Nomadic Arts Organization Finds a Home



When Metamorphosis opens on November 13, it will be a significant happening for a 25 year old nomadic non-profit arts organization. The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) has taken over the space formerly known as detroit contemporary and set up shop. (For the record, Nick Sousanis has been a board member of CAID since the spring of 2004.)

Founded by Charles McGee, Jean Heilbrunn, and others in 1978, the group's first exhibition "Installations" opened in September 1979 in the Jefferson Terminal Warehouse at 1900 E. Jefferson. (For more on McGee, go to our story here.) This show saw twenty-three artists transform different sections of the warehouse into their own installation space. McGee filled a corner with light from neon tubes while others did work with sound, film, literature, and the structure of the building itself.

CAID's original mission statement read, "We are dedicated to the advancement, fostering, and promotion of quality, contemporary art. It is our intent to provide a forum in Detroit for innovative and experimental art, and to educate the artists and public in contemporary issues."

Since that time, CAID has been putting on exhibitions, performances, and symposiums in the pursuit of fostering and promoting the "essential link between contemporary arts and contemporary society." After a heavily active period in the 80s, the group withered in the mid-1990s only to re-emerge with the four part LINK series in 2002 which featured an exhibition of Detroit-based artists at detroit contemporary, a symposium on Detroit music at Wayne State University, an electronic-music party called Frequency at the detroit contemporary, and Motor City Breakdown, a live-music show at the Magic Stick. Earlier this year, CAID presented unCAGED, "a mixed medium event based on the theories of John Cage."

Their taking residence at 5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard, marks the first time CAID has had a space to call their own.

This first exhibition recognizes CAID's rich history by inviting five former board members to show their work as well as having these artists serve as curators to select five artists of their own to exhibit alongside.

Exhibiting curators and artists they've selected for Metamorphosis include:

Charles McGee (founder in 1978) presents Larry Cressman
Nelson Smith presents Chelsea Fields
Sue Carmen Vian presents Rick Vian
Rose E DeSloover presents Linda Lutomski
Deanna Sperka presents Lola Sonnenshein

Metamorphosis opens Saturday, November 13th, 2004 and runs through December 18th, 2004. The opening reception will be on November 13 from 6pm to 11pm. Along with the exhibition there will also be a panel discussion with former CAID members on Wednesday, December 1st, 7pm at CAID moderated by Dick Goody.

For further details, contact
the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit:
5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan 48208
Gallery hours: Thursday through Saturday, 12-6pm


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