In celebration of National Poetry Month 2015, three Ann Arbor residents have teamed up to create a work of public art for the southeast entrance tower of Kerrytown Market & Shops. Writer Anton Shammas, graphic designer Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo, and visual artist Jim Cogswell have created a colorful vinyl window mural to temporarily occupy the windows of the entrance tower facing the Farmer’s Market and Fifth Street. Shammas’ poem was written for the sliding entrance doors, inviting the perusal of approaching shoppers as the doors glide open and closed activated by an electric eye. Fragments from the poem float away onto the industrial panes surrounding the doors, drifting past an enchanted garden into a skyscape enlivened by darting birds.
Ann Arbor has seen much discussion of public art over the past few years led by the Ann Arbor Arts Commission and provoking debate within City Council over the cost to taxpayers for publicly funded projects. The Kerrytown project joins the Ann Arbor landscape at an iconic location, created by local talent and fabricated by a local business, Imagecrafters, Inc. Funded by the University at no cost to the city, it celebrates the unique cultural resources of our city and makes visible the vital symbiotic relationship between the University of Michigan and the City of Ann Arbor. It consciously responds to its lively environment, a crossroads of local producers and small business interests, even entering into dialogue with the exuberant public mural on the face of Community High School across the street, affirming the creative energy of that unique institution. (Both Shammas and Cogswell are the parents of Community High graduates.)
This project was initiated by Cogswell, who would like to develop more such temporary window installations around the city in collaboration with Ann Arbor writers. It was made possible with funding from the University of Michigan Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and by the Stamps School of Art & Design. Special thanks to Joe O’Neal, owner of Kerrytown Market & Shops for making possible the installation and for his enthusiastic support for the project.
The public is invited to Kerrytown Market & Shops to celebrate the installation on Saturday, April 25 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. As part of the opening festivities, Kipp Cortez will perform “Dark Matter” an original composition by Stephen Rush on the Kerrytown chime. Kipp Cortez is a doctoral student (DMA) in organ at the University of Michigan and the university’s chief carillonneur.
The installation is scheduled to remain in the Kerrytown windows through the beginning of June.