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January 13, 2018: Your Arts & Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

amanda krugliakUMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Amanda Krugliak is an artist, curator, and arts administrator best known for performance and conceptual experiential installations, most notably as curator at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities since 2007. Amanda is most recently recognized nationally as co-creator artist/collaborator with Richard Barnes and anthropologist Jason De Leon for “State of Exception,” an exhibition about De Leon’s “Undocumented Migration” project. Her essay about the work of Richard Barnes will be included in the upcoming book “Object Lessons,” about the University of Michigan Collections and Museums, and a collection of her essays will be included in a catalog commemorating the U-M Institute gallery, which will be published in December 2017.

Here we are, the New Year! and the town is covered in a sheet of ice, cold snap. I wear sunglasses in the house, listening to Leonard Cohen. But then, just like the forgotten can of La Croix that explodes in the back of my friend Jen’s car, sometimes all you need is a wake-up call, a bottle rocket, a Sign….to remind you how lucky we are just to be Here.

The State Theatre Marquee by Mark Chalou
State Street, Ann Arbor

State Theater MarqueeNeon Artist/Lighting Designer  Mark Chalou’s new renovation of the State Theatre Marquee  is nothing short of spectacular, Oscar-worthy. Just stand under the glow and bask. Chalou is an artist who understands the notion of Place, cities and towns, haunts and watering holes …his signs inhabit them. Raised in Detroit, with more than thirty years in his practice, his work is authentic, innovative, and requires no museum frame job, street becomes gallery. He carefully researches historic motifs for context, and sketches out his many revisions over time, ultimately re-inventing the way we see things in the process, from once familiar to new again. Remember to look up, and check out other stand out Chalou monikers here and in Detroit: Cafe Zola, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Adventura, Eastern Market Brewery.

Learn more about the renovation here.

Making Home
Through June 6
Detroit Institute of the Arts

DIA assistant curators of Contemporary Art Taylor Renee Aldridge and Lucy Mensah make their museum

Abelardo Morrell’s photograph

Abelardo Morrell’s photograph Laura and Brady in the Shadow of Our House/ from Making Home.

curatorial debut with this incredibly smart and insightful exhibition. Culled from the DIA’s permanent collection, the exhibition includes works on paper, photographs, as well as installation works, all offering concepts and perceptions of home, both reassuring and still searching, resonant in complexity and the universal longing for a place we belong. The exhibition’s reach offers the opportunity to see the work of a wide range of artists such as Tyree Guyton, Clinton Snyder, Charles McGee, Jane Hammond, Carlos Diaz, Lorna Simpson and Joanne Leonard among others. The exhibition bodes well for exciting and provocative future endeavors from these dynamic new curators with sensitivity to where they stand, and a futuristic gaze.

Through June 6, entry included with regular admission/Detroit Institute of Arts/5200 Woodward Ave.

Also, in conjunction with the exhibition, the Detroit Film Theatre offers a series about Home.

Learn More. 

Homegoing: A Conversation with Yaa Gyasi
February 6
7-8:30 PM
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor

Yaa Gyasi A few days into the future, but put it on your calendar…not to be missed.

The work of Yaa Gyasi has proven deeply relevant for many of us questioning our identities, journeys, and exact locations at this tumultuous pivot in history. Gyasi’s novel also served as inspiration for curators Aldridge and Mensah when crafting their recent exhibition Making Home (noted above)

Gyasi was born in Ghana in 1989, raised in Huntsville, Alabama, and is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Gyasi’s extraordinary novel Homegoing follows the parallel paths of two half-sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Though the sisters never meet, their journeys dovetail through a series of narratives that emerge like short stories, interconnected.

Learn More

Alexis Rockman/ The Great Lakes Cycle
January 27-April 29
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids

Off of our usual squirrel track, but this is a show worth the trip, and not to be missed.Alexis Rockman

Rockman is an art star, an icon, a fixture in NYC, a presence internationally. His work is both out of this world, yet a real life imperative, conjuring up sublime painted and drawn images  that also serve as beacons and omens, bringing attention to the impact climate change, globalization, invasive species, mass agriculture and urban sprawl on our environment and ecosystems.

This multifaceted project was initiated in 2013 when artist Alexis Rockman embarked on a research tour of the Great Lakes region. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a suite of five mural-sized paintings which explore separate themes that emerged during Rockman’s travels.

Make a day of it.

Learn More.

New York Times article about the project.

Helado Negro, Cuco + Lido Pimenta
February 19
8 PM
Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit

Helado NegroMOCAD is magic when it comes to avant-garde musical performances. The space lends itself to taking chances, out on a limb, yet you always feel a strong sense of community, the energy that comes from a gathering in the best sense.

Cuco is a Los Angeles based artist making synth experimental music. Helado Negro is a music and performance artist, alter ego/alias for artist Roberto Carlos Lange, whose song lyrics are consistently bilingual in English and Spanish. His work is daring, yet soulful, expressive and introspective. His fourth LP Double Youth released in 2014 garnered acclaim with Pitchfork naming it “the boldest and most intricate Helado Negro work to date.” His practice includes work in Computer Art and Animation, worked video, sculpture, sound and performance. Lange has worked on projects with numerous artists including Sufjan Stevens, Julianna Barwick (as Ombre), Mikael Jorgensen (of Wilco), Guillermo Scott Herren (of Prefuse 73), Mouse on Mars, and sculptor David Ellis.

Lido Pimienta is a Colombian-Canadian musician and human rights advocate whose music incorporates a variety of styles and influences, including traditional indigenous and Afro-Colombian musical styles and contemporary synthpop and electronic music.

Learn More

Art Detroit/ Second Saturday
January 13
12-6 PM
Detroit

How fantastic, to spend the afternoon in Detroit, moseying from one gallery to another, talking about art, asking Second Saturday flyerthe difficult questions, offering up disparate opinions, drinking too much coffee, who knows… it just might change your mind about a few things, or you just might fall in love.  Stand -outs destinations include David Klein Gallery/Downtown, who represents such “who’s who” terrific artists like Liz Cohen, Mith Cope, Gina Reichert, Scott Hocking, Mario Moore, Corine Vermeulen, Alison Saar etc etc.  Currently on view is the work of Lauren Semivan: Door Into the Dark, hauntingly beautiful prints suggestive of psychological landscapes between sleeping and waking; Playground Detroit/Eastern Market, with the last day of the group exhibition COMM[UNITY] , which represents a small cross-section of Detroit’s creative landscape, “bound not by geography or practice, but by an enduring set of shared values and virtues;” Salt and Cedar Letterpress and Signal Return Press, two gems in Detroit that make extraordinary prints both run by two amazing women… Megan O’Connell(Salt and Cedar) and Lynne Avadenka (Signal Return); and Mark Newport at Simone deSousa Gallery /Midtown, whose surprisingly intimate works on fabric explore the vulnerabilities of loose threads, wear andtear, holes that need mending, seams exposed, the doing and undoing of things.

Learn More.

Jim Cherewick Exhibition
Through February 4, Closing Reception February 2
Ferndale District Library, Ferndale

Jim Cherewick ExhibitionArtist Jim Cherewick is a legend in these parts, reclusive Ypsi artist whose quirky watercolor paintings take you down the rabbit hole, baby. It takes me back to my days in SF, staying up all night, dreaming big, ceiling fan whirring, painting in my kitchen,where music and art were so deeply connected, and individuality fiercely embraced, and (before texting existed) you wrote late night boozy poems about crushes. The work is fresh, authentic, weird, wonderful, and wandering. Raised in Brighton, he’s lived in Ypsi for several years, where he has been featured in art exhibitions, and he spends a good deal of his time writing, recording and touring with the Detroit-based quartet Best Exes.

Learn More.

UMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Amanda Krugliak is an artist, curator, and arts administrator best known for performance and conceptual experiential installations, most notably as curator at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities since 2007. Amanda is most recently recognized nationally as co-creator artist/collaborator with Richard Barnes and anthropologist Jason De Leon for “State of Exception,” an exhibition about De Leon’s “Undocumented Migration” project. Her essay about the work of Richard Barnes will be included in the upcoming book “Object Lessons,” about the University of Michigan Collections and Museums, and a collection of her essays will be included in a catalog commemorating the U-M Institute gallery, which will be published in December 2017.

Like what you read? Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

January 12, 2018: Your Arts & Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list). 

hailey dukes

UMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Hailey Dukes is a sponge for all things related to art and culture. Originally from Kent, Ohio, this Detroit-based transplant has spent over three years showcasing and highlighting Detroit music art and culture through her work as a Contributing Editor for with Detroit creative arts agency PLAYGROUND DETROIT and Detroit based publication Grand Circus Magazine. She has been in Southeast Michigan for over eight years. With an inherent passion for writing, a social nature, and a personal draw to cultural happenings of all sorts, she has combined her love and interests to promote a bouquet of talent in Detroit while having fun in the process. Hailey is excited to expand her love for showcasing underground arts to the larger region of Southeast Michigan and can’t wait to serve juicy, appetizing and flavorful events to the the UMS readership!

Cuban Salsa Bootcamp
January 9-30
Dance Revolution, Ann Arbor

Noche CubanaGet your feet movin’ into 2018 with Cuban Salsa Bootcamp hosted by Dance Revolution of Ann Arbor!

For a great way to work out at an affordable price, you can’t beat this fun series full of flavor, fun and new friends. For the price of $40 for the month ($35 for students) you will engage in 4 classes (Tuesday Nights) where you can learn new skills or sharpen your already sizzling salsa moves.

The specific dance learned and practiced in this series is called “Casino”, a distinguishably Cuban version of salsa dance. Historically known as a social dance,  Casino blends culture with interpersonal interaction and physical movement.  Full of spontaneity, improvisation, passion and footwork, this series is a great way to let loose and try something new. You can get one step closer to becoming #fitnessgoals as you break a sweat while having a good time, and put yourself out there by making new friends and dancing with different partners.  With Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels, all are welcome!

More Info here.

Open Mic Stories & Standup: Resolutions
January 12
Cultivate Coffee & Taphouse , Ypsilanti

Can I just start by saying I looooooove Cultivate! Such a cute setting for studying, date night, birthdays, get-togethers or alone time. Choose from craft beers or coffees, and a lovely selection of nibbles, and find a spot to nestle into at this super cute cafe. Always hosting events and meetups, this time Cultivate is holding an open comedy night with a topic near and dear to the month of January; That topic is Resolutions.

Resolve: A Night of Comedy

Open to comics, storytellers, or just people who want to talk, Cultivate’s open mic night provides a, “chance to brag on the resolution you have kept for the first 12 days of the year or tell about that time when you bombed it.” the cafe and bar invites attendees to “come find some solace and laughter in storytelling” and I think it sounds like a pretty chill and (hopefully funny)  night out in Ypsilanti. Judging from my experience in the town I’m sure the night will be filled with clownish and wacky stories to make you laugh, and if not, you can try some tasty Michigan craft beers until the jokes become funny. Either way, Cultivate is a great spot to go out alone and meet new friends or meet up with old ones and if you’re courageous enough, you can hop on the mic too. The event is free of charge and takes place January 12.

More info here.

Ashes to Ashes: A Tribute to David Bowie
January 13
Conor O’Neills, Ann Arbor

David BowieLet’s Dance! Saturday, Jan. 13, Connor O’Neils of Ann Arbor is honoring the ‘Golden Years’ of David Bowie with a  tribute and celebration presented by Ypsilanti band, Mercury Salad Sandwich. As the band describes, “Mercury Salad Sandwich has a simple approach to music: write tunes that make people groove and sing along, then get thirsty and buy more beer.”

In the setting of downtown Ann Arbor’s popular Irish Pub, event goers can toast to the influential artist with classic pub fare and an extensive beer and spirit selection. In such a social and high volume setting as an authentic Irish Pub, I’d feel so comfortable having a few drinks and yelling out my favorite Bowie tracks, and you should too!  Come dance and sing along to the music of an inimitable icon and celebrate 69 Years of David Robert Jones.

More info here.

University of Michigan MLK Symposium Talk: Comics Artist/Creator Shawn Martinbrough
January 15
Stamps School of  Art & Design, Ann Arbor

Now this, I am especially excited about. Artist and creator Shawn Martinbrough has worked on DC, Marvel and Dark Horse Comic projects like Batman, Luke Cage Noir, Captain America and The Black Panther to name a few. He has also worked on AMC television series The Thief of Thieves, The Walking Dead, Deadpool, Hellboy: Secret Nature and more. An widely publicized and renowned creator, Shawn Martinbrough is coming to speak at the University of Michigan in celebration of the birthday of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr.

Presenting his talk, “Continuing the Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through the Art of Storytelling,” Martinbrough will give a speech and presentation to attendees on January 15 in the Stamps Auditorium. Thanks to U of M’s Stamps School of Art & Design, College of Engineering, School of Music, Theatre & Dance and Taubman College of Architecture & Planning, we all are welcome to enjoy what seems to be a promising speech and unique angle on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  and a look into the career and mind of a prolific artist.

In what sometimes seems to be a divisive day and age, I continue to remark at the collective power we can have when we come together with strangers, discuss, listen, and digest together so this seems like the perfect opportunity to do just that!

More info here.

The Shining
January 15
The Whiskey Parlor, Detroit

Parlor CinemaSo we can all agree that lately Michigan weather has been comparable to the icy and frigid conditions that land Jack Torrance and fam stranded in The Overlook Hotel. Lucky for us we’re not literally trapped inside and Detroit’s Parlor Cinema (At The Whisky Parlor) is showing one of  Stanley Kubrick’s quintessential films, The Shining for us to come out and enjoy. Did I also mention that its FREE?

Nestled in the heart of downtown Detroit, The Whisky Parlor is a destination for affordable yet delectable craft cocktails and beers. The cozy yet classy setting hosts vintage decor, a gorgeous view that makes you feel like you’re in your own secret lookout and a staff that makes you feel like a regular, even if it’s your first time there.

The bar has ramped up its Parlor Cinema series, where attendees can catch some great cocktails and a film screening each Monday; They’ve designated January as Kubrick Month!  Kubrick’s 1980 classic film The Shining is playing Jan. 15, so be sure to catch this bone chilling flick  in Detroit’s hidden gem. All work and no play makes you a dull person, so make time for some fun on Monday night!

More info here.

Half a Stack Poetry Slam
January 27
Jazz Cafe @ Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Detroit

If you only had one shot, one opportunity, would you capture it? Or just let it slip? Haha! This is the question twelve contending poets will have to ask themselves as they face off at the Half a Stack poetry slam. Cleverly named and presented The Half a Stack Poetry Slamby Joel Fluent Greene, the three round poetry slam competition will showcase skilled wordsmiths and performance artists  who are competing for the first place prize of $500.00 in cold hard cash.

Sadly, this event was so hot that the 12 competing spots have already been filled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come and check out the competition! Located in downtown Detroit at the celebrated Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, the Half a Stack poetry slam sounds like a great night out, and I suggest grabbing dinner or drinks downtown to top it off!  General Admission for the slam is a mere $10.00 so come on out to watch the city’s finest word slayers, rhyme sayers, role players and crowd swayers. (Dang, I should’ve entered.)

More Info here.

UMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Hailey Dukes is a sponge for all things related to art and culture. Originally from Kent, Ohio, this Detroit-based transplant has spent over three years showcasing and highlighting Detroit music art and culture through her work as a Contributing Editor for with Detroit creative arts agency PLAYGROUND DETROIT and Detroit based publication Grand Circus Magazine. She has been in Southeast Michigan for over eight years. With an inherent passion for writing, a social nature, and a personal draw to cultural happenings of all sorts, she has combined her love and interests to promote a bouquet of talent in Detroit while having fun in the process. Hailey is excited to expand her love for showcasing underground arts to the larger region of Southeast Michigan and can’t wait to serve juicy, appetizing and flavorful events to the the UMS readership!

Like what you read? Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

December 1, 2017: Your Arts & Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list). 

hailey dukes

UMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Hailey Dukes is a sponge for all things related to art and culture. Originally from Kent, Ohio, this Detroit-based transplant has spent over three years showcasing and highlighting Detroit music art and culture through her work as a Contributing Editor for with Detroit creative arts agency PLAYGROUND DETROIT and Detroit based publication Grand Circus Magazine. She has been in Southeast Michigan for over eight years. With an inherent passion for writing, a social nature, and a personal draw to cultural happenings of all sorts, she has combined her love and interests to promote a bouquet of talent in Detroit while having fun in the process. Hailey is excited to expand her love for showcasing underground arts to the larger region of Southeast Michigan and can’t wait to serve juicy, appetizing and flavorful events to the the UMS readership!

UMS blog, you’ve been so good this year  I have a wonderful gift for you. MY amazing, one of a kind, heartfelt December recommendations! Okay. Really this is something  you get every month so let’s just call it the gift that keeps on giving. Read on for reasons to trudge outside through one of Michigan’s most dreaded seasons. You won’t regret warming up your car for 20 minutes to go to these, I promise!

Chantae Cann
December 1
7 PM – 10 PM
Jazz Cafe At Music Hall, Detroit

Chantae CannChantae  Cann is a vibrant ray who emanates self-empowerment, inner strength, and the honesty it takes to look inside.  Accompanied by piano, horns, organ, drums and other typical jazz ingredients, Cann’s voice and lyrics set a calming tone that just makes you feel like everything’s gonna be okay.

Cann’s debut album “Journey to Golden” climbed the iTunes and Billboard jazz charts piquing industry attention and this artist is now on tour following the recent release of her 2017 album Sol Empowered. I’d say this artist would be the resulting child if Tony Robbins, Erykah Badu, Norah Jones,  and India Arie had a baby. (LOL) By combining  neo-soul and jazz influences in an uplifting package, Cann’s music resonates with listeners’ thoughts and emotions on a sublime level.

Come warm your soul with Chantae Cann! Tickets here.

Learn More.

Noel Night
December 2
5 PM – 10 PM
Midtown Detroit, Detroit

Noel Night

Everyone loves Noel Night in Detroit. On this special occasion, Detroit’s cultural center  lights up (literally) like a child’s eyes on Christmas morning as the public hits the streets for a night of fun. With “over 100 participating venues including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Public Library,” these institutions along with art galleries, retail shops and food vendors will stay up late for an open house of sorts.

All museums will be free of charge on Noel Night, and activities like horse-drawn carriage rides and holiday shopping are available. As noelnight.org states, “over 200 area music theatre and dance groups” will perform throughout Midtown’s cultural center near Wayne State University. Headlining performers include: Afro Blue, Cantus, Sidewalk Chalk, The Cactus Blossoms, Les Nubians, Etienne Charles’ Creole Christmas, The Tartan Terrors, the Rhythm Society Orchestra with Paul King, and Thornetta Davis.

Noel Night is a great night for friends, lovers, families and individuals to go out, interface with the community, check out Detroit’s AMAZING museums, drop some dollars and catch some interesting performances. For a price of FREE.99 you can’t beat it! Come check out one of Detroit’s awaited community events on Saturday, December, 2.

Learn More.

Talk Juliana Huxtable
December 7
7 PM – 8 PM
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit

Juliana HuxtableJuliana Huxtable is the prototype. An educated  writer, artist, author, and amazing DJ, this hardworking and highly visible powerhouse has taken NYC (and the world) by storm with  her individuality, expression, activism, and style.

About four years ago, when Soundcloud was still  “underground,” and I got my first car auxillary cord, nothing gave me more joy than bumping new mixes from Juliana and another Soundcloud DJ named SXYLK that I was 100% sure only my friends and I knew about. We were obviously the epitome of cool.

A House of Lodosha member and founder/member of Shock Value underground dance parties (NYC), Huxtable has used the nightlife scene to unite various identities and create safe spaces through dance music and club culture. Huxtable has been featured  in NYC’s New Museum Triennial , Reena Spaulings Fine Art, and MoMA/PS1  as well as Project Native Informant  Art Museum (London, UK) and that’s just me naming a few.

Huxtable is currently a part of MOCAD’s group exhibition ‘Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance’ where she and other artists explore “music’s role in social change and empowerment” in connection with Detroit’s historical 1967 riots (the exhibition is up until January 7, 2018)  As an early present to us, MOCAD is putting on a free (or $5 donation) discussion with the prolific artist where she will navigate  her body of work and how it serves as a vehicle for expression around themes of  human rights, gender , sexuality, and identity. This is a rare chance to come face to face with underground club royalty. Don’t miss it! More here.

Learn More.

The Nutcracker
December 9
6:30 PM
Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor

The Nutcracker

No one can escape December without seeing that little Nutcracker’s face someplace or another, so why not make it intentional while checking out a beautiful and classic ballet? Hosted in one of Ann Arbor’s classic venues, this 2017 Nutcracker  production boasts talented and professional dancers both local and international. I personally think ballet is beautiful, exquisite, and awe-inspiring, just like the delicate snowflakes that fall each predictably frigid Michigan winter. The event is also family friendly!

As a 90’s baby I grew up in the era of both Center Stage and Black Swan, so I’ve got a thing for ballet (movies). How do they do it? IDK, all I have to say is… mad respect for the craft, so I definitely wanted to add this Christmas classic to the list. Ticket info here.

Learn More.

DIYPSI Holiday Market
December 9
11 AM
Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti

DIPYSI Holiday MarketI recently moved back to Washtenaw County after living away for a few years, and I’ve got to say, one thing that stands out to me in Ypsilanti is the amazing sense of community and support that the local artists give each other. At DIYpsi, talented, quirky and sometimes overlooked  Michigan artists bring their goods to market for a plethora of one of a kind gifts. Hosted at Ypsilanti’s Riverside Arts Center, this seasonal event  brings local vendors under one roof for a night of fun and meaningful spending.

DIYPSI has previewed some of the vendors online, and there are items ranging  from clothing to essential oilsprints, jewelry, and more.  (Pro Tip – DIYpsi ALWAYS has the best jewelry.)

This event will be going on both December 9 and December 10 so don’t go get something everyone will have at the mall, don’t get that impersonal gift card, and don’t make that ugly scarf you knit for all the family members each year. Support local art and get some cool, original and unconventional gifts at your local artist market.

Learn More.

UMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Hailey Dukes is a sponge for all things related to art and culture. Originally from Kent, Ohio, this Detroit-based transplant has spent over three years showcasing and highlighting Detroit music art and culture through her work as a Contributing Editor for with Detroit creative arts agency PLAYGROUND DETROIT and Detroit based publication Grand Circus Magazine. She has been in Southeast Michigan for over eight years. With an inherent passion for writing, a social nature, and a personal draw to cultural happenings of all sorts, she has combined her love and interests to promote a bouquet of talent in Detroit while having fun in the process. Hailey is excited to expand her love for showcasing underground arts to the larger region of Southeast Michigan and can’t wait to serve juicy, appetizing and flavorful events to the the UMS readership!

Like what you read? Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

November 10, 2017: Your Arts & Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

amanda krugliakUMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Amanda Krugliak is an artist, curator, and arts administrator best known for performance and conceptual experiential installations, most notably as curator at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities since 2007. Amanda is most recently recognized nationally as co-creator artist/collaborator with Richard Barnes and anthropologist Jason De Leon for “State of Exception,” an exhibition about De Leon’s “Undocumented Migration” project. Her essay about the work of Richard Barnes will be included in the upcoming book “Object Lessons,” about the University of Michigan Collections and Museums, and a collection of her essays will be included in a catalog commemorating the U-M Institute gallery, which will be published in December 2017.

Hard to believe we landed here, the first week of November, almost another year. There is no going back, only forward.  Soon butter will be molded into the shape of farm animals, turkeys will be stuffed, leftovers will be lauded, and somebody will yell, “Yatzee!”  I told my iPhone to call the Ann Arbor YMCA and it started playing the Village People.  Even if we can’t exactly go home again, “Young Man, there’s a place you can go, have a good meal, have some fun, no need to be unhappy.” Here’s a line-up to keep you on your toes to the beat and offer sustenance till the holidays overwhelm us.

Susan Goethel Campbell:
Faulty Vision

Nov 4-Dec 16
DAVID KLEIN GALLERY, Detroit

Detroit artist Susan Goethel Campbell continues to investigate, with strong intuitions, our tenuous and complicated relationship to our environment, exploring landscapes organic and manufactured in this new exhibition at the stellar David Klein Gallery. The exhibition morphs into installation, where “[the pairing of architecture and earth becomes the focal point…]” Goethel-Campbell has consistently created work that is complex and challenging intellectually, while at the same, time, visceral and moving in regards to the emotional terrain it delves into, which we ultimately inhabit with the artist in the process.

Learn More.

Wonderland
Through  Nov 25
Call (567) 661-7081 for hours and details 
Terhune Art Gallery, Owens Community College, Perrysburg, Ohio

A little off of our usual squirrel track, but well worth the shout out and the trip…the exhibition Wonderland brings together a roster of really inventive and unique artists all on my own personal “A” list.  Collectively, they design a tactile and visual experiential exhibition that is both playful and adventurous, running the gamut from survivalist skills to hope and reincarnation.  Each of these artists is so compelling in their own right, and together, a very likely force.

Learn More.

Dar Williams
Nov 12 at 7:30 pm 
The Ark, Ann Arbor

Back in the day, before I returned to Ann Arbor, my super cool folk/rock boyfriend in SF opened for Dar.  We sat back in the green room chatting it up, along with her BFF, Joan Baez…wow, now that my friends is a 4 star recommendation.  Dar Williams continues to combine great melodies with incredibly smart and moving lyrics, growing into herself over the years like the rest of us, refusing to read the road signs that try and tell us to turn around, or determine when we have arrived.  Take advantage of seeing Dar Williams in the intimate setting of the Ark, an institution itself, and bring your daughter, and your son.

Learn More.

Art Demo: Something Old, Something New: An Intro to Mixed Media and Collage
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit

As part of the ongoing series of engaging workshops at the Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit-based visual artist Lucy Cahill, who specializes in illustration and poster design, shows participants how to take images from retro magazines, comics, and other sources and incorporate them as collage elements in entirely new works.  Cahill offers a refreshingly contemporary voice in her own work, feeling entirely of the moment, with a nod to the past. Visitors will have the opportunity as part of the experience to make their own collage self-portrait, with guidance from the artist using different media and methods.

Learn More.

Jeanne Bieri: The Way In
Saturdays, Nov 11-25 at 12 noon-6 pm
Artist talk on Nov 18 at 2 pm
Hatch Art, Hamtramck

Jeanne Bier, a 2017 Kresge Artist Fellow, has her first solo exhibition at Hatch, debuting lush and intricate largescale fiber works. Bier combines the mundane with the sublime, sewing together remnants of Army blankets as well as quilt pieces, all part of the artist’s personal collection, with their own significance and stories. The stitching of these two disparate elements become meditative, according to the artist, and serve to find healing and peace amidst turmoil

Learn More.

Alexander Buzzalini and John Charnota:
100 Beavers

Nov 11-Dec 20, 7 -11 pm
Public Pool, Hamtramck

The name alone suggests an inventive, celebratory, irreverent, earnest, and dedicated collaboration. The exhibition intends to “serve as a metaphor for labor and production, as well as the accomplishments and shortcomings that result.”

It is no secret that the Beaver trade played heavily into history and economy of place and culture, including places like Detroit.  The auto industry as well played a role in a similar way to shaping the city’s landscape and neighborhoods. And the beaver like the worker played a fundamental role overall. (Stay with me, I’m getting to the point) These conceptual artists work (like beavers) both independently and collaboratively, creating over 100 mixed media paintings and sculptures that make up the exhibition.  The exhibition pays homage to a nearly forgotten resource that shaped Detroit, and also takes us through a process that promises to be both prolific and exuberant.

Learn More.

Sarah Innes
Through Nov 29
Bona Sera Café, Ypsilanti

Sarah Innes is an everyday painter, meant in the best sense of the word.  Her paintings capture the gesture and energy of the day, her life, and town, the people in them, relationships beyond your cellphone.   If you are headed to Ypsilanti, stop into Bona Sera restaurant, get a coffee, cocktail and something delectable from one of my favorite Ypsi haunts, and enjoy the view.

Through November 29th, during restaurant hours:  Tuesday-Thursday  11-3, 5-9; Saturday and Sunday 10-3, 5-10; Sunday 10-3.

Learn More.

 

UMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Amanda Krugliak is an artist, curator, and arts administrator best known for performance and conceptual experiential installations, most notably as curator at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities since 2007. Amanda is most recently recognized nationally as co-creator artist/collaborator with Richard Barnes and anthropologist Jason De Leon for “State of Exception,” an exhibition about De Leon’s “Undocumented Migration” project. Her essay about the work of Richard Barnes will be included in the upcoming book “Object Lessons,” about the University of Michigan Collections and Museums, and a collection of her essays will be included in a catalog commemorating the U-M Institute gallery, which will be published in December 2017.

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October 23, 2017: Your Arts & Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list). 

hailey dukes

UMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Hailey Dukes is a sponge for all things related to art and culture. Originally from Kent, Ohio, this Detroit-based transplant has spent over three years showcasing and highlighting Detroit music art and culture through her work as a Contributing Editor for with Detroit creative arts agency PLAYGROUND DETROIT and Detroit based publication Grand Circus Magazine. She has been in Southeast Michigan for over eight years. With an inherent passion for writing, a social nature, and a personal draw to cultural happenings of all sorts, she has combined her love and interests to promote a bouquet of talent in Detroit while having fun in the process. Hailey is excited to expand her love for showcasing underground arts to the larger region of Southeast Michigan and can’t wait to serve juicy, appetizing and flavorful events to the the UMS readership!

November is almost here and I am thankful to report that this month, Southeast Michigan has a cornucopia of amazing cultural events to attend. I will serve as your provisionary UMS host, serving you the most enticing events I came across this month. Let’s dig in!

The Black Opera
October 27
8 PM
Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit

OK, so I know this event is technically in October, but let’s just call it an appetizer for the rest of the tasty events that will follow in November. The Black Opera has created a serious buzz at the MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit) over the last few years, and I would be remiss to exclude their highly anticipated return. An anonymous group of performance artists, TBO, eloquently discusses community and society using visual art, spoken word, performance art. humor and ingenious lyricism. Dripping in a funky hip-hop sound and hidden by costume, TBO leads their outstanding live band in an all-encompassing show you won’t forget.  Admission is $12 and $7 for MOCAD Members. Find additional info here and don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook.

 

First Friday Fusion
November 3-4
Kenville Studios, Ann Arbor

AACTMAD’s dance collective A2Fusion is starting November off with footwork, hip swaying, mingling, music and more. November 3 and 4, A2 Fusion presents Indigo 2017, two days jam-packed with fusion dancing, workshops, music. learning and late night hangs. Friday November 3, catch First Fusion Fridays dance event with open dancing, live music and late night blues. Don’t know how to move or want to sharpen your skills? Join in on Saturday for the Skill Share Workshops + Practica where you can learn some steps before the Shades of Indigo dance party on Saturday night. The weekend will encompass styles of blues milonga, alternative tango +blues, blues + fusion and more. Come get your groove on with AACTMAD and A2Fusion to learn something new while moving your body! Tickets, Volunteer Info and Schedule Here.

 

 

Kelela
November 7
8 PM
El Club, Detroit

 

I am a total fan girl for Kelela, and once you hear her sing one note, you will be too. This Los Angeles based singer and songwriter reaches deep into listeners’ heartstrings with her sultry, soulful, jazzy and candid music. Ever since I heard Kelela’s debut mixtape ‘Cut 4 Me’ in 2013, I was hooked. Sadly, I’d never heard of her performing anywhere in Michigan ever since, and believe me, I was checking!  Luckily REACT DETROIT and Southwest Detroit’s El Club are FINALLY bringing this one-of-a-kind performer to the stage. This burgeoning star is on the rise in alternative/contemporary R&B and has released music through Solange Knowles’ Saint Records. Most recently, her first full-length album Take Me Apart has set Spotify ablaze, with emotive and catchy songs that send you reminiscing through thoughts of love, relationships, and the past. She has also recently graced the cover of FADER magazine, Calvin Klein’s latest ad campaign, and received raving reviews from cultural barometer Pitchfork Media. An inimitable songstress and fashionista, Kelela is changing the sound of R&B music. She is sure to leave a lasting impression at El Club this month. Get tickets for this (all ages) show here!

 

Thursday Night Jazz at the Tower
November 9
9 PM – 12 AM
Tower Inn Café, Ypsilanti

I love a good night of jazz, especially over food and drinks. Stop by one of Ypsilanti’s staple restaurants for live sounds from talented jazz ensembles. Ranging from local legends to area student groups, the acts rotate just like the delicious fall beers on tap. Personally, I love going for a chill night out during the week just to remind myself that work isn’t all there is to life. With the reasonably priced food and drinks, this is a midweek event that won’t have you breaking the bank. Tower Inn always keeps a tasty selection of fall brews on draft, and I love trying the seasonal beers around Ypsilanti since they have so many local beer destinations. I would also suggest Tower Inn’s classic pizzas and apps for a quick grab and low bill. (Love those spinach triangles!)

 

BASQUIAT BEFORE BASQUIAT: East 12th Street, 1979-1980
November 17 – March 11
Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills  

Jean Michel Basquiat’s personality and art have always intrigued me. As a fellow weird person, I have remain captivated by this artist’s psyche, unconventional technique and rise to fame, so I’m super excited to learn more at this traveling exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

Lucky for Southeast Michigan, Cranbrook Art Museum is the first stop for this roving spectacle, giving us a first look at Basquiat’s art prior to his ascension (as the exhibition title suggests.) Although Jean Michele Basquiat became wildly known, revered, and dissected in his final years and especially after his premature death, this exhibition explores his time as an everyday struggling street artist on the streets of New York in the late 70’s. At this time, Basquiat was living in New York’s East Village with his lover and fellow artist Alexis Adler just trying to make ends meet.  Located on East 12th street, Basquiat used the NYC streets as his canvas and source of materials before he made it big in high society.

By the way, did you know that in May 2017 Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) sold for 110.5 million dollars making it the highest sum ever paid at auction for a U.S.-produced work of art? The growth of this artist’s career is inspirational! Curated by Nora Burnett Abrams, this exhibition is a heavy hitter in Cranbrook’s exciting fall season. This is a do not miss event for local art lovers! More here.

(P.S. if you’re into the iconic NY art aesthetic, don’t miss the Keith Haring exhibition also taking place this fall J — It will simultaneously be on display.)

UMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Hailey Dukes is a sponge for all things related to art and culture. Originally from Kent, Ohio, this Detroit-based transplant has spent over three years showcasing and highlighting Detroit music art and culture through her work as a Contributing Editor for with Detroit creative arts agency PLAYGROUND DETROIT and Detroit based publication Grand Circus Magazine. She has been in Southeast Michigan for over eight years. With an inherent passion for writing, a social nature, and a personal draw to cultural happenings of all sorts, she has combined her love and interests to promote a bouquet of talent in Detroit while having fun in the process. Hailey is excited to expand her love for showcasing underground arts to the larger region of Southeast Michigan and can’t wait to serve juicy, appetizing and flavorful events to the the UMS readership!

Like what you read? Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

October 16, 2017: Your Arts & Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

amanda krugliakUMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Amanda Krugliak is an artist, curator, and arts administrator best known for performance and conceptual experiential installations, most notably as curator at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities since 2007. Amanda is most recently recognized nationally as co-creator artist/collaborator with Richard Barnes and anthropologist Jason De Leon for “State of Exception,” an exhibition about De Leon’s “Undocumented Migration” project. Her essay about the work of Richard Barnes will be included in the upcoming book “Object Lessons,” about the University of Michigan Collections and Museums, and a collection of her essays will be included in a catalog commemorating the U-M Institute gallery, which will be published in December 2017.

I decided to lighten my load and finally parted with a pair of vintage shoes, a thrift store porcelain doll, love letters from 1994…you get the idea.

Before I knew it, an art student retrieved them from my office dumpster, curated me right there on the sidewalk, like a missing person. Words of advice: just let it go. Baby, don’t ever let it go, or you’ll end up as someone’s final project.

It’s October! Where is my bikini?  Here are a few picks to ease the anxiety of Global Warming.

Object Lessons
Exhibition
October 13-December 30
Ruthven Building, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Object Lessons Flyer

In Object Lessons, a more conceptual exhibition in the old library of the Ruthven Building, University of Michigan scholar Kerstin Brandt and photographer/artist Richard Barnes offer a surprising and intimate look at hidden collections and museums at the University. The room is stripped down to original floors, to add to the sense of traveling through time, and even Ruthven’s desk makes an appearance. Full of taxidermy, photographs, bird’s nests and notebooks, the exhibit offers a trace of our collective history facing brave new worlds.

More info

D-Ciphered: Portraits by Jenny Risher
Now through February 18, 2018
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit

Jenny Risher photographs Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of Insane Clown Posse in Delray.

In D-Ciphered, Portraits, at the DIA, Jenny Risher’s photographs chronicling the hip-hop scene in Detroit honor the the amazing artists who have been such an influential part of a vibrant movement and also the Detroit community. The vivid portraits capture the energy and power of the people and their music, also serving as a visual record of the history of this influential genre of music.

More info

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
October 28 at 10 pm
Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is another nod to the past, still campy and fun, and silly, and a thrill after all these years.  What a great way to celebrate Halloween, performance, and our own eccentricities. A Michigan Theater tradition, the cult classic takes you down the rabbit hole with sweethearts Brad and Janet, soon leading to the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transvestite mad scientist. What more could a girl ask for on date night? Do your research, bring your props, and get ready to rock.

More info

City of Djinn / Lime Rickey International
October 27 at 8 pm
Trinosophes, Detroit

Lime RickneyI love seeing anything at Trinosophes in Detroit, this wonderful place that offers edgy, informed international performance, art, and music in a setting that feels like your best friend’s house party. This month, listen to a great double bill of City of Djinn and Lime Rickey International. City of Djinn out of Chicago creates a sonic tapestry of dark, psychedelic, hypnotic sound that emerges from experimental music and Arabic magam tradition. Lime Rickey International, the “alter ego” of voice artist Leyya Mona Tawil, also explores influences of magam. She creates soundscapes in her charged performances, articulating Arab Experimentalism, and embedded in political sub-narratives. She calls herself aptly a “refugee from the future…full of diasporic aesthetics and resilience.”

More info

Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples
November 1 at 7:30 pm
Fox Theater, Detroit

It is impossible for me to think of anything that would cheer me up more than seeing Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples at the Fox. Both have spent their musical careers combining soul-changing music, with inspiring activism. It just might remind you what you are fighting for. Tickets are still on sale, you can have the glow of just being there for the price of a few lattes, or break the bank and have the night of a lifetime. Either is worth the trip.

More info and Tickets

The Hinterlands Ensemble
The Radicalization Process
November 2-3 at 8 pm
Play House, Detroit

The Hinterlands Ensemble

Richard Newman and Liza Bielby have created a one-of-a-kind performance and installation that goes beyond the boundaries of either, following a time continuum, that undulates, offering an immersive You are There theater experience. You’ll find yourself looking through archives, following instructions that place you in your own performance, and finally into the larger play. The Radicalization Process navigates through forgotten revolutionary histories, investigates radical art and politics, till you are ready to stage a political coup of your own.

Tickets or call 313.454.1756 or email info@thehinterlandsensemble.org

UMS Wallace Blogging Fellow Amanda Krugliak is an artist, curator, and arts administrator best known for performance and conceptual experiential installations, most notably as curator at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities since 2007. Her essay about the work of Richard Barnes will be included in the upcoming book “Object Lessons,” about the University of Michigan Collections and Museums; University Press and the Institute for the Humanities will publish a collection of her essays about art in 2017.

Like what you read? Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

March 8, 2017: Your Arts and Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

adam desjardinsSpring is nigh! It’s International Women’s Day! There is so much to celebrate! Last night, I attended the Wallenberg Lecture at Rackham Auditorium and if you’re looking for a dose of hope today, I definitely recommend checking out the lectures from years past. Hopefully this and the list of happenings below will help you ring in spring with some good-hearted will power.

Truth-Booth-2016-Corrine-Vermulen-Cranbrook_1-1 - Copy

The Truth Is I Hear You at Cranbrook Art Museum

How do you define truth? What are your personal truths? This community involved video project, spearheaded by The Cause Collective showcases the responses and definitions from Michiganders throughout Southeast Michigan. During the summer of 2016, the Truth Booth, an inflatable video recording studio in the shape of a giant speech bubble toured eleven locations in Metro Detroit and Flint collecting statements to the prompt “The Truth Is…”. The responses are compelling, heartfelt, funny, complex, and so much more. The exhibition runs through March 19, so make your way to Cranbrook ASAP for a cup of truth. Tickets range from $6 to $10. More.

Personal Space at Public Pool

Personal Space

Want to get up close + personal with some really wonderful artwork by Detroit-based artists? Then does Public Pool in Hamtramck have the show for you. Personal Space has been more than a year in the making and is a collaboration between cool-kid-in-the-publication-biz Grand Circus Magazine and curator Isabella Achenbach. The exhibition will feature prominent and really quite exceptional Detroit-based artists highlighting their work that focuses on the way bodies interact and situate themselves within their larger, or sometimes intimate, spaces. Opening night is March 11 from 7 – 11pm and if you miss it, you can catch it during Public Pool’s open hours every Saturday through April 22. It’s free. Don’t miss out. More.

Macdeath at Planet Ant Theatre

Macdeath

Macbeth. Maybe you read it in high school or maybe you went and saw your cousin’s high school production of the play. Maybe you just have a friend named Beth. Regardless, you probably haven’t seen a high school production of Macdeath. This original musical comedy is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic by Mikey Brown and Shawn Handlon, and instead of Scotland as the scene, it’s set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world (on stage at Planet Ant in Hamtramck). Planet Ant is a haven for improv, scripted productions and has churned out some real heavy hitting actors + artists like Keegan-Michael Key of Key & Peele. I don’t know what is in store for Macdeath, but I can tell you, I’m intrigued and I’m going. Tickets are $20 and it runs on Friday through Sunday until March 18. More.

55th Ann Arbor Film Festival at the Michigan Theater

AAFF

If you’re reading this in Ann Arbor, you’re just down the street, or a couple of streets, from the third-oldest film festival in North America. In it’s 55th year, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is a jewel upon the crown of arts wonders in Michigan. This year, they’re back full force at the Michigan Theater (and a few other spots, too) and will be showing some really cosmic work. I’ve given the films a peruse and some thematic highlights include: a vogueing teen, a Mexican mother searching for a Donald Trump piñata, clowns, and a Skype exorcism. Some events are free but ticketed events + screenings cost $8 or $12, the AAFF runs from March 21-26. More.

After Industry at Wasserman Projects

After Industry

Headed to Eastern Market in Detroit soon? Then pop by Wasserman Projects, a gallery + event space that hosts performances, talks + panels in conjunction with their impressive exhibitions. The current show on view is entitled After Industry and conveys our lovely consumptive, consumerist world teetering on collapse through the work of Italian sculptor Willy Verginer, Norweigan painter Christer Kalstad, and Michigan-based photographer Jason DeMarte. I haven’t been yet, but I’m about to carve out some time on a Saturday (when they’re open) to see it as it runs through April 8.  Entrance to Wasserman Projects is free. More.

Steve Reich @ 80 at Hill Auditorium

Eighth Blackbird

Look out Michigan, Chicago coming through! Contemporary music sextet eighth blackbird and percussion wunderkids Third Coast Percussion are joining forces to perform Steve Reich’s masterpiece Music for 18 Musicians. This performance is not worth missing as it takes 4 Steinway pianos to perform and is extremely technical, rhythmic, and spellbinding. There will also be three performances happening on various levels of Hill Auditorium prior to the concert to contextualize Steve Reich’s musical background. If you’re not sold yet, I’ll leave you with this quote from David Bowie, who listed the album as one of his 25 favorite: “Balinese gamelan music cross-dressing as minimalism.” Honor him, make it your new favorite, and go. More.

Thanks for giving this a read! Which events do you have on your calendar? Have any suggestions? Feel free to shoot me an email at adamedesj@gmail.com, or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Photos courtesy of artists and performance spaces.

Adam DesJardins is a UMS Blogging Fellow. Learn more about the blogging fellows program.

February 8, 2017: Your Arts and Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

adam desjardinsFebruary! So short, so bitter, and surprisingly so much to do in Southeast Michigan. I’ve been keeping active by sitting in front of my space heater and listening to music that makes me think of the sun, like this Blood Orange song. While you close your eyes and try to remember what that burning ball of fire in the sky feels like on your face, open your eyes back up and gander at this list.  12HOLLER-SUB-master768

The Holler Sessions at the Detroit Public Theater

With the wide range of cafes, stages and festivals, it only makes sense that Detroit, a city with a history rich in jazz, is where a play like The Holler Sessions is landing. Staged as a live radio show, the play focuses on one man, or should I say, one DJ with a heart-burning, ranting, humorous love for jazz. The play, written and performed by Frank Boyd, is created in collaboration with the TEAM, a theater wunder-company who presented their work RoosevElvis with UMS this fall. Performances run through February 26 with tickets from $20-35. More.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic at the Toledo Museum of Art

2015_Kehinde_Wiley_EL137.39_2797WI know I’m supposed to be writing about Southeast Michigan happenings, but this one is too good to pass up. And Toledo used to be a part of Michigan, so what does it matter? I digress. What does matter is that painter extraordinaire Kehinde Wiley’s touring exhibition will grace our interstate region in Toledo from February 10 until May 14. I plan to go at least once to ooze over his hyper realistic portraits rooted in contemporary Black culture, European aristocratic painting, and all the complicated, tangled history at play. The Toledo Museum of Art is always free, so start planning your trip. More.

2017 Winter Exhibitions Opening featuring The Black Opera at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)

15895520_10156415839372228_2421636336672061488_oMOCAD enters 2017 in full force. This tsunami of an event will include a whopping four exhibition openings, a curator’s talk, and a performance by The Black Opera, a collective dedicated to lyricism, secrecy, and foremost, artistry. Of the four exhibitions, the one I find the most striking is The Architectural Imagination which envisions new purpose for four sites in Detroit through architectural proposals drafted up between designers, architects, and community members. This exhibition comes straight from the 2016 Venice Biennale, where it was a part of the United States Pavilion, which is a big deal. All this goes down on February 11, free admission before 9 pm and $12 after that. More.

Mr. Burns, A Post Electric Play at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

16251670_10154826860967696_2418394760880342354_oA play centered on the apocalyptic retelling of an episode of The Simpsons. Are you sold yet? Playwright Anne Washburn creates a piece of theater that questions how we tell stories, where they come from and why they come about. All of this set in a world with no electricity where survivors attempt to recollect “Cape Feare,” an episode of the Simpsons. This jolting production by the U-M Department of Theatre & Dance takes place February 16-19 with tickets prices at $22-28. More.

Shira Erlichman + Angel Nafis at Literati

21865933-standardIf you haven’t been to Literati in Ann Arbor, it’s about time you go. Not only do they offer a world of local bookstore wonder, but they also host some really superb readings, talks and other literary events. Coming around the bend on February 22 is the powerhouse poetry duo of Shira Erlichman + Angel Nafis visiting by way of Brooklyn, NY. Angel Nafis is an Ann Arbor native and while SHIRA is not, both visit often to read, teach, and engage folks with words, something they both do so magnificently. Come and be floored, for free. More.

Thanks for giving this a read! Which events do you have on your calendar? Have any suggestions? Feel free to shoot me an email at adamedesj@gmail.com, or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Photos courtesy of artists and performance spaces.

Adam DesJardins is a UMS Blogging Fellow. Learn more about the blogging fellows program.

November 29, 2016: Your Arts and Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

adam desjardins

Mmm….Thanksgiving may be over, but it’s Christmas time! This year I’m hungry for change, and if you are too, I encourage you to donate to a local organization or a cause that you care about! For me, it’s the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota and Gleaner’s Community Food Bank in Detroit. As always, I encourage you to check out the arts happenings below because they’re affordable, enjoyable, and well, I just know you’ll love them.

 

Fun Home at the Fisher Theatre

After taking home a slew of accolades and audiences’ hearts while on Broadway, Fun Home is finally coming to a theater near you. Based on the memoir by graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, the plot follows Bechdel in three periods of her life: a present day, middle-aged cartoonist, a student at Oberlin College in Ohio, and a child growing up in rural Pennsylvania. The musical unravels Bechdel’s most personal memories from exploring her sexuality to her discovery of complex family secrets, taking audiences on a vulnerable, emotional, albeit fun trip down memory lane. Tickets start at $29 and the show runs from November 29 – December 11 in the architectural gem that is the Fisher Theatre. More.

Also check out their Facebook Page for even more events. 

 fun-home

noel-night44th Annual Noel Night in Midtown Detroit

This is one of my absolute favorite events in the world and it’s happening next week on December 3! I’m not big on holidays, but I have always loved Noel Night because year after year, it continues to be an event that is extremely accessible, artistically incredible, and completely free. Taking place from 5pm to 10pm, over 70 institutions in Midtown Detroit open their doors to the public to showcase 200+ performances, holiday markets, family craft activities, and so much more. My highlights from recent years have included the Detroit Party Marching Band outside the DIA, gospel legend Irma Thomas at First Congregational Church, and klezmer music at the Detroit Public Library. It’s free. Go. More. To like them on Facebook, check them out here.

Japanese Prints of Kabuki Theater at UMMA

kabuki-theaterMen in drag! Stardom! 18th + 19th century Japan! For centuries, Kabuki Theater has encapsulated all of the above and more, preserving a tradition of theatrics, drama, and Japanese history that still lives and breathes today. On display now through January 29 at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), this exhibition of colorful woodblock prints will give viewers a look into the fandom, the fantasy, and the spectacle that captured the hearts of many from Japan and afar. Oh, and UMMA is always free. More.

Image: Utagawa Toyokuni III (Kunisada), Ichikawa Ichizō III as Kinryū Kumokichi, Edo period (1615-1867), 1857, color woodblock print or paper. University of Michigan Museum of Art, Gift of John Campbell, 2009/2.100

The Carr Center in Downtown Detroit

Consider this a grab bag, an artistic smorgasbord, because that is what the Carr Center is. After 7 years of creating a space for African and African-American cultural arts traditions in Downtown Detroit, the Carr Center is facing the possibility of being uprooted from their building as plans for a fancy hotel loom. That said, their artistic programming puts up a fight with two CD release concerts by local musicians in the coming weeks, a giant two-story art exhibition entitled “You Are Here” running until December 17, and a concert headlining jazz icon Dee Dee Bridgewater and jazz pianist (+ artistic director of the Carr Center) Geri Allen on December 2. Check out their website and go to show your support. More.

carr-center

 

Thanks for giving this a read! Which events do you have on your calendar? Have any suggestions? Feel free to shoot me an email at adamedesj@gmail.com, or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Photos courtesy of artists and performance spaces.

Adam Desjardins is a UMS Blogging Fellow. Learn more about the blogging fellows program.

Nov 16, 2016: Your Arts and Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

marissa-kurzhalls-2It’s been a challenge to not focus completely on the election and turkey in November 2016, but I’m here to remind you Southeastern Michigan is an amazing place for arts and culture. This month explore hyper-local and global works of art within a 50 mile radius. It’s time to get inspired!

Re-Release Party (The Golden Record)

If you could explain the world to an alien, how would you do it? How would you explain language? What kinds of music would you play for them? A Host of People, a Detroit performance company, has devised a play based on The Golden Record – a 1977 project led by Carl Sagan which attempted to communicate the story of life on earth for extraterrestrials and future humans on a phonograph. A group of dedicated local artists will provide a multimedia experience which asks the viewers – how do we want to be remembered? How do we explain ourselves? Come see this great play on November 4 -19 for just $15 a ticket. More.

host-of-people

leila-abdelrazaqDrawing in the Diaspora: Comic Art & Graphic Novels by Leila Abdelrazaq

Dearborn’s Arab American National Museum shares the creations of Leila Abdelrazaq, a Chicago-based illustrator who fuses activism and artistry in comics and graphic novels. Baddawi, her debut graphic novel, is a coming-of-age story based on her father’s experience in a refugee camp. Pieces from her new novel along with original illustrations, comics, and zines will be on display at this exhibition November 12 – April 19.  Be sure to also check out Bigmouth Press & Comix – a blog founded by Leila Abdelrazaq dedicated to uplifting the work of female and non-binary comic artists with roots in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. More.

 

portrait of myself as my father

Enter the ring at Detroit’s Downtown Boxing Gym for a visceral experience heightened by the ferocity of Nora Chipaumire – a Zimbabwe-born choreographer who explores African masculinity in this personal performance. UMS presents portrait of myself as my father  on November 17, where three performers take the stage on a make-shift boxing ring for an exposition that “achieves chillingly sudden shifts in mood, from joking and light to excruciatingly dark.” (New York Times). More.

Nora Chipaumire

hai-xin-wuHai Xin Wu

Take part in an intimate performance on November 18 with world-class violinist, Hai Xin Wu, in the Lakefront Ballroom at the Grosse Point War Memorial. The venue is completely dazzling, and tickets are only $25. Hai Xin Wu is Detroit Symphony Orchestras Assistant Concertmaster Violinist, and is sure to provide a delightful experience to the audience as he has done for decades around the world. His talents mixed with the picturesque view of Lake St. Clair are the makings of a night to remember. More.

 

Ann Arbor Polish Film Festival

My great-grandparents came from Poland so naturally I enjoy sauerkraut, polka, and I’m intrigued by the 23rd Ann Arbor Polish Film Festival at Michigan Theater. The November 18 – 20 weekend is a lineup of dramas exploring relationships, time-sensitive thrillers, animated films, and family friendly options. Admittedly I forget most of the Polish I have learned throughout the years, so thankfully all the movies come with subtitles! More.

 

Thanks so much for reading! If I missed an event that’s important to you, reach out to me on Twitter. And if you explore any of these events, be sure to let UMS know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Photos courtesy of artists and performance spaces.

Marissa Conniff is a UMS Blogging Fellow. Learn more about the blogging fellows program.

Oct 26, 2016: Your Arts and Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

adam desjardinsBoo! It’s the spookiest season out there…election season! And in lieu of all the fright, I’ve been focusing most of my energy on the new Solange album, taking Polish classes in a bright magenta room in Hamtramck, and yapping everyone’s ears off about the ever-so important RTA Millage on the ballot. Below you’ll find some haunts that I think you should check out ASAP! Enjoy!

ofrendas

Ofrenda Altars at the DIA

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a celebration of all those who have passed on, and in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful holidays on this planet. Those who celebrate honor the dead through grave visits, vigils, and ofrenda altars, where offerings including candles, sugar skulls, food + drink, personal knick-knacks and more are presented as gifts for the dead. For the fourth consecutive year, the DIA in conjunction with the Mexican Consulate of Detroit will showcase 14 ofrenda altars made by local artists, which will captivate in gorgeous, emotional and even hilarious ways. The exhibit is free with museum admission, which is free for residents of Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties. Go pay your respects from October 21 until November 6. More.

Mitski at the Magic Bag

I often tell my friends + complete strangers that I feel like I’m just hitting puberty at age 23. So it’s only natural that Puberty 2, the most recent album by hard-hitting, music-maker Mitski, has been my anthem as of late. Her sound is extremely versatile ranging from soft, melt your heart lyrics to big, bang, kick down your walls grit. She’s truly an incredible songwriter, with the raw musicianship to match, and will be bringing her spell to Ferndale for $12 a ticket on November 4. Do not miss out on Mitski. More.

VIDEO

Heidelbergology: A 30-Year Photo Retrospective at the Heidelberg Project

heidelbergIf you haven’t made your way to the Heidelberg Project yet, well, it’s now been 30 years of shape shifting and it’s about time for you to go. The project, started by artist Tyree Guyton on Heidelberg Street, where he grew up in Detroit, has evolved an area at one point in shambles into an international and more importantly, community creative hotspot. The exhibition features some lovely photos highlighting memories from the dynamic journey Guyton + his team have taken, and you must check it out before they begin some drastic renovations to the project. The photos are on view until January 2017 but go now before you get too cozy indoors! More.

Theo Katzman + Joey Dosik at the Blind Pig

“Thou shalt bringeth the funk” is a quote no one ever said to me. Luckily, funk-bringers Theo Katzman and Joey Dosik will be doing just that when they grace the stage at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor on November 5. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Katzman, a grad of the music school at U of M and member of Vulfpeck, an Ann Arbor-born, LA-based band who have grooved and grinded their way into thousands of hearts, including mine. A frequent Vulfpeck collaborator and LA native, Dosik is equally as funky and has a sound that is chock-full of soul. Tickets are $15 in advance so show up and show support for these two fly, funky hunks. More.

VIDEO

Leila Abdelrazaq: Drawing in the Diaspora at the Arab American National Museum

leilaWith one of the largest Arab American populations in the United States, Southeast Michigan is graced with many cultural gems like that of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn. Starting November 12, the museum will host the illustrations, comics and printed matter of Leila Abdelrazaq, a Chicago-born, Palestinian artist and author whose work fuses art and activism. From zines about the struggles of undocumented immigrants to her debut graphic novel Baddawi, which highlights her father’s childhood in a refugee camp, the exhibition will showcase her talent as an artist who uses her medium to create meaningful work and spark dialogue about politics, identity, storytelling and so much more. The exhibition runs until April 19 and is free with museum admission. More.

Thanks for giving this a read! Which events do you have on your calendar? Have any suggestions? Feel free to shoot me an email at adamedesj@gmail.com, or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

Photos courtesy of artists and performance spaces.

Adam DesJardinis is a UMS Blogging Fellow. Learn more about the blogging fellows program.

Oct 12, 2016: Your Arts and Culture Adventure Picks

marissa-kurzhalls-2This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

It’s Fall y’all! As soon as I see one yellow leaf, I bust out the scarves, fuzzy socks, and apple cider to show my love for my favorite season. With that, I have found the best events throughout the area to experience the cool breeze and warm sun…with a creative twist.

Glass Pumpkin Show

glass pumkinTo some, the pumpkin spice trend has gotten out of hand. I think it went a little too far when Pumpkin Spiced Oreos hit the shelf, but that’s just my opinion. Instead, let’s celebrate the pumpkin with the Glass Pumpkin Show at Glass Academy in Dearborn. Witness live glass-blowing demonstrations during your pursuit for the perfect pumpkin at this special event. Attend the Signature Show on October 15 and 16 for free, or the Pumpkin Preview Party on October 13 for $50. Last but not least, these pretty pumpkins are making a special trip to Downtown Home and Garden in Ann Arbor on October 22 and 23. More.

Trick or Treat on the River

trick or treat on the river

Enjoy the sites and sounds of the Huron River before winter is upon us with a festive Fall activity, Trick or Treat on the River. Vincent van Gogh once said, “Keep your love of nature for that is the true way to understand art more and more.” Luckily, every Michigander knows there’s an abundance of natural beauty in our state. Use the complimentary candy as motivation to paddle down the Huron and feel inspired by the beautiful colors of hundreds of trees that line the mighty (yet manageable) river on October 16. More.

Dracula

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The Gothic horror novel published in 1897 continues to pique the curiosity of Western culture, especially around Halloween. Wayne State’s Theatre and Dance Company presents Bram Stoker’s Dracula, adapted by Charles Morey at the beautiful Hilberry Theatre in Detroit. If you’re a fan of Buffy, True Blood, or Count von Count, see where it all began with the original vampire on October 21 through November 2. More.

YpsiGLOW

Prepare fowbf-101216-yspiglow-bnrr a night unlike any other. From the Fools who brought you FestiFools and Fool Moon comes YpsiGLOW, a chance to shine in the city of Ypsilanti with a glow-in-the-dark street party. Immediately following the Ypsilanti Downtown Halloween Festival, artists, makers, and creators will show the glow of Ypsi on October 27 with works of art, music, and storefront decorations. Visit their website for a list of free workshops to create your ypsiGLOW masterpiece in advanced, and get ready to party! More.

Black Cat Cabaret

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When I hear the words “cat” and “cabaret” in the same sentence, I’m in. Ypsilanti’s Neighborhood Theatre Group presents Black Cat Cabaret – an evening of tunes and treats in Bona Sera Underground on October 28 and 29. I can vouch for the talent and passion of these performers, and guarantee a spooktacular evening – for only $10. Treat yourself to some delicious creations from Bona Sera before or after the show. Meow! More.

Thanks for reading! Let us know if you attend any of these events by tweeting @UMSNews. If I missed your autumnal activity, let me know by leaving a comment!

Photos courtesy of artists and performance spaces.

Marissa Kurtzhals is a UMS Blogging Fellow. Learn more about the blogging fellows program.

Sept 27, 2016: Your Arts and Culture Adventure Picks

This post is a part of a series of posts curating adventurous arts and culture experiences in Southeast Michigan. Sign up for email updates (choose “Arts & Culture Adventures” list).

adam desjardinsHello Internet! Thank you for opening up this tab and checking out what I have to say about arts and cultural happenings for these next few weeks. I’m so very grateful for this opportunity to be one of the two UMS Blogging Fellows as Michigan has so much to offer in the arts and culture sector, but the regional coverage is sometimes lacking! I’m going to introduce myself real quick, and then we’ll get to the thick of things.

Hey again! My name is Adam, my grandma calls me “Adaś,” and these days I dwell in Detroit. I’m a recent graduate of University of Michigan, having spent my time there studying Sociology, Performing Arts Management, French, and dipping my toes in many topics in between. My passion is the arts education and accessibility aka how people engage, participate, learn and create in and with the arts. I’m currently taking accordion lessons, just got back from a year of working in France + some world travel, and took some film photos along the way. Most importantly, I hope you enjoy my suggestions and really do hope to see you at some of these events!

Mosaic Youth Theatre at the Michigan Theatre

mosaic-youth-theatreAs a previous attendee of the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor, I whole-heartedly believe in youth-centered arts programs as a means for learning, engagement, and good old fun. Mosaic Youth Theatre in Detroit is a glimmering gem of all that and more. With 20+ years of exceptional arts education programming, they are not to be messed with, having toured nationally and internationally and as a dear friend just told me, they are “the real deal”. They’ll be at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on October 2 bringing their song for $12 a ticket. Show up and show some support for regional youth arts programs! More.

Complex Movements’ Beware of the Dandelions at Talking Dolls

complex-movementsA smorgasbord of community organizing + electronic music + story telling + architecture + hip-hop + projectors, this event has got it all. Artist collective Complex Movements’ is returning home to Detroit after a few stints in Dallas and Seattle with their immersive work Beware of the Dandelions, inspired by the work of the late Grace Lee Boggs, a Detroit based activist. The event, rather, experience immerses participants in a polyhedron dome structure involving live performance, visuals, and themes of science fiction, and activism. Honestly, I’m not sure what to expect, but I do know that it is going to be phenomenal. The experience and residency at Talking Dolls includes 20 performances (Tickets: $10), 4 free installation viewings, and 20 community events from October 6-31. More.

Swoon: The Light After at Library Street Collective

swoonatdiaphotobyeljefe313Street art! What is it anyways?! That was rhetorical! Well, if you’re looking to learn more about it or know something already, make your way to Library Street Collective in downtown Detroit for an exhibition by Swoon, an NYC-based wheat-pasting extraordinaire and community organizer. While in Detroit, she will also be working with residents in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood on a mural + beautification project and hanging a 400-pound installation at the DIA. The exhibition at Library Street Collective opens with a reception on October 8 and runs until November 26, so you have plenty of time to catch it and the slew of other Swoon-related events. More.

KING at El Club

Music in Motown, and more generally, American music, has been and continues to be deeply rooted in independent black artistry and excellence. KING, by way of Los Angeles, is bringing just that to Detroit on October 12. They are a smooth, cosmic trio, independently run, produced and bringing the groove. Their soulful tunes have rightfully gained the attention and support of many from Stevie Wonder to Erykah Badu to the late Prince, who once brought them on tour. This past spring, I had tickets to their show in Paris but ended up missing it, which resulted in some really terrible feelings. Avoid that situation and do not miss out on KING at El Club, a new venue in Southwest Detroit. More.

Gaelynn Lea at Marble Bar

Along with everyone else on the planet, one of my favorite pastimes is to get sucked into the endless archive of music on Youtube. Often this includes watching NPR’s Tiny Desk concerts and falling upon greats like Minnesota native Gaelynn Lea, who recently won the 2nd ever Tiny Desk Contest. Below you’ll find the video of her accepting her prize of a performance at the Tiny Desk at NPR. While you cry quietly in front of your computer at the sheer beauty of her music, just know that the Seraphine Collective, a Detroit based community of creative feminists, is bringing her to Marble Bar on October 16. Tickets are $10 in advance and include Lea + a handful of wonderful regional artists from fellow singer-songwriters to a Greek folk band. More.

Thanks for giving this a read! Which events do you have on your calendar? Have any suggestions? Feel free to shoot me an email at adamedesj@gmail.com, or comment below. I’d love to hear from you! 

Photos courtesy of artists and performance spaces.

Adam DesJardinis is a UMS Blogging Fellow. Learn more about the blogging fellows program.

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