“A thriving arts and cultural community not only enriches the quality of life for residents and visitors to southeastern Michigan, but inspires fresh ideas and fuels the creative vitality of the region,” said Rip Rapson, Kresge’s president and CEO. “In attracting local, national and international audiences to experience the works of these artists, Art X Detroit celebrates the Detroit metropolitan area as a hub of innovation and human energy. We’re proud to support the event and celebrate the Kresge Eminent Artists and Artist Fellows.”
The Kresge Foundation has provided $2 million to support more than 70 artists living and working in Metro Detroit through its Kresge Eminent Artist and Artist Fellowship programs since 2008. The Eminent Artist and Artist Fellowship programs are administered by the College for Creative Studies.
Art X Detroit Highlights
The event will feature exceptional works and performances by acclaimed Eminent Artists Bill Harris and Naomi Long Madgett, and art enthusiasts will experience some of Detroit’s most creative talents at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall, the College for Creative Studies and other great venues in Midtown’s Cultural Center. A special visual arts exhibition runs through April 28 at MOCAD.
The opening night of Art X Detroit is a multi-venue celebration on Wednesday, April 10, 6:15 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. at MOCAD and the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, with special live performances at the First Congregational Church and Wayne State University. The opening night reception is free to the public; however, registration is required. RSVP by Monday, April 8 at www.artxdetroit.com/opening-night or call 313.420.6000.
Art X Detroit captures the creativity and imagination of the Kresge Eminent Artists and Fellows whose works will be on display across Midtown, including:
“Have Mercy” and “Booker T. & Them: A Blues” by 2011 Kresge Eminent Artist Bill Harris. Award-winning playwright, poet, critic and novelist, Bill Harris’ plays have been featured in more than one hundred productions nationwide. In “Have Mercy,” Harris collaborates with Detroit’s own Reverend Robert Jones (a master blues historian and guitarist) for a demonstration of theatre at its most basic, in the tradition of Homer and African djelis, or griots. This one-act monologue will take place at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, GM Theater, to be followed by an excerpt from Harris’ book, “Booker T. & Them: A Blues,” directed by innovative stage director, Aku Kadogo, also a Detroit native.
Naomi Long Madgett - Poet and Publisher. With a career as a published poet that spans eight decades, 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Dr. Naomi Long Madgett has amassed numerous accolades for her exemplary life of service and creative expression. The annual Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, established in 1993, has helped shine a spotlight on African American writers – recognizing 20 young poets to-date and attracting the attention of major publishing houses. Madgett will read from her own work as well as present a program of readings and dialogue reflecting on the careers of five of the awardees: Bill Harris, Claude Wilkinson, Nagueyalti Warren, Edward Bruce Bynum and Esperanza Cintrón. Readings at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, GM Theatre.
“¡Viva America!” by Maria Costa. In her new comedy special film ¡Viva America!, renowned actress/comedian/writer Maria Costa portrays an array of hilarious and thought-provoking characters whose lives are profoundly affected by immigration in the U.S. Following this premiere screening, there will be a question and answer session and a muy caliente salsa music and dance after-party with the cast – be sure to bring your dancing shoes! Film screening at the DIA Detroit Film Theatre followed by Q&A and dancing in the DIA.
“My Brightest Diamond” by Shara Worden. Worden presents a new, 360 degree, surround-sound instrumental composition for The Detroit Party Marching Band. The performance begins at MOCAD for the opening ceremonies of Art X Detroit 2013, and is followed by a music procession with the marching band, leading the audience from the art museum to the First Congregational Church, where the indie-rock band My Brightest Diamond (fronted by Worden) will begin a full length concert choreographed by Jessica Dessner. Concert performance beginning at MOCAD and moving to First Congregational Church.
Passalacqua: The Experience Part 1 & 2. Together, Detroit-based MCs Mister and Blaksmith form Passalacqua. The duo is responsible for inventive live presentations, conceptual, theatrical, almost performance art, which are altogether curious and highly engaging. In Part 1, they present a documentary retrospective of their group as told by friends, collaborators, and themselves. In Part 2, Passalacqua performs their complete discography live and exclusively debut their newest songs. Film screening and performance at the Michigan Science Center’s Chrysler IMAX® Dome Theatre.
“The People’s Vision,” a mural by Hubert Massey. Massey, whose work can be seen at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Paradise Valley Park and Campus Martius, works in a variety of media to create large public art installations and is noted for collaborating with communities to create art that tells their stories. For Art X Detroit, Massey is creating a 30’ x 60’ mural to be installed on the WSU Press Building at the corner of Woodward and Warren avenues. At MOCAD, Massey’s preliminary drawings of the mural will be on view throughout the month of April. Mural installation at WSU Press Building, drawings at MOCAD.
“Corner Store” by Design 99. Corner Store is a three-channel video installation inspired by experiences during two days when plywood boards covering the Design 99 studio/storefront space in Hamtramck were removed. Design 99 video recorded the reactions and questions of the neighborhood’s residents as they passed by. These reactions will form the basis for the video in the Corner Store installation. Three-channel video, mixed media installation at MOCAD.
“An Evening with Charles McPherson” by Mark Stryker. Stryker, Music Writer for the Detroit Free Press, presents “An Evening with Charles McPherson,” one of the important figures in Detroit's modern jazz explosion in the 1950s. At 73, the alto saxophonist has had a major career and remains at the top of his game. This evening with Charles McPherson is designed to illuminate Detroit's remarkable jazz legacy and influence. Discussion and performance at the DIA Detroit Film Theatre.
Art X Detroit is made possible by The Kresge Foundation and is supported by its partners ArtServe Michigan, the College for Creative Studies and MOCAD. It is produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit organization that has spearheaded reinvestment in Midtown through the arts, beautification and economic development.
For a complete schedule of events, visit www.ArtXDetroit.com and Facebook for exciting updates. For more information on the Kresge Arts in Detroit program, visit, www.kresgeartsindetroit.org.
Posted by Erin Rose at 11:15 AM