Art Across the State

[willie2]Nothing makes the world more beautiful than vibrant colors, rich textures and a boundless imagination. And no grueling schedule would be complete if not for the calming respite at the end of the semester to soothe both mind and spirit. It is this drive for release that draws people to the endless possibilities of art, and what better time to explore art than during winter break.
Fortunately, there are a bevy of new artistic experiences waiting to be discovered this winter break. They showcase talent of all ranges and styles in an eclectic mix guaranteed to at least raise a few questions. However, many of the following exhibitions and galleries call for the sleepy-eyed student to do a bit of legwork. While none are more than a few hours drive, they make for a mini road-trip that is a welcome break from the holiday hustle and bustle, or perhaps the preparation for next semester, should one choose to be so efficient.
Look to surrounding cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and our neighbor down the river, Ann Arbor (and yes, their art comes in more than Maize n’ Blue) for new and exciting exhibitions to tantalize the creative tastebuds in everyone. Since many students will find themselves in or around these cities this winter break, they may be right in the neighborhood. If not, be assured these exhibitions are worth the gas.

ANN ARBOR

Ann Arbor Art Center
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays / 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturdays / 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fridays / 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Sundays
Location: 117 W. Liberty St. Ann Arbor, MI. 48104
Contact: 734-994-8004
Admission: FREE
The city of Ann Arbor is not just the home of a certain species of rodent. In fact, there is much to be discovered there beyond football. A plethora of museums, galleries and libraries dedicated to art, music and culture of all forms and backgrounds can be found within the borders of the community. “Ann Arbor is the biggest little town you’ll ever see,” said Phil McLaughlin, a University of Michigan screen art and cultures junior, who believes art is essential to break the cycle of the bustling student life. “We need art to keep us from going insane,\” he said.
MSU journalism sophomore and Ann Arbor native Diane Ivey said it is her hometown’s open-minded mentality and culturally-oriented atmosphere that makes a visit to the city an escape for the stressed-out Spartan. “They’re not afraid to challenge what art is,” said Ivey. \”They are not afraid to be different.”
Ivey said art can help students deal with school stress. “It is a matter of expression,\” she said. \”I think we are so stressed out at school anyway. I think school stifles our expression.” The Ann Arbor Art Center is just the place to visit, with a gallery, shop, and regular art lessons for all ages. The center draws in over 1,000 guests per week to see the creations of Michigan artists. In light of the approaching holiday season, the center is hosting the Holiday Gifts exhibition. This event, which opened on Nov. 16, will showcase the work of more than 500 artists using all mediums, including glass and textiles. For all the last minute shoppers out there, the exhibit will be running after the big guy in red heads back to the North Pole, until Dec. 31.
The University of Michigan Museum of Art
Hours of Operation: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays / 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
Location: 1301 South University Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Contact: 734-763-UMMA
Admission: FREE
Much like the students and faculty at MSU love Kresge, the Wolverines take pride in having their own art museum, which draws in all sorts of exhibitions year round. The creations of students, faculty and artists from around the globe are displayed here for the general public.
“Founded in 1946, UMMA is considered one of the most important university art museums in the country,\” associate editor and external relations coordinator Stephanie Rieke said in an email interview. \”Its collections of nearly 18,000 works of art in the Western, Asian, and African traditions include works by most of the great masters and represent the key schools and movements in these cultures. Its collections of works by Whistler and Picasso, and of Chinese paintings, Japanese prints, Korean ceramics, and Congolese sculpture are among the finest in North America.\”
The University of Michigan Art Museum is choosing to honor the Michigan automotive tradition by displaying the photography of Michael Kenna from Dec. 2 – Jan. 14. The exhibit, \”The Rouge: Photographs\” by Michael Kenna, highlights Kenna’s many visits to the Rouge Automotive Plant in Dearborn over the past 14 years. Kenna became enchanted with the plant after his first visit in 1992 and sought to capture the essence of the building and its employees. The exhibit includes 90 photographs depicting the famous production plant. With ties to the automotive industry to be found throughout the student body, the exhibition is not only relatable to them, but can provide insight into a lifestyle that would otherwise be overlooked by those who have never taken to the assembly line.

DETROIT

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays / 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Fridays / 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Location: 5200 Woodward Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48202
Contact: 313-833-7971
Admission: $10 for adults
The Detroit Institute of Arts has brought the biggest names in the world of art to the public eye since it was founded in 1885. A visitor can behold the creations of Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh and Rembrandt all with the same ticket.
This holiday season, the DIA is paying tribute to the art of music through the brilliant photography of living legend Annie Leibovitz. Approximately 70 of her most poetic photographs will be on display at the DIA until Jan. 7. The exhibit, entitled \”Annie Leibovitz: American Music,\” is divided into six parts: Her Life and Work; The Mississippi Delta and the Blue Tradition; An American Tapestry: Jazz, Gospel, Rhythm, Blues and Soul; Contemporary Music: The Search for Authenticity; Contemporary Music After 1980, Hip Hop and Alternative Music; and Musicians in Detroit. The photographs show some of America’s greatest music legends, including B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, The Dixie Chicks, The White Stripes, Mos Def and Norah Jones. Leibovitz is the master of the environmental portrait and presents her subjects as something other than a stage persona.
“It seemed to me that a concert was the least interesting place to photograph a musical…I liked rehearsals, backrooms, hotel rooms, almost any place but the stage.” Leibovitz’s words adorn the deep blue-grey walls of the six-room exhibit.
According to Nancy Barr, graphic arts associate curator for the DIA, the American Music exhibit has been touring the country. “I recommended we bring the show in from the Experience Music Project in Seattle. It has been traveling to a number of venues in the U.S. and abroad,” Barr said in an email interview.
So far, the exhibit has drawn enormous crowds, as music lovers and curious visitors alike fill the halls of the DIA each day. “We have had about 20,000 people through the exhibition so far and the museum is buzzing just about everyday,” said Barr. “It’s great to be here and experience the energy of a successful show.”
The setup of the exhibit, free of ropes or protective glass, creates an intimate experience for the viewers. “I have also done quite a few private tours of the exhibition and people get tremendously engaged in the pictures and the audio tour, which is narrated by Liebovitz,” Barr said.
CPOP Gallery
Hours of operation: 12:00 – 7:00 p.m. Tuesdays – Thursdays / 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays / 1:00-5:00 p.m. Sundays
Location: 4160 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201
Contact: 888-BUG-CPOP
Admission: FREE
When venturing into Detroit in search of a new visual experience, some of the most visually pleasing exhibits can be found seconds from the DIA. These independently-owned galleries bring in local talent that is often too unconventional or controversial for elementary school field trips. Each provides a new perspective to the visitor, in a setting more down to earth, and often without protection.
“If you aren\’t down here all the time, it can be enlightening because it\’s a completely different world from the suburbs or a college town,” graphic design senior Daryl Tanghe from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit said. \”If you come, bring a camera because there\’s so much weird stuff to photograph.”
One such location is CPOP (pronounced “see-pop”) Gallery. Located on Woodward Avenue across from the Majestic Theater, this hip gallery displays all mediums including photography, painting, prints, sculpture and graphic/animated art. Founder and director Rick Manore, who opened the gallery in 1997, established an “open door policy” which lets artists of all types and levels bring in their work and have an opportunity to display their collection to the public.
Throughout the entire month of December, the gallery will be hosting an exhibition entitled Saints Preserve Us. The exhibit is considered a “group exhibit,” featuring artists from all areas of expertise and origin. “It’s from all over the world, with an emphasis on local artists – a lot of people who don’t live here anymore,” said Manore.
According to Manore, the exhibit will show various artists’ portrayals of patron saints. Not only does the gallery showcase the traditional painting and sculpture displays, but this one will include glass and stencil art as well.

GRAND RAPIDS

Grand Rapids Art Museum
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays – Thursdays / 10:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Fridays / 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Sundays
Location: 155 Division North Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3154
Contact: 616-831-1000
Admission: $5 for students with ID for non-ticketed events, $6 for ticketed events
It all began with the chair. This is the philosophy of the staff at the Grand Rapids Museum of Art in Grand Rapids, also known as Furniture City. According to museum director Celeste Adams, the museum held a special exhibit dedicated entirely to the study of one chair: the Eames Lounge Chair. Created in 1956, this piece of furniture changed the techniques used to create new and exciting ways to “have a seat.”
“We wanted to be able to help the public understand how the chair played a role in design,” Adams said.
One year, one podcast and one book later, the museum has brought a new exhibit to Grand Rapids, honoring the throne. \”100 Chairs: Modern Design in Miniature\” is an exhibit brought from the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. The 100 chairs, each built to 1:6 scale of the original, are meant to show the history of chair design over the entire 20th century.
“We heard about the exhibit, called Vitra and found out it was available to come here,” said Adams. The company provided the 40 originals from the museum in Germany, as well as 60 new chairs built for the exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
The chairs cover several political and social themes present over the past 100 years. Unfortunately, you will probably have to stand up and lean close to take in this exhibit.
\”I would think that it is important that students experience different types if art because there is so much to learn from the different looks of certain art and the way that it affects different individuals and the feel of the environment,\” freshman nursing major Erin Hollemans said. Hailing from Grand Rapids, Hollemans knows that her city has a lot to offer in the art scene.

TRAVERSE CITY

Interlochen Center for the Arts
Hours of Operation: Call ahead.
Location: 4000 Highway M-137 Interlochen, MI 49643
Contact: 231-276-7200
Admission: FREE
If one is choosing a complete escape from the chaos of this campus of 40,000 souls, travel to Traverse City. There you will find the Interlochen Center for the Arts. The campus is a rustic retreat that is home to a boarding high school, summer camp and adult programs surrounding the arts. It comes at no surprise, then, that a school devoted to art has plenty to show for its programs.
Student and faculty exhibitions are held throughout the year, which give visitors a chance to admire the hard work of these dedicated and talented students. The final student exhibition for the semester will be held for the first half of December. According to Arnold Carlson, Art Instructor of Ceramics/Sculpture/Foundations, the gallery display will consist of all the student work done over the semester. “Any student has a chance to enter their work, and then a staff juries it,” said Carlson.
All mediums of visual art will be included in the exhibit, including painting, sculpture, sketching and more. Can’t make it before the exhibit closes? Carlson says to give the art faculty a call and they can arrange a day to tour the gallery while the rest of the campus is closed.
Wander away
In the film Mona Lisa Smile, the final scene is narrated by the simple words, “Not all who wander are aimless.” It is with this mantra that the preceding challenge is handed out. Seek beauty in abstract faces with noses where eyes should be, or in sculptures realistic enough to soften stone. The examining of art can be both a relaxing and beneficial practice. This allows for internal reasoning, theorizing and the shaping of perhaps the only conclusion a student can draw during the academic year without being graded.
“Art lets people express things they are not even comfortable saying in front of their closest friends,” said McLaughlin.
It is never too late to tap into the other side of the brain, and no, the other will not cease to function in doing so. Creating a new outlook can broaden the mind to foster more thorough ideas, a skill that could help with, let’s say, a dissertation. So throw that MSUFCU Visa in the pump and get driving. The beaten path may become a bit dreary to the eye after a semester of hard labor, so venture off, and allow oneself to become aimless in the pursuit of art.

Posted in Arts & CultureComments (0)

Art Across the State

[art]Nothing makes the world more beautiful than vibrant colors, rich textures and a boundless imagination. And no grueling schedule would be complete if not for the calming respite at the end of the semester to soothe both mind and spirit. It is this drive for release that draws people to the endless possibilities of art, and what better time to explore art than during winter break.
Fortunately, there are a bevy of new artistic experiences waiting to be discovered this winter break. They showcase talent of all ranges and styles in an eclectic mix guaranteed to at least raise a few questions. However, many of the following exhibitions and galleries call for the sleepy-eyed student to do a bit of legwork. While none are more than a few hours drive, they make for a mini road-trip that is a welcome break from the holiday hustle and bustle, or perhaps the preparation for next semester, should one choose to be so efficient.
Look to surrounding cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and our neighbor down the river, Ann Arbor (and yes, their art comes in more than Maize n’ Blue) for new and exciting exhibitions to tantalize the creative tastebuds in everyone. Since many students will find themselves in or around these cities this winter break, they may be right in the neighborhood. If not, be assured these exhibitions are worth the gas.

ANN ARBOR

Ann Arbor Art Center
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays / 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Saturdays / 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Fridays / 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Sundays
Location: 117 W. Liberty St. Ann Arbor, MI. 48104
Contact: 734-994-8004
Admission: FREE
The city of Ann Arbor is not just the home of a certain species of rodent. In fact, there is much to be discovered there beyond football. A plethora of museums, galleries and libraries dedicated to art, music and culture of all forms and backgrounds can be found within the borders of the community. “Ann Arbor is the biggest little town you’ll ever see,” said Phil McLaughlin, a University of Michigan screen art and cultures junior, who believes art is essential to break the cycle of the bustling student life. “We need art to keep us from going insane,\” he said.
MSU journalism sophomore and Ann Arbor native Diane Ivey said it is her hometown’s open-minded mentality and culturally-oriented atmosphere that makes a visit to the city an escape for the stressed-out Spartan. “They’re not afraid to challenge what art is,” said Ivey. \”They are not afraid to be different.”
Ivey said art can help students deal with school stress. “It is a matter of expression,\” she said. \”I think we are so stressed out at school anyway. I think school stifles our expression.” The Ann Arbor Art Center is just the place to visit, with a gallery, shop, and regular art lessons for all ages. The center draws in over 1,000 guests per week to see the creations of Michigan artists. In light of the approaching holiday season, the center is hosting the Holiday Gifts exhibition. This event, which opened on Nov. 16, will showcase the work of more than 500 artists using all mediums, including glass and textiles. For all the last minute shoppers out there, the exhibit will be running after the big guy in red heads back to the North Pole, until Dec. 31.
The University of Michigan Museum of Art
Hours of Operation: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays / 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
Location: 1301 South University Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Contact: 734-763-UMMA
Admission: FREE
Much like the students and faculty at MSU love Kresge, the Wolverines take pride in having their own art museum, which draws in all sorts of exhibitions year round. The creations of students, faculty and artists from around the globe are displayed here for the general public.
“Founded in 1946, UMMA is considered one of the most important university art museums in the country,\” associate editor and external relations coordinator Stephanie Rieke said in an email interview. \”Its collections of nearly 18,000 works of art in the Western, Asian, and African traditions include works by most of the great masters and represent the key schools and movements in these cultures. Its collections of works by Whistler and Picasso, and of Chinese paintings, Japanese prints, Korean ceramics, and Congolese sculpture are among the finest in North America.\”
The University of Michigan Art Museum is choosing to honor the Michigan automotive tradition by displaying the photography of Michael Kenna from Dec. 2 – Jan. 14. The exhibit, \”The Rouge: Photographs\” by Michael Kenna, highlights Kenna’s many visits to the Rouge Automotive Plant in Dearborn over the past 14 years. Kenna became enchanted with the plant after his first visit in 1992 and sought to capture the essence of the building and its employees. The exhibit includes 90 photographs depicting the famous production plant. With ties to the automotive industry to be found throughout the student body, the exhibition is not only relatable to them, but can provide insight into a lifestyle that would otherwise be overlooked by those who have never taken to the assembly line.

DETROIT

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays / 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Fridays / 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Location: 5200 Woodward Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48202
Contact: 313-833-7971
Admission: $10 for adults
The Detroit Institute of Arts has brought the biggest names in the world of art to the public eye since it was founded in 1885. A visitor can behold the creations of Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh and Rembrandt all with the same ticket.
[will]This holiday season, the DIA is paying tribute to the art of music through the brilliant photography of living legend Annie Leibovitz. Approximately 70 of her most poetic photographs will be on display at the DIA until Jan. 7. The exhibit, entitled \”Annie Leibovitz: American Music,\” is divided into six parts: Her Life and Work; The Mississippi Delta and the Blue Tradition; An American Tapestry: Jazz, Gospel, Rhythm, Blues and Soul; Contemporary Music: The Search for Authenticity; Contemporary Music After 1980, Hip Hop and Alternative Music; and Musicians in Detroit. The photographs show some of America’s greatest music legends, including B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, The Dixie Chicks, The White Stripes, Mos Def and Norah Jones. Leibovitz is the master of the environmental portrait and presents her subjects as something other than a stage persona.
“It seemed to me that a concert was the least interesting place to photograph a musical…I liked rehearsals, backrooms, hotel rooms, almost any place but the stage.” Leibovitz’s words adorn the deep blue-grey walls of the six-room exhibit.
According to Nancy Barr, graphic arts associate curator for the DIA, the American Music exhibit has been touring the country. “I recommended we bring the show in from the Experience Music Project in Seattle. It has been traveling to a number of venues in the U.S. and abroad,” Barr said in an email interview.
So far, the exhibit has drawn enormous crowds, as music lovers and curious visitors alike fill the halls of the DIA each day. “We have had about 20,000 people through the exhibition so far and the museum is buzzing just about everyday,” said Barr. “It’s great to be here and experience the energy of a successful show.”
The setup of the exhibit, free of ropes or protective glass, creates an intimate experience for the viewers. “I have also done quite a few private tours of the exhibition and people get tremendously engaged in the pictures and the audio tour, which is narrated by Liebovitz,” Barr said.
CPOP Gallery
Hours of operation: 12:00 – 7:00 p.m. Tuesdays – Thursdays / 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays / 1:00-5:00 p.m. Sundays
Location: 4160 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI 48201
Contact: 888-BUG-CPOP
Admission: FREE
When venturing into Detroit in search of a new visual experience, some of the most visually pleasing exhibits can be found seconds from the DIA. These independently-owned galleries bring in local talent that is often too unconventional or controversial for elementary school field trips. Each provides a new perspective to the visitor, in a setting more down to earth, and often without protection.
“If you aren\’t down here all the time, it can be enlightening because it\’s a completely different world from the suburbs or a college town,” graphic design senior Daryl Tanghe from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit said. \”If you come, bring a camera because there\’s so much weird stuff to photograph.”
One such location is CPOP (pronounced “see-pop”) Gallery. Located on Woodward Avenue across from the Majestic Theater, this hip gallery displays all mediums including photography, painting, prints, sculpture and graphic/animated art. Founder and director Rick Manore, who opened the gallery in 1997, established an “open door policy” which lets artists of all types and levels bring in their work and have an opportunity to display their collection to the public.
Throughout the entire month of December, the gallery will be hosting an exhibition entitled Saints Preserve Us. The exhibit is considered a “group exhibit,” featuring artists from all areas of expertise and origin. “It’s from all over the world, with an emphasis on local artists – a lot of people who don’t live here anymore,” said Manore.
According to Manore, the exhibit will show various artists’ portrayals of patron saints. Not only does the gallery showcase the traditional painting and sculpture displays, but this one will include glass and stencil art as well.

GRAND RAPIDS

Grand Rapids Art Museum
Hours of Operation: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays – Thursdays / 10:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Fridays / 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Sundays
Location: 155 Division North Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3154
Contact: 616-831-1000
Admission: $5 for students with ID for non-ticketed events, $6 for ticketed events
It all began with the chair. This is the philosophy of the staff at the Grand Rapids Museum of Art in Grand Rapids, also known as Furniture City. According to museum director Celeste Adams, the museum held a special exhibit dedicated entirely to the study of one chair: the Eames Lounge Chair. Created in 1956, this piece of furniture changed the techniques used to create new and exciting ways to “have a seat.”
“We wanted to be able to help the public understand how the chair played a role in design,” Adams said.
One year, one podcast and one book later, the museum has brought a new exhibit to Grand Rapids, honoring the throne. \”100 Chairs: Modern Design in Miniature\” is an exhibit brought from the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. The 100 chairs, each built to 1:6 scale of the original, are meant to show the history of chair design over the entire 20th century.
“We heard about the exhibit, called Vitra and found out it was available to come here,” said Adams. The company provided the 40 originals from the museum in Germany, as well as 60 new chairs built for the exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
The chairs cover several political and social themes present over the past 100 years. Unfortunately, you will probably have to stand up and lean close to take in this exhibit.
\”I would think that it is important that students experience different types if art because there is so much to learn from the different looks of certain art and the way that it affects different individuals and the feel of the environment,\” freshman nursing major Erin Hollemans said. Hailing from Grand Rapids, Hollemans knows that her city has a lot to offer in the art scene.

TRAVERSE CITY

Interlochen Center for the Arts
Hours of Operation: Call ahead.
Location: 4000 Highway M-137 Interlochen, MI 49643
Contact: 231-276-7200
Admission: FREE
If one is choosing a complete escape from the chaos of this campus of 40,000 souls, travel to Traverse City. There you will find the Interlochen Center for the Arts. The campus is a rustic retreat that is home to a boarding high school, summer camp and adult programs surrounding the arts. It comes at no surprise, then, that a school devoted to art has plenty to show for its programs.
Student and faculty exhibitions are held throughout the year, which give visitors a chance to admire the hard work of these dedicated and talented students. The final student exhibition for the semester will be held for the first half of December. According to Arnold Carlson, Art Instructor of Ceramics/Sculpture/Foundations, the gallery display will consist of all the student work done over the semester. “Any student has a chance to enter their work, and then a staff juries it,” said Carlson.
All mediums of visual art will be included in the exhibit, including painting, sculpture, sketching and more. Can’t make it before the exhibit closes? Carlson says to give the art faculty a call and they can arrange a day to tour the gallery while the rest of the campus is closed.
Wander away
In the film Mona Lisa Smile, the final scene is narrated by the simple words, “Not all who wander are aimless.” It is with this mantra that the preceding challenge is handed out. Seek beauty in abstract faces with noses where eyes should be, or in sculptures realistic enough to soften stone. The examining of art can be both a relaxing and beneficial practice. This allows for internal reasoning, theorizing and the shaping of perhaps the only conclusion a student can draw during the academic year without being graded.
“Art lets people express things they are not even comfortable saying in front of their closest friends,” said McLaughlin.
It is never too late to tap into the other side of the brain, and no, the other will not cease to function in doing so. Creating a new outlook can broaden the mind to foster more thorough ideas, a skill that could help with, let’s say, a dissertation. So throw that MSUFCU Visa in the pump and get driving. The beaten path may become a bit dreary to the eye after a semester of hard labor, so venture off, and allow oneself to become aimless in the pursuit of art.

Posted in Arts & CultureComments (0)

Be a D.O.L.L.

With the icy winds of November settling in on the campus of MSU, the time has come to retire the miniskirts, tank tops and yes, the flip flops, and answer the call of adaptation. A few simple tips and tricks can help you stay warm, look hot and leave your pockets with that less-than-burning feeling. This is your 100 percent style-guru-free guide to turning the chilly walk down Farm Lane into your own personal catwalk (sorry – stilettos not included).
[blouse] The easiest way to avoid wandering into the abyss of apparel clichés this season is to remember one simple rule: don’t be a cookie-cutter type Barbie doll; instead, be a D.O.L.L.
The D.O.L.L. rule serves as a mechanism for memorizing four basic guidelines:
D – dress to fit your body
When dressing to fit your body, think comfort. Not only does a pair of painted-on jeans or that “vintage” t-shirt from sixth grade make for some unflattering lines, it just looks uncomfortable, and probably is. Clean lines are a key element of fashion in any weather. Remember neat lines are slimming, making you stand out for all the right reasons.
O – outfit yourself for success
Always dress for success. Especially in college, there are possible connections everywhere, and often the key to success is being remembered. When it comes to class, no one should be dressed for a night at Rick’s during their biology lab, so retire the high heels and low-cut tops during study hours. Try substituting more professional elements instead. Always look fresh, even if that shower is still hours away, and remember that being comfortable in an 8 a.m. class does not have to translate into wrinkled or barely-there pajamas.
L – leave some things to the imagination
Remember that no outfit in winter should rival a Victoria’s Secret commercial. The fashion of 2006 focused on the less-is-more rule, at least when it comes to skin. Save the Wonder Bras for that owl-themed restaurant and think chic. A classy, body-skimming top layered under a v-neck draws the eye to a line similar to a plunging bar-top, but doesn’t expose everything. Class never goes out of style, especially when you’re attending one.
L – let your personality show through.
Always let your personality be the key to your look. The important thing to remember when breezing through any fashion magazine is that you don’t need a whole new wardrobe to get the look you want, and that any person can become a trendsetter when they don’t get lost in the fads. All of the above looks can be personalized for any individual body type and style and are by no means fashion dogma. A strong personality will always be the best accessory.
No matter how much money is spent, every fashion diva will have an “I have nothing to wear” episode every now and then. To keep the distress to a minimum, look to this season’s most popular styles as a guide. Before heading to the mall in those old sweats, check out what may already be lurking in your closet to create these eye-catching looks:

Layer Me Lovely
Layering is a trend that came on the scene a of couple years ago, but is finding new definition this winter. “You start seeing people being more expressive,” said James Ohngren, manger of the East Lansing American Apparel. During this time of year their customers often layer a hoodie under a puff vest, he said.
[layer]Velour is also a big seller for American Apparel during the winter months. “Layering” no longer just means two cotton tank tops and a cropped sweater. Instead, this hot trend focuses on combining the unexpected.
The ever-popular leggings serve as a great layering tool, but remember to keep them under clothes – while they may be labeled opaque, with the right beam of light even black leggings become a peep show. Keep them under dresses, skirts, even shorts for a great accent that creates a flattering shape for your legs.
“They remind me of elementary school,” math junior Colleen Birkenhauer said, “I think they look ‘80s.”
Complete the look this winter by wearing them under an oversized sweater or tunic.
Try layering a dress over a long-sleeve top with a sweater. Put it over some jeans tucked into boots, drape a scarf around the neck, and the look is complete. While the look doesn’t have to match perfectly, keep the use of bold patterns to one item, pulling colors from it for additional pieces. When done right, layering flatters the body.
“I like layering, I think it makes people look skinny,” advertising freshman Sara Porcari said. Whether the result is simple or complex, keep this tip in mind: when layering, look for pieces in lighter fabrics, saving the heavier ones for a jacket or sweater – otherwise you may start to look bulky, not to mention be sitting through your class in a personal sauna.
Accessories can be a nice way to layer, as well. Necklaces of similar colors and varying lengths are perfect for layering, but please, keep it to a minimum. Three is the magic number (or so says Blind Melon and Schoolhouse Rock.)
While silver still remains the favored metal of generations X and Y, gold is making a major comeback for accessories. Simple gold chains are perfect for layering.[bling2]
Necklaces have also latched onto the oversized trend. Stores ranging from Express to American Eagle to Forever 21 are selling extra-long chains with basic ornaments such as a wing or heart locket. Beads have also gotten a makeover. Strands of solid beads can also be layered, but leaving them alone, or doubling them around the neck can be boring. Instead, look for necklaces with odd and varying beads. The hottest necklaces have all sorts of decorations hanging from them along with beads. Unique necklaces can be found in your mom’s jewelry box or at a local thrift store.
Oversized earrings in bright colors are adorning lobes this season, but when in doubt, colored stone studs or pearls are a perfect, chic alternative.
Be cautious when utilizing the fake “bling bling” trend that has gripped accessory retailers from Claire’s to Target for the past few years. A piece or two makes for a striking element or touch of class. Add too many, and you might end up looking like you just wanted out of JLo’s “My Love Don’t Cost A Thing” video.

The Boy’s Club
Structure is the sure way to add class to any outfit. A highly structured piece of clothing highlights the curves and makes for clean lines. Just make sure it skims the body. Blazers with Napoleon-era elements, such as double-breasting or decorative buttons, provide an androgynous effect, without looking too manly. Try a cropped one for a feminine touch. They can be worn over a vintage t-shirt from the Scavenger Hunt on Grand River Avenue for a casual daytime look, and then be paired with a button-up blouse from either The Gap or The Limited for a more professional style. Try adding a vest over a simple solid-colored t-shirt for an easy transition from day to date.
“I like fitted jackets with up-turned collars-they are a mix of military with a renaissance vibe. I would probably wear it [a blazer] with a spaghetti-strap tank, layered necklaces and then jeans or khakis. It looks professional mixed with casual, and it is a nice way to mix up your wardrobe,” said journalism freshman Allison Ribble.
Structure is also found below the belt this winter. Trousers and suspenders are making their way back to the racks. Wide-leg trousers flatter all body types and can be found in a variety of patterns and textures including plaid and tweed. A basic leather belt in brown or black polishes the look. Kate Moss’s tiny waist was recently adorned with a classic studded belt, which is making a comeback in proportions larger than the waist size.

Couture Goes Supersize
Oversized clothing is making its way into a trend once reserved for accessories. This look, made famous by the “rich bum” looks of Mary-Kate Olsen and Nicole Richie is no longer a fad for heroine-chic runway models. This look combines the classic \’80s shapes in oversized sweaters that nearly hit the knees and belts to hold it all on, along with the flowing fabrics of \’90s grunge. “I think right now the typical look is short skirts with legwarmers, tights and knee socks with boots… The look is bulky on top and smaller on the bottom,” Matt Cochrane, manager of the East Lansing Urban Outfitters, said. A staple in this look is a bulky sweater. They are available for all budgets in the mall, but duck into a thrift store first – you are sure to find one there.
“I think sweater vests are really cute,” said general management freshman Claire Chasco. “Long tops over leggings are really stylish. Leggings and jean skirts are overdone.”
For more drama on top, try a tunic top, which are typically long and shapeless, or flowing blouse with Victorian elements such as ruffled collars or bows. However, be mindful not to get lost in a sea of fabric.
“Make sure your clothes look neat – it gives an overall good appearance,” said Ribble.
Oversized items look best when balanced with something small. Place a belt high on the waist to create definition through a tunic top or dress. Try a skinny one to highlight a small waist, or if you feel like you are beginning to drown in cloth. A great pair of tailored leather boots with buckles or cuffs completes the line. Boots with a stacked heel are also popular. The heel is literally pieces of wood “stacked” on one another and then shaped.

Sophisticated Refinement
[skinny]Classic looks are bringing a sense of old world Hollywood back to the average shopping mall. These looks focus on simple structures and patterns, leaving a clean and timeless look that can be done up a dozen different ways. The key item for this look: slim fitting or “skinny” jeans and pants.
Physician’s assistant sophomore Stefanie Sellenraad is a fan of this look. “I like to wear a zip-up track jacket with ‘spaghetti’ (skinny) jeans and Sperry’s (a nautical, loafer-like shoe).”
However, some students are skeptical.
“They are not flattering on anyone,” said English sophomore Starr Light. However, you can find them in more places now, at a range of prices. These pants are also perfect for tucking into boots.
“I think slouch boots are really cute,” said Chasco. “Slouch” boots, to be frank, look like the wearer didn’t pull them up all the way. They come in many colors, including bright metallic, and are reminiscent of a certain pirate movie we all love. And the fashion world turns a 180, as changing out tall stilettos and strappy sandals for flats has become a popular choice. Flats are available in all colors and shapes from pointy to ballerina to zebra striped. They look best with cropped slacks or leggings.
For back to the \’50s style, a basic cardigan or slimming pencil skirt provide that feel. To “top off” this outfit, a headband is a fail-proof finish. “I like headbands, they make a ponytail look cute,” said Sellenraad.

Can We Have a Little Function?
When dressing for winter this year, one word should be the deciding factor between the flats or heels, skirt or pants, tank top or sweater: functionality. All too often do we forget to imagine sitting in our choices all day long. Don’t be set up for discomfort, or get stuck in the cold. The basic items are easy to find, and will keep you cozy this season. But remember to inject a little “you” into the equation, so you don’t become a cliché.
“The Uggs really bother me – I know it is necessary because there is snow. It gets really old because you see everyone in the Northface and Uggs and leggings,” said Ribble, “When everyone dresses the same way it looks bad.”
Birkenhauer recommends a good sweatshirt as a winter fashion staple, while Light suggests a warm scarf. As for individuality, Barbie may have been a childhood icon, but remember, she had one empty head. Shatter the public mold this season, because every D.O.L.L. needs to come out of its box sometime.

Posted in Arts & CultureComments (0)

Remembering Rembrandt

[self]I don’t know if no one knew about it, or perhaps no one was looking for a little inspiration around 1 p.m. on a Friday, but my visit to Kresge Art Museum had suddenly become a private tour. I meandered through the sliding door, past a reception desk with a few shelves of merchandise, the usual museum fair, and began ambling through the maze of galleries that make up this eclectic corner of campus. After passing modern art, ethnic art and a student employee studying at a lone table, I found what I was looking for.
Tucked away in a modest room, only detectable by a bold red painted sign and an arrow, were the works of a true visionary and pioneer of visual art. The quaint space was designed to display works on paper and is connected to a storeroom full of countless treasures. The viewing room is outfitted only with a television and three old brown leather chairs, broken in by inquisitive minds looking for either a new view of what was before them, or perhaps just a place to sit, meditate and rest their feet. No one wandered in while I was there, except for the occasional employee passing through to storage, but the silence allowed a more intimate observation.
During the sixty-three years of his life, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn completed 300 etchings, 600 paintings and 2,000 drawings, creating a body of work too immense for one venue and just enough to be shared by many museums. The MSU community gets the chance to experience the work and influences of this artistic master as a part of the “Rembrandt and Friends” exhibit through Nov. 5. [bandes]
Rembrandt was born on July 15, 1606, and Kresge is among the many museums around the world that will host exhibitions to celebrate his 400th birthday. The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will feature “The Big Three in Printmaking: Dürer, Rembrandt and Picasso” until Dec. 31 and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City began a long-running exhibit entitled “Rembrandt and His Circle: Drawings and Prints” in July, which runs until Oct. 15.
Perhaps the biggest memorial can be seen right now at the Rijskmuseum in Amsterdam. The location is fitting, with Amsterdam being Rembrandt’s home from 1631 until his death in 1669. The museum has one display focused on the artist’s drawings, and another entitled “Rembrandt 400 in the Rijskmuseum.”
Susan Bandes, director at Kresge, explained why MSU chose to become involved in this celebration of Rembrandt’s life and legacy. “Rembrandt is one of the best known artists across the world,” Bandes said in an e-mail interview. “This is an opportunity to show prints that are normally not on view.”
[sup]Kresge’s collection of 3,000 works on paper is a plethora of different interpretations, styles and mediums. All of the pieces in the “Rembrandt and Friends” exhibition are from the museum’s own collection which will highlight the work of 12 Dutch artists from the 17th century.
This type of exhibit is one of the quicker ones to assemble. However, being a Works on Paper Gallery exhibition, the work still took about five months. “The prints had to be chosen, matted and researched,” Bandes said. “Labels were written and the prints were installed.”
Of the 18 pieces on display at Kresge, four were done by Rembrandt, and the final 14 are the work of his predecessors, colleagues, students and, most notably, his pupil, Ferdinand Bol. The works are all prints, and they focus on the technique of four main mediums: engraving, dry-point, etching and color woodcutting. It is not difficult to tell that all the talented artists showcased in the exhibit were masters of their craft.
“He and his contemporaries wanted to make subjects believable and easy to comprehend,” Bandes said. “It’s this sense of humanity that people react to and empathize with.”
The four pieces by Rembrandt include “Death of the Virgin,” a stunning depiction of the myth of Mary’s painless death; “Beheading of John the Baptist,” which shows the last chilling moments before John’s death; “Christ at Emmaus,” Rembrandt’s version of the Last Supper; and a self-portrait with figure studies. His self-portrait is from 1632 and depicts a twenty-six-year-old Rembrandt as a dashing youth with a flicker of mischief in his eyes. It is one of the estimated 37 self-portraits he etched. It also features images of peasants and beggars, assumed to be early subjects in his studies of figures and shapes. Bandes suggests he used the plate as a “sketch pad.”
His unique approach to etching is seen throughout all of the prints, but is most evident in “Christ at Emmaus.”
“Instead of drawing a halo, he used the light of the paper (that is, the absence of the drawn line) to create an aura around Christ’s head that just glows,” Bandes said, who describes Rembrandt’s approach to his subjects as “naturalistic.”
[rem3]The images feature everything from pastoral scenes and wildlife to portraits, providing something for everyone. The experience should give all ages a new, interesting way to look at history.
“While these prints are from the 17th century and some of these ways of life depicted no longer exist, visitors will be able to compare what has changed over the centuries and what seems the same,” Bandes said.
On my second visit to the exhibit, I finally found another soul admiring Rembrandt’s work. She was there with her student leadership class, and her assignment was to pick just one piece of art in the museum. Christina Hegwood, a business administration and pre-law freshman, decided to pick one of the pieces in the “Rembrandt and Friends” display. “I like sketches-the fact that it is just pencil on paper. It’s more simple and has more feeling,” Hegwood said. “He’ll take an idea in the Bible that is seen a certain way and turn it.”
Rembrandt’s outlook on life contributed greatly to his talent for perception and interpretation. He developed a view of the world that would allow him to evolve creatively until his death, using his own life experiences to show compassion for his subjects.
“His work focused on humankind and he succeeded in going beyond surface appearances to ask questions about human emotions and thought,” Bandes said. “As he aged, his understanding of what it means to be human became more and more profound.”
This unique view translates into every language and emotion, and has influenced many generations since. The opportunity to view the craftsmanship and diligence behind one of these pieces is one to explore. I was saddened to hear that sometimes these exhibits can be overlooked.
“A lot of people don’t notice because it’s off to the side, but there has definitely been some inquiry about it,” Amanda Bodner, art history senior and employee of the museum for the past three years, said. I left the museum with a page full of notes and a new respect for an artist that I had only really known by name. They say legends never die. Well, we can all only hope that the world will take note of our birthday when we turn 400.

Posted in Arts & CultureComments (0)