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'Fractured History: a solo exhibition' to make the Ann Arbor Art Center its home for May, June

Exhibit to showcase work by entrepreneur, artist, philanthropist Aaron Dworkin

The Ann Arbor Art Center on W. Liberty (Photo: Ann Arbor Art Center)
The Ann Arbor Art Center on W. Liberty (Photo: Ann Arbor Art Center)

ANN ARBOR – Join the Ann Arbor Art Center for "Fractured History: a solo exhibition" from May 6 to June 4.

Created by social entrepreneur, author, performing artist and Sphinx Organization founder Aaron Dworkin, "Fractured History" explores themes of music, diversity, relationships, friendships, love and separation.

The mixed-media exhibition blends musical instruments, music, visual art, digital elements, images of powerful historical figures and color to capture multisensory artistic expression.

An interdisciplinary artist and musician, Dworkin, in his artist's statement, said that his own personal history and story, as well as his experiences, have shaped his art and music throughout his journey.

 “My path in life as a social entrepreneur, author, artist, and professor originated in music. I am a classically trained violinist, and throughout my journey, my art has depicted as well as been influenced by and expressed through that lens,” the statement reads.

"Fractured History: a solo exhibition" will run from May 6 to June 4 at the Ann Arbor Art Center.  Photo | Ann Arbor Art Center.
"Fractured History: a solo exhibition" will run from May 6 to June 4 at the Ann Arbor Art Center. Photo | Ann Arbor Art Center.

Dworkin shared that he was adopted when he was two weeks old by a white Jewish couple who already had one son. At the age of 30, he met his birth parents – a white Irish Catholic mother and a black Jehovah’s Witness father who raised a daughter, Dworkin’s full biological sister.

He said this complex, multicultural and religious background heavily influences his art.

According to his statement: 

“My mixed media work with physical musical instruments shares stories of birth, separation, life, friendship, and love. I work with stringed instruments, highlighting their individual parts as elements of human emotion and character, from bow hair embracing a tailpiece, violin pegs dissecting the wood beneath the chinrest and using colors to capture the significance of certain life events. My digital explorations incorporate the theme of musical instruments and warp the process into an alternate dimension of history, with the aim of bringing to light important historical figures of color.”

“My personal history and, indeed our societal history is fractured and never able to be recounted in totality. Our heroines and heroes are scattered throughout time and often not celebrated or remembered enough for the true impact of their contributions to the realities we live today. I endeavor to have my art utilize the imagery of music to evoke their significance while combining various techniques to convey a “fractured” effect. Coretta Scott King, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass are all visionaries whose lives, while socially significant for our society, embraced music in a very intimate way.”

Dworkin said his current art uses these heroic figures’ images and incorporates them into musical instruments. The rest of his collection pieces together the multiracial, multidisciplinary and multicultural dimensions of his life.

“From Judaica to my love of Detroit and its history to my search for unconditional love along with my passion for games of chance and the fiction of future science, Fractured History tells the story of our society and its direction as much as it does that of my own.”

On top of his many accomplishments as a musician, mentor and entrepreneur, Dworkin has also penned a sci-fi novel, a biographical memoir, a book of poetry and a children's story. 

A reception for "Fractured History" will take place on May 10 in the Ann Arbor Art Center at 6 p.m. At the reception, Dworkin will read his poem, “They Said I Wasn’t Really Black Enough.”

More about the Ann Arbor Art Center
For 109 years, the Ann Arbor Art Center has been sparking creativity in people of all ages and artistic abilities. Our mission is to be a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, and exhibition and to expand perspectives and ignite growth in students, artists and the community. In this work we aspire to be a gathering place that serves artists and the community in four distinct, yet related ways: exhibition, retail, education, and community engagement.

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