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This Week's Events

I Am: Lectures on the second and third installments

Thursday & Friday, Jan. 29 & 30, 6 p.m.
The days are getting longer but your window to see parts two and three of the award-winning exhibition curated by KCAD's Michele Bosak is closing January 30.
 
As an incentive to see these last two installments, The FED Galleries are hosting a series of "I Am" lectures (that began earlier this week) with two very special speakers on tap for the final days of the show.
 
On Thursday night this show, which focuses on gender and associated themes around the body, will present the work of multi-media artist Heather Cassils. The artist uses his body as a form from which the work often sprouts as a result of the sheer physicality of his extensive training and knowledge of kinesiology and sports sciences. The result is a powerful presentation of conceptual art practices, feminism, and the use of the body as art wedded to the gay male aesthetic. It is sure to be a thrill to hear from the artist who contributed such powerful works in this exhibition.
 
Sonya Clark, the speaker who will close the show, is the 2014 ArtPrize Grand Prize Winner (tie) for her work "The Haircraft Project." Clark, the first African-American to win ArtPrize's top award (tie with Anila Quayuum Agha) tackles in her hair-based piece the complex issues of personality delivered via a narrative we know (or like to think we know).
 
Clark manipulates our preconceived ideas and thoughts, quickly jettisoning via the images as a person's hair is given order by way of a comb, a piece of paper, or by simply adding more hair. Clark has woven a thrilling vision in her creation and you will have a chance to hear how her artistic vision is so richly rooted in craft and reflective of her culture.
 
Also starting this last week was a new viewing event at The FED as they invite people to join them for a screening of Art 21 each Tuesday. See this link for the entire schedule of events at the FED. 
 
Admission: Free
 

Splendors of Shiga: Treasures from Japan (here at last)

Opening Friday, Jan. 30 (through Aug. 16) Seasonal changes, see article
Very soon the new Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture will open to the public. Before we turn to Japanese-everything this June when it debuts, the gallery is offering a spectacular invitation to begin our journey to the East with the Splendors of Shiga: Treasures from Japan exhibition.
 
The region of Shiga is not just one of the most picturesque regions of Japan, but the Shiga Prefecture and the State of Michigan have a Sister-State relationship in one of the oldest and most comprehensive cultural partnerships between our two nations.
 
But unlike other shows in the past, this show will rotate with the seasons, featuring these themes over 2015: Winter (January 30-March 22), Spring (March 28-June 4) and Summer & Fall (June 10-August 16). The exhibition will be temporarily closed March 23–27 and June 5–9 for changing of artifacts on display.
 
Art never before seen in the United States will appear in works dating back to the 9th century and up through the 20th century. Themes that one can expect from this show, which was five years in the making, will include: Devotional Treasures, The Landscape, Beauty in Daily Life, The Four Seasons and Ceremonial and Domestic Ceramics.
 
The experience of this rare collection of Japanese art will enable our region to best understand the multiplying beauty of the aesthetic and how the integration of it into our culture enriches our depth as a people.
 
"As exemplified by the masterpieces on display, the visual arts play an extraordinary role in Japanese culture,” says FMG curator Joseph Becherer. “From Buddhist statuary to painted scrolls, ceramics to kimono, this exhibition will be a delight to all audiences.”
 
There will also be a gallery walk on Friday, February 6, 12 p.m.
 
Admission: Free with a paid admission, Members always are free.
 

Roller Derby: It's Elvis' Birthday

Saturday, Jan. 31, 5 p.m. doors, 6 p.m. match
While Elvis sits at home in his retirement hideaway in Kalamazoo, the city's roller derby team, Killamazoo Derby Darlins, will hit the road to celebrate the King's birthday (1/31) with a double header against our Grand Raggidy Roller Girls.
 
Prior to this match, Killamazoo has been ranked 59th so it is your duty as a local citizen to support our girls, who are ranked right behind them at 61st. Let's Killa Killamazoo and raise our rank!
 
Proving once again that no other team trains, plays, or promotes as hard as our girls, Grand Raggidy Roller Girls and their booster club will have on hand limited edition Elvis themed t-shirts (available for purchase), fan photo ops with The Bomb Squad, and a full-on tailgate party prior to the game. The BBQ Pit and Schmohz Brewery will be there to make sure you are fed and filled as they invite fans to join other fans for a pre-game event unlike any other -- and served up around a burning ring of fire.  (Johnny Cash's birthday is Feb. 26.) 
 
And do not miss Truck Stop Cobras, who will help celebrate not only Elvis' birthday but the 10th birthday of our local team. The big bash for the Grand Raggidy Roller Girls is May 2015. 
 
 
Admission:  $12 in advance or $15 at the door. There are discounts for kids, students & seniors.
 

Paint Nite!: Debuting at Billy's

Wednesday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m.
Eastown  
It seems to me that there is no shortage of art-themed events these days. Even MOMA New York is getting in on the action with classes these days.
 
And while some may cringe at the thought of having to paint a landscape (myself included), some are perfectly ok with that activity. And if you are okay with the theme of "Love Birds" (again I cringe) then this Wednesday at Billy's Lounge - who has joined a list of other bars locally to offer painting nights – you have found your true calling for paint and pints.
 
Over the course of two hours, you will be able to enjoy a beverage or three at this Eastown neighborhood watering hole (a personal favorite of mine) as artists acting as your instructors wander from easel to easel, assisting you as you paint the desired image.
 
To keep things easy for you and your friends - who really should join you on this night - your paid admission includes everything from a canvas to paints and brushes. You even get a smock to keep paint and cocktails from staining your couture.
 
Here is a link so you can see what you will be creating – or, if you are like me, what you will attempt to create but will probably end up deviating from when the instructor walks away. Yeah, you can even be a rebel with a brush if you like and really bring out your personal best style that is uniquely you.
https://www.paintnite.com/pages/events/index/grandrapids#date:2
 
If you apply the coupon - GRBillys15 – you are able to knock $15.00 off your ticket! (This code for Billy's is good for a year.)
 
Feb. 4 is the second event to be held at Billy's, with a third one returning on Wednesday, Feb. 18 from 7:00 - 9:00pm.
 

Admission: $45 in advance but with the coupon you save $15!
 
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