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Architecture and Urban Planning

U-M welcomes the 60th annual Ann Arbor Art Fair

By: Asia Siev

U-M anthropologist Ruth Behar has been named to this year's list of "Great Immigrants" by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Art lovers will once again fill the streets of Ann Arbor at the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which takes place July 18–21. The University of Michigan welcomes visitors to its many museums, gallery exhibitions and tours on campus. All of the following activities and exhibitions are free and open to the public.



A U-M Museum of Art docent leads a children’s activity in the gallery featuring the exhibition “World to come: Art in the age of the Anthropocene.” It is on view until July 28.

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), is one of the oldest and largest university art museums in the country. Their collection comprises more than 21,000 works of art that span cultures, eras, and media, with works on view by world renowned artists like James McNeill Whistler, Helen Frankenthaler, Pablo Picasso, Joshua Reynolds, Kara Walker, Claude Monet, Frank Lloyd Wright and Andy Warhol, among many others. In addition to their permanent collection, UMMA hosts nearly 20 special exhibitions and over 100 events each year.

On July 21st at 1 p.m., UMMA will be hosting pop-up music with Andrew Brown Guitar Duo: Jazz Manouche. ​Andrew Brown’s Django Phonique is a musical project that performs Jazz Manouche and Hot Swing inspired by the legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and his Quintette du Hot Club de Fran. 

Current exhibitions include:

  • Collection Ensemble is the first major reinstallation of UMMA’s iconic entry space in over a decade. It exchanges Alumni Memorial Hall’s previous focus on European and American painting for a broad mix of American, European, African, and Asian art from across media sampling the Museum’s remarkable, disparate holdings.
  • The World to Come: Art in the Age of the Anthropocene: Structured around ecological issues, the exhibition presents photography, video, and sculpture that address subjects and themes related to raw materials, disasters, consumption, loss, and justice. It features more than thirty-five international artists, including Sammy Baloji, Liu Bolin, Dana Levy, Mary Mattingly, Pedro Neves Marques, Gabriel Orozco, Trevor Paglen, and Thomas Struth.
  • Jason DeMarte: Garden of Artificial Delights presents an enigmatic world filled with unexpected and unsettling sensory temptations. In this immersive installation of photographs and wallpaper, Michigan-based photographer Jason DeMarte weaves together detailed images of fauna (birds, caterpillars, and moths) and flora (local plants and flowers). Each scene is set against ominous cloudy skies, which rain melted ice cream, whipped topping, candies, and glossy paint.
  • The Power Family Program for Inuit Art: Tillirnanngittuq​: Taking its title from the Inuktitut word for “unexpected,” this stirring exhibition of Inuit art showcases 58 works from the collection of Philip and Kathy Power, most from the very early contemporary period of the 1950s and 60s. Included are exquisite sculptures of ivory, bone, and stone, as well as stonecut and stencil prints, some from the first annual Inuit print collection in 1959.

Location: UMMA is free and open to the public at 525 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Tues.–Sat. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun. 12-5 p.m.; Closed Mondays & University holidays.


The Kelsey Museum houses a collection of more than 100,000 ancient and medieval objects from the civilizations of the Mediterranean and the Near East. Among the objects on view is a colorfully painted Egyptian mummy coffin, magical amulets from the ancient Near East, an array of glass vessels, Greek pottery, a unique large-scale watercolor representation of the famous Villa of the Mysteries murals from ancient Pompeii, and more.

kelsey interior

Reproduction of the wall murals of the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii, which are on permanent display at the museum

Kelsey Museum will be hosting a Saturday Sampler Tour: Highlights of the Kelsey Museum on July 20 at 2pm. 

Current Exhibition: 

  • Ancient Color: The Kelsey Museum invites you to explore the colors of the Roman world—its sources, its uses, its meanings—and to discover how modern science is revealing more about ancient color than ever before. 

Location: The Kelsey Museum is free and open to the public at 434 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Tues.–Fri. 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sat.–Sun. 1–4 p.m.; Closed Mondays & University holidays.


After migrating to its new home, the U-M Museum of Natural History is now open—with more exhibits to come in the fall! Embedded among the labs at U-M’s new Biological Sciences Building, the museum doesn’t just preserve the past; it also shows off the latest in scientific research with interactive exhibits, new programming spaces, and a state-of-the-art Planetarium & Dome Theater!

Throughout Art Fair weekend, the Museum of Natural History will be coordinating a community art project in the Art Activity Zone at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. Participants will create a mural using recycled plastic caps and lids that will be on display in the museum this fall.

Location: The U-M Museum of Natural History is free and open to the public at 1105 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m-5 p.m. Closed University holidays. 



The Matthaei Botanical Gardens is a 350-acre site that offers an indoor plant conservatory and greenhouse, and outdoor sites for research, display gardens, native plant gardens, natural areas, the campus farm and ongoing ecological restoration.

Location: Matthaei is free and open to the public at 1800 N. Dixboro Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Hours: Conservatory is open daily, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Trails open sunrise to sunset. Holiday Hours: Closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve, open New Year’s Day, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.



The University of Michigan's "Shakespeare in the Arb" performances take place at Nichols Arboretum every June. Photo from a past performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Scott Soderberg, Michigan Photography.

The University of Michigan’s “Shakespeare in the Arb” performances take place at Nichols Arboretum every June. Photo from a past performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Scott Soderberg, Michigan Photography.

Nichols Arboretum—also referred to as “The Arb”—is a 123–acre site near Central Campus that provides a unique

opportunity to explore the ongoing interaction of humans and the natural world. The Arb contains specialty gardens, historic and culturally significant collections, areas of native Michigan ecosystems, active areas of ecological restoration and access to the Huron River. 

Location: The Nichols Arboretum is free and open to the public at 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Hours: The Arboretum is open 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset.



With over 20 galleries on campus, various U-M departments and libraries are committed to exploring artistic expression through many different subjects outside of traditional museum spaces. From Humanities to Women’s Studies, and the School of Natural Resources—stop in to view the many exhibitions on view this month.


Romare Bearden, Untitled (Jazz Players), 1970s. Courtesy N’Namdi Collection of African American Art.

The Stamps Gallery is a dynamic space for the entire community to experience the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design’s scholarship, values, and transdisciplinary creative work.

Celebrating the legacy of sonic resistance in Detroit and beyond, Call & Response features the work of Romare Bearden, Chakaia Booker, Tony Cokes, Saffell Gardner, Allie McGhee, and Tylonn Sawyer. The exhibition will be on view through August 25th. 

Location: The Stamps Gallery is free and open to the public at 201 S. Division St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Hours: Tues.–Wed., 12–5 p.m. Thurs-Fri., 12-7pm. Sat-Sun., 12-5pm. Closed Monday. 


Gifts of Art curates nine galleries of changing art exhibition throughout the U-M hospital, and organizes a weekly, public concert series in music, theatre and dance. This program was created to enhance the hospitals’ commitment to providing an enriching and comforting environment to assist the healing process.

Location: Gifts of Art galleries and performances are free and open to the public at 1500 E. Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Events and performance time varies, galleries are open during hospital visiting hours.



The Art & Environment Gallery is sponsored by the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) and is located on the first floor of the Dana Building in the Ford Commons. Exhibits rotate regularly and are presented in five showcases.The gallery opened in February 2012 to underscore the influence of art in shaping our understanding of science and nature. It features local and national artists whose work speaks to how people interact and understand the environment.

Current exhibition:

  • Natural Abstractions” features a collection of drawings of common objects by U-M Stamps School of Art & Design alumna Helen Gotlib. Direct and magnified representation, through its deliberateness functions as a system for abstraction. Increasing the scale and size of the maze like interior of the cabbage or emphasizing the map like pattern within the logs obscures the connection to the original object. Viewers interpret the images in elaborate and mystifying ways.


In addition to the William L. Clements Library, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and the Bentley Historical Library, the U-M Library system consists of 30 unique libraries that house a variety of collections and exhibitions.

The Hatcher Graduate Library.

The Hatcher Graduate Library.


Exhibitions at the Hatcher Library are meant to be a gathering place for the enrichment of the intellectual, educational and cultural life of the U-M campus and the larger community.

Exhibitions on display at the library during this time:


Location: The Gallery is located on the first floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library at 913 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Mon.–Thu., 8–12 a.m.; Fri., 8 a.m–7 p.m; Sat., 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.–12 a.m.



While not affiliated with the University of Michigan, the Ford Library is located in Ann Arbor, on our North Campus. The Library offers exhibits, special events, education partnerships and research assistance services. The 1974-77 Presidential papers of Gerald Ford and his White House staff form the core Ford Library collection. These are supplemented by the pre- and post-presidential papers of Gerald Ford, the papers of Betty Ford, collections of Federal records, and more.

Location: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is free and open to the public at 1000 Beal Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8:45 a.m.–4:45 p.m.; closed all Federal holidays.



The William L. Clements Library houses original resources for the study of American history and culture from the 15th through the 19th century. Both the library itself and the Avenir Reading Room house temporary and semi-permanent exhibitions including:

The University of Michigan William L. Clements Library is known for the Avenir Foundation Room on the first floor. It is open to the public Fridays, 10 a.m-4 p.m. Photo by Eric Bronson/Michigan Photography. Photo by Eric Bronson/Michigan Photography.

Clements Library will be hosting public tours on Friday, July 19, at 11 a.m and at 2 p.m. For tour registration, click here.

Location: Access to the Avenir Reading Room is through the south entrance of the Clements Library, located at 909 S University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Hours: Fridays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m., and by special arrangement.


The Michigan Wings

Graduation students in front of the wall mural on the corner of Williams and Maynard, AA.

The “Michigan Wings” mural was created by Kelsey Montague, an artist known internationally for her murals that invite audience participation and irresistible

Instagram photo opportunities, a set of larger-than-life wings containing well-known Ann Arbor and U-M landmarks was completed in April 2018 at Tower Plaza. The work was commissioned by the University of Michigan, the Ann Arbor DDA, and Destination Ann Arbor.

Location: Corner of E. Williams St and Maynard St in Downtown Ann Arbor.


The BioArtography Project Art Fair Booth

Turning science into art helps bring the microscopic world to life for the general public—and shows that researchers aren’t just about data and facts.

Faculty, staff and student volunteers from the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology will be selling artistic images of microscopic tissue. The images come from research laboratories throughout U-M, and include several examples of Regenerative Medicine in action (regeneration of optic nerves, programming of human embryonic stem cells). Proceeds support travel to national and international scientific meetings for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the biological sciences.


Location: East University Booth EU640 Hours: Thurs.–Sat., 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sun., 12–6 p.m.

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