Detroit art

Doug Coombe

Carey Gustafson spent hours in her bedroom as a kid, sketching images of rock stars and actors and her favorite pop culture characters. She especially loved drawing Pac-Man and The Monkees and E.T. and Rick Springfield.

Gustafson says back then, she did not have a well-developed sense of identity. But she did have a good sense of humor. Plus she loved rock-n-roll and pop culture, and found plenty of inspiration in music and books and art.

Iggy Pop at the Grande Ballroom, 1968
Leni Sinclair

Leni Sinclair’s camera captured the music scene of Detroit in the ‘60s and ‘70s even as she played a seminal role in the growing countercultural movement in Southeast Michigan.

Sinclair was born in Königsberg,  East Germany, and escaped to West Germany three years before the Berlin Wall was erected. She was 18 when she emigrated to America in 1959, settling with relatives in Detroit. 

Sinclair photographed musicians from John Coltrane and the MC5 to Iggy Pop, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley and many, many more.

She and her then-husband, John Sinclair, helped to found the White Panther Party, later the Rainbow People’s Party. They fought against the Vietnam War and racism, and worked to legalize marijuana and reform the prison system.

Now Sinclair has been named the 2016 Kresge Eminent Artist. She becomes the eighth artist to receive the $50,000 award in recognition of her contributions to the art, culture, and people of Detroit.

Michigan-raised artist Brenda Goodman is happy. That’s because she’s finally getting steady recognition from the art world, after years of rejection. This year Goodman won a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The 72-year-old thinks part of the reason she’s becoming more well-known is because people are sharing her artwork on social media sites, which helps her reach new audiences.

Goodman was born and raised in Detroit and was part of the Cass Corridor art movement in the 1970s. These days, Goodman lives in upstate New York.

wikimedia user InverseHypercube / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Detroit has itself a brand new resident.

Liana Aghajanian is the latest winner for Detroit’s Write A House program.

She was chosen from more than 200 entries and will move into a totally rehabilitated home just north of Hamtramck for a two-year residency.

DIA director retiring after 16-year tenure

Jun 29, 2015
DIA

The director of the Detroit Institute of Arts is retiring after leading the museum for 16 years.

Graham Beal first announced plans to step down from the position back in January. Tuesday will be his last day.

An artist, fabric sculptor and dancer, Nick Cave grew up in central Missouri. In 1989, he got a masters degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills.
PD Rearick

 Nick Cave has come home to Cranbrook.

The artist, fabric sculptor, and dancer grew up in central Missouri.

In 1989, Cave got a master’s degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills.

Mike Blank

After graduating from Michigan State in 2010, Connor McGaffey of Troy couldn't land a full-time job. But, a chance encounter with foam dart guns uncorked a business idea: find an affordable place to let groups come and play with those soft darts.

The green acid-washed chair by Mobel Link.
User: Detroit Design Festival / Facebook

The 4th Annual Detroit Design Festival is taking place this week in the city with over 60 events.

Sam Moschelli is the sponsorship director at the Detroit chapter of the American Institute of Architects – the group putting on an event this Thursday evening at Eastern Market. Moschelli says he believes there are opportunities for both creating new and revitalizing old.

"The golden age of Detroit was in the 1920s and 1930s. We were known as the 'Paris of the Midwest.' People used to come here to study architecture and to understand the buildings of the era. That building stock is some of our most important resources that we have in the region," says Moschelli.

Detroit by Design event producer Rich Rice says the opportunity and energy that the city offers for artists are catching lots of attention internationally. 

"People talk about the arts movements. The older creatives say back in the 1980s in New York .... [Detroit] feels a lot like what was going on there," says Rice

*Listen to our conversation with Sam Moschelli and Rich Rice above.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A new poll shows Michigan voters outside of Detroit approve using state money to support the so-called “Grand Bargain” to bolster City of Detroit retirees’ pensions and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts' collection.

The poll was commissioned by Michigan Radio and its partners in the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

(See DJC partner Bridge Magazine's coverage of the poll here.)

It found almost half of voters outside the city of Detroit support the state government contributing $350 million to help solve some of the sticky issues of the bankruptcy. Forty-nine percent favor the contribution, 34 percent oppose it.

Susan K. Campbell

If you’re walking around Ann Arbor or Detroit these days, you should know:  a total stranger may come up and ask to take your picture.

They’ll snap a few shots. Maybe ask how your day is going.

Then they’ll post it all on Facebook. And hundreds, possibly even thousands of people will see it.

That’s because two photographers – one in each city – are building a growing fan base around these daily street photos.

kellinahandbasket / Flickr

Let’s say you’ve been watching episodes of “Antiques Roadshow,” and now you’re inspired. So you want to find out what that old painting you bought at a garage sale for $5 bucks is really worth.

There’s a place in Detroit where you can do just that and get feedback from experts who are regulars on the TV show. Of course, if you’re in the mood to buy things, you’re also in luck.

Michigan Radio’s Kyle Norris tells us about DuMouchelles, an auction house in Detroit.  

Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

When someone from out of town travels to Detroit, the usual destinations might be the Fox Theater for a concert, or Comerica Park for a Tiger’s game. But how do you explore the city on a deeper level without the double decker busses and big tour companies that many big cities have?

When Hostel Detroit opened its doors in April of 2011, its mission was to give its guests a behind the scenes look of the city and take visitors to places that would otherwise be overlooked.

tashmoodetroit.com

There is beer to be consumed outdoors in Detroit.

Michigan Radio's Ellen Kortesoja provided a sonic document of Detroit's Tashmoo Biergarten.

Listen to Kortesoja's piece in the podcast above.

Stateside: Another side of Detroit

Oct 25, 2012
thedetroiter.com

Few are the photos taken of Detroit that are not of ruins. Scenes of deterioration and decay overpopulate the pages of magazines and journals.

So when someone like John Carlisle emerges, it is a welcome thing.

Carlisle, a Metro Times contributor, writes about and photographs a different side of Detroit and its residents.

He spoke with Cyndy about his book “313: Life in the Motor City,” and the joy he gets from the city.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Sports concussion bills signed

"Youth sports coaches in Michigan will have to immediately take a player out of a game if they suspect a concussion. Governor Rick Snyder signed bills Tuesday that also require the state to provide coaches, players, and parents with training and information on how to protect student athletes from head injuries," Jake Neher reports.

Meningitis update

"Authorities are reporting six deaths and 69 infections in Michigan as part of a national outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to contaminated steroids. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the figures Tuesday. Nationwide, it reports 308 cases and 23 deaths," the AP reports.


Detroit arts scene gets financial boost

"Detroit's arts scene is getting its biggest financial gift in recent memory. The Knight Foundation is investing $20 million in the city's cultural institutions. Half of it goes to big names like the Michigan Opera Theater and the Detroit Institute of Arts. That money will beef up their anemic endowments as they weather the recession. But any local artist or musician can compete for grants totaling $3 million a year," Kate Wells reports.

Dlectricity.com

Mark Schwartz is illuminating Detroit. An organizer of Dlectricity, a contemporary light art festival running Oct. 5-6 in Detroit, Schwartz helped create an event he hopes will engage and stimulate his audience.

Cynthia Canty recently spoke with Schwartz about Dlectricity’s function in both the City of Detroit and the art world at large.

“Part of it is art; part of it is the regeneration of Detroit,” said Schwartz. “I think this will be a way for people to really enjoy Detroit at night and start thinking of this city as a pedestrian village.”

via Facebook

In Detroit, massive population loss has forced people to envision new ways of using space.

Urban gardens have gotten a lot of attention. But there’s also a movement afoot to use art in a similar way.

One group of people has done just that this year with a vacant lot in an industrial corner just north of Detroit’s Midtown area. It’s called the Lincoln Street Art Park.