Detroit Image Drive

Extended thru  the end of January , 2020, The Irwin House Gallery will be accepting YOUR Detroit images for permanent installation at our space, as an artistic record of real Detroit people, our meaningful moments, and the people, places, and experiences that shape us.  Here’s what you do:

– PLEASE SUBMIT 1-3 of your favorite images via FB Messenger or email to: irwinhousegallery@gmail.com.

– If you’re visiting the gallery, you can also drop-off hi-quality photocopies OR bring your original images for scanning on-site. Hours are Thurs-Sun from 12-6 pm.

Your image/s can reflect the past or present, yourself, family members, friends, places, distinctly Detroit objects, icons, or heroes… There are no wrong answers as long as the images are clear, G-rated, and share some insight into YOUR Detroit.

Thank you for being a part of our space, and helping us create this document of everyday Detroit greatness!


Don’t forget the block by John Sims | Detroit Metro Times

As his residency comes to a close, Irwin House Artist-in-Residence, John Sims reflects on his time in Detroit in this heartfelt Metro Times piece with a message for us all….

Don’t forget the block

What I learned returning to my childhood
neighborhood for an artist residence

By John Sims

 

“As we move through the holiday season into the new year, there is much to enjoy and think about: family, friends and fellowship. This is the time to share stories, laughter, food, gifts, and to entertain the children and indulge the elders, visit loved ones, and remember the ones who have passed. And in a place like Detroit, a place in transition, where rebirth meets decay, there is an open invitation to reflect on both the past and future of stories of all sorts, connections of all kinds, and physical spaces that have anchored our memories to a sense of community and neighborly togetherness….”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Sims Detroit Residency: Closing Reception & Presentation

In early November 2019, the Irwin Gallery welcomed Detroit native, conceptual artist, writer and producer, John Sims, as its inaugural Artist-In-Residence. While working and residing on site, Sims has been developing a three-part multimedia project based on his childhood block on Detroit’s West Side. Entitled Sorrento: Portrait of a Detroit Block, the project is Sims’ deeply personal response to the decay and desolation of his home street – a reflection of many Detroit neighborhoods, and a microcosm of urban communities decimated by systemic abandonment and neglect throughout the country.

On Sunday, December 8, 2019, the gallery will host a farewell reception for SIms, who will be returning to Sarasota, FL, in the following days. The event gives the public an opportunity to meet the artist, socialize, take in the DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY exhibit, and see the work Sims has been creating on behalf of his Sorrento project.

Sorrento: Portrait of a Detroit Block  Presentation | Sunday, December 8, 2019, 4:00 – 6:00 pm. RSVP: irwinhousegallery@gmail.com or https://www.facebook.com/events/557429438373126/

Artist John Sims looks at his childhood neighborhood…by Lee DeVito | Detroit Metro Times

Artist John Sims looks at his childhood neighborhood in ‘Sorrento: Portrait of a Detroit Block’

Last year, Detroit’s Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery opened its doors earlier than originally planned following the death of Aretha Franklin, who grew up nearby, in order to mount an exhibition dedicated to her life. Artist John Sims, a curator for that first show, is wrapping up a stint as the gallery’s first artist-in-residence, which is also inspired by the neighborhood he grew up in — in this case, Sims’ west side neighborhood at Sorrento Avenue and West Chicago Street.

RELATED John Sims, a regular Renaissance man, returns to Detroit for lecture

The three-part multimedia project, which is described as “Sims’ deeply personal response to the decay and desolation of his home street,” includes a visually enhanced “VideoPoem” (the poem is included in M.L. Liebler’s Respect, also featured in this week’s issue), a print installation that mimics the experience of walking down the block, and a book.

Closing reception from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8; Irwin House Gallery; 2351 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-932-7690; irwinhousegallery.com. Admission is free. On view through Jan. 5.

Posted By   | Sun, Dec 1, 2019 at 9:46 am
Read the original article HERE

A Detroit Diaspora Day Party Thanksgiving Weekend…

Saturday, November 30, 2019 – Thanksgiving Weekend – The Irwin House Gallery was thrilled to welcome Detroit Diaspora for a day-party welcoming “natives, ex-pats, transplants, and those dispersed souls from the D as well as those visiting, and those who feel an undeniable, almost spiritual, desire to represent the D world wide.”

The evening featured sets from Detroit’s own Drake Phifer, Detroit via Brooklyn’s Marilyn Griffin, and Chi-town’s Duane E Powell as well as a special performance from Detroit via Chicago’s own @Angel-A. Food was provided by Kaleidoscope Catering.

Set against the backdrop of the DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY Exhibit – which highlights the city’s people, places, imaginings, and memories – Dancing By Day was a celebration of all Detroiters, and especially those of us who carry Detroit in our hearts around the globe and return home, faithfully, this time every year.

Happy Holiday Season from The Irwin House Gallery!

(Pictured above: Chicago Guest DJ, Duane E. Powell)


Below event photos courtesy of Drake Phifer



VidaAfrolatina Film Screening & Discussion

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2019 | 5 PM — Yes, we know it’s Noel Night; All the more reason to add this event to your festivities! As part of its BLACK WOMEN IN LATIN AMERICA film series, VidaAfrolatina is presenting a film screening of Antonia – a moving story of four young women in Brazil, blessed with talent and striving to remake their turbulent lives. Following the screening, students from Rio de Janeiro — Jéssica Menezes, Gabriel Ferreira and Nathalia Costa — will lead a discussion about the film and parallels between the lives of African Americans and Afro-Brazilians.

VidaAfrolatina is hosting BLACK WOMEN IN LATIN AMERICA film events tocelebrate the resilience, genius, beauty and power of women African descent, and to connect the African Diaspora in Detroit and in Latin America. VidaAfrolatina is an international women’s fund based in Detroit that supports Black women’s organizations in Latin America.

SUGGESTED DONATION $10 | TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
Panelists: Jéssica Menezes, Gabriel Ferreira and Nathalia Costa in discussion

Sorrento & Beyond: John Sims Artist Residency

The Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery welcomes Detroit native, conceptual artist, writer and producer, John Sims, as its inaugural Artist-In-Residence. While working and residing on site, Sims is developing a three-part multimedia project comprised of a VideoPoem, print installation, and book, based on his childhood block on Detroit’s West Side. Entitled Sorrento: Portrait of a Detroit Block, the project is Sims’ deeply personal response to the decay and desolation of his home street – a reflection of many Detroit neighborhoods, and a microcosm of urban communities decimated by systemic abandonment and neglect throughout the country.

Sims penned an essay about his 1980s recollections on the block and the pain of losing the physical anchors of childhood memories, in the context of downtown Detroit’s resurgence. The text led to the poem, D-City Blues, and an accompanying music video, which makes up the first part of the project. The poem was selected for inclusion in the newly released book edited by M.L. Liebler, RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music (Michigan State University Press, 2019). The D-City Blues VideoPoem also fits within the DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY Exhibit, which explores local perspectives, memories, and imaginings for the future, and runs at the Irwin House Gallery through January 5, 2020.

In its entirety, Sims’ Sorrento work forms an exhibition project featuring the book, 30 portraiture plates, with 15 prints on each side of a corridor to mimic the feeling of walking down the block, along with the D-City Blues music VideoPoem, and video histories of the people who previously lived and remain on the block. While developing the project at the Irwin Gallery, the artist will engage the general public through three public programs during the course of his residency. The Sorrento project will be staged in Detroit and travel to other cities dealing with similar issues of gentrification and urban decay.

A Detroit native currently living in Sarasota, FL, John Sims creates both art and curatorial projects spanning the areas of installation, performance, text, music, film, and large-scale activism, informed by mathematics, design, racial politics, and sacred symbolism. He has lectured and exhibited widely including in Hungary, Spain, Israel and Argentina and most recently in Slovenia. In 2017, he made the National Coalition of Against Censorship’s list of Top Free Speech Offenders and Defenders, as a defender. Sims’ work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, The Guardian, The Root, ThinkProgress, Al Jazeera, Guernica, Art in America, Transition, Sculpture, Science News, Nature and Scientific American. He has written for CNN, Al Jazeera, The Huffington Post, Guernica Magazine, The Rumpus, and The Grio.

  • Sorrento & Beyond: Artist Talk with John Sims: Saturday, November 16, 2019, 4:00 – 6:00 pm.
  • Cocktail Reception and Film Screening, Saturday, November 23, 2019, 7:00 – 10:00 pm 
  • Residency Closing Reception and Sorrento Project Presentation, Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 pmRSVP: irwinhousegallery@gmail.com or https://www.facebook.com/events/533515727472430/.


General hours are Thurs-Sun 12-6pm. Open by appointment other times. Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery, 2351 W. Grand Blvd. (Between LaSalle & Linwood), Detroit, MI 48208. Ph: 313.932.7690 | http://irwinhousegallery.org IG: @irwinhousegallery | FB: /irwinhousegallery

 

Oh what a nite…of poetry, music, and art!

Friday, November 8, 2019, we were thrilled and honored to celebrate the release of M.L. Liebler’s new book, RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music. The evening was led by the maestro and master poet himself, M.L. Liebler, and featured live music performed by The Coyote Monk Poetry band, along with a line-up of contributing poets to the book, including John Sims, our Artist-in-Residence.

This was the first such event for the Irwin House, but certainly won’t be the last…



Images courtesy of John Sims
Image courtesy of Writer L. Bush

Special thanks to M.L Liebler and John Sims for making the night fantastic!

NEXT UP: Detroit PoetryMusicArt Jam with M.L. Liebler, John Sims & Friends

As part of the DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY Exhibit, the Irwin House Gallery presents a pre-launch poetry and music evening with award-winning Detroit poet, M.L. Liebler, celebrating the release of his newest book, RESPECT: THE POETRY OF DETROIT MUSIC (© 2019 Michigan State University Press).

This is a free event taking place on Friday, November 8, 2019 from 7-10pm.

Conceptual artist, writer and producer, John Sims – a contributor to the book – joins M.L. Liebler in sharing Detroit-themed poetry and rhythms from the book, with live music by The Coyote Monk Poetry Band.  Sims is the Irwin Gallery’s inaugural Artist-in-Residence, during which he is developing a multi-media oral history project, Sorrento: Portrait of a Detroit Block. His accompanying video-poem, D-City Blues, is featured in the anthology and is also part of the DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY Exhibit. Surprise special guests and book contributors are expected to jump in on the evening.

RESPECT explores Detroit’s incredible musical history in a collection of poems and lyrics covering a broad variety of genres, and how Detroit artists have forged paths in music that continue to reverberate world-wide. While documenting and celebrating this part of Detroit’s history, this book captures the emotions that the music continues to inspire in its creators and in its listeners. The range of contributors speaks to the global impact of Detroit’s music scene—Grammy winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and poet laureates all come together in this rich and varied anthology, including such icons as Eminem, June Jordan, Fred “Sonic” Smith, Rita Dove, Jack White, Robbie Robertson, Paul Simon, Nikki Giovanni, and many more. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale.

The Irwin House Gallery was founded by Valerie D. Irwin and her late husband, Council Irwin, Jr. to engage the community through the arts and support local talent, while inviting the global art world to experience and contribute to the cultural wealth of Detroit. The gallery opened in 2018, amid construction, for the city’s first visual art exhibition celebrating The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY Exhibit, which opened September 28, 2019, explores the city’s past, present, and imaginable future through the lens of local and Detroit-inspired artists. “While our space and resources do not allow us to capture the full breadth and complexity of Detroit with this exhibit, each artist brings a bit of their story, their eye, and their experience to the story,” says the Irwin Gallery’s Director, Omo Misha. With this exhibit, the Irwin House also unveils new developments to its space and programming, including the completion of its main floor gallery, opening the 2nd level of the building, and its Artist-In-Residency (AIR) program.

The art exhibition features Brian Nickson, Damon Chamblis, Darin Darby, Dolores Slowinski, James Charles, Morris, Jeni Wheeler, Jon DeBoer, Kathleen Rashid, Lance Johnson, Melissa Vize, Robert W. Clark III and Waleed Johnson, along with John Sims, Artist-in-Residence. Exhibition runs through January 5, 2020.

The Detroit PoetryMusicArt Jam: Friday, November 8, 2019 from 7:00 – 10:00pm. RSVP: irwinhousegallery@gmail.com or https://www.facebook.com/events/797654864025260/. General hours are Thurs-Sun 12-6pm. Open by appointment other times. Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery, 2351 W. Grand Blvd. (Between LaSalle & Linwood), Detroit, MI 48208. Ph: 313.932.7690 | http://irwinhousegallery.org IG: @irwinhousegallery | FB: /irwinhousegallery

A Few Flix from the Exhibit

We had no official photographer in the house for the September 28th opening of the The DETROIT FUTURE HISTORY Exhibit, or the October 6th artist talk, but here are a few photos we’ve managed to round up from guests and cell phones. For the best views, come to see the show yourself through January 5, 2020!












 
More to come, I’m sure….