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Mary Sibande's "Sophie/Elsie" sculpture anchors UMMA's African art gallery

Tue, 12/28/2021 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Mary Sibande, Sophie/Elsie, fiberglass and cotton, 2009. Museum purchase made possible by Joseph and Annette Allen. Photo courtesy of UMMA.

Mary Sibande, Sophie/Elsie, fiberglass and cotton, 2009. Museum purchase made possible by Joseph and Annette Allen. Photo courtesy of UMMA.

Sophie/Elsie is a striking sculptural figure, vibrant and visible from a distance, a colorful, bright beacon in the newly expanded and reopened African galleries at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

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AADL 2021 Staff Picks: Homepage

Mon, 12/27/2021 - 9:00am by christopherporter

AADL 2021 Staff Picks: Homepage

This is the fifth year we've compiled Ann Arbor District Library staff picks, featuring tons of recommendations for books, films, TV shows, video games, websites, apps, and more.

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Ann Arbor Gallery Crawl: Catching up with recent exhibits and new art spaces

Wed, 12/15/2021 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Double Goddess: A Sighting in the Abyss by Ayana V. Jackson at A2AC Gallery

Double Goddess: A Sighting in the Abyss by Ayana V. Jackson at A2AC Gallery. Photo by K.A. Letts.

COVID-19 has wrecked plans and canceled events for nearly two years (and counting). It has sabotaged the momentum and slashed the incomes of Ann Arbor’s small community of visual artists and galleries, leaving a cultural landscape greatly altered in ways large and small.

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Stamps Gallery's "Envi­sion: The Michi­gan Artist Ini­tia­tive" celebrates creators who are inspiring the next generation

Mon, 12/13/2021 - 12:30pm by christopherporter

Stamp Gallery's Envision logo

Based on my direction of approach to the University of Michigan's Stamps Gallery, I didn’t see Michael Dixon’s large-scale sculptural alligator head with one sharp, gold tooth before entering—though it's visible in the gallery’s large front windows.

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Shizu Saldamando’s exhibit "When This Is All Over/ Cuando Esto Termine" captures the anxiety and depression of pandemic art

Tue, 11/23/2021 - 9:00am by christopherporter

Shizu Saldamando, When This Is Over

Shizu Saldamando, When This Is Over, 2020, washi paper, wire, glue, ribbon, found fence, 42” x 48” x 5

Over the past year, I've come across artwork that exemplifies what I would describe as a new genre: pandemic art. A significant number of emerging creatives are making work that displays a high level of anxiety and depression brought on by their isolation and a well-founded sense that their lives, plans, and ambitions have been put on hold. Shizu Saldamando’s solo exhibition When This Is All Over / Cuando Esto Termine, on view at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Gallery until December 10 and curated by Amanda Krugliak, is yet another example of this distressed trend. 

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“No, not even for a picture”: Re-examining the Native Midwest and Tribes’ Relations to the History of Photography at U-M's Clements Library

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 1:00pm by christopherporter

Medicine Bottle and Cut Nose by Joel E. Whitney, 1864

Wa-Kan-O-Zhan-Zhan (Medicine Bottle)
Joel E. Whitney
Carte de visite, 1864
Wa-Kan-O-Zhan-Zhan, or Medicine Bottle, was a Sioux wicasa wakan, or holy man, who stepped away from that role to defend the Dakota way of life in the rebellions. After the uprising, Congress called for the removal of all Sioux from Minnesota, leading Medicine Bottle to flee to Canada. Two years later, he was found, drugged, and brought as a prisoner to Fort Snelling, Minnesota, where he was tried for his participation in the 1862 uprisings. He was executed three years after the initial trial. This photo was taken shortly before his death.

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At Odds: "Oh, Honey ... A Queer Reading of UMMA's Collection" imagines a place where LGBTQ+ art can thrive

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 12:30pm by christopherporter

Chitra Ganesh, Sultana's Dream: The Visitation, linocut on paper, 2018

Chitra Ganesh, Sultana's Dream: The Visitation, linocut on paper, 2018

Art is often intentionally ambiguous, asking viewers to create meaning and metaphorically fill in the blanks with their interpretations.

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Highlighting History: "Harold Neal and Detroit African American Artists: 1945 through the Black Arts Movement"

Mon, 10/11/2021 - 1:00pm by christopherporter

Harold Neal, title unknown, before 1958, oil on board. Neal family collection, Detroit.

Harold Neal, title unknown, before 1958, oil on board. Neal family collection, Detroit.

Though Detroit is synonymous with musical innovation, the Michigan cultural center is not frequently framed as an epicenter of fine art. In a new exhibit, curators suggest that this is not because Detroit lacks—now or in the past—a vibrant art scene but because of historical oversight on the parts of art historians.

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The Gutman Gallery emerges for Artober with a new exhibition featuring rising artists

Thu, 10/07/2021 - 2:00pm by christopherporter

Bryan Wilson, Wonderful Beauty

Bryan Wilson, Wonderful Beauty

Artober is a celebration of arts, taking place October 9 and 10 along Fourth Avenue and into the Kerrytown Market. There will be around 75 selected fine artists, live entertainment, food trucks, craft beer, cider, and free admission.

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Systemic Pigeonholing: "Never Free to Rest" by Rashaun Rucker at U-M's LSA Gallery

Mon, 09/27/2021 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Rashaun Ruckers' Left at First Light and The Ascent

Left: Left at First Light by Rashaun Rucker is part of Never Free to Rest, a new exhibition on view until Oct. 15 at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Gallery.
Right: The Ascent by Rashaun Rucker is part of Never Free to Rest, a new exhibition on view until Oct. 15 at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities Gallery.

Rashaun Rucker begins his artist statement for Never Free to Rest at U-M's Institute for the Humanities Gallery with a simple definition: