Up to 70 thousand people are expected to attend this weekend’s East Lansing Art Festival.
The festival marks its 50th anniversary this year. The festival started back in the mid-1960’s, when a group of local artists simply wanted to hold a small show along Grand River Avenue. It’s grown a lot since then.
Corinn Van Wyck is the festival’s director. She says organizers try to focus on the quality of art, not just quantity.
“(The festival) is set up to make the arts accessible,” says Van Wyck, “It’s not set up to cram in every square inch with things.”
“The Superintendent is receiving calls from arts groups all over the state saying, ‘Why are you cutting the arts?’” says district spokesman Bob Kolt. “But it’s just not true…we’re contracting out those services to community artists.”
Kolt says the district will bring in about 10-20 “contractors” to help elementary classroom teachers with art, music and gym instruction.
Mark Schwartz is illuminating Detroit. An organizer of Dlectricity, a contemporary light art festival running Oct. 5-6 in Detroit, Schwartz helped create an event he hopes will engage and stimulate his audience.
Cynthia Canty recently spoke with Schwartz about Dlectricity’s function in both the City of Detroit and the art world at large.
“Part of it is art; part of it is the regeneration of Detroit,” said Schwartz. “I think this will be a way for people to really enjoy Detroit at night and start thinking of this city as a pedestrian village.”
Voters in ArtPrize have narrowed more than 1,500 works of art down to the top ten. One of the top ten artists will take home the $200,000 top prize later this week.
This year more than 40,000 people voted (more than 400,000 votes in total so far) for their favorites. Thousands gathered Sunday afternoon to hear ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos list off the ten works of art that got the most votes.
The head of Michigan’s largest contemporary arts center has stepped down as part of a plan to stabilize the museum’s finances. The Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids is also cutting its hours.
The UICA’s board of directors voted on the restructuring plan this week to try to stabilize what they call a “declining financial situation”. But the board will not discuss details of the budget or the restructuring plan publicly.
Board President Kathryn Chaplow says the board has reached out to a small group of “major donors” to help with some immediate funding.
“It’s very rare for people to go through something like this. But with the way people step up its just overwhelming and its humbling. The UICA isn’t going anywhere,” Chaplow said.
The UICA’s executive director Jeff Meeuwsen has agreed to step down as part of the plan. He will stay on as a temporary consultant for up to 90 days.
Chaplow says she hopes the cut in hours will be temporary. And she says the board will be seeking a new director.
Dexter residents are still dealing with the aftermath of the tornado that through their town earlier this month. To help with the healing process, one woman has set up an outdoor art studio for kids in one of the hardest hit neighborhoods.
Christine Lux's makeshift studio consists of some tables, a tent, and a giant blue tarp to protect the children’s art work and art supplies.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University will not open April 21st as scheduled due to construction problems. Instead, the contemporary art museum will open sometime this fall.
But for those who just can’t wait to see what the inside of the Zaha Hadid-designed museum looks like, the folks at the Broad have created a “virtual” museum that anyone from anywhere in the world can access:
An art gallery in Lansing lets patrons lease original works of art, much like you would a car or a truck.
For nearly five decades, the Lansing Art Gallery has let folks lease select pieces of art from their gallery. Now with the gallery's new Lease/Purchase Exhibit people can lease any of the 43 original pieces of art on display for about ten percent of the sticker price:
If you’re in Detroit on a Friday keep your eye out for some free art. It might be hidden in a statue in front of the YMCA or tucked into a corner of the People Mover.
The free art is actually part of a project called Free Art Friday Detroit. The idea is that Detroit artists hide their art around the city, and then leave clues on Facebook and Twitter. (The twitter hashtag is #FAFDET)
Pamella DeVos spends a lot of time in New York as a fashion designer. She is a board trustee at the Whitney Museum and helped make the partnership a reality.
“We’re not a huge city but we certainly have such an amazing art museum,” Devos said. DeVos is a GRAM Honorary Life Trustee. She says she’s had a passion for the GRAM since she was 25 years old. DeVos says she’s brought the director of the Whitney Museum to Grand Rapids many times.
Today's Artpod features a story where science and art intersect.
At a lot of colleges and universities, the sciences are housed on one part of campus, the arts on another. But the two sides will have a chance to meet this week when the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) at the University of Michigan opens its first art gallery.
Sara Adlerstein is a research scientist at SNRE, artist, and curator for the new Art & Environment gallery. When it comes to environmental issues, she says scientists need to be able to communicate with people outside their field.
"If you’re not able to communicate to the general public, then your work is not all that relevant," explains Adlerstein. "So I’ve been exploring to do that through art; I think art speaks to the heart. With an image you can communicate directly to the heart and make people think about how to educate themselves if they’re interested in the issues."
She hopes the new gallery will show scientists and students that charts and pie graphs aren’t the only way to share their research.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - The annual ArtPrize contest in Grand Rapids is getting a new $100,000 juried award and trimming how much money the top two publicly picked winners each get.
Organizers on Tuesday announced the creation of the ArtPrize Juried Grand Prize for the 2012 event, which is scheduled for Sept. 19 to Oct. 7. The new award makes the total prize money for the 2012 event $550,000, up from nearly $500,000 in 2011.
Next year, the artist winning the public voting will get $200,000 instead of the $250,000 that was awarded in 2011. The prize for second place will be $75,000, down from $100,000. Prizes for other juried awards will be $20,000.
Artist and venue registration for the fourth annual ArtPrize event will be announced later.
The Arts Council was founded in 1967 to help support arts organizations in West Michigan.
“We’re recognizing the changes,” Exectutive Director Caroline Older said about financial problems facing arts organizations, “We’re making a positive change for the Arts Council, even if it does mean that it comes to a close.”
Older says the recession compounded with state cuts to arts programs forced the non-profit to consider all of its options. She says the council realized it couldn’t be sustainable anymore.
The top prize of $250,000 went to Mia Tavonatti from Santa Ana, California (originally from Iron Mountain, Michigan) for her large-scale mosaic, Crucifixion. More than 382,000 votes were cast in ArtPrize 2011 and an estimated 500,000 visitors experienced the third annual competition.
Here are the ArtPrize 2011 Top Ten in alphabetical order. Voting on the top ten will begin at 7:00 PM Thursday, September 29, and continue through 11:59 PM on Wednesday, October 5. The first place winner and the order of the Top Ten will be announced at 6:30 PM on Thursday, October 6 at DeVos Performance Hall. Tickets are available at the ArtPrize HUB at 41 Sheldon.
When something big happens in your life, sometimes you just have to get it out.
Talk to a friend. Share it with your family, or just shout it out loud.
You know, express yourself a little.
Expression through song writing and production are skills that the organizers of Studio on the Gohope to teach kids in Michigan.
Kyle Norris reports the program "travels to schools and community centers in Flint, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo":
Kids use computers and keyboards to make music and beats and then they write lyrics about their lives, and finally record the songs. Kids are given a topic to write about, like "education," “making it” and "family"... The results are songs about their personal struggles along with heartfelt tributes. Some kids sing about what it’s like to have someone they love die or to have a family member in jail. Instructors say the kids learn a combination of technical skills along with life skills.
Michigan Radio's Multimedia Producer Mercedes Mejia and Reporter Kyle Norris put this video together about the program:
If Studio on the Go came to your town, what would your "making it" or "family" song be about?
The Detroit Institute of Arts is struggling to raise money in this tough economy. It doesn’t help that Detroit is still reeling from the recession, and a quarter of its tax base, which helps fund the museum, has fled the city over the past decade.
To help relieve a little pressure, DIA director Graham Beal asked permission to take money from funds dedicated solely to acquisitions, and temporarily use it to cover operating costs. In his monthly newsletter, Beal explained it like this: