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Nancy Thayer: “Sanctuaries” at NCRC Gallery

September 28, 2016

Nancy Thayer: “Sanctuaries” at NCRC Gallery

Sanctuaries, a solo exhibition of work by Stamps lecturer Nancy Thayer, will be on display at the NCRC Gallery from September 28 - December 15, with an exhibition opening reception on Wednesday, September 28 from 5 – 7 pm.

The work of Nancy Thayer is included in numerous museums, private and corporate collections throughout the U.S and in Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland, The Netherlands and Korea.  She is a member of the executive board of InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit and teaches at the Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan.

In describing her paintings she states, ”While the visual content refers to and suggests forms of nature, they are not meant to be representational or site specific.  My intention is always to communicate the spiritual essence and impact of the environment.” In this series of paintings Thayer focused on sacred grottos, caves and stalactites to express a private place for contemplation and a sense of solitude deep within what has been formed by nature over long periods of time.


Nancy Thayer: Sanctuaries
September 28 - December 15
Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 28, 5 – 7 pm

NCRC Building 18, Rotunda Gallery
2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Gallery Hours: 9 am - 5:30-pm, Monday through Friday

Nancy Thayer: “Sanctuaries” at NCRC Gallery

Stamps Design Salon at 2016 Detroit Design Festival

September 22, 2016

During the 2016 Detroit Design Festival, the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design will host its inaugural Design Salon. From Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25, a group of invited guests from varied disciplines - philosophers, robotics engineers, critical designers, a futurist, a national NPR foreign correspondent, design theorists, interaction designers, and corporate researchers and strategists - will join Stamps design faculty Sophia Brueckner, Roland Graf, John Marshall, Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo, Bruce M. Tharp, and Nick Tobier at the Inn on Ferry Street in Midtown Detroit.

The salon offers an intimate setting that brings together critical thinkers, do-ers, and makers from different fields to examine the implications of a thorny set of topics. This year, the salon will unpack the underlying tensions between design, ethics, and technology.

Unlike a conference or symposium, the salon is meant to provoke informal conversations across disciplines in a safe environment for conjecture, confusion, and speculation. The outcomes of the salon will be made available to the public through audio recordings and a salon website in early 2017.

2016 Salon participants include:

  • Christy Mag Uidhir, Philosopher of Art & Aesthetics (University of Houston)
  • Jason Beaubien, National Global Health and Development Correspondent (NPR)
  • Anthony Dunne, Critical Design (Dunne and Raby / The New School)
  • Clive Dilnot, Professor of Design Studies (Parsons)
  • Stuart Candy, Futurist (OCAD / SAIC)
  • Alison J. Clarke, Professor of Design History and Theory (University of Applied Arts, Vienna)
  • Meena Krishnamurthy, Philosopher (University of Michigan)
  • Jill Dimon, Interaction designer-Activist (Sassafras Tech Collective)
  • David Bruemmer , Co-founder & Chief Technical Officer (5D Robotics)
  • Dan Chen, R&D Strategist (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Elise Valoe, Senior Researcher (Steelcase)
Stamps Design Salon at 2016 Detroit Design Festival

Inn on Ferry Street, photo by Kenny Karpov

Job Search: Director of Stamps Gallery

September 22, 2016

The Stamps School of Art & Design prepares students to think in new ways, to educate them to become concerned world citizens, and to equip them with the skills for life-long accomplishment. The Stamps Gallery Director will play a critical role in promoting the Stamps School mission and vision through delivering a robust program of exhibitions that increase public understanding of contemporary creative practice and supplement the educational experience of Stamps students. The new central campus gallery space is scheduled to open in Winter 2017. In a recent interview about space usage, Guna Nadarajan, Dean of the Stamps School of Art & Design, stated that the Stamps Gallery will exhibit “the best of what is currently going on in art and design” in addition to work created by the graduate and undergraduate students at the Stamps School. This new position and gallery demonstrate a renewed and invigorated commitment to exhibition programming and the role it plays in art and design education.

A complete position description, as well as instructions on submitting an application, can be found at umjobs.org.

Job Search: Director of Stamps Gallery

Nick Tobier and Rebekah Modrak: Back House Gallery in WAS Biennale

September 21, 2016

Stamps faculty Nick Tobier and Rebekah Modrak’s Back House Gallery has been invited to take part in the first Worldwide Apartment and Studio (WAS) Biennale. The exhibition WAS Biennale: BE MY GUEST looks beyond the frameworks of classical institutional approach to create an opportunity of innovative union and mobilize self-organizing in the arts on a global scale. 

Participating spaces are in cities around the globe, from Back House in Ann Arbor to galleries in Bucharest, Athens, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Moscow, Berlin, Amsterdam, Tel-Aviv, and Vienna.

Modrak and Tobier’s Back House Gallery will present an exhibition of work by Stamps alum Alison Byrnes (MFA 2007). The title, “Adjust Maadi”, is a common phrase in Bangalore related to the ethos of “making do”. This selection of 50 small gouache paintings chronicles the quotidian inventions of coconut water vendors, rickshaw pullers and monkeys in Bangalore, India.

The Back House Gallery exhibition reception is open to the public: October 23, 2016, 1 - 3 pm. Back House Gallery is located at 239 Murray Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

Adjust Maadi
Opening Reception: Sunday, October 23, 1 - 3 pm
Back House Gallery
239 Murray Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Facebook Event

Nick Tobier and Rebekah Modrak: Back House Gallery in WAS Biennale

Roland Graf: Feldmark

September 21, 2016

A new version of Stamps Assistant Professor Roland Graf’s “Feldmark” table is now available at Magazin and Manufactum in Germany.

Feldmark is made out of seven planks that can be assembled without nails or glue by a few strong hammer strikes. Graf built the first Feldmark with a hand saw out of structural timber from a local construction site for the retirement party of his father. Since then, this unconventional table made of untreated pine has become a well known trademark for Magazin in Germany, which produces it locally in a covered workshop.

The original 11ft long table accommodates 12 people and has been on the market since 2007. It has been installed in spacious offices, dining rooms, gardens, galleries and art fairs. In 2016, after many customer requests asking also for a shorter version, Graf designed a second Feldmark table in oiled oak for everyday indoor use in smaller homes.

Roland Graf: Feldmark

Nick Tobier, Roland Graf, and Michael Flynn: FitLIGHT Project Funded

September 21, 2016

FitLIGHT, a project created by Stamps Professor Nick Tobier, Stamps Assistant Professor Roland Graf, and Michael Flynn has been funded by the 2016 KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge.  The project, which was selected as a finalist from over 1000 submissions by a panel of industry leaders, will transform Brightmoor sidewalks into an illuminated running, play, and exercise track.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.

FitLIGHT seeks to transform a section of a broken sidewalk in Detroit’s Brightmoor community into an illuminated running, play, and exercise track. The track will have a custom-designed rubber surface with motion activated solar lights and a speed display to stimulate kids and adults to test their personal speed limits and run this section of the sidewalk as fast as they want. We will work with local contractors to create and install the track based on plans developed in a series of open workshops and meetings with our community partners, ranging from k-12 students and their teachers, to local block clubs, community centers and churches. FitLIGHT will embrace the connection of physical activity and physical computing by designing and building the solar activated light speed display in an adjacent community local maker space and holding a regular series of opportunities to engage the project at all levels and all abilities.

FitLIGHT re-purposes a portion of sidewalk where scores of schoolchildren board their school buses each day. Providing a permeable surface for good fitness and good drainage, the track brings a joyous, buoyant, well lit and well traveled surface to a residential street on which there are more vacancies than occupants.

FitLIGHT - Play Everywhere Gallery

Nick Tobier, Roland Graf, and Michael Flynn: FitLIGHT Project Funded

Sarah Berkeley: 2016 Tanne Foundation Award

September 21, 2016

Sarah Berkeley (MFA 2011) has been awarded a 2016 Tanne Foundation Award.  Created in 1998 by an artist with a long-established interest in the arts, the Tanne Foundation has interests in filling cultural voids, enriching the artistic experience and broadening horizons for artists and their audiences.

The Tanne Foundation’s 2016 awards, totaling $55,000, honor seven artists in recognition of their artistic achievements as well as one artist-run organization which has presented exceptional work for over 39 years. 

Sarah Berkeley (Lincoln, Nebraska) is an interdisciplinary artist who works across media, creating public interventions and site-specific durational performances, as well as photography and video. Her work questions cultural norms such as the 9:00 to 5:00 work day, the office environment, indoor living, gender inequality, and the voluntary sharing of personal data. She is a recent recipient of the Nebraska Arts Council Distinguished Artist Award and has shown work at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska; Joslyn Museum of Art, Nebraska; Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival, Chicago, Illinois; Louisville Photo Biennial, Kentucky; and the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Michigan.

Sarah Berkeley: 2016 Tanne Foundation Award

Image: Sarah Berkeley, “I Just Work Here”

Susan Crowell: Short Film Documents Hidden Worlds Installation

September 21, 2016

A new short film examines “Hidden Worlds,” Stamps Professor Susan Crowell’s 2016 exhibition of ceramic pollen structures in the conservatory of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Produced by Niki Williams (BFA 2016) the film reveals how Crowell’s interest in bees has found its way into her studio practice through electron microscopy.

Richard Hackel: Exhibition at the Cambridge Arts Council Gallery

September 21, 2016

A solo exhibition of work by Richard Hackel (BFA 1977) will be on display at the Cambridge Arts Council Gallery, from October 14 - December 31, 2016 with a reception on Monday, October 24 from 6 - 8 pm.

For this exhibition, I identified a number of sculptures mostly from the Cambridge Arts Council’s Public Art Collection and have used them as focal points to study the urban landscape. I have spent the past year following changes at these locations. I am interested in how these landscapes look while viewing all four seasons all at once. Like having eyes in the back of the head and sitting in a time machine, I want to show distinct periods of time as one single event.

Richard Hackel: 1440 Degree Landscapes
Exhibition Dates: October 14 - December 31, 2016
Reception: Monday, October 24, 6 - 8 pm

Cambridge Arts Council Gallery
344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Richard Hackel: Exhibition at the Cambridge Arts Council Gallery

Image: Richard Hackel “Gate House” (presented here as a series, reformatted for exhibition as a 17 x 300” print)

Roland Graf’s Studio 3-D Class Featured

September 21, 2016

The first assignment for Stamps Assistant Professor Roland Graf’s Studio 3-D class - creating a geodesic dome large enough to fit the entire class, and built with rolled-up newspapers - is featured in a Michigan Daily article.

Monday morning in the courtyard of the Art and Architecture Building, Art & Design Prof.  Roland Graf’s Studio 3-D class completed their “Michigan Daily Habitat Project.” The goal of the project was to build an 11-foot-6-inch geodesic dome big enough to fit the entire class, using The Michigan Daily newspapers as their main supply.

...In constructing the dome, the class used 42 copies of The Michigan Daily. Each copy equaled six 24x21 sheets, with two sheets per strut for 250 struts total. They also used 91 brass fasteners. Graf said he only gave students a handout of the objective and they took it from there.

“They had to figure out how to organize it themselves in task forces,” he said. “It was really impressive actually. I’m happy with how the students took initiative.”

The structure overall was small, but large enough to fit the entire class.

“There are 18 students and they all fit in,” Graf said. “One of them said the dome is bigger than her dorm.”

3D art class builds life-size dome out of newspaper | The Michigan Daily

Roland Graf’s Studio 3-D Class Featured

Image: Grant Hardy / Michigan Daily