Every fall during college, after all our books were purchased and fees paid, the last thing on the shopping list was always posters or art. With whatever money we had left, my girlfriends and I would scour the poster bins for something big and colorful to cover our bare dorm or apartment walls. Every year, the desired “look” would change, depending on who we were that year, what image we wanted to project. But what really made it “classy” (or so we thought) was framing the giant poster with a cheap but giant frame.
As we grew older, we shifted from posters and prints to original art. However the tension between the look we want to project, the space in which we live, and the cost continues to hang in balance.
I had heard for many years about the art print collection available for loan at the Ann Arbor District Library, but didn’t know where to find it. It turns out the posters and prints are on display on the third and fourth floors of the downtown branch, where folks can view and check out every past Ann Arbor Art Fair poster, posters from art museums around the country, prints of famous paintings and drawings (“The Scream,” “Starry Night,” “Don Quixote”), photography, calligraphy, and original art. Walking through the collection like a gallery, knowing all I had to do was take a piece off the wall and it could be mine for eight weeks, was easy, fun, exciting.
This month, the Malletts Creek branch has a special exhibit, “Works by Michigan Artists: New Art Prints from the AADL Collection,” which includes original paintings, photography, prints, and drawings by Michigan artists in its collection. Artists include Thomas Walsh with his whimsical long-legged animals, Karin Wagner Coron with her soothing Michigan landscapes, as well as Kay Cassill, Patrick Young, and Nate Caplan. Many of these artists also live and work in Ann Arbor, so this is a great opportunity to see the art of our community and our community in art all displayed in one place.
Then take it home.
The exhibit at Malletts Creek runs through September 13, and artwork from this exhibit can be checked out starting mid-September. Three prints or works of art can be checked out (from the downtown branch) for eight weeks at a time. Prints are professionally framed and come with big carrying bags to help with transport. Images of the entire collection are also available in the Ann Arbor District Library’s online catalog (search under “Catalog” for “Unusual Stuff”).