Art Mile Detroit

Featuring works from LaKela Brown, Nick Doyle, James Benjamin Franklin, Nikita Gale, Marie Herwald Hermann, and Maya Stovall

Jul 29—Aug 05, 2020

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LaKela Brown, 2020. Photo by Clare Gatto
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LaKela Brown, Door Knocker Composition with Three Gold and Nefertiti Heads, 2020.
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Nick Doyle, Soldier, 2020
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Marie Herwald Hermann, and a whisper of the things, 2019. Photography by Clare Gatto
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James Benjamin Franklin, SARGAS, 2020. Photo by Clare Gatto
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Nikita Gale, BLANK FLEX, 2018.
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Maya Stovall, 1967 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 26 , 2019. In 1967 at 12th and Claremont in Detroit’s North End after a Vietnam veterans welcome home party, in the teeny-tiny hours, the city explodes (Boyd 2017, pp. 202-203). Hundreds of years of white supremacist genocide and terror machine to police brutality; racist housing policy; gross education, employment, banking, finance, and judicial system disparities. The streets speak. Rebellions in 1833, 1863, 1943, and a youth-led rebellion of 1966 reflect Detroit’s ongoing, unequal reality (Boyd 2017).
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Maya Stovall, 1981 (1526 NASDAQ: FAANG), no. 31, 2019. In 1981, the musician Juan Atkins releases the single, Alleys of Your Mind, on his Deep Space record label. With this new music, Atkins establishes the techno music genre—with Detroit techno. In addition to Atkins, key techno founders include the musicians Carl Craig, Eddie Fowlkes, Derrick May, Jeff Mills, and Kevin Saunderson. Atkins, May, and Saunderson—known as the the Belleville Three—are central to founding techno. Techno shapes international music and cultures (T. Stovall 2019, Schaub 2009).
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LaKela Brown, Composition of Doorknocker Earrings and Hand with Ropes, Chickenheads, and Pharaoh Heads, 2018.
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LaKela Brown, Doorknocker, Grill, and Chicken Head Large Composition, 2018. Photo by Clare Gatto
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Nikita Gale, SIGNALER i, 2019. Photo by Clare Gatto
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Nikita Gale, DRONING, 2018
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James Benjamin Franklin, Untitled (SB_002), 2020
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James Benjamin Franklin, Untitled (SB_001), 2020

(DETROIT, MI — JULY 15, 2020) — Launching July 29, Art Mile is a citywide digital art exhibition that champions Detroit’s vibrant and diverse arts community by promoting public programs and online acquisitions. In celebration of its launch, Art Mile will host a week of public programs from July 29–August 5, featuring digital installations, artwork sales, virtual museum tours, and live events such as panel discussions, artist studio visits, film screenings and musical performances, with the potential for future activations. Organized by Reyes | Finn and Cultural Counsel in partnership with Red Bull Arts, the project will present artwork and programs alongside over 55 of Detroit’s local art institutions.

Art Mile aims to provide Detroit’s galleries, institutional non-profits, museums, and artist-run spaces with a forum to sustain and amplify engagement with creative communities at a local level and beyond. Through Red Bull Arts’ partnership, participating organizations are given free access to Art Mile’s exhibition platform and point of sales system—without any transactional fees or service charges—and are invited to participate in various public programs, collaborations and artist editions. 

Programming highlights include a live-streamed opening night celebration featuring a DJ set by Detroit techno legend Omar-S; special exhibitions such as ArtWork, a presentation of works of art made by Detroit’s art workers, co-curated by Jova Lynne and Tizziana Baldenebro; and a series of‘ empty museum tours presented by Red Bull Arts, featuring alternative cultural spaces such as the outdoor art environment Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum.

“Art Mile aims to continue our city’s long tradition of banding together in resilience, recovery, and collective dreaming, whether in periods of economic crisis or prosperity,” says Founding Partner Terese Reyes. “Detroit’s arts community has become the heart of a city bursting with creativity—that’s something worth protecting.”

In recognition of art's capacity for social change, Art Mile will launch a fundraising campaign for three local non-profit organizations dedicated to providing Detroit youth with access to visual, performing and literary arts education: 482ForwardInside Out Detroit and Living Arts. “These organizations recognize our communities' collective responsibility to provide and secure high quality education for all," says Founding Partner Bridget Finn. “They use the arts as a strategic tool to ignite creativity, empower the voices of Detroit’s youth, and drive the city toward social justice.”

To safeguard Art Mile’s mission, and ensure its equitable management and execution, Art Mile enlisted an Advisory Board of local community leaders, artists, curators, and patrons of the arts, comprising Dr. Charles Boyd; Kresge Arts in Detroit Director Christina deRoos; artist and curator Jova Lynne; and Kresge Arts in Detroit Founding Director Michelle Perron.