“I envision myself as a dragon protecting golden eggs in a cave,” says Anya Klapischak.
Klapischak, twenty-five, felt frustrated by the local art scene after earning a BFA from the U-M Stamps School of Art & Design in 2015. So Klapischak, who works as a server at the Ravens Club and Old Town Tavern, founded her own underground art “happening/residency.” It’s called the Hosting, because she hosts the event in her apartment in a house on N. State St.
“Everybody leaves Ann Arbor,” says Klapischak, who grew up in New Jersey and studied inter-arts performance at U-M. “If you’re an artist, and you don’t move to L.A. or New York, a lot of people leave to go to Detroit.
“There’s a big exodus right now. Ann Arbor isn’t cool anymore, because nobody can afford it, which is sad to see. There are a handful of grassroots places like Arbor Vitae and Canterbury House, but otherwise, speaking to my demographic, there isn’t a whole lot going on. For a long time, I thought I’d have to leave here to make my dreams come true.”
But a funny thing happened while Klapischak waited tables: she talked with locals fighting to save historic buildings and served the mayor lunch and generally got to know the townies.
“Only now, looking back, have I realized that these last five years, I’ve been doing the work of making myself part of the community,” says Klapischak. “I don’t think a lot of people who come here to go to school ever get that feeling of belonging. Ann Arbor’s a transitory place, and it always will be, but I finally realized that this is my place.” READ THE REST HERE