The "Blank Show".
The 4731 artist and gallery space. Grand River Blvd., Detroit.
I am really excited to see this happening in a town that has a negative image problem, and isn’t an easy place for artists, let alone up and coming artists. These guys are ignoring the entire negative, and taking advantage of the pluses that a place like Detroit has to offer. These aren’t event that they hold to just attract their friends, but they have been a draw for many others in the region.
For example, if one wants to put on a show, and has the desire to make it a large event, it is affordable here. There is plenty of warehouse space just begging to hold a show at. These spaces aren’t as regulated, and there is a real sense of freedom and an “anything goes” spirit. Getting ones work sold at times is a bit of a challenge, but there is a real scene starting to emerge here. Andrew Davis, one of my former students, put on a great skateboard deck show this past summer that had 500 people show up for the opening. This is a great turnout for a town like Detroit. He followed that show up by putting on the “Detroit Art Battle” which had as great if not greater turnout. Another former student, Derek Ecker, held a show a couple of weeks after the Art Battle. There is a show coming up this weekend by even another student of mine, Jeff Nolan, which looks to be interesting…
The photos are from a show put on last weekend by another student of mine, Chelsea Kirchoff. She set this show up as the “Blank show”. Each artist was asked to create what he or she felt the world would be incomplete without. Basically the idea was to fill in the blanks. I gave her my spaceman painting to hang, and feel that the world would be incomplete without space-battles.
She put a lot of hard earned money into this show, and rented out a great location for it. I can only imagine how stressful this could have been for her being a student without a lot of $$$. Chelsea did a great job, and made it a great show.
These guys really get it. They realize how to effectively use the Internet to their advantage in getting the word out, and don’t complain about having no “scene”. They are making it happen.
They make me proud to be associated with them.