Stamps School of Art & Design

Super gigantic congratulations to Stamps MFA candidate Cosmo Whyte! In the midst of producing his thesis work, he recently found out that two of his photographs have been acquired by the National Gallery of Jamaica.

Cosmo, born and raised in Montego Bay, makes drawings, photographs, and installations examining the impact of European colonization on his home country and the culturally hybrid traditions that have resulted. Often, like with his neck tie garments featured in these photographs, Cosmo’s work manifests as their own culturally hybrid objects.

Cosmo explains, “I am interested in the ways that we ascribe meaning, memory and importance to objects, particularly heirlooms. My father’s neckties, iconic symbols of masculinity, provided a link to their former owner. Sometimes these neckties adorn the faces and body of a male figure in a manner reminiscent of many West African sculptures and tribal garb. Other times the ties take on a more violent characteristic, suffocating the subject or exploding from within.”

Cosmo’s photographs are currently on view at the National Gallery of Jamaica in a 40-year retrospective of the museum’s collection.

A cheerful pinwheely re-post from the Detroit Connections blog:

Stamps Art & Design students and Bennett Elementary 4th graders are at it again, taking advantage of our glorious F14 autumn weather by participating in Pinwheels for Peace and the celebration of International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, 2014, through visual public statements of peace.

 Stamps students demo-ed pinwheel-making techniques and the 4th graders rocked it - swirled it - making all kinds of great drawings, adding festive flair and then filling the Bennett School front garden with their pinwheel creations for the entire neighborhood to enjoy.  

Great job kiddos!

Doing our part for whirled peace > (not my fault: that is a direct phrase from

More from the department of Dressing Up & Down: The Uniform Project.

Students in Rebekah Modrak’s Dressing Up & Down class created uniforms out of blue jump suits that they altered to “prompt an exchange of ideas with a stranger.” The class headed downtown last week to test out their uniforms and interact with the public.

The students sewed questions onto their uniforms with the goal of prompting a conversation or learning something about the person. What would you say to a lost loved one? What do you miss from your childhood? What is your facebook password?

I’m thinking about starting a hashtag #NicholasWilliamsIsAlwaysDoingArtSomewhere …

Not really, it’s too long. But Stamps junior and prolific photographer/performer/event-maker Nicholas Williams (aka NIKI) recently had his first solo show at the very-cool SkateMag & Levi’s-sponsored Rosa Parks Boys space in Detroit. The show, titled Love is Luxury, featured a plethora of paintings he made this summer while he had a temporary studio space and also the premier of a music video he directed for the band Little Animal.

Congrats NIKI!

Photo of the day:

Glitter (n.): 21st century [womanly] warrior paint

by Stamps student Nina Brewster

Created in Ed West’s class, “Making Pictures”

Nina says, “I’m exploring the way people “hide” themselves. The glitter plays as a mask that represents her femininity in an ‘obvious’ way, sort of mocking the ideas of a superficial woman.” 

"Provocative, haunting and stunningly current," Good Kids is a new play by Naomi Iizuka on stage now from the School of Music Theater and Dance at the Arthur Miller Theater. Loosely based on the Steubenville High School rape case, Good Kids digs into the gray areas of social media and handling of campus sexual assault.

Stamps professor and famed cartoonist Phoebe Gloeckner is contributing to this important conversation with this brilliantly discomforting image she created for poster and promotional materials.

Bravo to all involved.

Get tickets to Good Kids before it sells out:

Having class at the poolside sounds like something straight out of California, but recently Stamps students had a critique at (and in) a swimming pool right here in Ann Arbor.

Rebekah Modrak's Dressing Up & Down class is an unusual garment-design course previously responsible for costumed shenanigans such as the Tampon Parade and the Snuggie Super Heros.

This semester, the first assignment prompt was to “Create a wearable that transitions and transforms the body as you move from dry land to wet.”

Stamps student Jane Wiley went along to capture these great images. 


"Actual objects, photographic representations, and painted surfaces co-exist without hierarchy on a single picture plane. The combined effect, neither determinably nor fully illusionistic, is at once electrifying and destabilizing."

-Curator James Rondeau, on the paintings of tonight’s Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker, Fred Tomaselli