Community-created artwork inspired by University of Michigan library installed in Ann Arbor

10-piece community art project draws from various pieces within U-M collection

By Sarah M. Parlette - Associated Producer

Participants at a Connect the Dots Project at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival Photo | Emily Pucket-Rodgers

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A new community-created art installation has made the University of Michigan's Hatcher Graduate Library its home. 

"Connect the Dots: Collective Interpretations of the U-M Library Collections" is a community-built exhibit inspired by materials within the University of Michigan Library collection.

Consisting of 10 large-scale paintings, the exhibition was led by U-M alumnus artist Doug Jones. The paintings were created by over 100 people throughout southeast Michigan who were guided by Jones. 

The paintings were made with individual pixels through a technique invented by Jones that, when combined, created a larger picture. In a process similar to pointillism, members of the community contributed to the paintings one pixel at a time. 

Doug Jones works at his studio in Detroit putting together individual panels of the community-created project. Photo | Bill Bresler

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The pieces were crafted through a series of sessions during the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, at the U-M's Detroit Center and in small sessions with U-M faculty, staff and students. Subjects of the pieces include a 1920s pochoir pattern book, a street-view map of the Poletown neighborhood in Detroit and the "Snowy Owl" illustration by John James Audubon. 

The project, originally thought of by U-M librarian Emily Puckett Rogers, displays the diversity and inclusivity of the region.

"Connect the Dots" was unveiled at the Hatcher Graduate Library on Monday.  The paintings measure 8 feet tall by 3 feet wide. 

The Hatcher Graduate Library is at 913 S. University Ave.

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Artwork from the "Connect the Dots: Collective Interpretations of the U-M Library Collections" project is installed in the Hatcher Graduate Library. Photo | Alan Piñon