Big Dreams for the Big Show
Art X, the sprawling art exhibition, employs Kresge fellows to showcase local talent using Midtown as its backdrop
Published: April 10, 2013
Over the course of five days, our fair city is throwing open for the world its doors to Midtown, inviting all to partake in one of the most ambitious multi-venue art exhibitions to be orchestrated on this grand a scale: Art X Detroit.
In its second iteration, Art X is more than just a showcase for the rich crop of homegrown talent that exists here, it is a gathering of artists and storytellers, all of whom are striving to open minds and hearts, and give the community food for thought and soul. Art X is a spotlight on what is right about the Motor City and its illumination is not limited to our corner of the Mitten; the nation’s art-effusing glitterati will be fully ensconced in the Detroit vibe throughout the next several days.
Spearheaded and largely funded by one of our area’s most underexposed but valuable nonprofit institutions, The Kresge Foundation, Art X is a vehicle from which Detroit’s next Tyree Guyton (The Heidelberg Project), Jeff Daniels or Aretha Franklin will emerge. Running from April 10 through Sunday, April14 at various midtown venues (see map on page 28), the event is free to the public. Enjoy the exhibits, performances and presentations created by 36 of Kresge’s Arts Fellows, along with Kresge Eminent Artists Bill Harris and Naomi Long Madgett. Each artist received grants from Kresge Art Detroit for their work, as well as a budget for their Art X presentation. The schedule of 57 events includes discussion panels with leaders from the national arts community.
“Art has been a part of where human beings have exchanged their stories and made changes and made a difference,” says George Jacobsen, administrator of the Kresge Art Detroit initiative which sponsors Art X. “We believe that arts and culture is completely integral to community and economic development.”
The biennial event drew 10,000 people at its premiere in 2011, and Annmarie Borucki, of Midtown Detroit, Inc., which produces Art X Detroit, says that they are expecting at least a 20 percent increase in attendance, based on the response for this year’s opening night.
“The response we got in 2011 blew us away. People loved it,” said Borucki. “It just shows the hunger that the metro Detroit community has for these types of events and that we need more of them … We’re trying to create diverse experiences so everyone gets something out of it.”
The voices are many and the offerings varied. The common denominator is the passion for art, for community, for the city. The following are but a few of this year’s up-and-coming artists. Read on for a taste, but show up for the whole feast.
Art X opens on Wednesday, April 10, 6:15-11 p.m. with a multi-venue celebration at MOCAD, the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, the First Congregational Church and Wayne State University.
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