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Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Rock drummer displays art talent in local gallery

This self portrait by local rock drummer Johnny Photo by What is That Gallery

This self portrait by local rock drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek, is one of several paintings for sale tonight at the the What is That's showing downtown.
Bombadill's

Ypsilanti business hosting paintings, drawings from notable Detroit musician.

By Dan DuChene
Jan. 17, 2009    ·    3:17 a.m.


The What is That Art Gallery downtown is gearing up to host a showing of visual art from a notable metro-Detroit rock musician.

The gallery is kicking of the showing for Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, the drummer from the 1960’s rock band the Detroit Wheels, at 7 p.m. tonight. After the opening, Badanjek’s showing will continue at the gallery until Feb. 17.

Though Badanjek may not be the most notable artist What is That has hosted, co-owner David Austen said Badanjek’s music followers have created a cross-over success for his paintings and drawings.

He said Badanjek is likely the artist with the most name recognition and mainstream appeal his gallery has hosted.

After the Detroit Wheels and its front man, Mitch Ryder, parted ways in the late 1960’s, the band eventually parted ways. Badanjek has since played for other rock acts, such as Alice Cooper, Bob Segar and Edgar Winter.

Though some of Badanjek’s recordings may be played at the event, it will be his paintings and drawings in the spotlight tonight.

“He seems to be applying a bit more of his time to that now,” Austen said.

More than forty pieces are being displayed for the showing, including some work from Jeremy Hensen. A friend of Badanjek, Hensen is the director for River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte. Austen said some of his personal work has been displayed at River’s Edge, and that connection brought Badanjek and his paintings to Ypsilanti.

“They’ve been really gracious about this,” Austen said.

Describing Badanjek’s work as “outside art,” Austen said there are two distinct styles displayed at What is That. He said the works range from very literal narrative pieces to non-representational abstract works. He said there’s something for everyone, with prices ranging from $150 to $8,000.

After the opening ends at 9 p.m., rumors have been circulated that Badanjek may be picking up some drum sticks and playing unannounced at a venue in Ypsilanti.

“If he plays,” Austen’s wife and business partner, Leslie, said, “it will be at the Screaming Eagle.”

This winter marks the beginning of What is That’s second year in operation. Though the Austens aren’t quite sure which specific day marks the business’s anniversary, they do know they’ll be putting on an event to mark the occasion soon.

The couple says showings, like the one starting tonight, bring in a lot of business. However, they said they do get business form general traffic, especially from area residents. Though, the Austens said they have been working hard to attract people from outside the area to their gallery.



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