you've been to an art opening, you've definitely seen James H. Dozier
or, as he's known to everyone but the taxman, just "Dozier."
An accomplished multimedia visual artist (you can catch his work
physically at Ferndale's Batista
Gallery - or check out our virtual gallery here),
Dozier has taken it upon himself to get to as many art openings
and other cultural venues in our fair region as possible. In the
past several months, he began compiling his own exhibition and cultural
events listing which he shares via email in order to help others
too participate in all that Detroit's cultural venues have to offer.
Dozier sat down with Nick Sousanis at the Cass
Café to answer thedetroiter.com's famous four questions. (A different
version of this interview can be found in the pages of Metro
check out our own art exhibitions calendar here.)
I'm a native
Detroiter and grew up in Detroit.
GALLERY AND OTHER CULTURAL VENUES LISTINGS??
always been interested in art and culture since my early 20s. Originally I became
interested in photography which then blossomed into interests in painting and
drawing and eventually fusing them all together in my own work. As I became more
aware of Detroit's culture, I also became aware of how little of Detroit's culture
seemed to be promoted outside of Detroit or even within Detroit. Our local media,
although they do some coverage, it seems to me that their coverage of non-major
cultural venues in our area has been steadily diminishing. I became aware that
the only way I would find out what was going on was by actively going to these
various cultural venues.
became more active in terms of participating in more cultural venues, a number
of people noticed me at various venues and they would inquire as to what else
was happening. After a couple of years of this, I decided something needed to
be done. I realized I had to be the agent for that change. So I started compiling
lists of events and then sending that information out to anybody who was interested.
I also feel that this helps promote the city. We have a thriving cultural scene
here but unfortunately it's just underreported.
one of my aspirations in doing this compilation is to make people aware not only
of the culture here but to expand the idea of our community to include all the
cultural venues within a 150 mile radius of Detroit. A lot of other interesting
things are happening elsewhere like Windsor, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, and so
IS THE FUTURE OF DETROIT?
speaking, I think although we're going through some tough times right now, Detroit
is going to thrive. It will take time. It took time for us to decline; it will
take time for us to rise up again. I think we are steadily rising. However, the
rise will come with the realization that we won't have the same population we
enjoyed in the past. Therefore, we will have to make some adjustments in our aspirations
based upon that realization. But in terms of our future, I think it is really
bright. I think we are going to become one of the major cities in the nation.
Also I think that people will start seeing Detroit as one of the cultural centers
of the nation.
IS THE FUTURE OFTHE ART SCENE AND LISTINGS IN DETROIT?
think the future is bright. Perhaps there will be some changes in how artists
and galleries promote themselves because of the economies involved. For instance,
some galleries and artists no longer use postcards to send out announcements for
their shows. Galleries in particular are using the Internet more to send out email
announcements for their openings.
to the distances involved you can't get to them all [the galleries]. It would
be so much nicer if they would, say, extend their openings from 6 to 11 or 5 to
10, so people would have ample time to come and attend their openings. And that's
really helpful because at some venues parking is an issue. Some galleries are
doing this. Also in areas where we have a cluster of galleries, it would be beneficial
if they could coordinate their openings.
think the listings will always be important. Because it allows one to really find
out what is happening in a timely manner, unlike monthly publications where you
have to meet a print deadline well in advance. Also with the Internet, information
can be dispensed very quickly to people who are interested in receiving it. Therefore
it makes it even more convenient. A lot of people who respond to the openings
listings cite the fact that they can look at what's happening at a glance. They
don't have to be looking and hunting to see what is happening. Also, it allows
me to list a lot of venues that for whatever reason aren't listed in the mass
I enjoy doing
it. I like informing people, exciting people about our community. I still hear
people say "There's nothing happening." And I say read this.
can find Dozier at nearly every art opening. Don't miss our virtual
gallery of his work here.
- Nick Sousanis email@example.com