On September 26, 2020, Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery will unveil a 100 ft. outdoor exhibition, in partnership with the West Grand Blvd. Collaborative (WGBC|ARTS). The exhibition features twenty large-format banners mounted along a specially-installed fence across the gallery property – facing the flow of Boulevard traffic between the John C. Lodge and Jeffries freeways. Each banner has been uniquely painted by local creatives, thinkers and/or youth, in response to the exhibition’s title: JUSTICE PEACE + LOVE.
Unable to open its doors and provide regular programming during the pandemic, the Gallery is acting on an overwhelming urge to connect with its community, provide some semblance of healing during these unprecendented times, and create a platform for the voices and visions of the city’s artists to be heard and seen. “We are all screaming inside,” the Gallery Director feels. “This installation gives participating artists an outlet to respond to those issues and questions most deeply resonating in their souls, and to share a measure of beauty and hope with the community. That, in itself, is curative for the creators, and for each of us who experiences their art.”
Individual works have been fueled by recent issues, including COVID-19, police killings, U.S. politics, street violence, global protests, and any number of inequities laid bare over the course of this year. With a focus on a positive way forward, artists have been given free reign to articulate their most urgent social concerns, resulting in an exhibition that reflects a range of Black, cross-cultural, and inter-generational thought. Contributors include Angel Futrell, Errin Whitaker, Esé Alexis, Jack Rhea, Jeff Cancelosi, jessica Care moore, Kathy Rashid, Kianga Moore & Darian Smith, Jonathan Harris, Marta Carvajal, Michael Horner & Tyrone Gardenhire and youth artists Darrion Stanton, DeVon Stanton, Donovan Espuet, King Thomas Moore, and Kingston Espuet.
Partners on the project, Irwin House Gallery and WGBC, are both women and minority-led operations committed to improving life for West End Detroit citizens (WEdetroit). This public art installation is the first of its kind for the neighborhood and marks the beginning of many arts initiatives designed to serve, invigorate, and strengthen the community.
JUSTICE PEACE + LOVE will open to the public with a socially-distanced drive or walk-through afternoon, where visitors and commuters are invited to view and engage with the exhibit from 12 pm – dusk on Saturday, September 26, 2020, and to visit the installation everyday thereafter through November 30, 2020. The exhibtion will move indoors, with related programming, from December 6, 2020 – January 20, 2021. The Gallery is open limited hours and by appointment at this time.
Cover art : Errin Whitaker