The Auto Show, The Other Auto Show,
and The Design Show, Oh My!!


It's January, and for Detroiters that means it's really cold outside. (Okay with the rare exception of the 50 degree heat wave happening as this goes to press!) It also means auto insiders and enthusiasts once again make their pilgrimage to their particular Mecca, that is the North American International Auto Show. In recognition of this annual event, is offering up a month's worth of stories and imagery taking up the subject of car culture and its role in this community. There are a variety of different voices scheduled to share their thoughts and we're also hoping to hear from you, our readers, about the very Detroit issue of the automobile and transportation.

To kick things off this week, we offer part one of Nick Sousanis' essay on the means by which the automobile came to be the primary means of transportation. (Click here for article) Next week, we'll present the second half of the essay with an exploration of the effects that reliance on the automobile has brought.

While this is going on in our pages, here's a quick look at three shows going on around town this month all addressing the automobile in some fashion.

The Auto Show

Of course, there's the Auto Show itself. Or more officially, The North American International Auto Show. This premiere event of the auto industry brings in hundreds of thousands of people to see what's new, what's hot, and what might be coming around the corner.

The exhibition is open to the public from Saturday, January 15 to Sunday, January 23 and is held @

Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center
One Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226
For more info on tickets and scheduling,
go to:



The Other Auto Show

While a great deal of attention will be paid to the Auto Show, The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) offers the democratic response, "The Other Auto Show." This show intends to offer a "critical interpretation of Detroit's relationship with the automobile and its influence on our culture."

For this exhibition co-curators Andy Malone and Mike Doyle have brought together an eclectic cast of Detroit artists, architects, and designers to each present their own unique perspective on Detroit's "love/hate" relationship with the automobile.

Look for work from Robert Andersen, Camilo Pardo, Mark
Dancey, Maurice Greenia, Jr., Francis Grunow, Tyree Guyton, Brian
Kritzman, Jaron Rothkop, Gary Schwartz, Himanshu Sharma, Christian
Tedeschi, and Ron Zakrin. *

The show runs from January 15 through March 12, 2005 and will be held at CAID's space at 5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit. The opening reception is Saturday, January 15, 2005. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

In addition to the exhibition, CAID is also hosting the "Other Auto Forum" on Wednesday, February 23 at 7:00 pm (at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit). Francis Grunow, Excecutive Director of Preservation Wayne, will host the forum, which will feature public transportation advocates, community leaders, and industry professionals.

For more info:
Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit:
5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan 48208
Hours: Thursday through Saturday, 12-6pm

* (Excerpts from Nick Sousanis' essay that appears in these pages, will also be worked into an interactive "exquisite corpse" drawing facilitated by Maurice Greenia. Sousanis is also a board member of CAID)


In addition to the auto show and its other, the Detroit Artists Market offers up their annual Design Show: a tribute to the Detroit designers who don't work in the auto industry.

In this time when "planned obsolescence" has replaced craftsmanship, this show is always a refreshing change from the mass-produced furniture found at Wal-Mart. This show presents the chance to see (and perhaps own) some truly unique objects of art that function as functional objects as well.

Designers include: John DeHoog, Andrew C. Kem, Tom Carbone, Vincent Haq-Mastrionni, Anne Selden, Moire Conroy, Brian Ferriby, Bradford Watson, Christina P. Day, Shane Gabier, and Andy Weitnauer.

The show runs January 14 through January 23.

There will be two openings on January 14.
The Black Tie preview runs from 5:30-8pm. This $25 event ($20 if reserved in advance) features a live fashion show, music by WDET's Liz Copeland, and catering by the Melting Pot.
Those wishing to skip the hoopla but still want to be part of the energy of the evening, can come by 8 to 11 and still get to catch all of the works of art for free.

For more info:
The Design Show
The Detroit Artists Market
4719 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11am to 6pm.

© 2002