Written by Jennifer Ford
My latest trip to Detroit was a perfect combination of art, design, and social responsibility.
I have taken multiple trips to Detroit over the past four years, due to its relative accessibility to the small Midwestern town where I live. So when my latest international flight to Dubai (which I will post about next week) was set to depart late in the day, I decided to dedicate it to a day of art exploration.
Growing up so close to Detroit it was hard to avoid some of the tragic stories coming from the city, but in recent months the story of art in Detroit has been overwhelmingly positive. I decided to approach my day with the same rigorous schedule I use for cultural tourism research to gauge the different levels of the art economy. Institutional collections, independent art galleries, artist studios, and street art are always on my must-see list with a few fantastic meals in the mix!
Our itinerary is listed below, but as always the most memorable parts of my trip were completely unplanned. While walking through Eastern Market, the windows of DetroitWick caught our eye. It was not yet open for business, but we saw a figure in the window and with a polite little wave, Doug Schwartz invited us in. DetroitWick is pioneering the way for scent branding by combining color, design, and scent into a complete and unique experience. What caught our eye, however, was the large blocks of Lucite encapsulating bullet casings and firearms. The story behind these artistically designed objects is part of the story of Detroit itself. Collected from crime scenes, Doug Schwartz aims to bring awareness to victims of violent crimes by giving back to the Caliber Foundation who assists victims of gun violence.
Instead of glorifying guns, Doug sees this as an awareness project by putting the weapons forward as objects of contemplation. The day after I came home from a two week trip to Thailand and Dubai with my husband, I had the congratulatory email announcing that Jennifer Ford Art would be invited to exhibit at Market Art + Design in the Hamptons in ONE month. Immediately, Doug’s work came to mind, and we had a few quick phone calls to work out the details. We still have some Encapsulate sculptures available for purchase on our online store.
With Doug’s work secured, I was off to Miami to collect more artwork from some old friends. For more on my Miami trip stay tuned for a blog coming soon.
Advertised as a “Playground for Adults” Eastern Market did not disappoint with colorful murals, one of a kind food selections, and cutting edge restaurants.
Russell Street Deli
We decided to go with an old school deli experience but fell in love with the owners who provide above average wages for their employees along with benefits and a retirement fund not typically seen in the restaurant industry.
We always hope to create lasting relationships with other people in the art world and the dedicated and knowledgeable staff at Wasserman Projects spent time walking us through the ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ exhibition “Space Between Time.”
Library Street Collective
I was first introduced to the Inner State Gallery last year at SCOPE in Miami Beach where I bought fantastic piece by Cryptik. The gallery was a fun and smart space featuring young artists.
Red Bull House of Art
This nonprofit arts center is a dynamic spot for resident artists to push the boundaries of art through creative exploration!
The Heidelberg Project
This neighborhood-based art project is changing the landscape and nature of their community through art.
David Klein Gallery
This traditional gallery space did not disappoint with an exhibition of Post-War Art