Archive for June, 2019

The Zeitgeist Finishes Up: 2007 and 2008

June 30, 2019

Part 2 of 4

In Summer of 2007, the Zeitgeist Collective had reached its ten-year anniversary.  We’d worked hard and were glad that we’d made it.  We didn’t know then that we’d end up closing a year later.

There were are lot of fine events in 2007 including the usual plays, art exhibits and visual jam sessions.  The anniversary events themselves were also a lot of fun and extravagant, in their way.

Notes, written at the time:


ONGOING: The Art Extravaganza and Fun Razor:  This is a A large display of paintings, pottery, sculptures, sketches, and other work for sale by over 30 of the Detroit area’s best artists, including Patrick Dodd, Shaqe Kalaj, Bob Sestok, Gilda Snowden, Maugre, Diana Alva, Vito Valdez, Mary Herbeck Laredo, Ibn Pori Pitts, and many more. Said work will be for sale and priced for both the collector and the fanatic.

July 6, Friday, 7pm to 12am, The 6th Annual Visual Jam Sessions: On an Angle: All Artists and the General Public are invited to paint and draw with us in this one of a kind event where we work together to create new and exciting art.  No solo work will be permitted. Artists! Come out of your caves and your studios and come together to create in attempted cooperative  collaboration! Refreshments served.

July 7, Saturday, 12pm to 5pm Impeachment Trial and Bar-B-Que: Collaborations continue as we expand the mosaic on our back wall.  Food and drinks will be served.

July 13, Friday 7pm to 12am The Improbable Movie Parade: Naked Eye Cinema, Maurice Greenia, Jr. and others dig into their celluloid collections for tonight’s fare, including “Un chien andalou”.  The soundtrack for this event will be provided by an augmented Space Band Collective and plenty of “Special Guests.”

July 14, Saturday 12pm to 5pm Trial Impeachment and Bar-B-Que: The back wall mosaic project meanders, and artists continue to visually jam as long as the paint lasts. Food and drinks will be served.

July 20, Friday 7pm to 12am The Broken Clock Jam Sessions return to the Zeitgeist. Audra Kubat will host this 5-hour cavalcade of musical mayhem. Special guests include (from Atlanta, GA), Gondwanaland, and the Don’t Look Now Jug Band.


July 27, Friday 7pm to 12am The Post-Industrial Comic Jamboree and Pig Roast: Stand up comics, insane puppets, improvisation teams and more compete for the coveted “Bronze Hoof of Hilarity”.  Mike McGettigan and The Fevered Egos host.  Refreshments will be served.

July 28, 12pm to 12am The Zeitgeist Official 10th Anniversary Freak Out  A joyous blend of music, theater, dance, poetry, and art of all stripes, beginning at 12 noon with music and going all day.  Guests include Mick Vranich and K-9, Shoe, Mesko Rants, Donald Baker, The Space Band, Dan Dimaggio, and members of The Abreact Theater Troupe.  Food and drinks served all day long.



The performing and auction stage.

The Zeitgeist had it’s own website but it was lost or removed.  In writing posts about this space, I try to recreate content that was on the original website.  I also try to add things which would have been added had it stayed up.  This post is a description of each day’s scheduled events for our 2007 extravaganza and for our 2008 endings and wrap-ups.  There are also a few photos.  Perhaps anecdotes and more detailed memories of these days will appear here eventually.

Old exhibition signs, getting ready to be auctioned off

The actual closing events took place in October and November of 2008.  I got word that the space was going to close on October 9th.  Most of us knew that this was a possibility, still it was a shock.  We were hoping that we could pull things together and give it another go.  We started to plan and publicize special closing events for November 8 through November 15.

From John Jakary:

It’s time for the current exhibit to come to its foregone conclusion, so come on down on Saturday, November 8th, 2008, 7:00pm – Midnight, for our “Celebration/Commiseration Party” for “The Last Days of 1984”, as well as the “Zeitgeist’s Last Grasps, Endgames, Grand Finale and Soiree”.

We will laugh and dance with joy, or weep unreservedly over the results of the previous Tuesday’s Presidential election, as well as celebrate the Zeitgeist’s 11 year run as Detroit’s premiere Experimentally Avant-Weird Gallery and Artistic Collective as we prepare for our final exeunt from this here gray-green earth. Yes, ladies and gentle men, Zeitgeist is closing next month.

PERFORMANCES for Nov. 8th include, beginning at 8pm, with Eric Mesko, the curator  for “The Last Days of 1984”, who will regale us with one of his signature “rants”, to be followed by puppet mania from Maugrè (who’s exhibit “The 10 Year Anniversary of the Hudson’s Building Demolition” also closes this night), and music from the “Don’t Look Now Jug Band”, “The Space Band”, and Greg Sumner, and plenty of other special surprise guests.

We invite all of the public to come on down and check out, for the very last time, Detroit’s artistic underbelly and give it a nice long rub for good luck. For those of you who truly supported and encouraged us through the years: we thank you whole-heartedly! You know who you are, and we do too. We’re sure we’ll leave a lovely hole in the Detroit Arts Community, and, if we’re all lucky enough, someone will come along and just as lovingly fill it right in.

Also, on Nov. 15, we’ll be holding an “Everything Must Go” auction for any of the art that’s still hanging on our walls.  Come on down, eat, drink, and BUY ART!!  Almost no reasonable offer will be refused.  That’ll be Saturday, Nov. 15, beginning at 7pm.


These photos will enlarge if you click on them and hit the backspace to return to the post.


The audience, November 2008


Michael Dion, helping with the auction


John Jakary and Michael Dion, helping with the auction


Another piece sold, being taken off of the wall


Another piece sold, Ralph Koziarski and James Dozier

Total Sensory Freakout: Detroit’s Zeitgeist Collective, 1997 to 2008

My history of the Zeitgeist Gallery and Performance Venue opened at the library of the University of Detroit Mercy on Monday May 20th. The display will continue through August. Materials include photographs, posters, postcards, original artwork and press clippings. This is my 6th year of exploring Detroit’s creative arts history at the library.

There are five display cases on the wall by the first floor entrance.  The last two, nearer the stairs will be focused largely on the theatre side of the Zeitgeist space.  Also on the first floor, original art will be displayed in the windows of the librarian’s offices.  On the second floor, in the Bargman room, there’s one more case.  It’s a large flat case.

The exhibit includes original artwork by Jacques Karamanoukian, John Elkerr, Roger Hayes, Jim Puntigam, Diana Alva, Gerard Sendrey, Claudine Goux, Sam Mackey, Robert Hyde, Maugré, Jaber, Pascal Hecker, Jean-Joseph Sanfourche, Arnold Dreifuss, Jack Johnson, Michael Loverich, Murray Carter and others.