Art Detroit Now - Reviews by Derek Ecker
Art Detroit Now: Alive and Kicking
MCB Artist Contributor - Derek Ecker
Being an up and coming artist in the Detroit area you constantly hear how little Motown has to offer the art community. Artist and art enthusiast alike always talk up major gallery epicenters like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago; but never really give Detroit the respect it deserves. Our city has a certain gritty charm and the art of our area reflects that. The Art Detroit Now gallery crawl organized by Marc Schwartz proved that the gallery scene in Detroit is definitely alive and kicking. In the gallery crawl boasting over 100 galleries and 1000 artists, I had the honor of networking with artists, gallery owners, and collectors experiencing the spirit of Detroit art first hand. Here are just a few of the galleries that I grew to love at the Art Detroit Now gallery crawl.
2661 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48216
Tucked away in corktown lies this spectacular gallery space, which has been a part of Detroit’s gallery scene since 1997. The thing that separates this space from other galleries within the city is the permanent bar adjoined to the gallery, so you can get your drink on and get cultured at the same time. The space featured artists Joan Painter Jones and M80’s show titled “Spontaneous Combustion”. The show consisted of a works created through the juxtaposition of assembled found objects, paint, and sculpture. I found the pieces very intriguing in their execution of recycled materials within the artists’ work. The show reminded me in some ways of the Heidleberg Project in Detroit by artist Tyree Guyton. When speaking to the artist M80 about his process and art in general, he spoke about how any artist can create art on a blank surface; but there is something special about making pieces of art from materials that in many cases would be considered junk or garbage.
Izzy’s Raw Art Gallery
2572 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48216
Another Corktown gem is this gallery, which incorporates a sweet mix of exposed artist workspace complimented with a hip urban layout that functions as their gallery space. The owners of this gallery Karl Schneider and Cathy Saman take pride in their galleries mission statement: “To promote an outlet for artists who are pushing the boundaries and to make these visions accessible to the public.” I feel that this space is a great spot for emerging and established artists to get their artwork out to the public, and for collectors to go in search of great works of art on a Motorcity budget. The gallery features openings every other month featuring new artwork by local, national, and international artists. Openings include live entertainment by local musicians, poets, and performers.
5141 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48208
The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit for The Art Detroit Now gallery crawl had openings of their four galleries throughout the metro area. Criticized for spreading themselves to thin throughout the Detroit gallery scene, the CAID is definitely an integral part of Detroit’s art scene. CAID gallery offered free shuttle services to all their galleries throughout the city. My personal favorite was the MassiV gallery located at the Russell Industrial Center. The space featured an intense installation that definitely left a lasting impression on me. One of the pieces featured two heavyset men sharing skateboard while the song “Just The Two of Us” played in the background. It was definitely a memorable installation, however I couldn’t find any information regarding whom the artist was that was responsible for the work. Regardless I encourage you to go out and see the new MazziV gallery at The Russell Industrial Center, because as I said before it’s definitely an experience. Not to mention that The Russell Industrial Center has become somewhat of the hot spot of art in Detroit at the moment.
4454 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is always an interesting experience. The museum is a nice addition to Detroit's art movement. The building is huge 22,000 square foot, a former auto dealership, which has been renovated to maintain its historic character. With massive raw open spaces, the building is ideal for exhibition. There is always great live music, a diverse crowd of eccentric artist, socialites, collectors and musicians. I have to be honest, I rarely find myself connecting with a lot of the art I typically see displayed at the space. However I cannot deny that I always end up having a great time when I visit MOCAD and always leave intrigued as to what is going to be next.