the evening that changed art at detroit contemporary
A Spring Salon
ICYMI and because the premise for this show is so inspired, I’m sending out an abridged version of the essay I wrote for detroit contemporary on the current exhibition. I’m including images from when I was there Monday, just after the onslaught, for closer inspection if you either didn’t get to the opening or couldn’t see anything due to the crush of humanity.
detroit contemporary’s April exhibitor withdrew at the last minute leaving the gallery idling. In a flash of inspiration, owner Aaron Timlin launched an in person call for art. Anyone from the Detroit area could bring in 3 pieces of their work on April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, install it themselves and would remain on view for the balance of the month. Participating artists would be considered by an anonymous jury for a solo exhibition in 2023.
The call resulted in 49 artists exhibiting works in all mediums installed from floor to ceiling in the detroit contemporary galleries. The artists range from emerging to retired university professors. Friends invited friends. There’s a 91-year-old painter who’s never shown anywhere whose kids secretly delivered pieces and are waiting for the reveal when they bring him to the opening reception and point out his work hanging on the wall. The excitement over this unique call played out like an Art Black Friday with folks lined up to storm the store for their piece of wall and a shot at a solo show.
Now fully installed, entrance into the gallery is met with a visual shockwave of color, texture and imagery. Every inch of every wall is covered with something someone made with passion and care. What’s incredible is it all fits together. Not solely as random pieces in an art show jigsaw puzzle, but with imagination and spirit. Some arrangements even look curated with color and technique complementing each other.
Timlin redefined the platform an artist can have their work considered. The surprise byproduct of this engagement is a displayed microcosm of Detroit’s art population that is far more diverse than what’s generally seen in frequented galleries. This collection of artists is a representation of Detroit itself, declaring themselves in all manner of mediums creating an optical circus that’s a blast to immerse into. Out of a scramble to fill a vacancy in a gallery’s exhibition schedule emerged a spontaneous area-wide collaboration prompting a new way to call for and review art.
On view through April 24th at detroit contemporary 487 W Alexandrine, Detroit
*images are mine. At the point of capture, pieces were identified only by number for jurying purposes.
This post is adapted from the original essay that can be read in full with a list of participating artists HERE
Positively stunned and saddened by the untimely loss of the lovely Paula Zammit. I never met a nicer or more energetically positive person. Her paintings’ stylized, representational compositions focused on a portion of a subject or scene communicating elegance and often capturing a moment of joy. Paula was my Lathrup Village neighbor as much as a colleague. She will be greatly missed.
SHOWS OPEN THIS WEEKEND