U-M arts and culture: Race, emancipation and African-American folk gardens

January 11, 2013


ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan website “Montage” highlights the latest news and features about the arts, culture, creative endeavors, collaborative projects and upcoming events. This week’s top features include:

Understanding Race: Few subjects provoke as strong a visceral response as the topic of race. One-hundred-and-fifty years after the United States was nearly fractured by the battle over slavery and more than a half century since the modern Civil Rights Movement emerged, U-M is launching the Understanding Race Project.

From January through April, an extensive range of public exhibits, performances, lectures, symposia and more than 130 courses in several disciplines will explore the concept of race. The historical, cultural, psychological and legal interpretations of race will be examined from both national and global perspectives. More information: www.lsa.umich.edu/themesemester

Declaration of freedom: “Proclaiming Emancipation,” an exhibit examines the history of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation through the holdings of the William L. Clements Library.

Ancient text on contemporary tablet: The U-M Library’s most famous papyrus, known to scholars as Papyrus 46 (or P46), is now widely available in the form of an app for iPhone and iPad. Users of “PictureIt: Epistles of Paul” can flip through high-resolution images of the 3rd century codex—the oldest known copy of the Letters of St. Paul—as though through pages of a book.

Wonder and woe of human experience: Acclaimed poet Linda Gregerson discusses her new work, “The Selvage,” after a reading. The conversation is 5:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Hatcher Graduate Library.

Garden of mystery: An exhibit of black-and-white fine-art photographs of African-American folk gardens is on display Jan. 18-March 10 at U-M’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Traveling throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, photographer/author Vaughn Sills, an associate professor of photography at Simmons College in Boston, captures evocative images of a disappearing American landscape.

“Benjamin West: General Wolfe and the Art of Empire” is on exhibit through this Sunday, Jan. 13, at the U-M Museum of Art’s A. Alfred Taubman Gallery I. Through 40 works from Michigan, Canadian and British collections, this thematically focused exhibition considers how artists contributed to Great Britain’s emergence as the dominant colonial power in Europe in the later 18th century—from West’s pivotal portrayal, to the popularization of his “Death of General Wolfe” painting in a wide variety of media, to the cartographers on the ground in Canada whose maps helped ensure Canada’s future as a British colony.

Searching for breakthrough filmmakers: The Ann Arbor Film Festival has announced jurors for the 51st festival, March 19-24. The jurors are Laida Lertxundi, Marcin Gizycki and Kevin Jerome Everson. They will be in attendance festival week, view more than 120 films in competition, and award more than $20,000 in cash and film stock/processing. Each juror will also present a specially curated program of films during the festival.

Hill Auditorium celebrates centennial: The acoustical gem and cultural landmark on the U-M campus lives in the memories of visitors, students and faculty, who’ve spent memorable moments at the auditorium. The proud history of performances, university events and speeches delivered by a Who’s Who in American 20th-century history is relived through the year-long celebration.

Three gifts: In the last few months, the university has received gifts from generous donors. The gift from Penny and E. Roe Stamps is a catalyst in the emergence of the School of Art and Design—now renamed the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design—as an international leader in visual arts education; William and Delores Brehm’s donation is a vital contribution to the renovation and expansion of the principal building of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance; and, Avenir Foundation’s donation will help fund the renovation of the William L. Clements Library, one of the country’s pre-eminent repositories of Americana.


For information, visit www.montage.umich.edu.