DIA eNews September 2011

In This Issue
Guest Column
New in September
Memory Cloud

Guest Column

News from Midtown

Sue Mosey 

The dynamics of the Midtown neighborhood, with the DIA at the heart of the area between Mack and Grand Boulevard on both sides of Woodward Avenue, are ever changing, with a lot of great things being planned for the future. While the summer comes to an end, Midtown Detroit, Inc., thought it a good opportunity to report the progress of district projects.

June was the kickoff month for what proved to be a successful summer at New Center Park. Completed in 2010, New Center Park wrapped up its second season of outdoor concerts, film screenings, and family-oriented activities for residents, employees, and visitors to the New Center neighborhood. Located at the corner of W. Grand Boulevard and Second Avenue, across from the Fisher Building, this unique green space offered weekly summer events, including Wednesday Lunch in the Park, Wednesday Night Movies, Thursday Jazz and Blues, and Saturday Camp Hi-Fi. The season included more than sixty-five shows, three weddings, and four private events.

Tables with attached seating, perfect for mingling, were a new addition to Peck Park, located on the northeast corner of Kirby between Beaubien and Brush, minutes from the DIA. The tabletops complement the playscape, volleyball court, walkways, decorative lighting, landscaping, and benches that make Peck Park a family-friendly green space. To further accommodate the growing number of families that utilize the park, additional swing sets will soon be installed.

Last month, Whole Foods announced the opening of its first Detroit store. The 20,000-square-foot Midtown location, slated to open in 2013, will be on the northwest corner of Mack and John R. The market will offer residents a variety of competitively priced fresh fruits and vegetables, specialty items, high-quality meats and seafood, and everyday pantry staples. The store will add approximately sixty to seventy-five jobs to the area.

More than 200 residents, eight businesses, and several educational institutions in the Midtown neighborhood participated in the North Cass (at Second and Willis) and Art Center (John R and Palmer) Community Garden Program this growing season. Most participants were first-time gardeners looking to grow food for their family and fellowship with their neighbors. A small portion of growers dedicated their crops for charitable purposes, while participating schools used their plots as a means of teaching about nutrition and urban agriculture. Next year, a weather station will be added to the Art Center Community Garden.

Construction is wrapping up on Phase I of the Midtown greenway. Existing sidewalks and green space along Kirby to John R, and along John R to Canfield, were replaced with decorative concrete pavers, pedestrian lighting, benches, trash receptacles, bike lockers, enhanced landscaping, and public art. Bids are currently being accepted for Phase II of the loop, which will redevelop the sidewalks and streetscape along Canfield between John R and Cass, and Cass between Canfield and Kirby. Ultimately the goal is to extend the greenway all the way to Eastern Market.

Numerous businesses have also moved into the Midtown district this season. Computech Corp. recently renovated and occupied a new 7,000-square-foot headquarters at the northeast corner of Cass and Kirby. The historic mansion will become home to twenty-two employees of this regional IT company. Fourteen East, a gourmet coffee and pastry shop located in the Park Shelton, on the corner of Woodward and Kirby opposite the museum's North Lawn, opened its doors this summer. Serving up coffee brewed by a variety of methods, this shop is a coffee enthusiast's dream come true.

Groundbreaking for the next new development in Midtown is scheduled for this month. The mixed-use Auburn complex will add fifty-eight units of rental housing and nine commercial spaces along Cass Avenue at the corner of Canfield.

Whether you are a resident or visitor, Midtown Detroit, Inc., hopes you will discover and/or continue to seek new opportunities and services in the Midtown area and incorporate them into your next visit to the DIA.

Susan Mosey
President, Midtown Detroit, Inc.

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Philip Guston, Driver


GiftGift of a Lifetime: The James Pearson Duffy Collection

September 14-March 18, 2012
Special Exhibitions Central

Ann Mikolowski, James Duffy at Warehouse 

Ann Mikolowski, American; James Duffy at Warehouse, 1982; oil on canvas, 2 13/16 x 2 in. Bequest of James Pearson Duffy © 2011 Estate of Ann Mikolowski, courtesy of Ken Mikolowski


For forty years, James Pearson Duffy was an avid collector who had an uninhibited approach to looking at and acquiring art, collecting what he was drawn to and using intuition to guide his choices. This exhibition explores his generous bequest to the DIA, which includes sculpture, paintings, prints, and drawings. Duffy's interests were wide ranging, and his gift includes objects as diverse as contemporary photography, mixed-media work by Cass Corridor artists, and Chinese sculpture. Works on view include those by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Georges Braque, Philip Guston, Gordon Newton, and Jane Hammond, among others.

Duffy collected art locally and in New York for his Grosse Pointe apartment, and he commissioned site-specific works for the Jefferson Avenue warehouse of his family business, an industrial pipe and pipe-fitting company. In certain ways, the New York and Detroit artists had many commonalities, including a shared love of untraditional materials and an emphasis on the process of making art that celebrated the touch of the creator's hand.

Above: Philip Guston, American; Driver, 1975; oil on canvas. Bequest of James Pearson Duffy. Courtesy of the Estate of Philip Guston

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It's a Zoo in Here!
Prints and Drawings of Animals

Closing September 25
Schwartz Galleries of Prints and Drawings

Albrecht Dürer, The Large Horse 

Albrecht Dürer, German; The Large Horse, 1505; engraving. City of Detroit Purchase


There is only one month left to see this exhibition of animals great and small. The more than 150 prints and drawings from the museum's permanent collection provide a look at how animals were seen by artists from all over the world. Whether as pets, beasts of burden, or wild in nature, animals have inspired artists for centuries. The images on view range from a lion by Albrecht Dürer from the mid-1490s to butterflies created in 2008 by Jane Hammond. Filling in the 500-year gap between these two are watercolors; pencil, ink, and chalk drawings; engravings, woodcuts, etchings, lithographs, and screenprints by artists including Goya, Audubon, Manet, Matisse, Rivera, and Picasso. Art can be defined as many things, and as this exhibition shows, it seems almost everyone has found it can always be made about animals.

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Detroit Film Theatre

Viva Riva! 

The popular Alloy Orchestra, a multi-media event for the showing of Firehouse Detroit, and a series of classic films from the history of Mexican cinema mark the Detroit Film Theater's fall 2011 season, which starts the weekend of September 9 with a showing of Viva Riva! (left), the story of a small-time Congolese hoodlum's return to his hometown.

Morning to Midnight 

The Alloy Orchestra makes its annual visit to the DFT the weekend of September 23 for four performances, including a new program of family-friendly silent short films perfect for introducing younger (and older) audiences to the excitement of the group's live musical accompaniments. First up for the orchestra is the rarely seen silent version of Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail, shot at the same time, with subtle differences in form, as the talkie tale of a young British woman and her detective boyfriend. (This performance doubles as the Friday Night Live music and is free with museum admission.) Scheduled for Saturday, September 24, are two programs of shorts:the matinee "Not Just For Kids" and the evening's "Wild and Weird." The Alloy finishes up its 2011 program on Sunday, September 25, with a new score for From Morning to Midnight (left), a recently rediscovered, visually audacious German expressionist masterwork from 1920.

Firehouse Detroit 

Firehouse Detroit (left), directed by Detroit-based artist Gregory Holm, features live musical accompaniment and choreographed entr'actes. The film is a record of the recent project that transformed the abandoned Detroit Engine #4 into an art piece, culminating in a performance of original compositions by Detroit composers in collaboration with the Street Poets Society and Detroit Children's Choir. Unfolding in three parts, Firehouse Detroit pays tribute to both the spirit of Detroit and all firefighters and features the Detroit Fire Department Honor Guard. Admission is free to the public.

The ongoing showings of essential cinematic classics include eight Mexican films presented in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Mexican revolution and in cooperation with the Detroit Consulate of Mexico's Department of Cultural Affairs. Admission to all films in the Mexican Cinema series is free.

For the complete DFT schedule, call the theater box office at 313.833.3237 or visit the DIA's website.

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New in September

A concert series, fresh Eye Spy labels, and a free day each month all debut in September. Combining elements of the popular Friday Night Live concerts and Brunch with Bach, the new Sunday Music Bar features live acoustic music from many cultures with the opportunity to purchase a light brunch, coffee, wine, or mixed drinks. Performances are at 1 and 3 p.m. and are free with museum admission.

Music Bar concerts get under way on Sunday, September 11, with a performance of the Bowman-Kelly-Deleury Trio, featuring Michigan Opera Theatre orchestra members Nadine Deleury (cello), Brian Bowman (clarinet), and Velda Kelly (violin). This trio performs music by Ludwig van Beethoven, Marjan Mozetich, and Ingolf Dahl. The traditional Sunday morning Brunch with Bach concerts will be offered on selective dates: December 11 and 18, 2011, and February 12, April 8, May 13, and June 17, 2012.

Sunday, September 11, also marks the first of the Ford Free Sundays, held the second Sunday of each month. Ford Motor Company Fund is sponsoring free DIA admission for a Family Sunday with programs including drop-in art-making activities, drawing in the gallery (supplies provided), tours, storytelling, puppet shows, and other family fare. Exhibitions and programs that have a ticket price are not included.

Eye Spy activity 

On Sunday, September 25, join a parade to celebrate the official unveiling of twenty-five new Eye Spy gallery games. Meet outside on the Woodward Avenue plaza at 11 a.m. and become part of a procession through the doors and into the Great Hall. Then see how many of the popular hunt-and-find labels you can discover. Admission to the museum is free, courtesy of Detroit Metro Parent magazine.

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Arts and Minds Lectures

The new season of Arts and Minds lectures features a mix of talks by scholars, curators, artists, and critics on subjects as wide ranging as urban architecture to the history of Islamic calligraphy, to the relationship of botanist Luther Burbank and the still lifes of Georgia O'Keeffe.

The series opens on Sunday, September 18, with Temple University professor of sculpture Karyn Olivier explaining how an interest in the psychology and sociology of work and play led her to create structures associated with children's playgrounds that demonstrate a fascination with the inherent ironies of language.

On Thursday, September 22, in conjunctions with the exhibition Gift of a Lifetime: The James Peason Duffy Collection, curator Mark Rosenthal moderates a discussion on building an art collection with noted Detroiters. Rounding out the month's schedule on Friday, September 30, is a lecture by Chris Reed of Stoss Landscape Urbanism in Boston on trends in urban design and their potential for Detroit's changing urban fabric. (On a related note, the American Institute of Architects Detroit presents "Architecture for the Long Emergency," a talk by urban visionary Leon Krier on how architecture and urban design can stem the decline of the modern city, as part of Detroit Design Week.

Master calligrapher Nihad Dukhan discusses the intricate geometry, rhythm, and visual impact of Islamic calligraphy in "What's in the Line: History, Development, and Styles of Arabic/Islamic Calligraphy" on Sunday, October 23, and Randall Griffey, curator at the Mead Museum at Amherst College, examines the appearance of new varieties of flowers, fruits, and vegetables created by botanist Luther Burbank in the still life painting of leading American modernists in "From the Potting Shed to O'Keeffe: Luther Burbank and American Still Life Painting in the 1920s," on Wednesday November 16. For a complete list of lectures, times, and dates click here. 

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Memory Cloud: Detroit

Turn modern text messages into one of the oldest means of communication--smoke signals--on the DIA's front steps as a part of the celebration of Detroit Gallery Week. For three nights, Friday, September 30, to Sunday, October 2, at 8:30 p.m., the sky above Woodward Avenue will fill with Memory Cloud: Detroit, an interactive outdoor performance presented by Minimaforms, an innovative architecture and design practice. Audience members are invited to send the artists text messages that, through a digital interface, then appear in "virtual ink" (light) in clouds of smoke.

Minimaforms was founded in 2002 by brothers Stephen and Theodore Spyropoulos. Their work is currently on view in Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects at New York's Museum of Modern Art through November 7.

The fourth edition of Detroit Gallery Week, which kicks off at the DIA, features more than ninety Metro Detroit contemporary art galleries, nonprofits, and museums with special openings, lectures, studio visits, and workshops.

At the DIA, this event is funded by the Dr. and Mrs. George Kamperman Fund and the Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art, and presented in cooperation with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Kunsthalle Detroit.

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If you park on the streets around the DIA, keep in mind that the city of Detroit has extended meter enforcement until 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and they've been ticketing during evening events. The old-fashioned metal meters on Kirby, John R, and Farnsworth allow two hours of parking; the pay station spots on Woodward in front of the museum are good for an hour. The meters on Frederick, off of John R, cover three hours of parking. Street parking is $1 an hour. Should you get a parking ticket for an expired meter, pay it within ten days and the fine is cut in half, from $20 to $10. Check the fine print on the ticket for details.

Parking is always available in the Cultural Center parking lot, behind the museum on John R for a flat fee--$5 during the day and $3 after 4 p.m. Look for changes to the lot later this fall, including use of the Brush Street entrance and the closing of the one on John R. Valet parking is available for $8 at the Farnsworth entrance, Fridays, Saturday, and Sundays during regular museum hours.

For pedestrians, don't cross John R in the middle of the block, use the recently installed light on the Farnsworth corner. Push the button on the light poles to activate the light and stop traffic. And drivers, keep an eye on the new light and be prepared to stop when it turns red.

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The Romeo High School marching band drum line performs next to an Inside|Out reproduction of Thomas Couture's Drummer Boy. Photo by Annalise Frank, The Romeo Observer


Inside|Out, the DIA program that turns communities into outdoor art galleries with high-quality reproductions of museum masterpieces, has moved to a new set of cities and towns. The eighty reproductions are scattered through Birmingham; Franklin; Armada; Detroit's Eastern Market, Riverfront, and Dequindre Cut; Holly; Milford; Warren; Lake Orion; Oxford; Belleville; and Macomb Township through the end of November.

Each of these Metro Detroit communities has reproductions located within walking or bike-riding distance of each other. Check the DIA's website for an interactive map with specific locations and activities, such as guided tours, in each municipality. DIA staff members led a bicycle tour through the Romeo and Rochester installations; look for information about next month's Detroit bike tour that starts and ends at the DIA.

A genuine sense of community ownership has developed around these installations, and to encourage residents to come to the DIA to see "their" actual works of art, the museum offers visitors from each locale free admission (excluding special ticketed exhibitions and programs) on select Family Sundays. Dates for community free days are Lake Orion and Oxford, September 18; Macomb Township, October 2; Detroit, October 16; Warren, October 23; Armada, October 30; Birmingham and Franklin, November 6; Holly and Milford, November 20; and Belleville, November 27.

Inside/Out 2011 is sponsored by DTE Energy Foundation.

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Wi-Fi is coming to DIA galleries and public spaces, but before it's fully functional there will be disruptions to the art on view in various areas. Some works of art have been removed or covered up for protection while the necessary equipment and wiring are being installed for both Wi-Fi service and a new public address system. Work should be completed by mid-November. Once operational, Wi-Fi will allow us to develop interactive applications and enhanced learning and interpretive opportunities for artworks located throughout the museum. Check the DIA website regularly for up-to-date information about changes to the galleries in the weeks ahead.

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Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202

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