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New 'House Calls' streaming series features virtual studio visits with Michigan artists

By Stephanie Harrell

The Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design has created a new $25,000 prize to advance the project of one graduating senior.

ANN ARBOR—A new weekly streaming video series, “House Calls: Virtual Studio Visits with Michigan Artists in a Pandemic,” will showcase 10 artists across the state via video chat with staff of the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities.

“House Calls,” which begins April 15, is the first foray into virtual programming from the Institute for the Humanities Gallery and is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The gallery is an exhibition space known as a vibrant, lively site for the exploration of art, contemporary issues and social justice in southeast Michigan. 

“‘House Calls’ emphasizes the role of the artist and the humanities in society—especially through challenging times—to find meaning and make sense of our human experience,” said Amanda Krugliak, curator at the Institute for the Humanities Gallery. 

“We’ll be checking in with artists around the state. Each conversation will be generated through a series of questions as to how this new reality is shaping the way artists are making and thinking. The series provides human connection and support, creating a social and visual platform for artists.” 

Rooted both in visual curation and community outreach, “House Calls” will focus on emerging artists representative of diverse media and artist communities around the state. The format was inspired by the virtual gatherings taking place because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reassurance and strength that has come from those connections.

“The arts and humanities can offer human connection in this time of isolation and uncertainty,” said Peggy McCracken, director of the Institute for the Humanities. “Literature, music and the visual arts invite us to see and hear the world through somebody else’s perspective, and with ‘House Calls,‘ we’ve commissioned Michigan artists to speak with us about how they are coping with and responding to our newly configured world.”

“House Calls” airs at 4 p.m. Wednesdays beginning April 15 on

Virtual Studio Visit Schedule


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