The Ann Arbor Art Center (A2AC)
is asking art lovers to save the date May 27 for the opening reception of the center's new 1,200-square-foot street-level gallery and renovated studio spaces at 117 W. Liberty St. in downtown Ann Arbor.
"We've had a really long history of showing exhibitions that goes back to 1908, but this is really big for us," says Ashley Miller, A2AC's gallery director. "Having this new street-level, front-facing, really open space increases the chances for people walking by to see that we have exhibitions."
Previously, visitors have had to enter through A2AC's shop area and then go upstairs to view most of the center's in-house shows. When people approach the doors of the new gallery, Miller says they can expect to see "a more soaring and inviting space" through the huge windows in the front.
A2AC is developing a program for the new gallery that is centered around inclusivity and bringing in new audiences. The goal is to create a space where people from different communities in the region can feel comfortable coming in, engaging with art, and sharing their thoughts.
"We hope that when people walk in, they might see familiar works from local artists, but we're also hoping to bring in a lineup of different voices, not only from the region, but from across the country," Miller says. "Each exhibit will also have different opportunities for audience participation to add to the impact."
Currently, there is an open call for artist submissions
to "Sharing Space," the inaugural exhibition of the A2AC Gallery's 2022 season. "Sharing Space" runs May 20-July 8. The show will explore the possibilities for engaging with others and our lived environments by addressing intimacy, distance, connection, and comfort.
"I'm really excited for the opportunities that might arise by getting in some really new voices that we haven't featured in the A2AC," Miller says. "We're really kind of looking at this year as a year of experimentation, so I'm hoping that lots of people will reach out to me with their ideas."
Jaishree Drepaul-Bruder is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of A2AC.