourself, and think about how you present yourself to the world. It is also an opportunity to be creative and have fun! To explore self-portraiture, you can always come and check out our Youth Art Table downtown, or follow along at home:

Two excellent books on self-portraiture are Just Like Me and Bob Raczka's Here's Looking at Me. To learn more about one of the most prolific self-portrait artists, read Frida Kahlo: The Artist in the Blue House. Grown-ups who want to learn more might be interested in Frances Borzello's Seeing Ourselves: Women's Self-Portraits.

Making your own self-portrait is amazingly easy. You can use any medium and any style -- all you need is some paper and a mirror. The fun part is deciding how you want to look. You can draw yourself with a pet, with a friend, taking part in your favorite hobby, wearing a costume...or any other way you like! For ideas about how to make different kinds of self portraits, check out the projects on this page by Incredible Art. Grown-ups who want to make self-portraits can check out Mixed Media Self-Portraits by Cate Prato.

ArtPrize 2010

Artprize 2010Artprize 2010

ArtPrize turns the city of Grand Rapids (Michigan) into an art gallery for two weeks every fall. ArtPrize features over 1,700 pieces of art on display at more than 175 venues in downtown Grand Rapids, including seven main exhibition centers.

This year, the dates are September 22 - October 10. It is an international art contest solely voted on by the general public. Yes - that means YOU!. Here is how to register to vote.

As the world's largest art prize, a total of 449,000 is awarded to the top 10 artists (with $250,000 going to the 1st place winner). New this year are the juried awards.

The winner will be announced Thursday, October 7 (7:00PM EDT) among this year's entries.

Don't feel like making the 133-mile trip on your own and the hassle of parking? Michigan Radio has organized a round-trip bus tour for Sunday, Sept 26, 2010. The bus will leave Ann Arbor at 10am and return at approximately 8pm. For reservations/information: (734) 946-7021 ext. 21, or email junsworth@biancotours.com.

Labor-free Leisure

gallupgallupStaying in town over Labor Day weekend? There are plenty of sights to see and things to do right at home for little to no cost. Here are a few ideas to entertain you and your family during the last few days of summer.

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens are an obvious choice for a serene and beautiful afternoon. If you’re looking for the quirkier side of gardens, be sure to visit before the month is over: pink lawn flamingos, bedecked and bedazzled by local artists, currently populate Matthaei.

One of my favorite things about Ann Arbor is its abundance of art, most of which is free to enjoy. Try a walking tour of downtown galleries, including Ann Arbor Art Center, Jean Paul Slusser, Warren Robbins, and Work Galleries (featuring art from U of M’s School of Art & Design), University of Michigan Museum of Art, Clay Gallery, Barclay Gallery, Selo/Shevel Gallery, and the many others you’re sure to pass by while strolling through the downtown and campus area.

Take a trip to the Kerrytown Farmers’ Market on Saturday between 8am and 3pm for delicious locally produced food.

And get don’t forget the many parks throughout the city. Perhaps a picnic, some frisbee, or simply some outdoor reading is in your future?

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