Who has written about the local art scene in Detroit? The main players have done some interesting work. This is usually centered on their own orientation, interests and participants. The Detroit Institute of Arts and the Universities come to mind here.
Then too, I think the Detroit Focus Gallery and the Detroit Council of the Arts both had quarterly publications. Was Detroit Artist Market’s newsletter a quarterly as well? What about the Scarab Club? Are any of these galleries still doing publications? Some have likely switched to the internet.
In a more grassroots mode, the Alley Culture newsletter comes to mind. Thanks to Sherry Hendrick. I’m sort of a grassroots arts writer myself, in my blogs and in my photo-copied handouts. Another independent of note was Mary Fortuna’s Ground Up art magazine. Bryant Tillman used to do this some too, on the internet. Diane Spodarek and Randy Delbeke published a Detroit Artist’s Monthly in the 1970’s.
Of course, the late Joy Hakanson Colby wrote about local art at the Detroit News for 60 years. Marsha Miro wrote at the Detroit Free Press for quite a while. Sometimes you’d actually get two different reviews for your exhibit, in two different daily papers.
George Tysh, Hobey Echlin, Glen Mannisto, Phaedra Robinson, Nick Sousanis, Manon Meilgaard, Christina Hill and Rebecca Mazzei wrote for the Detroit Metro Times. Robert Del Valle, Natalie Haddad and others wrote for Real Detroit.
Nick Sousanis also did great work at the online magazine the Detroiter. He even reviewed exhibits that no one else was reviewing. Others who’ve written on our local visual arts include Dennis Nawrocki, Ken Mikolowski, James Crawford, Vince Carducci, Ann Gordon, Arwulf Arwulf, Gerry Craig, Rayfield Waller, Dolores Slowinski, Kristin Palm, Keri Guten Cohen and Perry Giovannucci.
Currently there’s Michael H. Hodges at the Detroit News. At the Detroit Metro Times, Lee DeVito. Then there are the blogs and online magazines.
I’m sure there are plenty others that I’m missing or trying to track down. I’ll add them later as I find them.
As for the artists, first there’s the original Cass Corridor/Willis Gallery group. I only knew a few artists from before this time. Only Robert Sestok is still in the thick of it, active and on the scene. Most of the others have left town or seem to be reclusive, keeping a low profile. I’ve met most of them, some wonderful artists.
Here’s a listing. There are plenty of people missing. I can’t quite list hundreds and hundreds of names. These are most of the ones that I’ve known or remember. These people have shown their art in Detroit art galleries, in many cases, for a long time. They’ve been “in the trenches” (so to speak). In some cases, I recall their work better than I do the person. Here goes:
Gordon Newton, Leni Sinclair, Al Loving, Bill Rauhauser, Nancy Pletos, Charles McGee, Brenda Goodman, Gary Mayer, Michael Luchs, Kathryn Brackett Luchs, James Chatelain, Barbara Greene-Mann, Jorg Erichsen, Ed Fraga, Allie McGhee, Carole Alter, Nancy Mitchnick, Ruth Goldfaden, Lowell Boileau, Bruce Luttrell, Nicholas Maffei, Diane Carr, Nick Nagy, John Egner, Betty Brownlee, Tricia Soderberg, Bob Marsh, Sandra Yolles, Victoria Stoll, Stephen Goodfellow, Gilda Snowden, John Piet, Ellen Phelan, Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts, Sue Logan, Mary Meserve, Dave Roberts, Jerome Ferretti, Michael Mikolowski, Marie-Theresa Fernandes, Carl Angevine, Joe Banish, Gary Kulak, Ruth Leonard, Sherry Hendrick, Ann Marie D’Anna, Catherine Peet, Jim Pallas, Sue Trupiano, Miriam Marcus, Brad Iverson, Mary Fortuna, Sergio de Giusti, John Hegarty, Rick Vian, Rachel Reynolds, Bill Bryan, John Benson, Pi Benio, Mark Jones, Jack O. Summers, Sherry Moore, Renata Palubinskas, Dolores Slowinski, Jack Johnson, Rick Lieder. Susan Aaron-Taylor, Kevin Watson, Judith Kunesh, Michelle Gibbs, Bryant Tillman, Alvaro Jurado, Tyree Guyton, Teresa Peterson, Tim Caldwell, Jean Wilson, Shirley Parish, Kathleen Rashid, Valerie Parks, Charles Pompilius, Diane Spodarek, Cyndy Weeks, David Barr, Jim Lutomski, Ralph Rinaldi, Carl Lundgren, Robert Bielat, Azucena Nava-Moreno, Robert Hyde, Karl Schneider, Jim Puntigam, Diana Alva, Eric Mesko, Joan Painter Joans, Irene Will, Vito Valdez, George Graveldinger, John Elkerr, Roger Hayes, Patrick Dodd, M80 aka Michael Dion, Rico Africa, Maureen Maki, Christine Hagedorn, Sam Mackey, Patricia Duff, Bill Sanders, Mark Schwing, Gary Eleinko, S. Kay Young, Peter Williams, Jef Bourgeau, Linda Mendelson, Don Mendelson, Gwen Joy, Graem Whyte, Dennis Pruss, Jo Powers, Cedric Tai, Mel Rosas, Rose DeSloover, Rachel Reed, Deborah Sukenic, Jean Wilson, Marie Tapert, Tom Phardel, Sharon Que, Billy O’bryan, Diana May, Mary Ellen Croci, Mose McCann, Jeanne Poulet, Erica Chappuis, Ronald Warunek, Kyle M. Stone, Pete Palazzola, Matthew Hanna, Sean Bieri, Jerry Vile, Andrew Krieger, Nelson Smith, Niagara, Kevin Joy, Scott Hocking, Taurus Burns, M. Saffell Gardner, Kevin Stanislawski, Angelo Sherman, Douglas Bedard, Dennis Orlowski, Lynn Avadenka, James Dozier, Faina Lerman, Shaque Kalaj, Tim Burke, Andy Malone, Mark Esse, Jocelyn Rainey, Victor Pytko, Marcia Hovland, Monte Martinez, Clinton Snider, Kristin Beaver, Ray Macdonald, Nicole Macdonald, Jeff Karolski, Gretchen Kramp, Mary Potts, Sue Carman Vian, Mark Sengbusch, Simone DeSousa, Michael Segal, Julie Russell Smith, Jennifer Gariepy, Davin Brainard, Clint Anderson, Harold Allen, Phaedra Robinson, Jim Nawara, Tom Humes, Sandra Cardew, Mel Rosas, Christian Tedeschi, Kathy Leisen, Topher Crowder, Chris Turner, Melanie Manos, Julie Sabit, Deb King, Sara Lapinski, Julie Fournier, Matthew Breneau, Renee Dooley, David Clements, Christine Monhollen, Bruce Giffin, Tom Carey, Lisa Poszywak, Ryan Standfest, Marilyn Zimmerman, David Philpot, S. William Schudlich, Mark Arminski, Steve Zatto and I’m sure that I could go on and on and on….
For this post, I’m not really naming those who run the art spaces, unless they’re artists as well. Thanks to these people. Thanks to the collectors, to those people who actually purchase or barter for art.
I’m not really naming most galleries and art spaces here. The ones that made the first section did so because they’ve written about local art.
I’m not naming many street artists, unless they also do gallery art. Many are anonymous, or nearly so. For every piece that I hate or dislike there’s another one that I like or love. I’ve done street art myself, extensively. So do it, but try to do top-notch work, ok?
Thanks to the rest of the audience too, the crowd. Some come around for the free drinks and food. Some come around for “the scene.” Yet many of these people have, or will develop, a genuine appreciation for the art. They try to be supportive as best they can.
Thanks to these as well. A great audience is essential to having a great scene and community, Maybe someday we’ll get there.
In Memory, we’ll always remember you: Gerome Kamrowski, Jacques Karamanoukian, Edgar Yaeger, Ron Allen, Faruq Z. Bey, Mary Herbeck, Mick Vranich, Marty Quiroz, Robin Sommers, Mary Ann Aitken, Kathy Clifford, Paul Schwartz, Gary Grimshaw, Matt Blake, Bradley Jones, Jim Gustafson, Sandy Zenisek, Ann Mikolowski, David Blair, Ray Johnson, George Haessler, Aris Koutroulis, William Girard, Keith Aoki, Brian Buczak, Tony Williams, and others.
More information on the related exhibition July 11 to September 8, 2014:
If you come see this show, note that it’s in two parts. There are a series of showcases when you first walk into the library. Then there are two more showcases far off to the side.