First annual Annie Awards 

The millennial shift brings with it, among other treats and travails, MT’s first annual Annie awards for the visual arts — named in memory of Ann Mikolowski (1940-99), one of Detroit’s most transcendently original painters. Decided entirely and subjectively by a panel of two (Liz DiDonna and George Tysh, MT’s visual arts writers), this first set of kudos and recognitions goes to the following:

Curator of the Year: a tie between Irene Hofmann (Cranbrook Art Museum), for her organization of the sumptuous VideoCulture: Three Decades of Video Art, a collaboration of 11 Detroit-area art institutions; and Michael Sarnacki (Detroit Focus), for his mind-boggling work on Detroit Focus 2000, a mammoth multi-sited exhibition of photography.

Dharma Lift-offs of the Year: The Mystical Arts of Tibet by the Drepung Loseling monks at the Detroit Institute of Arts; and The Orchid Pavilion Gathering, Chinese painting at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Shows of Shows — among literally hundreds, these individual standouts: Rico Africa, Steven Benson, James Chatelain, Stan Douglas, Andrea Eis, John Egner, Sherry Hendrick, Jae Won Lee, Stephen Magsig, Maureen Maki, Edward “Robbie” Roberson, Hugh Timlin and Peter Williams.

Rookies of the Year: designer Annica Cuppetelli and photographer Colin Charles Harris.

Most Memorable Group Shows: Actual Size at detroit contemporary, the Ann Mikolowski tribute at Alley Culture and the Girlee Collective at C-Pop Gallery.

Right Time, Right Place Award: to the Lemberg Gallery for its fortuitous move to Ferndale.

Welcome Back Award: to the Detroit Artists Market, for its shining addition to the Woodward Avenue wave.

Revolving Door Award (dubious distinction): to C-Pop Gallery for its four-directors-in-six months accomplishment.

George Tysh is the Metro Times arts editor. E-mail him at

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Speaking of Visual Arts, Hot And Bothered

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