Saturday, April 30, 2005

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Why is it that reading art reviews puts me to sleep sometimes?  I am always up for art criticism but when my monthly Art in America magazine arrives is like a bad homework assignment that I have to read? 

art chicago

Well, you still have a couple days to make it to Art Chicago in the Park....but if you can't fit it into your busy schedule then check out this article to check the gossip you missed.

Art Chicago 2005
"A rechristened and reconfigured Art Chicago in the Park opened Apr. 29-May 2, 2005, in a 75,000-square-foot tent erected on Butler Field behind the Art Institute of Chicago. Of the 94 exhibitors, 71 come from the U.S. and 23 from overseas -- mostly Korea, Spain and Canada. Of the 23 Chicago galleries, seven are new to the show and one has returned after a ten-year absence. But 17 galleries who participated in 2004 are not here -- and they include some heavy hitters: Bodybuilder & Sportsman, Richard Gray, Carl Hammer, Rhona Hoffman, Monique Meloche, Peter Miller and Zolla/Lieberman among them....." too read more go to

Friday, April 29, 2005

Saturday night fashion show


Event Date: April 30th, 2005

Doors Open at 7:00pm

Show Starts at 8:15pm

Location: 4731 Gallery
4731 Grand River
Detroit, MI 48208
Phone: (313) 894-4731

Map To 4731

Thursday, April 28, 2005

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Guerrilla Art Group Mocks Exclusive LA Enclaves

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In a city where fame is an industry and privacy is a mark of privilege, guerrilla artists have erected mock guard towers to protest what they see as a disturbing proliferation of gated communities.

the fall of painting

There is an interesting article on on the decline of contemporary painting. I think that artists these days are more concerned with the "shock value" than anything else. It is great to have artists pushing limits and trying new things but I still get cravings for just a nice painterly painting.

The Decline and Fall of Painting
by Charlie Finch
"It’s a paradoxical truism that, in an era with more art-world energy, action and money in play than ever, bad derivative painting is everywhere...."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

blog crazy

Writers, artists, and gallery directors are not the only ones jumping on the blogging craze. Apparently museums have jumped on the bandwagon.

"The latest trend is that gallerists and museums are starting blogs. Last week we mentioned the Walker Art Center's blog, which has gone silent since the museum opened. This week the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh just started a blog too." -

Now I will pose a long awaited question to you: Is there anyone out there and do you find this blog a useful resource for Detroit art events and criticism?

meadow brook senior show

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Meadow Brook Art Gallery

Senior Thesis Studio Art Exhibit

April 22- May 22, 2005   Tue-Sun 12-5pm



high school with money

Check out the recent "Diary" entry by Jerry Saltz in

"The art world is like high school with money. These hyped-up days, that school seems to have morphed into the one on Beverly Hills 90210. It even has what might be called its own paper: the gossipy Diary section of Although the regular Artforum remains rigorous and the diary entries from other cities aren't as overheated, the gushy New York items read like the Us magazine of art criticism, regularly reporting the flings and bling of an insular group of art worlders who regularly mingle with and applaud one another. I love the art world and the social life it generates. We all spend huge amounts of time alone, so going out is a way to avoid going insane. Yet the Diary can make you think that the same 55 people are bounding from bash to bash like some giant high-fashion molecule......

The parties and Diary may be only background radiation, yet combined with the crazed tenor of things, they're adding to a collective frustration, notably at the lower end of the food chain. These days it's not unusual for grad students to fret if a dealer hasn't picked them up yet, or for people still in school to already be making tens of thousands of dollars off their work while their critic-teacher is making next to nothing."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Sight For Sore Eyes?

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It seems that someone else has taken notice to Phaedra Robinson's show at Meadowbrook.  A review of her show and panel discussion is critiqued in a Metro Times article.  I was somewhat surprised by the unfavorable review being that Robinson writes for Metro Times. I started to think that maybe I missed the point of her show and that "art" was now over my head. I have spoken with many other Detroit artists who were also left questioning the visual message of her solo show. Another question is how did she get a solo show at Meadowbrook??

Cy is gay?

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 Lee Siegal, Slate's art critic reviews Cy Twombly's exhibition (50 years of works on paper) at the Whitney Museum:


'You cannot fully understand Twombly's art unless you know that he is gay.  It's often fatuous to reduce an artist to his or her sexuality, but Twombly is working in a tradition that associates homosexuality with an ideal human freedom.  This tradition strives for an art unfettered by purpose, function, or meaning.  You find such a style in Frank O'Hara's casual aimlessness and in John Ashbery's aimless obscurity - both poets think in the strokes of a subtle crayon......"


So I guess if an artist has playful, doodles of lines and pictures he or she must be gay?  This review seems absurd and out of nowhere!  I see no correlation between being gay and Twombly's work, unless it is used in the old fashion context of oh, how gay it is to draw with such vigor!

Monday, April 25, 2005

LYNDA BENGLIS at susanne hillberry

Lynda Benglis at Susanne Hillberry through 18 june

These twisted, origami explosions are quite deceiving to the eyes.  What looks like light copper foil is really solid bronze.  The pieces are heavy, huge wall sculptures with an enormous price tag.  Let's just say you could buy one of these or a fancy car or small house!   
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The bronze sculptures had the most presence and the way the light hit the ruffles was nice...but just nice not amazing. The eye trick of materials was the most enticing but still not enough for me to want to live with one.
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Some reminded me of splatter-painted twist ties of the eighties!
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And others were soft tied-up intestines with more splatter paint.
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The show as a whole was nicely displayed and a variety of materials kept it interesting.  But I would also like to say that  because Susanne has a beautiful space that some works of art just look "nice" because of the large, gorgeous gallery.  I sometimes think that I am impressed by the shows there because I am supposed to be.  Maybe any artist's work would look serious there.  If you drive a fancy car and live in a big house you must be rich and successful?  And if you show at a well respected galleries and have shows in New York you must be a great artist? Or maybe not....

Saturday, April 23, 2005

cranbrook opening

If you didn't make it out to cranbrook last night the opening was packed!!  I recommend that you definitely check it out.....and if you went last night go again so you can actually see the work! Even if you scoff at art openings or cranbrook this is worth your time.  There is something for everyone here!  I was able to take some preview pictures but it was hard because of the packs of viewers. Enjoy....and see it for yourself!

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Interesting design: desk/bed

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There was a fashion show too!  Too bad it was cold!!
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And the after party for the students was packed also!  Everyone had a great time and danced the night away.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


16 April - 28 May 2005


Leopold Foulem

Thomas Rapai

Albert G. Richards

Sarah Wagner




There is a certain familiarity to the collection.  A likeliness to a grandmother's relics but with a fuzzy remembrance.  The ornate and sometimes decorated personal items have a new take on the past.  "It is a lot about memory," reveals Revolution Gallery's assistant director.   From the super sized birds, ceramic dishes, ruffled drapery, and floral prints, SO BEAUTIFUL is a thought provoking group exhibition. 

Although the items are not grandmother's old collectables, the works of art blend together an art viewing that allows for a dissection as a whole as well as singly.  Some pieces stand on their own while others set the background to the scene.  The show is essentially about evoking the feeling of the object.

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Lightly draped fabric pools into leaves and soft puddles of sculpted cloth.  Sarah Wagner (Oakland, CA) arranges the pieces to fall from the corner of a wall or mysteriously from the ceiling.  White or black in color the simplicity is properly displayed against the bird background and florid bowls.  The delicate nature of the ruffled leaves unfold to the floor and reveal the precision to which they were created.  She is inspired by plants such as prairie coneflower and California poppy.

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Immediately entering the gallery, the viewer is confronted with large oil paintings of birds.  Yes, giant colorful birds.  There is no avoiding the bold, somewhat strange subject matter of artist Thomas Rapai (Ann Arbor).  His paintings remain fresh yet structured, colorful yet specific to a color palette, gestural yet refined, cartoon-like yet serious and playful yet menacing.  The birds ask for more than a quick glance.  The painterly strokes fill the center of the canvas leaving a white negative space around the subjects allowing a resting point for the eye.  Some frolic about while others like a robin with an oversized "brain" have an attack- of- the- birds- movie feel.  With the delicate ceramic and soft sculpture the paintings stand out as key pieces of an Audubon-like collection.  Maybe paired with other pieces the paintings may take on a different life, but for now the birds are a nice reminder of spring. 

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Colorful ceramic bowls sit on shelves like fancy candy jars not to be touched.  It is funny how in a gallery environment they are seen completely differently than if they were at home on the counter or in a china cabinet.  They now have a preciousness to them that may not have existed otherwise.  Within the context of the show they contribute to the decorative, delicate theme but as for on their own they might be lost in the spaciousness of the gallery.  The artist Leopold Foulem (Montreal) brings to mind museum display, 18th century Chinese ceramics and engages in abstraction and memory filled narratives.

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Along the back wall (not pictured) is a line of black and white prints that are made using a technique called radiography.  Albert G. Richard teaches radiography at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.   The detailed value studies are of curving flowers and organic pieces of plant and nature.  It is an x-ray view into the meticulous shapes and values of nature.  The prints mimic the ceramic bowls' decorative level, leaving less for thought and underlying intent than beauty. 


SO BEAUTIFUL is the perfect spring show.  The show was currated during one of Michigan's last terrible blizzards.  The show came out as an "emotional need" for something light, fresh and memorable. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Thursday Lecture

The CCS Woodward Lecture Series Spring 2005 season closes tomorrow night
Thursday, April 21 at 7:30pm: Lynda Benglis, sculptor
CCS's Woodward Lecture Series presents the internationally renowned
artist Lynda Benglis, whose sculptural explorations have been called
expressionist, feminist, exhibitionist, pop, funk, minimalist and
post-minimalist. Benglis has also worked extensively in video and has
experimented with printmaking, cast paper, painting, drawing and
ceramics. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Susanne Hilberry Gallery,
which will open an exhibition of Ms. Benglis' work on Friday evening,
April 22 from 6-8pm. This exhibition will run through June 18.
Seating is limited. This lecture will take place in the Wendell W.
Anderson Jr. Auditorium inside the Walter B. Ford II Building, at the
corner of John R. and Frederick Douglass streets on the CCS campus. Free
parking is available in the CCS parking structure, located on Brush
Street, just north of Frederick Douglass.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Cranbrook Graduate Show Friday

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Opening reception Friday April 22 6-8 pm. Click here for details.

Monday, April 18, 2005

"there is nothing deep about depression"

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"What if Prozac had been available in van Gogh's time? Might a use of medication deprive us of insight about our condition?" These questions were addressed by Peter Kramer in his recent New York Times Magazine article.  The article goes on to consider the notion of eliminating depression though the use of medication.  Doctors agree that depression is a disease, yet to rid the planet of depression might raise some red flags.  Some think that depression is associated with "perceptiveness, interpersonal sensitivity and other virtues".  Kramer also asks the question, "What sort of art would be meaningful or moving in a society free of depression?"

I don't believe that there is a right answer to this question.  Depression can affect people differently and on different levels.  For some the disease can take over and is chemical while others are drawn to a tragic lifestyle.  Like the article mentions, depression is an "innocent suffering" that can attract attention and seem very romantic.   A friend of mine once said to me that sometimes life just gets stagnant and a little drama and self torment can shake things up.  Using art as a relief for artists struggling with the blues can make for some of the best expressionist works of art. Or do we just feel that it is the best work because of the struggle that took place to create it? Viewers can also identify with expressive art because it is that same romantic notion of sympathizing for the maker.  Should we examine the relationship to self pain and the works of art that are created?  Can strong art arise from a happy, positive outlook?  I am positive that it can but it is strange to think about art created by a happy population and the topics that would be addressed.


worst mayor ever

Just in case you needed any offical support of Kwame's lack of leadership, he just made the Time's worst mayor list!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

do art critics still matter?

Check out this article in the Art Newspaper about art critics.

art writers? anyone?

It is hard to pin point the root of the slow art economy. Sure blame Michigan's highest rate of unemployment or the lack of art funding in Detroit. Blame Kwame. Blame those suburban rich folks who jet set to NY and LA to buy art instead of supporting their home grown artists. Blame the lack of art critism? Yes, let's look at the lack of art writing in the detroit community. Ok, so metro times has broadened there art writing and Joe Bernard did get mentioned in the back of Art in America's reviews, but where is art critism in the free press? Maybe if there was more art review people would start to see detroit as a "cool art city" and maybe venture out of their fancy townhouses to check out this art scene that is worth writing about.

the big night

I am sure after attending Detroit openings you may ask yourself this question: why should I go to art openings? Boozy artists and art seers browse around a humid space while the only art they look at is the other people there. I think that everyone is guilty of sometimes paying more attention to the scene and less to the art. If opening night distractions are not your cup of tea I recommend going to art exhibitions after the opening night to really view the work in depth.
So, now you have gotten past the big to-do-opening jitters and you are still asking yourself the same question. The number one answer should be to support the Detroit art scene even if the art is sometimes less than satisfactory. It is also been said to me that you should attend for the potential to be wowed. Sometimes ten bad shows are worth one good one. Last night I experienced that surprise at Revolution. I am always a sucker for a fresh, odd painting. The key to attending openings is that it may also start a chain letter effect. The more people going out to view art means more art networking and art relationships made.

Lemberg gallery

A new exhibition at Lemberg Gallery in Ferndale features "A Decade" of artist Suzanne Caporael's work.  The show includes examples of ten years' exploration of subjects including the periodic table, the elements of pigment, ice melts and tide waters and concludes with new work.

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Immediately after entering the gallery, the viewer is bombarded with warm, fuzzy colors of spring.  The palette leans toward avocado greens, oranges, and slate grey.  The decade of work circles the gallery and includes a range from sculpture, drawings, oil paintings, and watercolors.  The minimal work has a haziness about, where the pigment appears to float on the surface. 

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The colors and brushstrokes remind me of using the "spray paint tool" in photoshop.  The surface of this painting is plastic-like yet still on linen.  She is able to create foggy color fields that are like happy-color-explosions.  Her work explores scientific formulas in a playful visually pleasing nature.  Even if you didn't know that she was trying to de-code elements of nature you would still be pleased.
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The "books" are like puzzle pieces of her paintings.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

MONA opening tonight!

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going dutch

new photography from the Netherlands

@ the museum of new art


artists' reception : 16 April, Saturday 7-10pm


regular hours: 12-6pm Thursday through Saturday

MONA is located at 7 N. Saginaw, Pontiac



Friday, April 15, 2005

Center Gallery show to check out

There is an interesting show to check out at Center Gallery at CCS.  The exhibit is called "Threefold" thus the 3 participating artists Matthew Hanna, Megan Parry, and Christian Tedeschi.  The show is up till April 30.
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A bit Stella-like.....I argued with another viewer about the non-tradional shape of the canvas.  Apparently there was no agreement, so a painting teacher at CCS stepped in.  I think that if an artist is using a "shaped canvas" the artist has to be aware that the shape is saying something. The shape cannot be an after thought.   But I guess artists can do anything they want so I think the arguement is at a truce?
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To me this looks like a wonderful lighted cake!!  Maybe it was just the food table that inspired me..hahah.....
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More box-like-found-object-relics that for me bordered on decorative.
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I had to take a picture of the food at the opening!  This was only the half of it!  I enjoyed this "work of art"! mmmmmm....

For those who missed Katz

It has been said that anyone can learn to draw but an artist is able to capture the spark that the average person leaves behind. An artist gives life to a drawing. If there was one key to Alex Katz’s accurate painting skills it is his extensive drawing training. While Katz talked about his upbringing and love for his sometimes strange, loving parents, slides of his work through the years flashed on the screen. Katz recalled his youth and his interest in art at an early age. As a boy Katz befriended another boy who was interested in graphic design and would go together on painting field trips. It was his dad who told him that he would be a “fine artist” after seeing his paintings at an early age. Katz took a drawing course before college that taught the precise nature of drawing that hailed exactness over time and feeling. It was these early drawing skills that allow Katz to block in his paintings with such accuracy. While in college, he realized that he needed to learn how to draw faster so Katz carried a sketch book with him wherever he went. Nowadays, Katz uses a charcoal drawing that is transferred to the canvas to begin his work, along with pre-mixed paints and carefully laid out brushes. He definitely is a tight painter who has learned a method which works for him. In between the examinations his nature was lighthearted and he didn’t take himself too seriously. Katz admits, “I am a sucker for a pretty face!”

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Don't forget

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Don't forget tonight at 7:30pm, Alex Katz to speak at CCS Auditorium

Glass opening

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In celebration of glass month, Axiom Glass studio is opening its doors to the public.  Artists Andrew Madvin, Kevin Carlin, and Holly Addis will be exhibiting new works and holding hot glass blowing demonstrations.

Opening night: Friday April 15, 7pm - late.  Art, music and drinks served.

Open studio and glass demos Sat. and Sun. April 16 and 17 from 11am-4pm.

Studio:  1604 Clay Ave.   5th floor- Russell Industrial  Detroit MI  48067


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Kwame Komedy

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This was in the free press today. Oh, Kwame, cutting the funding to all the arts and Detroit entertainment is a great idea!  I am sure people will want to come spend their money in Detroit then......hahahahhaha....

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What not to do in art today.......


Fabio Fernandez
Dick Goody
Mary Herbeck
Phaedra Robinson
Gilda Snowden

The funny thing about art discussions is that they always pose more questions than they answer. It is like discussing religion. Everyone has their beliefs and in this case it was the rules of art. The panel discussion was held in the Meadowbrook Gallery hung with Phaedra Robinson’s show Communicable Consumption in the background.
Robinson opened and led the discussion. It was hard to focus on Robinson’s overtly wordy descriptions of the means of her art. If you are looking for a complete review I would recommend reading The idea of communication is bombarded over and over with written text, found objects and swirling lines in drawings and sculpture. Sometimes in communication less is more. I understand the meaning being put out there but for me art has to stand visually on its own. The varied material was distracting and the use of color and basic design principals seemed overlooked at times.
Dick Goody began with saying that Detroit is “quite significant” in terms of other cities and their art consumption. Goody then proceeded to list his likes and dislikes as if he was suddenly on a dating show. His personal dislikes in painting included: narrative theme, literal, overly sentimental, narrative realism, and gestures. His likes included: ambiguity, color, portrait realism, diptychs, and schematic elements. He also makes a good point that for those who don’t like contemporary art, don’t understand the language.
Gilda Snowden, teacher at CCS and artist, reveals that she teaches with no rules. She enforces rules on herself though. She must paint from subject matter. Her recent series comes from poetry phrases and also her beloved movement of abstract expressionism. Her likes include works that are least like her work, narratives that make her laugh, and minimalism.
Sculptor, Mary Herbeck makes vessel-like sculpture. Her preference is of metal and earthy materials. Her only rule is to make art for herself first. There is compulsiveness about her work and she is interested in form and object making.
Fabio Fernandez is currently curator at Cranbrook and a working artist. While he started out with a business degree he switched to art for his masters, which he completed at Cranbrook. Fernandez works with words and the hidden jargoned meanings. His craftsmanship shows through on his crisp, wood puzzle pieces of text. He also poked fun with an installation called, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover which consisted of 50 different colored suitcases stacked on shelves.
The discussion of course ended with more panel questions that rehashed the idea of what the rules are. Every artist has an outline for which they go by. For some, what not to do is exactly what should be done. Art is a silly thing that gets a lot of people heated. A good discussion is always good for getting the heart pumping.

Alex Katz lecture

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This Thursday, April 14 at 7:30pm: Alex Katz, painter

CCS's Woodward Lecture Series welcomes Katz, one of the most important American artists to have emerged since 1950. Throughout his long career, Katz has produced a remarkable and impressive body of work, including portraits and landscapes, in his own distinct brand of modern realism combining aspects of abstraction and representation. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Susanne Hilberry Gallery.
Seating is limited for all lectures.
The Wendell W. Anderson Jr. Auditorium is inside the Walter B. Ford II Building, at the corner of John R. and Frederick Douglass streets on the CCS campus. Free parking is available in the CCS parking structure, located on Brush Street, just north of Frederick Douglass.

take your flavorpill

Image getting a weekly email newsletter/link message pertaining to music, art, fashion, and books that kept you in touch with the current happenings and art news of the big cities like NY,LA,San Francisco, Chicago, and London.

Besides it's NY publication, Flavorpill turns out weekly emails to those who sign up...a totally free service where all the information you give is your email address.
You can also sign up for your selected area of interest if you want to narrow your information. Flavorpill's audience reaches 180,000 people and now has sponsors that include Diesel and Sony. Not bad for a couple of founders who's primary concern is to feature fast reading of culture related events and reviews that are written by a group that actually like to go out and do things.

Panel discussion at Meadowbrook tonight

At Meadowbrook Art Gallery

Panel discussion
"What Not To Do In Art Today"
Tuesday, April 12 at 7:00pm

Fabio Fernandez
Dick Goody
Mary Herbeck
Phaedra Robinson
Gilda Snowden

Fashion at the Ford

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March 4-July 13, 2005

Fashion is a reciprocal.  Fresh off the fall runways are a look back at history's past trends and patterns.  Currently designers pull from past decades to influence their collections.  Even if you aren't one of fashion's elite, I am sure you can sense a bit of the 80's making a comeback.  A new exhibit which may normally go unnoticed is at The Henry Ford Museum.  This show features Elizabeth Firestone's vast collection of couture clothing and gowns. Mrs. Firestone is none other than the wife of Harvey Firestone, of Firestone Tires and Rubber.  Check it out at The Henry Ford Museum.


Enter the world of high fashion and sophisticated style as you explore fifty dresses and two hundred accessories from one of America's best dressed women, Elizabeth Parke Firestone. Showcasing the amazing design mastery of such fashion designers as Christian Dior,

Cristobal Balenciaga, Peggy Hoyt and Carrie Munn-it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view this never before exhibited collection.


Prior to her death, Mrs. Firestone and her family realized that the clothing she owned offered a rich and sweeping view of fashion history to future generations, and a large segment of her wardrobe was donated to The Henry Ford. Today that collection includes over 1,000 dresses, shoes, gloves and other accessories, from early home-sewn creations including her wedding dress to custom-made American and European designer fashions. Each dress is truly a work of art--crafted by inventive couturiers for a patron who not only collaborated on the result, but well understood the contribution each made to the life of her family and the society of the day. Don't miss this showcase of her dynamic high-style fashions on exhibit in Henry Ford Museum.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


If you are interested in more info about the aquarium closing and the mayor's mistakes read this.

lots to see....

Just when you thought there was nothing to do in this city, detroit proves you wrong with another action packed night of openings!!
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District Arts was packed with people checking out the glass show, also featuring assemblage artist Peterson. A rope tied sculpture (Paul Runde) of glass can be seen through the window at a distance. This piece is an eye grabber and looks like clusters of fruit or candy. Once up close, the preciousness of the glass tasseled together is quite a contradiction of how glass should normally be shown, which makes for a visually and conceptually complex piece.
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The sunset on the glass...
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CAID offered an exciting opening of art that you were encouraged to sit on! From metal chairs recliners to melting ice sculpture chairs....these chairs were typical Cranbrook sheik. Concept, concept, concept.....
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The trendy opening was the "place to be" and had a broad mix of artists, collectors, writers and art enthusiasts. With the interactive opening and spinning dj, it was good to see CAID up and running again.
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555 had a salon style photography show as well. The show also well attended, was more on the "student level". It was hard to get into all of the photos because of the nature of the large space and many artists showing. The photography all seemed similar and no one piece or artist stood out.
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I have noticed the potential of 555 but for now the openings seem short of their intent. Too much to focus on. With a little editing and some limits being pushed, the show would have come together.

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Unexpectedly a new gallery was open late. 101up Gallery is a new gallery run by former CCS students Greg Frederick and Mark Sengbusch. The gallery at 10:30pm had all the lights on and an open sign!! With a little ring of the door bell, you are immediately greeted and let into the freshly remodeled space. "The Second Show" featuring Matt Lewis' thick, creamy, colorful oil landscapes fill the room. His surfaces are tactile and suggest depth within the painting. Definitely this is a space worth watching.

Check out 101up Gallery at: 4470 Second Ave. , Detroit MI 48201 (313) 212-1201