Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Art and Design at Liberty Lofts

11. April 2008 • Juliew
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Homeless Dave sent in this update from the corner of First and Liberty:

Although Liberty Lofts living units (former site of the Eaton factory) are now largely occupied, the adjoining retail space still sits empty. But activity late last week included a delivery of 2 × 4s and sheetrock to the location, plus the start of construction of 600 lineal feet worth of walls. The walls are being built by 16 UM School of Art and Design students for The Warehouse Show. The opening reception is Saturday, April 12 from 4pm-7pm and the gallery is open April 14-18 from noon to 6:00pm. The students are graduating this spring and the exhibition is their thesis exhibition. Obviously, this is a temporary installation, but it’s nice to see something happening there, even if it’s for a short time.

Another intriguing project coming soon from the UM School of Art and Design is The Urban Forest Project from April 24 – May 15 on Main Street between William and Washington. From the school’s website:

Using the power of design to raise awareness of sustainability issues in urban areas, A&D senior Trent Busakowski creates an installation of banners designed by over 30 designers and students from across Michigan hung on Ann Arbor’s Main Street, between William and Washington. In collaboration with the Detroit chapter of AIGA, and with support from O2 Creative. The original Urban Forest Project was conceived by World studio in conjunction with AIGA NY and Times Square Alliance. The Urban Forest project has also been implemented in Denver and Portland by each city’s respective AIGA chapters and local partners.

  1. I hope they do more then just throw away the walls they are building for less then one weeks use, couldn’t they have rented something instead? I have been places where they put up temporary but reusable walls for art shows instead

       —just a voice    Apr. 11 '08 - 04:06PM    #
  2. Knowing the School of Art & Design, everything will be kept and repurposed as many times as possible. I’m sure in this case, part of the project is setting up the space from scratch and learning how to do art installations and construction. In the blurb they mention a runway show so they may be building the runway in addition to walls. Even if you could find a place to rent an appropriate setup, renting it for a week would be very expensive. I’m sure it was much cheaper to build their own, especially since they essentially have free labor.

       —Juliew    Apr. 11 '08 - 07:48PM    #
  3. I’m one of the 16 students and I assure you that we are not throwing away the walls. We would have liked to use more temporary walls, but we had to follow the landlord’s requirements for use of the space. If the walls do need to come down at the end of the show (we are hoping they might not have to), then we are donating the materials to Habitat for Humanity. If you would like any additional information on our show, please e-mail us at

       —Laura    Apr. 16 '08 - 09:26AM    #
  4. Can confirm Laura’s comment that they’re not throwing away walls. They’ve dismantled them and are giving away the 2 × 4’s and drywall today. There’s all manner of folks loading up with free wood.

    I scored a bicycle trailer full of 2 × 4’s, which should be perfect for building a chicken coop, with plenty left over for building out my granny flat.

    They’re likely gone by now, because when it comes to free 2 × 4’s my first thought is to get me some, not to go post a comment on AU first.


       —HD    Apr. 29 '08 - 11:14PM    #