Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Galleries in Detroit

I had a wonderful day today and want to share my experience with you. First I went to see ArtRages Gallery. I have had an ad from them on my desk forever. The gallery is located at 719 Griswold, Suite 100, downtown Detroit. What a treat! The owner, surprise, surprise, is Judy Sledge. I briefly met her sometime ago. Judy is delightful and I enjoyed chatting with her for almost an hour, before I had to run to move the car before I got ticketed! Judy does lovely, easy to wear felted garments. They were as light as air! There were some paintings and other fiber items, but I was so focused on talking to Judy, I have to admit, I didn't look around nearly enough. But that leaves me an excuse to return another day.

The next stop was at Gallery 555, located in the old Third Precinct at 2801 W. Vernor Highway. This is the home of Gallery 555, after three homeless years. The gallery has partnered with Southwest Solutions and their neighbor, Detroit Farm and Garden. The first floor has been repaired, rewired, cleared of hazards and has a new heating system. The gallery space is still a bit gritty and raw, but workable. Over time it will be improved and become a more contemporary space. Also on the first floor is an education room where community art programs will be taught once a month for children ages 7-14
years. There are several artists studios for rent in additional space.

Outdoor sculpture by Monte and Carl Martinez

One of the amazing sections of the first floor is the jail. The cells are still there and you are welcome to browse. Of course, these were holding cells, not meant for permanent occupancy. They are tiny and the bars and doors are much heavier than I ever guessed! The group is still trying to imagine how best to use the cells in a creative way and yet not destroy them.

The second floor holds a gym. It is not being used as yet because it need rewiring and heat and a major clean out. It will be an amazing large studio and/or event space once renovated.

Carl and Monte Martinez founded Gallery 555 in 2002, and are excited about the new space. There is still lots of work  to do. If you are interested in getting involved, want to volunteer  to help move the process along, please contact Monte at, or call Monte or Carl at 888-494-ARTS.  Their website is: Better yet, stop by and take a look. They are very welcoming.


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