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The Guild of Artists & Artisans' new Gutman Gallery opens with an exhibit filled with love (and hearts)

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 1:00pm by christopherporter

Ruth Crowe

Ruth Crowe, She Counted Her Regrets Two at a Time. Photo courtesy of the Guild of Artists & Artisans.

On a standardly gray February evening I made my way through the dark and cold toward Kerrytown. The block of Fourth Street between Ann and Huron is not a particularly active space after five, but tonight was different. Brightly lit, and with condensation beginning to form, glances of color slipped out the storefront windows of the newly opened Gutman Gallery

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Riverside Arts Center's exhibit "Embrace: The Black Experience" explores the spectrum

Mon, 02/17/2020 - 12:00pm by christopherporter

Azya Moore, Blue Black

Azya Moore, photo from her BLUE BLACK series.

The artists in Riverside Arts Center's Embrace: The Black Experience grapple with what that multifaceted experience means. They respond with artwork just as varied, from metalworks to photographs and digitally rendered multimedia.

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The Happiest Hours: Chasing down affordable cocktails in the Ann Arbor area

Fri, 02/14/2020 - 10:31am by christopherporter

Cocktail glass

Photograph by Mihail Hukuna/Pixabay

For local cocktail lovers, finding good cocktails at a reasonable price can be a challenge. Lots of us enjoy a nice evening out, but a few $15 drinks can really add up.

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Before & After Scents: Smell & Tell explores the fragrant world of Brian Eno

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Brian Eno

In addition to being an ambient-music pioneer, superstar producer, and cutting-edge visual artist, Brian Eno also likes to exercise his sniffer.

This account of a previous Brian Eno-focused Smell & Tell was originally published February 23, 2018. Michelle Krell Kydd hosts another Eno-themed Smell & Tell on Wednesday, February 19, 6:30-8:45 pm, at AADL's Pittsfield branch.

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U-M Gifts of Art's winter edition offers meditative, inspirational works in a variety of mediums

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Allison Svoboda, Healing Power

From Allison Svoboda's Healing Power of Nature: Mixed Media.

Every new season the University of Michigan Medicine’s Gifts of Art brings patients and visitors new exhibits of inspirational, meditative, and thought-provoking works by local and regional artists. For the winter edition, the eight gallery spaces provide uplifting and diverse works, executed in a wide range of media: straight photography, digitally altered photography, oil paintings, oil and chalk pastels, designer hats, multimedia sculptures, and paper sculpture.

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For the 'Gram: Lee Minora’s “White Feminist” plays with doing-good-to-look-good activism

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 10:45am by christopherporter

White Feminist

For one hour on Tuesday, my fellow theater-goers and I in the video studio of U-M's Duderstadt Center were transformed into the live studio audience for a fictional television morning talk show called Becky’s Time. Our host, Becky, portrayed by Lee Minora, was a blonde-haired, French-manicured, self-proclaimed feminist, ready to use her voice to fight for herself and for us -- whether we wanted her to or not. 

White Feminist takes to task the white women who suddenly became “woke” after the 2016 presidential election, eager to jump in, take charge, and change the world, all while failing to realize that not only were people already doing that work, but they have been for decades. That day’s episode was devoted to “Ladies' Time” (or was it “Lady’s Time”?), yet there were no guests.

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Invisible Touch: "As Far As My Fingertips Take Me" explores the universal refugee crisis through a one-on-one encounter

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 9:30am by christopherporter

As Far As My Fingertips Will Take Me

Whenever I see news footage of refugees, I always think, “How bad would things have to get before I packed a bag and fled from my home?”

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Theatre Nova actors shine in an otherwise thin "Apple Season"

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 10:00am by christopherporter

Apple Season at Theatre Nova

Alysia Kolascz as Lissie and Jeremy Kucharek as Billy in Apple Season by E. M. Lewis, directed by David Wolber at Theatre NOVA. Photograph by Sean Carter Photography.

E.M. Lewis’ Apple Season is a memory play. Memories haunt and suffocate three people who have had trouble moving on.

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60 Minutes: "Is This a Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription" is a terse presentation on how one hour can upend a life

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 2:15pm by christopherporter

Reality Winner played by Emily Davis

Is This a Room: Reality Winner Verbatim Transcription looks behind the headlines and the newspaper articles of the real case of Reality Winner, a young woman currently serving a lengthy prison sentence for the unauthorized release of classified documents. She had violated the Espionage Act, which dates back to 1917.

Presented as part of UMS's No Safety Net 2.0 theater festival, this roughly one-hour long show highlights a single moment in Winner’s life, her interview with the FBI that ultimately resulted in her arrest. The stage is almost empty of props, and the audience is focused entirely on the four performers, their dialogue, delivery, and use of personal space. At times, the all-male agents crowd Winner, the only woman present at the time of her interview, giving an appropriate feeling of claustrophobia. At one point, the actors’ speech seems to be slowed down or sped up, perhaps giving insight into Winner’s emotional state at that moment.

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Unity of Purpose: "Taking a Stand" at Stamps Gallery features a range of multimedia works under a common theme of inclusivity

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 11:30am by christopherporter

Elizabeth LaPensée, Bitwork Beadwork Mega Man

Elizabeth LaPensée, Bitwork Beadwork Mega Man, 2019, 20” x 16”

Stamps Gallery's Taking a Stand offers audiences a glimpse at the works of five artists who engage with themes of solidarity and comment on social and cultural issues at the forefront of contemporary dialogues. They grapple with science fiction, environmentalism, social activismand the history and continuing impact of colonialism.