Wild Land exhibit opens April 6

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Ypsilanti Library among Eight Humanities Grantees in Michigan


A nationally touring art exhibit will open at the Ypsilanti District Library’s Whittaker Road location on Wednesday, April 6. Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the birth of the American Landscape explores the work of American painter Thomas Cole, from his humble studio to the spectacular vistas he painted.

The exhibit and related programming is funded through the National Endowment for the Humanities, and YDL is one of 8 Michigan organizations to receive an award under their $21.1 million initiative, The Common Good: Humanities in the Public Square. Other awardees include Eastern Michigan University, the University of Michigan, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Wild Land exhibit is interactive, with a replica of the artist’s studio as well as prints of his work. It will showcase not only Cole’s work but also cultural impact of art—with the rise of landscape painting in the 19th century came a new awe and respect for the American wilderness. The work of Cole and his Hudson River School contemporaries coincided with conservation efforts, including the founding of the National Parks Service.

“If you think about the song America The Beautiful, you realize how connected the wilderness is to our identity as Americans. This cultural shift happened in the late 1800s, and Thomas Cole was a big part of that,” said exhibit director Stacey Palazzolo. “It’s fascinating how art can change our culture. It’s not something people think about every day.”

The exhibit will be free and open to the public at the Ypsilanti District Library from April 6-May 25. Residents of all ages are invited to visit and participate in programs that further explore landscape painting and the American wilderness. Visit www.ypsilibrary.org/events for more information.

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Wild Land Exhibit
April 6-May 25
YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road

Art in the Gallery
YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road
Young people will get inspired and learn new art techniques with art workshops held in the gallery.
April 9, 2pm: Oil Pastel Landscapes (Youth)
April 16, 2pm: Mixed Media Collage (Teen)
April 23, 2pm: Artist Day (Ages 3-8)

Conserving our Land
Tuesday, April 12, 7pm

YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road
Legacy Land Conservancy Director Susan Lackey discusses the impact of land conservation and how you can conserve your land.

Nature’s Inspiration
Fridays, April 15-May 20, 10:30am
YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road
Artist Debra Golden teaches a landscape painting series for adults ages 55+, culminating in an exhibit of student work. Registration required.

Beginning Watercolor
Wednesdays, April 20-May4, 6:30pm

YDL-Michigan, 229 W. Michigan Avenue
Explore your artistic side with a three-part landscape painting series. Registration required.

Songs of the American Landscape
Sunday, April 24, 2pm

YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road
Paul Burch shares original and classic songs in the gallery to complement the Wild Land exhibit.

Gnarly New World
Wednesday, April 27, 7pm

Art consultant Yen Azzaro offers an interactive lecture on Thomas Cole and his Hudson River School contemporaries.

Ford Heritage Park Nature Walk
Wednesday, May 11, 6pm

Ford Heritage Park, 8399 Textile Rd.
Join ecologist Penelope Beamer for a guided nature walk through Ypsilanti's Ford Heritage Park, 8399 Textile Rd.

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Press inquiries please contact:
Gillian Ream Gainsley, Communications Coordinator

As a community resource, the Ypsilanti District Library's mission is to enrich life, stimulate intellectual curiosity, foster literacy, and encourage an informed citizenry. www.ypsilibrary.org

Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Landscape Painting has been made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The exhibition was organized by the Thomas Cole National Historic Site/Cedar Grove in Catskill, New York and was adapted and toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance through NEH on the Road. NEH on the Road offers an exciting opportunity for communities of all sizes to experience some of the best exhibitions funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Mid-America Arts Alliance was founded in 1972 and is the oldest regional nonprofit arts organization in the United States. For more information, visit www.maaa.org or www.nehontheroad.org.

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