Tue, 05/19/2020 - 5:00pm by christopherporter
The first thing that jumps to mind when I think about New York City cafeterias is Edward Hopper's 1942 painting Nighthawks. In addition to its masterful capturing of manmade lights and nighttime shadows, many interpret the painting as a portrait of big-city loneliness. "The four anonymous and uncommunicative night owls seem as separate and remote from the viewer as they are from one another," states the proprietor of the fansite edwardhopper.net. But to me, it looks like the counter clerk is speaking with the couple, who may have had a great night out on the town based on the way they're smartly dressed, leaving the man with his back to viewers as the lone lonely one -- though the painter referred to him as "dark sinister" in his notes for the painting, not lonely.
These sorts of varied interpretations about what people are doing in eateries went through my mind as I viewed photographer Marcia Bricker Halperin's NYC's Vanished Cafeterias: 1975-1985 exhibition.
Valery Jung Estabrook's hand-sewn exhibit at U-M's LSA Humanities Gallery re-creates an uncomfortable snapshot of a rural American interior
Wed, 03/04/2020 - 12:00pm by christopherporter
The LSA Humanities Gallery is known for exhibits that raise uncomfortable questions and featuring provocative artworks that cut to the heart of American culture. With its most recent exhibit, *Hometown Hero (Chink): An American Interior, viewers are invited to explore an installation designed by multidisciplinary artist and Paula and Edwin Sidman Fellow in the Arts recipient Valery Jung Estabrook.
Neighborhood Theatre Group’s new play "Thoughts and Prayers" explores what happens when a high school is upended by violence
Wed, 03/04/2020 - 9:00am by christopherporter
Neighborhood Theatre Group’s new play, Thoughts and Prayers -- written by A.M. Dean and directed by Marisa Dluge -- is a story based in fictional but present-day Michigan where a gun and manifesto were discovered in a high school student’s trumpet case. The FBI responds by sending in Agent Sarah Allistair to implement “Project Armored Apple” in which teachers are supplied guns and training to react in the event of an attack at the school.
Mon, 03/02/2020 - 9:00am by christopherporter
Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound puts a theater reviewer in the interesting position of reviewing a play that satirizes theater reviewers reviewing a play. It is an absurdist work that is, on the surface, like a play-within-a-play, but it becomes something more. It’s a journey that explores identity, authenticity, and what is real versus what we tell ourselves might be real. PTD Productions performs this layered classic with aplomb.
Fri, 02/28/2020 - 10:15am by christopherporter
Ted Ramsay, a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design, has long made expressionism in its many guises the focus of his painting. His last WSG exhibit, March 2013’s Spatial Narratives in Paint, was marked by expressive figuration, which Ramsay explained as, "In my figure paintings I strive for an aura of magic and mystery tempered with a subjective, but believable dose of reality." I wrote at that time that Ramsay’s “whose homage to silence is so complete, you can almost hear a pin drop.”
Thu, 02/27/2020 - 10:00am by christopherporter
“You’re a mighty and hearty lot,” said UMS President Matthew VanBesien, peering out over the snow-dusted crowd that had slowly filtered into the seats of Rackham Auditorium Wednesday evening.
A Thread of Jewels: The 6X collective's "Mistaken for Strangers" fills the A2 Art Center's Gallery 117 with wearable art
Mon, 02/24/2020 - 12:00pm by christopherporter
The contemporary jewelry-making collective 6X makes interconnected, wearable artworks. The six-member group of Midwesterners explained their approach as part of its February exhibition at the Ann Arbor Art Center: “Ties, which may not consciously be acknowledged at a simple glance, are visible upon further consideration of approaches to concept, material, and process.” Thus, the title of the A2AC exhibit, Mistaken for Strangers, in its Gallery 117 space references the connectedness of their creative processes, which may not be immediately recognized by viewers.
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
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.
Mon, 02/17/2020 - 12:00pm by christopherporter
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.
Fri, 02/14/2020 - 10:31am by christopherporter
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.