Tag Archives: Dawoud Bey

Around Town and@the DIA – ART X Detroit, Rust Belt to Artist Belt and Detroit Revealed exhibition announced at the DIA

Southeast from Roof, Michigan Central, 2009, Scott Hocking © Scott Hocking, 2011

Recent photographs of Detroit will be the subject of an exhibition to open October 16, 2011, in the Albert and Peggy De Salle Gallery of Photography at the DIA. Featuring the work of Detroit-based and international artists, Detroit Revealed: Photographs 2000-2010 examines the challenges and dramatic visual transformation that came to characterize the city in the first decade of a new century and millennium that mark the post-industrial era of Detroit. Related programming is in the works and soon to be announced. In addition to photographs, the exhibition will feature video work by Dawoud Bey and Ari Marcopoulos.

Two artists representing a new generation of photography in Detroit –  Scott Hocking and 2009 Kresge fellow Corine Vermeulen – will contribute their vision of the city to Detroit Revealed. The two artists will also take part in upcoming city-wide ART X Detroit events this week – Corine’s photographs will be on view at MOCAD with other Kresge grantees in the ART X Detroit exhibition opening Wednesday, April 6. And Scott recently opened a solo exhibition at Hamtramck’s Public Pool and will join the panel discussion The Art of the Commons: A Discussion About Contemporary Art in Detroit” at an ART X Detroit related event to take place at the College for Creative Studies (CCS) on Friday, April 8 at 6 p.m.

Other goings on around town will prove to be a full slate of art-related events this week including the first ever local conference devoted to creative communities and urban development and renewal in Detroit and elsewhere. Hosted by my alma mater, the College for Creative Studies, the Rust Belt to Artists Belt conference will feature a line up of local and national influential voices on city development and the role of artists. If you are looking to hear a photographer’s perspective, check out Minneapolis-based artist Wing Young Huie who will contribute to the April 7 panel “Proving Ground Experiments in and with the Public Realm, and their relationship to the post-industrial environment.”

ART X Detroit events from April 6-10 feature city wide performances, discussions and exhibitions featuring appearances by recent Kresge Foundation fellows at museums, colleges and other sites around town.  Artists, writers and performers will be on hand to present their work and discuss their relationship to Detroit as an environment for creativity.

Of particular note, and for those interested in photographs of Detroit, is a Saturday, April 9 panel discussion entitled Chronicling a City in Change. Moderator and Team Detroit mogul Toby Barlow will join forces with local photographers and Detroit’s most respected art critic Vince Carducci (I may be partial to Vince knowing he regularly visits photo exhibitions at the DIA with his CCS students!). One notable young photographer Sean Doer will be on hand as well – if you don’t know Sean, his work graces the pages of a recent publication Lost Detroit.

The DIA will get in on the Art X Detroit action this Saturday, April 9, with a full day of events devoted to the pursuits of Kresge fellows. One of many highlights is a program with nationally acclaimed writer Luis Aguilar on Saturday evening when he presents The Troublemakers: The True, Epic Story of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Depression Detroit, with readings, historic images and original music composed and performed by Jessica Hernandez.

Going on as well this Saturday, in what may well be the big photo event of the spring, is the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography (DCCP) exhibition Artists Choice: Photographic Works by Michigan Artists which will open in their new digs at the Russell Industrial Center. DCCP Founding Director Kyohei Abe mentioned the current space is temporary until renovations are complete on another space at the Russell. Kyohei will be present as well at the DIA for the upcoming panel discussion Perspectives on Photography – Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m.

Students Shine in Focus Hope Photo Exhibition

Photography has been a way for Detroit-area teens to express themselves in the amazing program Annette Vanover has fostered at Focus Hope over the years. With the help of a grant from the Skillman Foundation, Vanover launched a three-year hands on photography curriculum in 2006. Recently, 21 students comprised the first graduating class from the organization’s EXCEL program.  The students’ work is now on view in at the Focus Hope Gallery  through March 27, 2009.

I first got to know Annette while working with Chicago-based artist Dawoud Bey (who, incidentally, launched his own blog site this year – whatsgoingon-dawoudbeysblog.blogspot.com) on a DIA-sponsored residency project at southwest Detroit’s Chadsey High School in 2003-04. Her understanding of the arts, particularly photography, as a tool for a young individual’s development of self-awareness and insights to those around them was, and continues to be, an inspiration. 

Portraits of Chadsey High School students by Dawoud Bey, 2003 (photo by Eric Wheeler for the DIA).

Portraits of Chadsey High School students by Dawoud Bey, 2003 (photo by Eric Wheeler for the DIA).

Annette and other committed individuals like Terry Blackhawk director at InsideOut, a literary arts program active in Detroit public schools, have stayed strong and active even through tough economic times here in the city. For location & hours on the Focus Hope exhibition and more information, see www.focushope.edu & www.insideoutdetroit.org