SAFE SPACE Group Exhibition on view through May 3rd at Detroit Public Library
SAFE SPACE, a group exhibition curated by We-Are-Familia, is currently on view at the Detroit Public Library, open to the public now through May 3, 2019, which features the work of 24 local artists and designers. This exhibition celebrates Detroit’s thriving arts scene while bypassing the traditional realms of galleries and museums. Instead, it brings their diverse and spirited work to the Library, a welcoming place where the community can congregate: a safe space. We-Are-Familia asked a rich variety of artists and designers what “safe space” means to them.
The list of exhibitors includes native Detroiters, longtime residents, and newcomers to the city — many of whom have immigrated here from around the world. Their creative contributions to Detroit are helping shape the city’s future during an exciting time, when the possibilities are endless. SAFE SPACE spotlights Detroit’s vast creativity by featuring a diverse cross-section of artists and designers.
Local Artists and Designers include an impressive and well-curated roster featuring Aaron Blendowski, Alex Youkanna, Bre’Ann White, Chad Wentzel, Christian Mickovic, Laura Quattrocchi, Lauren Kalman, Marco Lorenzetti, Michael Christy, Nadiya I. Nacorda, Nina Cho, Osman Khan, OUIZI, Renee Rials, Sam Keller, Sarah C. Blanchette, TMRWLND Studio, William Kang as well as Friendship Circle Soul Studio members: Aislinn Wendrow, Blake Jackson, Jonathan Barnett and Stephanie Harris.
From a storytelling robot designed by Michigan professor Osman Khan, to paintings and woven pieces from Soul Studio’s program for artists with special needs, to mirror-centric works by up-and-coming industrial designers Aaron Blendowski and Nina Cho— SAFE SPACE seeks to “showcase an expansive array of artistic styles and mediums that embody Detroit’s thriving creativity.”
Following the exhibition’s final day, We-Are-Familia will be hosting a celebration on Saturday, May 4th from 9 PM to 1 AM at Candy Bar in The Siren Hotel, a vibrant cocktail lounge inside one of the world’s best-designed hotels. The event will be co-hosted by Friends and Lovers, with music by DJ Kenan Juska, who hosts the celebrated radio show “Chances with Wolves.”
We-Are-Familia is a group of artists and designers from around the world who work collaboratively. Together, they build community through the arts, which are multi-sensory and multi-linguistic. We-Are-Familia has exhibited at The Museum of Art and Design, New York City, Colette Paris, and at the Fountain Art Fairs in New York City and Miami. Past initiatives include a Keepsake Box project and multiple site-specific events that take over otherwise uninhabited spaces.
The Detroit Public Library is the fourth largest in the country; the first building opened during the Civil War, surprising the city with over 5,000 volumes of choice and rare works—free to the public. At the time, the Detroit Free Press wrote, “Its influences for good cannot be too highly estimated.” Since then, its legacy is steeped in the pursuit of social progress, such as being home to the first black president of the American Library Association Clara Stanton Jones.
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