7 Things to Do This Weekend (Jan. 8-10)

The best art of 2020, plus digital performances by Rufus Wainwright and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
“Poor Butterfly” by Ann Loveland // Photograph courtesy of Lawrence Street Gallery

Best of the Best 2020

All year long, Lawrence Street Gallery has held juried competitions across various artistic media. Now, 10 award-winning artists from throughout 2020 will select samples of their best work — some not previously seen by the public — to show at the gallery’s annual Best of the Best exhibition. Featured artists include Jan Brown, Lawrence Hamilton, Katarzyna Korytowska, Ann Loveland, Roger Meeker, Jordan Morrow, Linda Pelowski, Brenda Beene Shackleford, Steven Tapper, and Lori Zurvalec. This eclectic selection of artwork can also be viewed via the gallery’s website. No cost. Through Jan. 29. Lawrence Street Gallery, 22620 Woodward Ave., Suite A, Ferndale; lawrencestreetgallery.com 

Village Wonderland

Each winter, metro Detroiters visit The Village of Rochester Hills to marvel at its streets, covered in twinkling holiday lights, and its whimsical ice sculptures sprinkled throughout the downtown area. This year is no different, and tonight, you can watch the architects of these snowy showpieces at work. Sculptors from Finesse Ice will bring to life beloved characters from Disney’s Frozen. No cost. Jan. 8. The Village of Rochester Hills, 104 N. Adams Road, Rochester Hills; thevorh.com

Rock ‘N Radio

Genres collide this weekend as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra — America’s fourth oldest — performs some of radio’s greatest hits, from timeless classics to contemporary favorites. Vocal accompaniment will be provided by accomplished vocalists Scott Coulter, Jessica Hendy, and John Boswell. $12. Jan. 8. Digital concert; dso.org

Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright // Photograph courtesy of Matthew Welch

A Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective

 Over the next three months, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will take audiences on a journey through his 20-year musical career from the comfort and safety of their living rooms. For the first of these 18 digital shows, Wainwright will perform the first half of his 2007 album, Release the Stars, tomorrow evening. Wainwright’s most successful album to date, Release the Stars charted in 13 countries and features hit single “Going to a Town.” $20+. Jan. 8-March 26. Digital concert; theark.org

Family Film Favorites

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is putting on a show perfect for the whole family this weekend. Little ones will be thrilled to recognize beloved tunes from popular culture’s favorite lions, mermaids, superheroes, and more. As part of the orchestra’s digital concert series, the performance will stream live this Saturday, at 11:00 a.m. $12. Jan. 9. Digital concert; dso.org

Kristin Anahit Cass
“Brave Words” by Kristin // Photograph courtesy of Kristin Anahit Cass

A Brief History of Urban Planning in Detroit

 Forged by a myriad of factors — such as urban renewal, redlining, the fire of 1805, and settlement by various ethnic groups — the development of Detroit’s physical landscape has been as turbulent, vibrant, and complex as the rest of its history. For one hour this weekend, the Detroit Experience Factory will provide participants a crash course on the events of the 19th century, that would forever shape our great city. $1+ donation. Jan. 10. Virtual tour; detroitexperiencefactory.org

Kristin Anahit Cass exhibits

Last month, the University of Michigan’s Stamelos Gallery Center added two new, permanent exhibitions featuring the work of multimedia artist Kristin Anahit Cass. Her work — which takes the form of photography, video, and writing, as well as sculpture — explores issues of social justice through the lens of her personal and familial experiences as a mixed-ethnicity, female descendent of genocide survivors. Her career as a lawyer provides another unique layer to her perspective on injustice. One of the exhibits, The New Freedom Fighters: Women and Nonviolent Resistance explores the often unrecognized, yet vital role that women play in the defense and survival of their communities. The other, Borderlands Under Fire, reveals the effects of the violence suffered daily by the people of Armenia’s frontier villages, at the hands of the state. No cost. Digital exhibition; library.umd.umich.edu