Re:View Contemporary Gallery held a reception Saturday evening (July 23) to introduce the 15 artists they are featuring this August at the Willy’s Overland Lofts development.
By itself, this news might not seem significant until you consider the growing number of artists moving into Detroit, attracted by cheap rents and few restrictions on what they create. What is restricted is money, which has traditionally driven artists to eventually move to cities like New York or Los Angeles if they want to sell their art.
One art gallery in Midtown will not stop that trend by itself. It will take many more galleries finding their own niche in the city following Re:View’s lead to stem the talent drain in the area. If Re:View proved one thing Saturday, it is the appetite for this type of gallery in Detroit is strong.
Personally, I’m not an aficionado of contemporary art … or fine art for that matter. What I enjoy is learning about the people behind the creative expressions. The gallery director, Simone DeSousa, does a great job of making sure people have the opportunity to meet.
My wife and I had a great conversation with Mark Dancey, one of the artists featured. He lives near Clark Park and goes to Cafe Con Leche on a regular basis, too. Our conversation ranged from how he got started to how he uses his house to create. This was also the same conversation that made me realize I knew another artist featured in a completely different context. I know Megan Heeres because we both serve on the B.I.N.G. Institute. I had no idea that she was a gifted artist as well.
The great thing about talking with the artists is finding out exactly what they are trying to accomplish with their design. Meeting the designers behind SUUM and hearing about their unique approach to creating jewelry was fascinating. They make steel rings with interchangeable pieces so you can have a fresh look without buying an entirely new ring. You will have to ask them about the why behind their designs. I quickly became too caught up playing with the R1 trying to see which look I liked the best.
Introducing patrons to the new artists gallery is not a new concept. Neither is having artists mingling with people to give a personal feel to their artwork or holding events in lofts.
The idea of art galleries in Detroit is hardly a novel concept either. What is unique is the hope that with enough of these events, people will start looking at Detroit as a destination for their art purchases. Or at least Detroit artists will always have a way to make Detroit home.