State Savings Bank
151 West Fort Street
Detroit, MI 48226
|Metal Leaves Photography||
M I R A G E Detroit is a temporary art installation by artist Doug Aiken, featuring a mirrored structure that resembles a home.
Housed in the former State Savings Bank in Detroit, M I R A G E Detroit changes by the minute, as the lights fade in & out, varying in their intensity. As the lighting shifts, so does your perception-- altering the entire structure and the building it's encased in.
And that's just the exterior. Walk inside the house and it's a never-ending barrage of mirrored images. It's like a Fun House-- but better. Total optical illusions throughout the house-- inside + out!
M I R A G E Detroit
State Savings Bank
151 West Fort Street
Detroit, MI 48226
I was invited by the Detroit Institute of the Arts to attend the press preview to cover the exhibition prior to the public opening. It was an amazing opportunity to meet the artists behind the work and hear what the exhibit meant to them.
Opening Sunday, December 16, 2018 in the Special Exhibition Galleries at the Detroit Institute of Arts is Ruben + Isabel Toledo's, "Labor of Love."
The Detroit Institute of the Arts invited the creative team of Isabel and Ruben Toledo to create artistic works derived from the exhibits found throughout the DIA. The result is impressive, enigmatic and bursting at the seams with creative energy.
The exhibition is a three part interpretive journey based on the Diego Murals, spontaneous exhibits, or "interventions," created as a visual response to pieces found throughout the museum, and a collaboration with Detroit-based non-profit Sew Great Detroit.
These works came together to formulate an unprecedented view into the artists creative and collaborative process, resulting in the finished pieces-- their Labor of Love.
This exhibition presents itself as a visual commentary of works from the past, bringing them into view in a modern context. The work highlights the broad range of influences and creates a impactful view of two artists that are not limited by convention. Each piece speaks volumes, and it is up to the viewer to interpret the message.
The artists creative response allows visitors to engage with the museum in new ways and make connections between old and new interpretations of art resulting in an unprecedented dialogue between art and observer.
Labor of Love will be open to the public on Sunday, December 16, 2018 and will be on view in the Special Exhibition Gallery until July 7, 2019.
Ruben + Isabel Toledo | Labor of Love
Detroit Institute of the Arts
December 16, July 7, 2019
Special Exhibition Galleries
We had the awesome opportunity to be involved with The Henry Ford Museum's latest ad campaign. We were so excited and it was an unbelievable experience. Here's a Behind-the -Scenes look:
We started out bright and early and headed out to at Greenfield Village for our call time. Everyone we worked with made everything so easy and fun. We had a great time rolling through the village while the agency tried to capture that winning shot.
We were interviewed for some spots. I spoke about my love for the Eames Garbage Chair-- the prototype for the infamous Eames Molded Chair, Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House and the Exploded Eames Chair the museum has on display.
On Saturday I attended a design talk at Tom Gibbs Studio. The talk was part of Design Core's Month of Design programming. The discussion centered around the role Michigan furniture designers played in shaping modern design.
The talk served to place the state of Michigan and the mid-century into context. The speakers included Tom Gibbs, a mid-century furniture dealer who hosted the event at his retail space, Tom Gibbs Studio, Isabelle Weiss, the founder and owner of Next:Space and Paula Schubatis, a painter, textile artist and designer.
The group focused on the impact of "good design" created by Michigan designers, and branched out further to eventually become a design movement.
The talk was based on what the panel deemed the five tenents of good design:
-Finding New Forms
-Meat & Potatoes
The designers of the Modern Movement emphasized these five practices. Michigan designers such as Saarinen, Knoll and the Eames' used these principles to create their furniture . The use of these elements in Mid-Century design set the precedent for innovative design in the 20th century that is used to inform the contemporary designs of today.
The Fisher Mansion is the largest home in the Historic Boston-Edison neighborhood. Built for Charles and Sarah Fisher in 1922, the mansion was designed by architect George D. Mason.
I had the unbelievable opportunity to photograph the mansion last week. I was invited to shoot the interior and exterior of the building for an architectural competition hosted by Design Core Detroit. The Instashot Competition was held in conjunction with Detroit Month of Design and featured seven photographers vying to see who could best capture the essence of the Junior League Showhouse.
The gorgeous mansion has undergone an extensive renovation. Designers have been selected by The Junior League to re-imagine the interior spaces and outdoor areas. To say this is a massive undertaking would be an understatement. Yet, they pulled it off-- and the home will make its grand debut to the public as the Detroit Designers Show House on Saturday, September 15, 2018 and will run until Sunday, October 7, 2018. Tickets to the event may be purchased here.
Y'all-- let me tell you what an amazing experience it was. First of all, the mansion itself is just impressive. Then we have the rooms designed by a talented roster of heavy-hitters. The interior was breathtaking. As in-- my actual breath was taken away irl.
This home is just beautiful and must be seen in person to be appreciated fully. To check it out for yourself, please see the information below or visit the Junior League website here.
2018 Junior League of Detroit Designers’ Show House
The Charles T Fisher Mansion – Boston Edison
670 West Boston Blvd, Detroit MI 48202
Sun 9/16 Noon
Thurs 9/20-Sun 9/23
Thurs 9/27-Sun 9/30
Thurs 10/4- Sun 10/7
Artists Victoria Shaheen and George Vidas collaborated on a special exhibit entitled, "A Difficult Pair," which explored the use of industrial and commercial objects transformed into art pieces.
The artists sought to explore identity, hierarchy and material culture in each piece they fabricated.
So I was really excited about this exhibit, because I am in LOVE with Neon. It was a stellar show, the work was intriguing and what I thought would be straight forward was though-provoking. The pieces were so cool! They had working mechanical parts! So I feel like neon is like a living thing because it kinda breathes with electricity. Now these sculptures came to life even more because they actually moved. It was awesome!
The opening reception was held at Playground Detroit, a gallery that features the work of emerging visual artists.
I was also beyond impressed with the space. It was my first time visiting Playground Detroit's new gallery/exhibition space and it was so amazing. Not exaggerating. It was simple and clean- but not sterile, perfect to showcase work. It's an intimate setting that somehow seems expansive. It's crazy. I loved it.
This exhibition was also part of Detroit Art Week, taking place from July 20-22, 2018.
DAW is an annual self-guided tour and celebration of contemporary art and culture in Detroit. It's basically an art crawl. The public is encouraged to attend galleries, explore studios, participate in art talks and museum tours. That includes parties, live performances, music + art shows.
A warehouse originally used as an automotive factory by Standard Motor Truck Company hosted an Open House featuring local Interiors + Makers, produced by Design Core.
Originally designed by Albert Kahn in 1912, Letts Industries acquired the building in 1989, undertaking massive renovations within the last three years-, while keeping the historical integrity of the building in tact. This building is unique in that it was a first-gen modern auto factory, incorporating steel-reinforced concrete in its design.
The building still retains the original "martini-shaped" columns Kahn designed, a design element which appears to be one of his trademarks. Walking around, the colest thing I saw was that the ceilings still had the line shafts and tracks created for Standard. I seriously could not get over that- it was amazing to be able to see that LIVE! I have always imagined the Highland Park building Kahn designed for Ford- such an important piece of history in the automotive industry- but I had never seen it. This gave me an actual opportunity to see it instead of just imagine what it was like.
Currently housing an array of artists, small businesses, and design firms, the warehouse is used as offices, gallery and production space. The concept reminded me of Ponyride, and it seems like a collaborative environment.
Michigan Central Station has stood guard over the city since 1914. Although the last train left the station in 1988, this Beaux-Arts beauty has been an iconic symbol for the City of Detroit- the Good, the Bad-- and the Ugly.
Ford Motor Co. recently purchased the structure, vowing to restore it and fill it with 5,000 workers- about half of which will be employed by Ford, the other 2,500 will be brought in via other companies leasing offices through Ford. There was some talk about a mixed-use facility, but I don’t know how legit that info is. Ford plans to have the building renovated by 2022.
Ford graciously opened the doors to the kingdom to massive crowds of people. From Friday through Monday, it allowed visitors to enter through its arched entrance and get a chance to gawk at the sheer beauty and desecration inside the walls of the station.
I was one of those people. I had never been inside but have taken thousands of photos of the exterior over the past 15 years. I’ve heard stories about this place. My grandparents were WWII refugees, and finally escaped into America after spending weeks on a ship— entering through Michigan Central Station.
So it kinda became a symbol of hope to me, not despair- because of these stories I grew up hearing. And yeah, I may have felt like I was going to cry as I walked around- but that was from an overwhelming sense of history, nostalgia and happiness.
Detroit Startup Week had a ton of GREAT events for entrepreneurs and business owners. These informative sessions were held throughout the city this week, all hosted by amazing businesspeople. So many featured valuable insight shared with the crowd learn and it is a really valuable place for meeting like-minded people while networking.
All images & text ©Nicole Wrona