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A 'Brill'-iant 'artnership' at Performance Network

Posted: Jan. 19, 2013 at 11:56 a.m.

ANN ARBOR - Performance Network Theatre forms a special "artnership" with Creative Rights and Pop Up A2 to install visual art that follows the theme of the current and upcoming shows in the theater's lobby. "Brill" by David Wells with music by Frank Allison, running now through Feb. 10, features works by Adam Bota, Lea Bult and Katie Halton in the theater's lobby for the duration of the performance.

"Brill" is a world premiere by emerging playwright David Wells, with music by Frank Allison of Frank Allison and the Odd Socks. The story follows a washed-up big band musician in the world famous Brill Building in Manhattan when a young woman arrives at his office with a guitar, her ambitions, and a few secrets.

Performance Network Theatre is Ann Arbor's award-winning professional theater, dedicated to engaging, challenging and inspiring audiences and artists. The works in the lobby by Bota, Bult and Halton reflect the themes of music, the city and inspiration of "Brill."

"I performed in Creative Rights' 'In Progress' in the fall and found the collaboration with visual art and performance art fascinating," said Performance Network's marketing director Marissa Kurtzhals. "I mentioned the idea of the partnership to Creative Rights' executive director Brandon Weiner, and he was extremely enthusiastic and ready to join forces! It has been a pleasure working with Creative Rights and Pop Up A2. We could not be happier about this exciting new project and look forward to brining artwork to our patrons throughout the season."

Creative Rights is the result of several years of careful and thorough planning by cofounders Brandon Weiner and Travis Rimando, two recent graduates of the University of Michigan Law School. Weiner and Rimando have founded nonprofits in the past and have extensive experience in the operations of both art and legal nonprofit organizations. As professional artists prior to law school, the cofounders are uniquely positioned to understand the needs of their clients. For more information on Creative Rights, visit

Pop Up A2 is a client of Creative Rights and was commissioned to head the collaboration with Performance Network Theatre. Pop Up A2 curates "pop up galleries" much like the project at Performance Network Theatre. Pop Up A2 is dedicated to nurturing contemporary art and promoting community engagement with artists. For more information, visit

Ann Arbor artists Bota, Bul, and Halton submitted their pieces to Performance Network for the chance to have their works displayed throughout the performance. Bota received his B.F.A. in art from Eastern Michigan University and is heavily influenced by the 19th-century impressionist movement; he cites Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Franz Hals and Marcel Duchampe. He also found inspiration in the transition of movements from realism to impressionism, then on to cubism and finally to ultra realism. Bota describes himself as "a colorist that tries to provoke emotion from the viewer through color and design." For more information, visit

Bult received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and recently traveled to South Africa for an atist residency in Cape Town to explore the intersection of race, gender and class and how social hierarchies shift in relation to context. "I am drawn to the arts because the creative process can act as a means to discuss social problems and other important issues. I invite the viewer to step in for a closer look because I feel that it is vital to look again, more closely, at the problems that confront us. In this way, growth and intervention can be achieved," said Bult. She also teaches art classes at the Ann Arbor Art Center in partnership with UMMA and Washtenaw Community College. For more information, visit

Halton is an award-winning mixed media artist working primarily in acrylic and marker on canvas and wood. Prevalent themes are animals, cityscapes, still lifes, and dream imagery. "I use a certain level of playfulness to balance notions of darkness and irreverence," said Halton. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, is a board member of Ann Arbor Women Artists, and a member of Women's Caucus for Art. Halton's work has been featured at ArtPrize, Ann Arbor Art Center, and the Ann Arbor District Library. For more information, visit

All pieces at Performance Network Theatre are available for viewing during normal business hours (Monday Friday, 10 a.m. 6 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.) and one hour before performances of "Brill" now through Feb. 10.

Tickets for "Brill" can be ordered by calling Performance Network's Box Office at 734-663-0681, online at or at Performance Network Theatre (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48104) Monday Saturday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. or one hour before a performance. Tickets are $24-$41, with discounts available for seniors, members, students and groups.

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