U-M Library collection inspires community-created artwork with Detroit artist

Source: Michigan News

Doug Jones works at his studio in Detroit on pulling together the individual panels in order to complete the artwork the community painted during the Connect the Dots project with the University of Michigan Library. Photo by Bill Bresler.

Many hands may make light work—and they can also make great work. 

Over the course of the last year, more than a hundred community members in southeast Michigan worked to co-create 10 large-scale paintings—all drawing inspiration from collection materials at the University of Michigan Library.   

The project, led by Detroit-based artist and U-M alumnus Doug Jones, will culminate in an exhibition titled “Connect the Dots: Collective Interpretations of the U-M Library Collections.” It opens Monday at the Hatcher Graduate Library, 913 South University Ave. An opening reception, free to the public, is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. in the Hatcher Gallery.

Artwork created during the” Connect the Dots: Collective Interpretations of the U-M Library Collections” project is installed in the Hatcher Graduate Library on U-M’s campus. Photo by Alan Piñon.

“Connect the Dots” consisted of creation sessions for community members from Detroit to Ann Arbor, where Jones walked participants through a process he has dubbed the “Pixel Technique”—a dot-by-dot process akin to pointillism, where an image is broken down into individual pixels and painted one-by-one. The process allows for anyone, regardless of familiarity with any particular painting technique, to participate in the creation of the work. 

“The end result of this project is multifaceted,” said James Hilton, dean of libraries. “Students and community members were able to enjoy the benefit of creating in a communal fashion. 

Read more here.


Back to News + Stories