Art heists and turf wars can't overshadow the installations at Belle Isle and Scripps Park
Published: June 8, 2011
Though funded in part by the National Park Service, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and a handful of other agencies, Figment still isn't providing Detroit artists with funds for work materials. It's a pay-to-play scenario, which rarely flies in Detroit.
"There are going to be growing pains, for them and for us, in terms of how we relate to each other," Casinelli says.
He and Arellano are concerned that even the avid artgoer might assume they're doing the exact same thing.
Casinelli: "When you're developing a program, project or even a business, you want to make sure you distinguish yourself from anything and everything else in the arena. ... Our exhibition has a huge education component. We also give our artists money to fund their projects. When you start to get into the nuances, you can see how much we diverge."
Arellano says that they recently sat down with the Figment group, but that they weren't interested in collaboration. And collaboration is paramount to the success of Access Arts and the Belle Isle Art Exhibit.
Artists participating this year include, Holliday Martindale, Halima and Kai Cassells, Chido Johnson, Julie and Stephanie Howells, Sean Hages, Ginger Chase, Courtney Spivak, Carie Ann Costa, Marianne Audrey Burrows, James Cornish, Dr. Carleton Gholz, Sicily Amaris McRaven, Intake Manifold, Alivia Zivich, Polar Fleece St. Cloud, and the 5th grade class of Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit via U-M's Detroit Connections Project and Marygrove College.
"Collaboration. That's how Belle Isle operates," Arellano says. "There are all these different groups that make the park function. None stand alone. They promote each other, help each other. That's our spirit too."
The Fifth Belle Isle Arts Exhibit opens Saturday, June 18, with a party from 2 to 7 p.m., and runs until Friday, June 24. For more info see accessartsdetroit.org.
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