Sep 25, 2015

Ann Arbor is offering a new annual arts event, starting this year from Thursday October 15 through Saturday October 24 at the Liberty Plaza park on the corner of Liberty and Division Streets in downtown Ann Arbor.

POP•X started as part of a long-term vision to encourage the visual arts in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Seeing what other communities nation-wide and further are doing to enrich their visual arts experiences, a small core group of people in Ann Arbor started setting long-term goals for our own cultural enhancement. These goals include infusing Ann Arbor with more temporary and permanent privately-funded but publicly-accessed art and arts experiences. We wanted to support our own local artists and to attract non-local artists, to create, exhibit, inspire and even to move here. Our intentions include enabling people of all ages and of all socioeconomic levels, artists and non-artists alike, to have opportunities to learn art skills, to create things, and to work collaboratively with others to make shared community arts projects. We know how much all the arts can enhance individuals’ lives because our lives have been even transformed by creating art. So we wanted to make our community one that over time makes this happen more and more, for more and more people.

Enter POP•X, created and administered by the Ann Arbor Art Center. POP•X is an extended pop-up visual arts festival held for ten days, free and open to the public. Liberty Plaza will hold nine architect-designed 10’ by 10’ structures (called “pavilions”), each of which will be an elaborate display of art with its own theme. This is not an Art Fair nor a sale of art (though visitors may buy some of the shown art, as well as each of the pavilions, which will later serve as beautiful yard installations for work or play!). Each pavilion is a complete statement, created by one artist or a collaboration of artists. Themes this year include Home, Dinner, Picnic, Immigration, and Voyeurism. We will also have an information pavilion that includes exhibition posters and notebooks for sale, exhibition guides, and even stickers for kids.

During the festival there will be daily live music, panel discussions related to using creativity and design in real-life ways to address other aspects of work and life, art demonstrations, pop-up shared meals, field trips, etc.

Although the 2015 POP•X is a stand-alone attraction that will provide inspiration, education, entertainment, fun and community sharing, it is also our pilot demonstration to encourage others to start planning how they might like to participate in future POP•X’s. The Ann Arbor Art Center will hold calls for architects to design pavilions for future years, and calls for individuals and groups of artists to create future pavilion exhibits. This year we have nine pavilions but we expect that number to continue to increase as time goes on and more people and groups become interested in adding their creations.

We invite everyone in southeast Michigan as well as visitors from further away to come and see and participate. Join us.

Get more information at the website.

Special thanks to Lucie Nisson, POP•X Founding Partner, for contributing this story.

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