Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The beginning

I am an artist and art educator in Detroit, I want to be a Detroit artist and make sure that art is at the forefront of revitalizing Detroit.

The mission statement: A sustainable, evolving, influential, uniquely Detroit, artist community.

The idea: to connect it all together for this generation, themed: "recycled city"

Beyond: Beautiful decay, shrinking cities, graffiti, art fairs and gated communities for retired artists. (stole that line from somewhere)

See: Heidelberg Projects, Michigan Theater, Readymade Magazine, and my paintings on used acrylic plastic. (reduce, reuse, recycle) As well as my friends that paint on found objects.

To do list:
create a manifesto/mission statement
collect artists
find communities that already exist that can help
research the history of detroit
research the history of art communities and their beginnings
make friends
find people who want to help who are marketers, business people, grant writers, organizers, art gallery owners, everyone who is proud of being from Detroit and wants to make it even better.
find space

Everyday I hear about someone leaving to another place, not Detroit, not Michigan, a place of opportunity to make art, meet people, make it big. Why not Detroit? Why have so many left and so many plan to leave?

When I grew up my parents took me to art galleries and museums around Detroit, I grew up with Detroit art, that is why I have to stay here, my love of art has grown here, I have to give back to the community, I want to be part of a community, I want to make this community as big as much of a haven for artists as New York in the 70s once was, without gentrification. We can use what we have here, and the characteristics that make it uniquely our home, our base.

In between, Chicago, New York, Toronto and... Sandusky, Ohio, Michigan is a good place to be in the middle of everything, but how do we attract people unless it involves cars, sports or gambling? Model D's unofficial art series was brilliant we need more of that, I would love to see zines that talk about the best places to get vegan food within 20 miles. My friend's collective, undercover eskimo had a poloroid trading club and played music and made clothes. I can almost see the artists bringing people in and getting them interested in what we have, in our festivals, in our music, in our collaboration, in our potlucks, in our homes.

Things most people don't know about Detroit:
Detroit's crime rate is lower than the national average and it has a wonderful farmers market and it may be the most photogenic city in the United States.

This is my informal call to everyone who is interested, I have the energy, I have the talent, I have the connections, I have the business sense, I have the space, I have the time, I have the resources, I have the friends, I have the support, I have nothing to lose and neither does Detroit. Let's make an art community.