In the news: Top stories for October 2019 | Arts & Culture

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In the news: Top stories for October 2019

In the news: Top stories for October 2019

DETROIT’S CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM TO UNDERGO RENOVATION

Since opening its doors in 2006, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) has made a name for itself in the international art world. Now it’s poised to achieve the one thing that’s missing: a physical renovation of its building and outdoor site that matches its world-class reputation. The current plans for the MOCAD site renovation have been crafted over the past year by architect Craig Borum, the founder of Ply+ architecture and design firm and a professor at U-M’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Read more about the renovation in the Detroit Free Press. >>

UMMA muralist Meleko Mokgosi sees politics in the everyday

“With six solo shows in four states this season, the Botswana-born, Brooklyn-based Mr. Mokgosi believes that it is incumbent on “first-world” viewers to understand that “the world doesn’t revolve around them. There are other histories.” Read Mokgosi’s New York Times feature and see his recently installed mural at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.  >>

 

THE COLLECTORS WHO CUT UP A MASTERPIECE

“Works of art should not be treated like cadavers suitable for dissection. It is high time for owners and dealers to grow a stronger moral backbone and remove their blades from the spines of manuscripts,” wrote Christiane Gruber, professor and chair of history of art, on the disassembling of rare Islamic manuscripts into individual folios—a long-standing practice in the art world that brings higher profits. Read her full article in in Prospect. >>

THE FORGOTTEN BLACK PHARAOHS

“There was persistent denial that black Africans could have built a powerful civilization worthy of the same attention and respect as Egypt,” said Geoff Emberling, associate research scientist at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, commenting on the black pharaohs who ruled the historically overlooked Kingdom of Kush in the Dailymail UK. >>

MICHIGAN SCIENTISTS USE SOUNDS TO TUNE INTO THE HEALTH OF THE WORLD

Birds call to each other. The chirps fade as the sounds of shoes crunching on the somewhat frozen earth grow louder. Waves of water crash against each other. These sounds are the only “instruments” used in an ambient electronic composition titled “Belle Isle Reverie,” composed by U-M professor Michael Gurevich and Tessa Fornari, a U-M student majoring in sound engineering. The composition was part of a project led by U-M dance professor Jessica Fogel aimed at helping middle school students learn more about Detroit’s ecosystems and the restoration efforts in the Detroit River watershed. Read more about the project in ModelD. >>

“It is somewhat provocative to bring the anthem to the fore in a new way at a moment of tension in this country,” said Mark Clague, associate professor of music, commenting on the recent revival of local television broadcasters airing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during early morning hours. He said in an era in which support of the anthem has become a “loyalty test,” it is difficult to frame its reintroduction to the airwaves as apolitical. Read the full New York Times article. >>

U-M VIOLINIST HAERIM ELIZABETH LEE INTERPRETS GERSHWIN

Korean violinist Haerim Elizabeth Lee recently released her new album My Time Is Now: Inspirations from the Gershwins. Lee has spent many years training as a classical violinist, capped off by earning her doctorate at U-M. That’s where she’s latched onto the music of the Gershwin brothers. The piano used in her album is one that belonged to George Gershwin himself. Michigan Radio/NPR spoke with Lee about how she reimagined the work of the Gershwin brothers for the violin. >>

Orchestras try a twist on the wall of sound

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the wave of symphony orchestras that are experimenting with high-tech ‘wallcasts’—projecting performances outside their halls—in a bid to attract younger, more diverse audiences. “When you do these kinds of things, it makes people curious about what is going on inside the building,” said Jim Leija, deputy director for public experience and learning at the U-M Museum of Art, which has broadcast performances on its facade. >>

U-M PRESIDENT LAUNCHES ARTS INITIATIVE 

David Gier, dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, was interviewed about the university’s new arts initiative on WEMU’s creative.impact show, which President Mark Schlissel recently announced at his annual leadership breakfast. “The initiative is built on an extraordinarily strong base, but I think that the aspirations for this initiative are, in fact, all about not just elevating that base but engaging the arts very broadly across campus and across the region.” See the president’s launch in MLive, WDIV, and Michigan Radio