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?

Whistler at UMMA

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On Beauty and the Everyday: The Prints of James McNeill Whistler opened last week and runs through Nov. 28. Most of the works - and most of the Ann Arbor museum's Whistler holdings - came from Margaret Watson Parker, whose 1936 bequest to the museum included Whistler's prints and an extensive Asian art collection.

According to an article in the Washington Post, " (the) exhibition of more than 100 prints by James McNeill Whistler at the University of Michigan Museum of Art is the largest collection of the 19th century American artist's work to be displayed there in more than 15 years. "

Please check the program calendar of the Museum for gallery talks and tours.

The Art Book Today

Anyone with interest in books and art should consider going to the upcoming History of Art 2010 Fall Symposium The Art Book Today: Print Projects in the Digital Age. This fascinating sounding event is coming up Sept. 11 from 1-5 p.m. at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Knowledgeable panelists will talk about designing, publishing, and distributing art books and books on art when the publishing industry seems to be changing daily. Ways to move forward in this exciting field also will be on the table.

Performance Network: Peggy Guggenheim comes alive on stage

Until Sept. 6, Performance Network is staging Woman Before a Glass, a one-woman play by Lanie Robertson. In the much praised PN production, Naz Edwards plays art collector Peggy Guggenheim who tells her life story, covering the death of her father on the Titanic and saving art from the Nazi invasion of Paris. She also talks about her famous lovers, including Miro, Dali and Picasso. If you want to read about Guggenheim (1898-1979), try Peggy: The Wayward Guggenheim or her autobiography Out of This Century: Confessions of an Art Addict.

Teen Stuff: My Name is Jason. Mine Too.

"A poet. An artist. Black. White. We were college roommates. Now, close friends" opens My Name is Jason. Mine Too: Our Story, Our Way, a collection of poems and paintings inter-meshed to create one unique artistic vision. The creators of this collection, Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin, are a poet and a painter who write and paint something between introspective work and pop art in this brilliantly designed book that you can find in the AADL's Teen collection. One of the more personal poems, called "Sick," is hand painted on a bedroom wall, with the final stanzas reading:

Seems like sickbeds
Become signals
To selfish sons
Saying

Trouble don't last always
Nor do mothers

Take Part in Art -- Super Cool Stamp Art

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Printing has been around since about the year 200AD, and was in use for centuries in the Middle East, Europe and Asia -- especially Japan -- before spreading around the world. Printmaking is still alive and well today, and many artists use a variety of printing techniques to create unique and beautiful works of art.

If you want to try your hand at printing at home with your kids, the most convenient method is the humble rubber stamp. If you happen to have some rubber stamps lying around the house from your scrap-booking projects, it is time to take them out! Try combining the images to make a story. What patterns can your child make with the stamps? Can your child combine stamping and drawing to make a picture? For more rubber stamp ideas, read Cool Rubber Stamp Art by Pamela Price.

Of course, if you have no stamps at all, fear not. TLC Family and Kinderart have plenty of suggestions for making your own stamps and printing blocks. For more ideas read Joe Rhatigan's Stamp It!, The Usborne Book of Printing and Printing by Michelle Powell.

For any grown-ups who want to try printmaking and stamp art, try The Instant Print Maker by Melvyn Petterson, Creative Stamping by Sherrill Kahn, and, for some history, The Woman Who Discovered Printing by Timothy Barrett.

Also, if you act fast, you can see some cool prints at the University of Michigan Museum of Art's exhibit Sister Corita: The Joyous Revolutionary. Admission is free!

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