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!

Beauty In Our Eyes: Photography By The Michigan Chinese Photo Club

chinesephotochinesephotoOn display at Malletts Creek Branch, August 3 – September 14.

The Michigan Chinese Photography Club was established in 2007 and is an unaffiliated organization that views photography as an art form and hobby. The purpose of the Club is to network with those with similar interests in the Chinese community in Michigan, to provide a forum for them to learn more about photography, and to promote the appreciation and joys of this unique art form.

Make It Happen In Ann Arbor: Photo Contest Exhibit

MakeItHappenMakeItHappenOn Display at the Downtown Library Lower Level Display Cases, July 20 – August 30.

Summers in Ann Arbor are so awesome that we invited the public to share snapshots of what makes it happen for them in the Make It Happen In Ann Arbor Photo Contest. This contest was for youth (preschool and up), teens and adults who were all encouraged to show their favorite summer in Ann Arbor photo! This special contest was one of many summer events centering on the Summer Reading program theme – Make It Happen.

Teen Graffiti Art Contest Entries Now on Display

graffitigraffitiAll of the entries in the 8th Annual Teen Graffiti Art Contest are now on display at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room and Third Floor Exhibit Area through August 30.

During the 2010 Art Fair, teens from across the area gathered in the Downtown Library’s parking lot to try their hand at the art of Graffiti. Each artist was given a 4' x 4' canvas and a variety of colors of spray paint. Come see the end result, on display through the end of the summer.

Make It Happen with a Museum Adventure Pass

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If you want to follow this year's Summer Reading Game theme Make It Happen at home, you should consider getting some interesting craft materials at Arts & Scraps. Just check out the Museum Adventure Pass, which admits 4 people to Scrap Junction, an interactive area where creativity and learning meet. There are 4 to 5 hands-on centers and one make & take area. Fun for all; small pieces make it suitable for ages 3 and up. Visitors may also stuff a bag, choosing from over 300 unusual recycled industrial materials. Cost is $7 for a full grocery bag, $3.50 for a half bag. The Museum Adventure Pass also gets you 10% off creative project packets and materials in the Arts & Scraps store.

The Art Fairs are Coming: Feels like the (Fifty) First Time

Scene from the first Ann Arbor Street Art FairScene from the first Ann Arbor Street Art Fair

In case you hadn't noticed, the Ann Arbor Art Fairs are about to start. This annual event takes over much of downtown Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan campus in late July and covers them with arts, crafts, activities, refreshments, and music. But the art fairs weren't always the juggernaut that they are today; once upon a time even Ann Arbor's biggest event was just a small one.

With the art fairs on my mind, I started combing through the Ann Arbor News files and came up with this: a front page story about the first art fair back in 1960, published 51 years ago today. The article notes that the fair (which was simply an adjunct to the Ann Arbor merchants' Summer Bargain Days) featured work from 100 artists. This year's fairs will feature nearly 1100 artists. We can only hope to draw "large crowds" this year as well, although the last several years have seen over 500,000 attend, so that should fit the bill.

Click read more to see the full article from the Ann Arbor News. To learn more about the beginnings of the art fair and to see photos of the early fairs, take a look at our online exhibit 50 Years of Originality: A History of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair.

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