FRACTURED HISTORY: a solo exhibition by Aaron Dworkin
May 6 – June 4, 2019
Reception: May 10, 6-9PM
The Ann Arbor Art Center is proud to present Fractured History: a solo exhibition by Aaron Dworkin. Informed by Dworkin’s interdisciplinary practice, this series uses the visual language of art to explore and reflect upon the artist’s journey as an entrepreneur, musician, educator, and writer.
A special reception will be held on Friday, May 10 from 6-9PM that coincides with the opening of Odds&Ends, a juried collage exhibition in the 117 Gallery. The reception will feature a poetry reading at 7PM with a selection entitled They Said I Wasn’t Really Blackfrom the artist’s book of the same name.
Artist Statement: “My path in life as a social entrepreneur, author, artist, and professor originated in music. I am a classically trained violinist, and throughout my journey, my art has depicted as well as been influenced by and expressed through that lens. In addition, my literal existence is steeped in diversity having been adopted at two weeks of age by a white, Jewish couple who were behavioral scientists with a birth son (my older brother, now a cellular biologist) and then 30 years later being reunited with my birth parents – a Black, Jehovah’s Witness father and White, Irish Catholic mother and full birth sister (who they did raise). My passion for inclusion and social justice has served as the impetus for my life as a social entrepreneur. My current visual art offerings combine elements of both my music and diversity “DNA” in a variety of ways, while also capturing an evolving aesthetic of the abstract that often mirrors the disjunct nature of my familial relationships and searches for unconditional love which was all too absent during key points of my life journey. My mixed media work with physical musical instruments shares stories of birth, separation, life, friendship, and love. I work with stringed instruments, highlighting their individual parts as elements of human emotion and character, from bow hair embracing a tailpiece, violin pegs dissecting the wood beneath the chinrest and using colors to capture the significance of certain life events. My digital explorations incorporate the theme of musical instruments and warp the process into an alternate dimension of history, with the aim of bringing to light important historical figures of color.
My personal history and, indeed our societal history is fractured and never able to be recounted in totality. Our heroines and heroes are scattered throughout time and often not celebrated or remembered enough for the true impact of their contributions to the realities we live today. I endeavor to have my art utilize the imagery of music to evoke their significance while combining various techniques to convey a “fractured” effect. Coretta Scott King, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass are all visionaries whose lives, while socially significant for our society, embraced music in a very intimate way. My current art pieces use their images tied to musical instruments, connecting the importance of the arts in our lives while inviting viewers to remember and contemplate their historical time and connection to our present. This collection also includes pieces representing other dimensions of my life as a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary practitioner. From Judaica to my love of Detroit and its history to my search for unconditional love along with my passion for games of chance and the fiction of future science, Fractured History tells the story of our society and its direction as much as it does that of my own.”
About the Artist: Named a 2005 MacArthur Fellow, President Obama’s first appointment to the National Council on the Arts and Governor Snyder’s appointment to the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, Aaron P. Dworkin served as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, which is ranked among the top performing arts schools in the nation. He is currently a tenured full professor of arts leadership and entrepreneurship at the university. He is also the founder of The Sphinx Organization, the leading national arts organization with the mission of transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. Dworkin is the producer and host of AaronAsk, a weekly online mentoring show on creativity and leadership. A multi-media performing artist, author, social entrepreneur, artist-citizen, and educator, he continually receives extensive national recognition for his leadership and service to communities. Aaron also founded the Dworkin Foundation where he serves as chairman of the Board. As a successful writer, he has authored a science-fiction novel, Ethos: Rise of Malcolm recently published by MorganJames, as well as his memoir titled Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee’s Journey to Leadership released through Aquarius Press, a poetry collection, They Said I Wasn’t Really Black, and a children’s book The 1st Adventure of Chilli Pepperz. Aaron’s writings have been featured in Symphony Magazine, Polyphonic.org, Andante, and other websites and publications. He also founded and served as publisher and editor-in-chief of The Bard, a literary magazine. A lifelong musician, Aaron is a visual and spoken-word performing artist represented by Jensen Artists and has collaborated with a breadth of artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Damien Sneed, Anna Deveare Smith, Damian Woetzel, Lil Buck, and others. He recorded and produced two CDs, entitled Ebony Rhythm and Bar-Talk, in addition to writing, producing, and directing the independent film Deliberation.