No Cake is Safe: a Cakeasaurus Tale, Woodblock Prints by Marian Short

December 1, 2017 through January 10, 2018 -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room Exhibit

This picture book exhibit follows the confectionary exploits of Cakeasaurus, one cake-deprived town, and a little boy about to turn five – all told through dramatic black and white woodblock prints.

"'No Cake is Safe' walks you through this picture book, as told by my woodblock prints, which I drew, carved, and printed over the course of several years. As with any long-term project, this story evolved as I made it. I couldn’t resist fiddling with word choice, tempo, and minor story shifts. Visually, page drawings that satisfied on my dining room wall were sometimes nixed before they touched a woodblock; or several pages needed revision due to a new idea about a character’s appearance. I love learning about artists’ process, so this exhibit includes print variations and behind-the-scenes peeks." -Marian Short

Marian Short is a Michigan-based artist and writer, whose work has appeared in local and national exhibitions. She lives in Ann Arbor with her partner Rick Sperling, and their rambunctious two-year-old daughter.

Climbing Out of The Abyss: Mono-prints & Mandalas by John Gutoskey

December 1, 2017 through January 10, 2018 -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Exhibit

How does one stay centered and present during a time in which so much of the news provokes personal stress and anxiety and a sense that the ideals of our democracy are under attack. How does one stay engaged in the world that seems to be falling apart and still have peace of mind? How does one keep a sense of faith in the goodwill of humanity when minorities, immigrants, women, and the poor are under constant attack by the government? How does one hold on to hope when our freedom and rights are threatened, and we are pitted against each other by politicians and the media?

The mixed media mono-prints in this exhibition are an attempt to address spirituality and mental well-being in a time of social, political, and international turmoil and upheaval.

The 3 mixed media mandalas are said to be mirrors of the inner or spiritual self. Mandalas–concentric diagrams–have spiritual and ritual significance. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention, as a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric
pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically.

The Nichols Arboretum in Black and White: Photography by Jeff Clevenger

December 1, 2017 through January 10, 2018 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases

Jeff Clevenger's evocative photographs are done in black and white digital, a medium he shows to be perfectly and enduringly suited to landscape and nature photography. Taken during the past two years these pictures explore the Nichols Arboretum, a landmark of the heart and mind for many who have come and walked through it, in its differing moods and seasons, conveying hints of its beauty, power, and grace, and tracing the inward connections its visitors often forge with this remarkable place.

Remembering Summer: Oils & Watercolors by Marcelle Gray

December 17, 2017 through January 25, 2018 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

"In the midst of winter and the holiday season it is fun to remember summer days in the sun. Filled with light, these impressionistic paintings are meant, for a moment, to recall those days on the beach, by the lake, picnicking in a meadow and traveling in sunny locales." - Marcelle Gray

Resettlement Through The Eyes of Refugees

January 28, 2018 through March 16, 2018 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

Photographs with Text: Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County

"Photovoice” is the process of putting cameras in the hands of traditionally marginalized community members to allow them to record, reflect on, and share their community’s strengths and concerns. Photovoice participants have the opportunity to capture their current experiences through pictures, with the goal of sparking dialogue and action related to the themes depicted in the photos.

In the fall of 2016, a group of refugees from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Iran met weekly with a facilitator and translators to engage in a Photovoice project at Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County. Together they learned about the Photovoice method and about composing photographs, issues of ethics and safety, and visual storytelling. They were then given digital cameras.

Guided by prompts such as “When I first arrived in the U.S…”, “What is most challenging about living here?” “What makes you feel welcome?” and “What does ‘home’ mean?” they were asked to photograph moments in their daily lives that had meaning for them as they worked to make a new home in the Ann Arbor area.

The resulting exhibit consists of 26 insightful photos-with-narratives that will illuminate the experience of adjusting to life in a new land. As you view this Photovoice exhibit, we hope that you will consider what it means to be a newcomer and what role you can play in sharing our community with recently resettled refugees.