Press Release: Sanctuary

Ypsi Alloy Studios Show, Augmented Reality at Ann Arbor Art Center

Ann Arbor, MI (June 13, 2018) — Kicking off an exciting lineup of summer programming, the Ann Arbor Art Center is pleased to present Ypsi Alloy Studios’ third group exhibition titled, Sanctuary, opening Friday, June 15.

Curated by the studios’ founding members, Ilana Houten, Elize Jekabson, and Jessica Tenbusch,Sanctuary showcases the work of fifteen of the studios’ artists and their interpretations on the theme.

The word sanctuary brings to mind a myriad of ideas – both physical and spiritual. It can be a place of refuge, a sacred space, a shine, or an altar; a place for thoughts or ideas, hopes and dreams – or a form of comfort in times of trouble. We can take sanctuary in our memories, habits, and routines. We seek sanctuary not just for our physical beings, but for our hearts and minds as well. Sanctuaries can be created for ourselves, those we love, or those fleeing conflict, prejudice, and persecution. We create sanctuaries to protect and preserve ecosystems and the flora and fauna dependent on them. Different species can take refuge in unlikely human-built places or seek sanctuary from each other. In contrast, the concept of sanctuary can be a double-edged sword. When something is isolated, even with the best of intentions, it can have a negative impact; isolation rather than shelter, seclusion instead of solace. Sanctuaries can divide those in it from others.

Ypsi Alloy Studios is a shared studio for artists to make, create, and collaborate. It was founded in 2015 and is located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. “Being in the studio environment really helps bring out the best creativity in everyone. The times we exhibit together are some of the best bonding moments we have with each other. We are working together, getting feedback or helping each other with some task. In these moments we influence each other and can offer fresh perspectives outside of formal critiques,” says one of the founders, Jessica Tenbusch.

Throughout the exhibition, gallery visitors will have the opportunity to explore a new augmented reality experience designed by Icon Interactive in collaboration with the Art Center. The “Sanctuary (AR)” experience allows users to discover various spheres hidden in their space—taking a deep breath as they find each one.  Once the user locates all of the spheres, their phone reveals a new environment; their own private sanctuary, completely separate from their current environment. Each of us is carrying around our own sanctuary – it’s just a matter of unlocking it and stepping inside.

In addition to the artwork in the gallery, the Art Center is featuring a new artwork installation bySanctuary exhibiting artist, Kari Thurman in the Aquarium throughout the month of June. The Aquarium is a street level micro-gallery located on the west side of the Art Center building on Ashley St. at Liberty St. that rotates installations monthly.

The exhibition opens with a lively kick-off party in the gallery on Friday June 15th from 6-9pm at the Art Center (117 W. Liberty St.). The exhibiting artists and the curators will be in attendance. Refreshments will be provided free of charge, including beverages from O&W Inc. All ages are welcome. Admittance to the Art Center galleries is always free.

Exhibiting Artists: Jan Bogart, Sarah Buddendeck, Will Cares, Amber Harrison, Ilana Houten, Cathy Jacobs, Elize Jekabson, Riva Jewell-Vitale, Lorraine Kolasa, Jogendro Kshetrimayum, Paloma Nunez-Reguerio, Sarah Sandusky, Meagan Shein, Jessica Tenbusch, Kari Thurman

The exhibition is on-view through July 14.

About the Ann Arbor Art Center

For 108 years, the Ann Arbor Art Center has been sparking creativity in people of all ages and artistic abilities. Our mission is to be a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, and exhibition, and to expand perspectives and ignite growth in students, artists, and the community. In this work we aspire to be a gathering place that serves artists and the community in four distinct, yet related ways: Exhibition, Retail, Education, and Community Engagement.