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June 18, 1982 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1982-06-18

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Friday, June 18, 1982

The Michigan Daily

Page 7

Putting the focus on community art
1971. But it no longer houses carriages Today, the three-story building is
By Sarah Bassett nor, as it did for several years, a Sears owned and cared for by the Ann Arbor
Catalog warehouse. Art Association.
TT LOOKS MORE like a neighborhood Instead, the windows are filled with The downtown location is no accident.
storefront than a professional art glassware and deep blue pottery that Michigan's oldest art association in
association. tempt passersby. Cubes are spaced existence takes pride in making local
The building is the old Walker around the floor, piled with weavings, and regional art accessible to the com-
Carriage Works, a designated member goblets and bowls. To one side, pain- munity. s -
of the Lihertv Historic District since tings hang on white walls. "Our purpose is two-fold," says

Executive Director Marsha Cham-
berlin. "We focus, first, on educating
people in the arts, making people aware
of what art is all about. Our second
focus is on emerging artists. We
provide a place for young, upcoming
professionals to gain exposure."
Founded in 1909 by Jean Paul Slusser,
the Association was originally an in-
formal group of local artists and
University faculty. For years it was the
only group of its kind within the city of
Ann Arbor.
In 1922, the organization received
non-profit corporation status, and
began to expand its activities. Exhibits
were brought in from other parts of the
country. Works by local artists were
displayed. The group also began to
gather together an art collection which
spanned 40 years by the time it was
donated to the University Museum of
In addition, the Association actively
lobbied for expanded college level arts
curricula. A major goal was attained
when the University's School of Art
opened in 1939. The organization then
shifted priorities to community
programs and, for the following 33
years, functioned without a permanent
After several years of renting space
on Platt Road, th . Art Association pur-
chased the historic West Liberty
building in 1975. The move helped to
ground a group "based a good deal on
hopes and ideals," says Chamberlin.
Since then its offerings have increased
to include a wide range of arts ac-

Art Association
... making people aware of art
A sales and rental shop, for one, fills
half of the first floor of the open, roomy
building. Jewelry, pottery, paintings,
prints and other works by local artists
are sold on a consignment basis. Some
of the paintings can be rented out for up
to two months at a time.
The idea is to make quality art
available at reasonable prices. The
works are not shabby: Every artist
represented here undergoes a juried
screening process. At present, over 600
contributors make up the Association's
The informal setting encourages
browsers, and a volunteer staff is
always present. Their duties go beyond
encouraging sales. In the interest of art
education, each one is trained to an-
swer questions about the artists and the

/. ,

A major focus of the Ann Arbor Art Association are its classes which are
structured to teach young and old, skills in various areas of art.

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On the Patio at the Michigan Union
Cover 75( beginning after 9:30

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