Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design

. November 27, 2012.
Stamps-School-Announcement-1

 

These are heady days at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. For one thing it is no longer the University of Michigan School of Art and Design. It is now the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, so renamed by Board of Regents in gratitude and recognition of the vision of Penny and E. Roe Stamps. Vision and a $40 million donation. You see, readers and fans, if you want a school at the U-M named after you money alone won’t do it. You gotta have vision. Ms. Stamps is an alumna (BS, Design ’66) and her gift is the most generous in A&D history and, indeed, one of the largest charitable donations to any art school in the United States. With the stroke of a pen the Stamps join such transformative donors at the U-M as Stephen M. Ross (Ross School of Business), Horace and Mary Rackham (Rackham Graduate School) and the beloved A. Alfred Taubman (Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning).

The new dean

Earlier this year A&D welcomed its new Dean, Gunalan Nadarajan. Professor Nadarajan is an international superstar as a curator, author and researcher working at the intersection of the arts, science and technology – exactly what we need for an art school in the 21st century. He is the author of over 100 published works, translated into 12 languages, most recently on the changing role of arts and design research. He has worked to increase collaboration across fields, including communication design at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. He serves as a principal investigator on a National Science Foundation Grant to establish a national Network for Science, Engineering, Art and Design. The obscenities commerce and industry have recently recognized the vital role of art and design, not just to prettify products or for advertizing purposes, and Dean Nadarajan is the right man in the right place at the right time to keep A&D ahead of the curve. It’s part of that vision thing. He has curated international exhibitions in Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and Japan. 

In one of his first curatorial gestures here in town, Dean Guna invited each faculty member to submit “an object or thing from your studio or workspace that would constitute an essential part of any meaningful introduction to your work.” The result is First Encounters, showing at Work: Ann Arbor through December 21. This is an all-fun introduction to the inspirations of A&D faculty – you can tell a lot about an artist by his or her workspace, kind of like the way a cook keeps his kitchen.  It is also an introduction to Work: Ann Arbor, the exhibition space on Central Campus at 306 State Street, near the State Theater. It’s amazing how many students, townies and visitors walk past it every day and don’t even know it’s there. Open Tuesday through Saturday:  Noon to 7pm.

A&D on display

A&D grads are featured now through December 18 in the Chelsea River Gallery Presents:  Rackham Centennial Exhibit 1012. It’s showing on the 4th floor of the Rackham Building, an art deco gem inside and out, at 915 East Washington. The exhibitors are working artists who were awarded their Masters in Fine Arts degrees from A&D within the past five years, and they’re coming back from as far away as India. The Rackham building, under the expert guidance of Susan Campos, hosts two exhibitions each year and teams with the River Gallery in charming nearby Chelsea to put the shows together.  The River Gallery, by the way, now has an ambitious artist-in-residence program with wild, cutting edge film and performance art presentations. Get on their email list:  chelsearivergallery.com.

Best of all, through December 21, is the Undergraduate Juried Exhibition in the Slusser Gallery of the Art and Architecture Building, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd. on North Campus.  If you can make it for the Opening Reception on December 4, 4:30 to 5:30, you can meet the artists, their professors, family and friends, and Dean Guna, who will be presenting the cash prizes. A good time will be had by all.

Trending

Domino’s Farms Aids Ann Arbor’s Need for Office Space

Domino’s Pizza and Arbor Research are both launching new office building projects at Domino’s Farms. Domino’s Pizza is creating a 33,000-square-foot building on the north side of Domino’s Farms, expanding to their current space. Arbor Research is creating a new 49,500-square-foot headquarters building on the east side of Domino’s Farms. Both buildings should be completed

A Physician’s Perspective on Legalized Cannabis

On Tuesday, November 6th, Michigan became the 10th state to legalize cannabis for recreational use. Ten years ago, we had become the 13th state to legalize Cannabis for medical use. I voted for the medical cannabis law years ago because, in my view, cannabis is not a dangerous product, and too many people were being imprisoned for its use. At that time, however, I did not subscribe to the argument that there were legitimate medical uses for cannabis. How things have changed.

Tiny Expo at Ann Arbor District Library—A Curated Holiday Gift Fair with Flair

The Tiny Expo is a gem of an indie arts and crafts fair for vendors with original and unexpected products that make wonderful gifts but may not be an obvious fit for Ann Arbor’s mainstream art fairs. Shoppers who crave artistic, high quality products with diverse price points will find a rich variety of unique, handmade products to choose from.

New Tenants in Downtown Ypsilanti

Formerly long-vacant buildings in Downtown Ypsilanti are experiencing revitalization as small businesses and nonprofits are rapidly filling up spaces. Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), a nonprofit organization that, “provides access to the justice systems for those that need it most,” recently purchased the Smith Furniture building at 15 S Washington Street which became their headquarters. Decode