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Black History Month Comes Alive at the Detroit Institute of Arts February Brings Live Music, Storytellers, Artists, and More

Friday, December 05, 2008

December 5, 2008 (Detroit)—In honor of Black History Month, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) offers a variety of activities focused on African American culture. Also, outstanding exhibitions on view include: In the Company of Artists: Photographs from the DIA’s Collection; Master Pieces: Chess Sets from the Dr. George and Vivian Dean Collection; and Learning by Line: The Role and Purpose of Drawing in the Eighteenth Century.

Programs are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. For more information call (313) 833-7900 or visit www.dia.org.

For Detroit Film Theatre movie listings call (313) 833-4686, or visit www.dia.org/dft/schedule.asp.

Guided Tours
Wednesdays–Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1, 6 & 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays–Sundays, 1 & 3 p.m.

Drawing in the Galleries (For all ages)
Fridays, 6–9 p.m.; Sundays, 1–5 p.m.

Target Family Sunday, February 1
Storytelling: Standing on Broad Shoulders: Everybody’s Black History in Story and Song:
2 p.m.
La’Ron Williams brings to life stories that don’t simply entertain us, but also help to build community and teach very important “pro-social” values. When Williams performs, his warmth and presence help to bring out the best in his audiences. The line between listener and presenter disappears as everybody becomes an active part of the event.

Lecture: Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction, 1964-1980: 2 p.m.
Kellie Jones will discuss the art of several African American artists who during the black power era chose to specialize in abstraction, including Barbara Chase-Riboud, Edward Clark, Melvin Edwards, Sam Gilliam, Alvin Loving, and William T. Williams. Jones is associate professor in the department of art history and archaeology at Columbia University, New York.

Wednesday, February 4
Lecture: Prendergast in Italy: The Art of the Present in the Land of the Past:
6:30 p.m.
Maurice Prendergast, a Boston painter, worked in Italy from 1898 until 1899 and 1911 until 1912 spending much of his time in Venice on both trips. Nancy Mowll Mathews, Eugenie Prendergast Senior Curator of Art at the Williams College Museum of Art, will show how Prendergast grappled with historical Italian art and architecture, creating a highly personal and distinctly modern art out of his experiences in Rome and Venice.

Friday Night Live, February 6
Chess Practice: The Detroit City Chess Club:
5– 9 p.m.
The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members of the club have won national, regional, and state competitions. People wanting to learn how to play chess should show up between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be no teaching between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Music: 3rd Eye: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
3rd Eye combines tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton’s harmonic language calls with interplay between drummers Nasheet Waits and Eric McPherson to produce a feeling of spiritual meditation and tumultuous action.

Saturday, February 7
Artist Demonstration: Painting:
1–5 p.m.
As a painter, Senghor Reid has developed both figurative and abstract works, using a brilliant palette and almost tactile brush strokes that punctuate political and cultural issues. His drawings, paintings, and collage works were initially based on hip-hop culture, and the lives and work of other visual artists. Recently, Reid expanded his scope to the undercurrent of politics and ignorance surrounding the conversation of our natural environment.

Target Family Sunday, February 8
Alain Locke Award: Exploration in Transparency:
2 p.m.
Therman Statom, recipient of the 2009 Alain Locke International Award, discusses his art and career over the past 30 years. The innovative glass artist will particularly focus on his introduction of danger and beauty in constructions of familiar objects associated with domesticity. Sponsored by the Friends of African and African American Art.

Storytelling: Standing on Broad Shoulders: Everybody’s Black History in Story and Song: 2 p.m.
(See February 1 for details)

Friday Night Live, February 13
Chess Practice: The Detroit City Chess Club:
5– 9 p.m.
The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members of the club have won national, regional, and state competitions. People wanting to learn how to play chess should show up between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be no teaching between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Music: Otis and Haruko Murphy: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Recognized as one of the world’s best classical saxophonists, Otis Murphy is in demand as a solo recitalist and orchestral soloist throughout the world. He is an international competition prizewinner, successful recording artist, and a consultant in the research and development of saxophones. This is an opportunity to hear Otis and his wife Haruko, a pianist, in an intimate chamber music setting.

Special Valentine’s Event: The Look of Love: Special Valentine Tour: 7 p.m.
The connection between art and passion will be explored in a new event tour that begins in the elegant setting of the DIA’s Kresge Court. Guests can enjoy a cash champagne and chocolate bar, during informal talks by curators Salvador Salort-Pons (European Paining) and Heather Ecker (Arts of Asia and the Islamic World) illustrating the many ways love has inspired artists and their work across time. Participants will then be invited to explore the museum (in small groups of four, chosen by a lottery drawing) with a check list of important lessons in love represented by masterworks in the permanent collection. The evening will conclude with a quick visit to the Crystal Gallery Café before the late showing of the new film Medicine for Melancholy (see DFT listing @ dia.org/dft) about a young couple who fall in love exploring the art and architecture of San Francisco. General admission to participate in this activity is $20. DIA members and Detroit residents will be admitted for $12. Ticket price includes museum admission, The Look of Love Tour and admission to Medicine for Melancholy.

Saturday, February 14
Artist Demonstration: Painting:
1–5 p.m.
Timothy UfuomaEfe Orikri is a Michigan-based Nigerian artist who aspires to use his artwork as a means to contribute towards societal change. Orikri uses a wide spectrum of vibrant colors to express themes of hope, harmony, and the gift of nature.

Target Family Sunday, February 15
Lecture: Master Pieces:
2 p.m.
Dr. George Dean will present an illustrated personal history of his world-renowned chess set collection, and discuss the strategy used to trace rare and historic sets and document their previous owners. Dr. Dean will discuss the amazing array of materials, such as amber, faience, and blown glass that have been used to create these miniature works of art, as well as imaginative and playful variations on the characters of individual pieces. He will conclude his talk with Q&A, and an informal tour of the Master Pieces: Chess Sets from the Dr. George and Vivian Dean Collection exhibition.

Brunch with Bach: Otis and Haruko Murphy: 11 a.m.
Recognized as one of the world’s best classical saxophonists, Otis Murphy is in demand as a solo recitalist and orchestral soloist throughout the world. He is an international competition prizewinner, successful recording artist, and a consultant in the research and development of saxophones. This is an opportunity to hear Otis and his wife Haruko, a pianist, in an intimate chamber music setting. Brunch $30; concert only $10.

Storytelling: Grandma’s Biscuits: 2 p.m.
Ivory D. Williams, president of the Detroit Association of Black Storytellers, presents a highly interactive, entertaining and educational collection of fun stories designed for both youth and adults in celebration of Black History Month.

Friday Night Live, February 20
Chess Practice: The Detroit City Chess Club:
5– 9 p.m.
The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members of the club have won national, regional, and state competitions. People wanting to learn how to play chess should show up between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be no teaching between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Music: Jade Simmons: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Known for her versatility and charisma both on and off the stage, pianist Jade Simmons has been chosen as Concert Artist Guild’s inaugural New Music/New Places Fellow. She infuses all of her diverse projects with a unique passion and artistry.

DIA Moment: Khary Turner with Detroit Poets: 6:30 & 8 p.m.
Khary Kimani Turner is regarded as one of Detroit’s most prolific writers and poets. Turner is a Def Poetry semi-finalist having won the Detroit competition for Def Poetry Jam. He performs with some of Detroit’s most talented poets in celebration of Black History Month.

Saturday, February 21
Artist Demonstration: Gilda Snowden:
1–5 p.m.
Gilda Snowden is a curator, art critic, art teacher, and artist. She is currently chair of the fine arts department at the College for Creative Studies, College of Art and Design in Detroit. She works in an abstract medley of colors that captures the imagination of the viewer. Her work is part of the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Target Family Sunday, February 22
Storytelling: Grandma’s Biscuits: 2 p.m.
(See February 15 for details)

Friday Night Live, February 27
Chess Practice: The Detroit City Chess Club:
5– 9 p.m.
The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members of the club have won national, regional, and state competitions. People wanting to learn how to play chess should show up between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be no teaching between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

DIA Moment: One Chess Grand Master vs. 50 Detroit City Chess Club Members: 7 p.m.
Join 50 players of the Detroit City Chess Club as they match strategies with an international chess Grand Master in the museum’s Great Hall. This will be a simul-match, in which the Grand Master will play all his opponents simultaneously. It will be presented to DIA visitors on large screen monitors using the GrandMastercam video camera.

Music: Kusun: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
The Kusun Ensemble is an extraordinary group of musicians and dancers based in Ghana, West Africa. Although rooted in traditional music, the ensemble has developed a new sound and brand of dance they have dubbed “Nokoko.” They have created innovative rhythms by fusing bass and lead guitar, electrifying jazz and African rhythms, and traditional Ghanaian instruments that have dazzled audiences in Africa and around the world.

Hours and admission:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, and $4 for youth ages 6-17. DIA members are admitted free. For more information, call (313) 833-7900 or see the website at www.dia.org.

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The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA),located at 5200 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, is one of the premier art museums in the United States and home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range, and depth.

Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.

Contact: 
Shekini Jennings  (313) 494-5242  sjennings@dia.org
Pamela Marcil      (313) 833-7899  pmarcil@dia.org