Stories indexed with the term ‘Ann Arbor Art Center’

Column: Arbor Vinous

Joel Goldberg

Joel Goldberg

Visualize the Ann Arbor Art Center’s WineFest as the Châteauneuf-du-Pape of fundraisers.

The annual wine-and-food extravaganza, on tap May 6 through 8, bears a surprising resemblance to the multi-grape assemblage of the flagship wine from France’s southern Rhone, blending supporters of the century-old arts institution with a panoply of local glitterati out for some innocent merriment, plus a dollop of area wine cognoscenti keen to sample and acquire some hard-to-find bottles.

So it’s a good fit that Honorary Chair Laurence Féraud, the first French winemaker to chair WineFest, comes from first-tier Châteauneuf winery, Domaine du Pegau.

And just as some Châteauneuf producers (but not Pegau) have adapted their wines to changing customer preferences for early-drinking, more fruit-driven styles, so the 28th annual WineFest sports a different look from years past.

“We’ve thrown everything up in the air and had it come down in a new format,” says Art Center president Marsha Chamberlin. “It’s going to be this bright, colorful upbeat format in a very stylish location. We’re trying to make this an event that people can enjoy on lots of different levels.” [Full Story]

Art Center Outreach Program Survives

Former participants in the Ann Arbor Art Centers Artmakers Teens summer outreach program mug for the camera at an awards ceremony in the Ann Arbor City Council chambers on June 1. Ann Arbor Public Art Commission Vice Chair Jan Onder (left) and Chair Margaret Parker playfully duck down by the table where they just presented the teens with a 2009 Golden Paintbrush Award for a mural the Artmakers created last summer.

Former participants in the Ann Arbor Art Center's Artmakers Teens summer outreach program mug for the camera at an awards ceremony in the Ann Arbor City Council chambers on June 1. Ducking down by the table are Jan Onder, Ann Arbor Public Art Commission vice chair, left, and AAPAC chair Margaret Parker. The teens had just been presented with a 2009 Golden Paintbrush Award for a mural the Artmakers created last summer.

In the hallway outside the city council meeting room last month, a group of teenagers leaned into each other and grinned as multiple cameras flashed. People passing by paused to say “Congratulations!” The teens – former participants in the Ann Arbor Art Center’s Artmakers Teens summer outreach program – had just received a 2009 Golden Paintbrush Award from the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission for a mural they created last summer.

Standing and smiling with them was Sarah Winter, an Ann Arbor Public Schools art teacher and project coordinator for the teens who created the mural. Winter said she was happy about the award, and called working with the Artmakers a “truly amazing experience.”

However, it was also bittersweet, she said.

“There’s no funding for the program this summer,” Winter explained. “It was great for the teenagers in a lot of ways this past summer, and now it’s over. I’m very sad it’s not happening this year.” [Full Story]

Free Stuff

These heads are also free for the taking

These sculpted heads are among the many items free for the taking at the Ann Arbor Art Center's studios on Felch.

By the time The Chronicle arrived at the Ann Arbor Art Center’s studios at 220 Felch St. on Wednesday afternoon, it was less than 24 hours after the center had made its “free stuff” posting on Freecycle and Craiglist – but much of the initial batch of furniture set outside the building had already been picked over.

Inside, quite a bit remains, including ceramic molds, low-fire glazes, unclaimed finished pottery and other items. And over the next few days, they’ll be setting out more furniture for the taking, too.

The center sold its 11,000-square-foot building to ICON Creative Technologies earlier this year, and is consolidating at its 117 W. Liberty location. Taking a break from packing, ceramics studio manager Suzanne Poulton told us the new studio space at the Liberty Street building is about half the size of the Felch Street property, so they need to unload quite a bit. For anyone interested in picking up some deals, the Felch studios will be open from 1-8 p.m. every day this week. [Full Story]

The Where and Why of Ann Arbor’s Art

Map at AAPAC

At an open house hosted by the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission, people were asked to mark the locations in town where they'd like to see public art. Sophie Grillet drew in a bike bridge she'd like to see over the railroad tracks on the south part of town, connecting South State and South Industrial.

A trio of women stood staring at the piece of paper on the wall, pencils and shiny star stickers poised in their hands. One of them announces she wants to mark somewhere with a bench. Somewhere she can sit and look.

The paper they’re looking at is a map of Ann Arbor. The stickers and pencils are tools to highlight places they think could use some artwork. On a bench below the map, there’s also a suggestion box, with squares of paper scrawled with the public’s suggestions for the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission’s next project.

The map was part of AAPAC’s open house, which the commission held Thursday evening at the Ann Arbor Art Center. The event, where commissioners entertained about 30 supporters and community members, featured a slideshow of public art – from the Arch in Kerrytown’s Sculpture Park to various pieces by Herbert Dreiseitl, the German artist AAPAC commissioned to work on the public art installment at the municipal center.

There were also sheets of paper with information about the commission attached to the wall, answering questions like “Why a public art commission?” and “Creating a public art plan: How do we get there?” While perusing the center’s Jewelry + Objects exhibition and enjoying wine, fruit and brownies, attendees told The Chronicle why they came and what they think of public art. [Full Story]

Art Center Consolidates, Sells Felch Property

Bluestone Realty

A Bluestone Realty sign is still on the former Ann Arbor Art Center building at 220 Felch St., but the building was sold last week to ICON Technologies.

When Rob Cleveland of ICON Technologies sent us a press release about his firm’s purchase of the Ann Arbor Art Center’s Felch Street property, we took the opportunity to get an update on the center’s plans for its main Liberty Street site.

We reported last year that the art center, like virtually all nonprofits, was struggling financially and faced a budget shortfall. Last August, with two weeks left in their fiscal year, they’d launched a “Close the Books in the Black Campaign” to raise $20,000. So how was the center faring financially now? [Full Story]

After the Exhibition

art center

Downtown Ann Arbor outside the Ann Arbor Art Center.

The juried exhibition “Displaced Spirit” ended Nov. 11 at the Ann Arbor Art Center, but the following day, a small selection of pieces from the show lingered briefly for a few minutes outside the center on Liberty Street. As Cathy Jacobs loaded up a van for transport of her work back home, The Chronicle happened by and had a chance to view her contributions to the show.

The exhibit was meant to celebrate the creative spirit that survives war and genocide. Works for the show were selected from 14 Michigan-based artists who endured forced displacement from their home countries whether directly through their own experience or that of their parents or grandparents. [Full Story]