Past Programs

2014 Mr. B’s Joybox Express Mississippi River Road Ride

Artrain produced Mr. B’s Joybox Express Mississippi River Road Ride, an epic 1,840 mile journey along the Mississippi River to spread the joy of music and movement. Internationally recognized jazz and blues musician Mark “Mr. B” Braun dreamed up the idea of the Joybox Express, a 387 lb. piano on wheels, to parade, educate and share the sounds of blues, jazz and boogie-woogie tunes. With the help of Artrain and support of many enthusiasts that’s exactly what he has done! The tour began in Lake Itasca, MN on September 1, 2014 with a rousing kickoff concert by the Mr. B’s Joybox Express Band and concluded in New Orleans, LA on November 14, 2014. Communities along the Mississippi River welcomed Mr. B’s Joybox Express into their schools, streets, homes, businesses, organizations and musical venues. Over the course of the 75 day tour the Mr. B’s Joybox Express performed for a total of 32,276 people; 11,133 at concerts, 1,668 at school programs and 19,475 at spontaneous roadside concerts!

2014 Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan

Artrain produced a photo shoot for nationally known fine art photographer Jennifer Karady in May 2014. The photogragh captured is part of Karady’s series Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan. Karady uses recordings from extensive interviews with soldiers to accompany images that focus on the difficulties with readjusting to civilian life after serving in a war. Expressed in the photo is the experience of Wes Chase, Marine Veteran and then University of Michigan Stamps School of Arts and Design student. Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan exhibited at the Institute for Humanities at the University of Michigan and across the country.

2010-2014 Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity

Infinite Mirror featured 63 multi-media works by culturally diverse artists from across the United States. The central theme of Infinite Mirror was the use of portraiture and figuration as symbols for emotional and social ideas, depicting circumstances and experiences of multicultural populations in present-day America. The artwork was personal, reflective, autobiographical and of a high technical quality, creating an exhibition that was both visually beautiful as well as socially relevant. The exhibition included the work of first generation Americans and emerging new immigrant artists that examined issues and themes of race, gender, religion, history, politics and family. Included were such internationally renowned artists as Luis Jimenez, Tomie Arai, Elizabeth Catlett and Faith Ringgold.

Infinite Mirror was realized through the collective efforts of Artrain, Inc., International Arts & Artists and a group of independent curators: Blake Bradford, director of education, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia; Robert Lee, executive director, Asian American Arts Center, New York; and Benito Huerta, associate professor & director, University of Texas at Arlington Gallery.

2004 – 2007 Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture

In 2006 Native Views was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as an American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of American Genius project.

Native Views was a contemporary Native American art exhibition comprised of 70 artworks by 53 Native American artists. Native Views explored the influence of popular culture and the many commonalties shared by all Americans. Visitors discovered the richness, complexity and breadth of contemporary Native American art while examining varying perspectives on society. Guest curator, Joanna Bigfeather (Western Cherokee and Mescalero Apache) redefined Native art by broadening the limits and confronting the stereotypes that currently define it. Comprised entirely of contemporary artwork by Native American artists, Native Views had three sub-themes: Universal and Related Influences: Popular Culture; Native Knowledge: Science, Land, and Wisdom; and Modernity of Cultures: Technology. Artists included Pat Courtney Gold, Roxanne Swentzell, Curtis Benally, Jean LaMar, , Allan Michelson, Shelly Niro, Diego Romero, Kay Walkingstick, James Lavadour, Melody Printup Hope , Anthony Deiter, Norman Akers, and Gerald Clark.

Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan, 2014

Artrain produced a photo shoot for nationally known fine art photographer Jennifer Karady in May 2014. The photogragh captured is part of Karady’s series Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan. Karady uses recordings from extensive interviews with soldiers to accompany images that focus on the difficulties with readjusting to civilian life after serving in a war.
Expressed in the photo is the experience of Wes Chase, Marine Veteran and then University of Michigan Stamps School of Arts and Design student. Soldiers’ Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan exhibited at the Institute for Humanities at the University of Michigan and across the country.