Angels fly because they take themselves lightly ...
From time to time this column has paid respectful tribute to noted artists who have passed away. In the case of Angelica M. Busque, however, the words chosen here will fall far short of the mark and only a faint glimmer of her soul's radiance will be reflected from this page. An accomplished painter and illustrator, she chronicled the human experience with rare insight – an insight that also drew upon her courageous struggle with physical setbacks that would have defeated a less determined individual. She was spiritual without being dogmatic, humorous without being spiteful, and generous with every gift and skill she possessed. She leaves in her wake a loving family, a multitude of adoring friends, and a legacy of beautiful works that will forever remind us of what might have been created. No, WOULD have been created!
In light of Angel Busque's great love for stand-up comedy, here are two fitting announcements: A portion of proceeds from O'Mara's next Comedy Contest will go to the Michigan Lupus Foundation in her memory. Also, Kelly's (a Hamtramck establishment that always enjoyed her love and approval) has decided to start up its own series of open-mic mirth events. More details to come.
The Initial Enhanced
We're passing on the marvelous news that our esteemed colleagues at Model D have formally inked a lease on some neo-Victorian digs in the Cass Corridor – a fixed address that also comes with a marvelous bit of history attached to it. Remember Zoot's Coffeehouse, the bistro on Second that furnished Detroit with some of the best sonics in the world back in the day? That's where Model D is parking it right now – and on 6/22 the neighborhood is going to rock once more with an official housewarming event sponsored by the Friends Foundation of the Detroit Public Library. Dion Fischer was enlisted to curate the evening's entertainment and a phone call gave us names like Danny Kroha, Little Princess and Windy & Carl to beguile you even further. The victuals will all be locally produced, as will a cool keg of craft beer from Traffic Jam & Snug. Want more? Davin Brainard will exhibit a few choice pieces from the Zootsgeist years. Paying the recommended donation at the door will benefit the Detroit Sound Conservancy, so don't be too conservative with the wallet. More: modeldmedia.com
Forty Years On
Believe it or not, Huck, you can follow the river both ways if you're looking for paintings and other visual delights. Case in point: the 40th Anniversary St. Clair Art Fair, which will start sailing on 6/23. A juried show with dozens of talented people participating, the event also has sculptor Sergio De Giusti (one of our faves!) as this year's featured artist. More: stclairart.org.
Or Perhaps It Was Just A Guilty Pleasure?
The "conflict" between canvas and camera often obscures the fact that painters were dabbling in photography as early as the 15th century and were among the first to see its potential as an artistic device. A comprehensive overview of all this is developing nicely at Fotomuseum Detroit, that chamber of creative energy inside the Oakland Arts Building in Pontiac. It's called Photography Until Now: The Painter's Eye and you just might be surprised to see names like Ingres, Ryder, Corot, and Picasso getting credits for some of the snapshots on view. 6/22 at 7 N. Saginaw. 248.210.7560
What we love most about the University of Michigan Museum of Art is its dependability. That may strike you as an utterly pedestrian note of praise, but in an age of uncertainty (and merciless deadlines) it's rather nice to know that there are people in Ann Arbor who have not forsaken the solid virtues of courtesy and professionalism. UMMA just opened two new exhibits and both are worthy of your attention. Flip Your Field is the inaugural showcase for a series of future shows that will be curated by members of the faculty – but with the novel proviso that the artwork selected be drawn from outside their usual field of expertise. Professor Celeste Brusati has on this occasion taken a sabbatical from 16th-century Dutch art and collected a notable array of abstract works by such modern luminaries as Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Wassily Kandinsky and others. Simultaneous with this overview is Judith Turner: The Flatness of Ambiguity. A brilliant photographer whose technical background gave her a deeper appreciation for the discipline of architecture, Turner's works have often been likened to a "metalanguage" that embraces both the concrete reality of a building's existence and the subtle nuances of artistic intent that move like parallel currents throughout the same structure. Exhibits will be on display until 9/2. More: umma.umich.edu. | RDW