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December 02, 2004 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-12-02

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*1' 0

8B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 2, 2004

The Michigan D
New coffee cart sets up shop

Protest Art encourages
art for people's sake

By Puja Kumar
Daily Arts Writer
In the 19th century, progressive artists used the
French phrase, "'art pour l'art," or, "art for art's
sake," to describe a style that revered the aesthetic
quality of art and resisted a prevailing idea that art
should be profound. A couple centuries later, some
University students and area artists are rejecting
the purely stylistic stance and bourgeois snootiness
with protest art. Two Residential College courses,
as well as Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit groups
and individuals have been working cooperatively
to put together a night of visual art, poetry and
music that rallies behind a new slogan - art for
people's sake.
A free show at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Michigan
League Underground will feature area artists com-
mitted to nonviolence and creative expression. Antic-
ipating an evening of awareness and dialoguing,
RC junior Negin Salmasi, who is involved with the
exhibition, hopes the show will make people realize
that art can be a nonviolent tool for social activism,
and that it will spur talk about issues presented at the
The class Protest Art began in October as a study
of the Black Arts movement with RC professor Helen
Fox and soon evolved into an independent study
course centered on community-based art. Fox asked
the students to examine an issue associated with
nonviolence movements and share it with the com-
munity. The students discussed modern art trends,
such as grafitti, murals and sticker art, and the way in
which getting involved with these types of art move-
ments becomes a protest in itself. Their studies were
intended to find a way to bridge the gap between art
and politics.
The show, which is a culmination of the group's
course work for the entire semester, focuses on a
theme of nonviolence. The works are meant to make
social issues more accessible to the public through
art and evoke a reaction from audience members that
might produce further dialogue. School of Art stu-

dents as well as Protest Art students have contributed
pieces to the show. For example, one artist showcases
an unfinished artwork that will develop throughout
the night as audience members are invited to add to
the work.
Ann Arbor hip-hop group Athletic Mic League,
Detroit's DJ Finale and local alt-rock group Lobby
Music will provide the musical entertainment at the
show. Besides music, there will be a performance
artist and readings by local poets, members of Ann
Arbor poetry group Wordworks, and some U-Club
poetry slam participants. Throughout the evening
visual art will be displayed around the Underground.
E-mails, flyers and word of mouth were part of a
massive networking effort to mobilize people. "We
basically talked to everyone we knew and they talked
to people," Salmasi explains. "We were contacting
friends of friends of friends of friends and trying to
get the widest base possible."
Getting that base included looking beyond the
University community. The University organizes
many events to raise social awareness, but many of
them are catered strictly to students. Besides featur-
ing artists from other cities and schools - including
Eastern Michigan University's cathARTic revolution
collective - the show is all ages. "We're trying to
get high schoolers to come; we're trying to get older
community members to come," Salmasi says. "Just
to have that dialogue - there's so much that younger
people can bring and older people can bring."
RC junior Caitlin Brown, who is part of the Protest
Art independent study, agrees the bridging of com-
munities is an important point of the evening. Besides
the goal of exposing art as a tool for social activism,
Brown sees the show as being a venue where people
can come together. "Expressing social justice is a part,
but another big part is the community of it - having
everyone come together for this night."
Fox recognizes the hard work of her students and
predicts a successful show. "The intense student inter-
est in creative protest, nonviolence, and social justice
is inspiring to me, and I think to many of the older
generation of activists on campus. My students have

By Shubra Ohri
Daily Arts Writer
A warm voice greets the customer
from a place where twinkling lights
warm up a space filled with hot choco-
late, muffins, cookies, and a variety of
coffees. A friendly greeting will most
definitely accompany any purchase.
Surprisingly, this cozy, homey scene
can be found outside in the cold, on the
corner of State Street and South Uni-
versity Avenue at a little white cart that
goes by the name of Cool Beans.
Cool Beans is a refreshing addition
to the University campus. Students can
find some of the best quality coffees
on campus as well as a friendly face.
Owner Dina Heller can be found inside
her van almost everyday.
A former children's book-buyer for
Borders, Heller decided to go into the
coffee business because "if I could
do anything ... I would open a coffee
shop." So practically out of impulse, she
decided to do so. However, instead of a
shop, she chose to open a cart.
Coffee carts are popular in Seattle
and Portland, Oregon, Heller said, and
so she decided to bring the phenomenon
here. She went through the necessary
process, which includes buying a cart,
choosing a roaster and getting permits
from the city and the health depart-
ment. On Oct. 25, Cool Beans opened
for business.
The cart serves a wide assortment
of hot drinks and will serve smooth-
ies when it gets warmer. There is a
stark difference between coffee from
Starbucks and from Cool Beans. That
is because Heller gets her beans from
Zoka, a leading Seattle-based coffee
roaster. While the more acidic darker
roasts are more likely to be found at

other coffee shops around campus, Cool
Beans uses carefully roasted beans for
a more refined espresso. The result is a
naturally sweet and low-acid coffee, and
an espresso drink that is robust and fla-
vorful. Thirsty patrons can choose from
cappuccinos, mochas, lattes or a very
good plain cup of coffee. For those who
are not coffee aficionados, Cool Beans
also offers sweet ciders, delightful hot
chocolates, or even a can of soda.
Regardless of whether or not costum-
ers like all the products offered at Cool
Beans, there is one overwhelming qual-
ity that is attractive to almost everyone;
its site. Located across from the Michi-
gan Union and in front of Angell Hall,
students can pick up something on-the-
go between classes, when time is lim-
ited. While hot dog stands benefit from
students' desire for a quick lunch, Cool
Beans benefits from sleep-deprived stu-
dents who need a caffeine boost before
sitting through an hourlong lecture.
And on a college campus, sleep depri-
vation can be much more prevalent than
hunger. A warm cup of coffee is often
also a welcome substitute to an ice-cold
soda in the wintertime. The coffee cart
should prove to be very convenient to
Heller has found customers more
welcoming that she was expecting. She
wasn't sure what the reaction would be,
but luckily she didn't have to worry for
too long.
"Everyone's nice and supportive," she
explains. And she has plenty of reason
to think so. Since she opened, students
have appreciated the reasonably priced
drinks as the cold weather approaches.
And while they might find themselves
waiting a while for their drinks, the wait
is well worth the quality and the friendly
conversation accompanied with it.



Residential College students prepare for their collective art show, Protest Art, this weekend.

put together a wonderful show that will bring people
together across communities and issues as well as
helping us all relax after a hectic and emotional se-
Though the exhibition ends at midnight, the live
music - and awareness - will carry on at Jones
Co-op, where New Jersey organization HEP/CAT -

homeless empowerment project community action
team - is throwing an afterparty that will mix East
Coast artists including Random Test and Verbalz
with local acts like NowOn and Iggy Ignotius. Entry
is five dollars, or three with clothing or a can of food;
all money and items will benefit Ann Arbor's Delonis
Homeless Shelter.

Tabitha Knofski serves up coffee at Cool Beans.

Boots liven up winter footweai


Rising up from the Basement

By Eric Gale
For the Daily

Student theatre, it seems, will
always reside in relative obscurity.
But take a look at the relentless
assault of mediocre TV shows and
movies - all aimed to appeal to
the widest possible audience - and
maybe obscurity ain't so bad. Base-
ment Arts is a student-run theatre
company that performs out of the
Arena Theater (Michigan's only
black-box theatre) deep in the bowels
of the Frieze Building.

Basement Arts's no-budget sta-
tus keeps the company independent,
ensuring an unpressured creative
environment for the development and
realization of some truly great the-
atre (it also keeps tickets attractively
As with any local creative endeav-
or, Basement shows can be fairly hit
and miss, but from the looks of it,
the Basement has a serious hit on its
hands this weekend. "The House of
the Blue Leaves" by John Guare, is
viewed by many critics as one of the
best contemporary comedies of the

past 30 years. It is the story of Artie
Shaunessy (the hilarious Rob Hess), a
struggling young songwriter who has
grown too old for the title. He has the
soul of an artist but none of his talents,
and so lives in a deluded world where
dreams of fame and the phantoms of
celebrities are more real to him than
the truth. Bananas (Katie Johnston)
and Bunny (Rebecca Schwartzstein)
are the women in his life and partici-
pate willingly in his deluded fantasy.
The playwright, Guare, writes of "the
ridiculous and humorous and des-
perate way in which we pursue our
dreams and goals and ultimately how
those dreams humiliate us."
This may all seem like heavy stuff,
but tragedy makes for the best come-
dy and the cast has mixed the suffer-
ing with the sublime in expert style.
Today, 7 p.m.
Tomorrow, 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Saturday, 7 p.m.
The Arena Theater
Frieze Building
Corner of State Street and Huron

By Jennie Adler
Daily Arts Writer
Now that winter is just around the
corner, it's time to dig the boots out of
the closet. Boots on campus are cru-
cial, and many students own a pair or
two to fight against Michigan's cold
winter weather.
That does not mean everyone has
to wear the same ones. Often, cam-
pus is a breeding ground for worn-out
and over-copied styles. But this year,
there are some popular alternatives
to Uggs, last year's foootwear craze.
Coming back with a vengeance are
cowboy boots, tall suede boots, pat-
terned galoshes (for rainy weather
only) and possibly even moonboots.
The ever-so-popular Uggs-with-
the-mini-skirt look has formed a
chokehold on the University's female
students - at least those with big
enough pocketbooks. The prices for
this lavish footwear range from $80
to $160, but it has been successful
because it offers tremendous warmth
and comfort.
The staff at Footprints on South
University Avenue agreed that the
most popular boots-this-winter were

This fur-lined footwear is a lit
extreme. Michigan weather is ba
but enough to skin two dogs?
The tall suede-styled boots w
buckles running up the side see
like a safe enough choice to inv
in, but they may elicit comparisc
to the footwear worn in "Star War
Another option, the pointed toe va
ety, could be called "'80s burno
With "Napoleon Dynamite" wi
ning over young audiences ever
where, many have tried to mimic
embrace the dorky get-up of Nap
leon - moonboots and all. Popu
for kids - puffy and warm with
laces - moonboots first hit stree
after Neil Armstrong's historic wa
Decades later, the curious-looki
apparel just might make a comebac
No matter what the footwe
choice may be, the emphasis shot
be on practicality and comfort.
good pair of boots can be expensiv
but their value in winter can not
measured. There's no reason w
anybody should be forced to trud
through the streets of Ann Ari
with cold, wet feet all for the sake
being stylish. - - } ...........-.

Girls and Guys
Top Name Brand
Clothing and Accessories
at "Unbeatable Prices"
t ~ 4 .

77ee -'a~kin 7r69-~5727, zxZa~Swadusar
/t-Th 1:30- 7 i t Sata1:3c-11, Sun 12-10 1 Gar/ast a(-S-oi Gazi at Onty

Uggs boots are displayed at Footprints on South University Avenue.
Uggs, or Ugg look-a-likes. But, now not as an accessory to a mini-skirt to
that their popularity has exploded, warm your ankles when it's leg-bar-
you can pick up a somewhat compa- ing weather.
rable pair at Target or Payless Shoe It seems no boot can escape judg-
Source. Still, wearers should remem- ment. Another phenomenon, more
ber that Uggs are practical as boots, sickening to see, are the. furr-y boots, .

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