Detroit: Breeding Ground – A discussion on sculpture

Detroit: Breeding Ground – A discussion on sculpture

Sunday November 1st, 2009 at 4pm
within the social landscape at the Museum of New Art

alt text Abigail Newbold

On Sunday November 1st at 4pm the Museum of New Art (MONA) will host a panel discussion and the release of the exhibition catalogue for its current show – Detroit: Breeding Ground.

This panel focuses on the state of artists and their artwork within the social landscape of Detroit. Focusing primarily on a loose definition of sculpture, the panel discusses the potential gap between the arts community and the public within Detroit exposing how art, namely the avant-garde, is or is not effective within the communities.

In at least the past four years there has been a lot of art related activity in Detroit, most notably the opening of MoCAD, the completion of the DIA renovation, and most recently the Kresge Arts Fellowships and the College for Creative Studies massive expansion, that has reinvigorated the vitality of the arts within the community. Just in the past year there has been everything from the opening of artist run galleries, to community art projects funded by the Skillman and Kresge Foundations. At the foot of it all are the artists and their artwork that is not only supporting the activity, but in most cases are at the center of it.

This panel discusses the impact of the artists and their artwork while asking the critical questions of how is it effective? Why sculpture in Detroit and what does that mean? What exactly is public art to this community?

As a major focus for dialogue, sculpture is questioned as the medium for socialization, and cultural awareness because of its open-ended nature. Under the current circumstances that exist in Detroit, how does the art community grow and at the same time impact the immediate community? The artists within the city do what they do best – create their own focused work through their inspired vision and share it with the community.

alt text Kevin Beasley

The Breeding Ground exhibition is of no exception. Under the same circumstances, the panel discusses this very activity that takes place throughout Detroit and considers the consequences. To coincide with the panel and exhibition is the release of the publication that displays a cross-section of artists and viewpoints present here in the city. The publication serves as a companion resource to the exhibition consisting of multiple texts and images from various writers, critics, artists, and patrons of the Detroit arts community. Contributing writers include Vince Carducci, Patrick Gantert, Dennis Nawrocki, Michael Stone-Richards, and Michael E. Smith.

Dick Goody (moderator)
Dick Goody was born in Windsor, England, and received his M.F.A. from The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. He is a painter, curator, writer and Associate Professor of Art at Oakland University and the Director of the Oakland University Art Gallery where he has written over thirty exhibition catalogues on contemporary art. As a curator, his exhibitions have been reviewed in Art in America and Sculpture Magazine. In 2008, one of his short stories appeared in the Telegraph Journal published by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. In May 2009, he served on the selection panel for the 2009 Detroit Kresge Fellowships. Goody lives in Detroit.

alt textAndrew Thompson

Vince Carducci
Vince Carducci has written on art and culture for many publications, including American Art Review, American Craft, Artforum, Art in America, and Sculpture. His essay “Tom Otterness: Public Art and the Civic Ideal in the Postmodern Age” is contained in the collection, A Sculpture Reader: Contemporary Sculpture Since 1980, published by the International Sculpture Center Press. He has taught at College for Creative Studies, Oakland University, and Wayne State University. In 2007-2008, he coordinated the Critical Studies/Humanities program at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Chido Johnson
Chido Johnson was born in Nyadiri, Zimbabwe. He received Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Sculpture in 1996 and in Painting, with a minor in Drawing, in 1997 from the University of Georgia, Athens. He obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame, IN in 2000. Currently, he is the Section Chair of Sculpture at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. He has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally.

Rebecca Mazzei

Rebecca Mazzei is the assistant dean of the College for Creative Studies. She is the former award-winning arts and culture editor of Metro Times. Prior to her work as editor, Mazzei served for four years as a director at Intuit: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago.

Michael E. Smith
Michael Edward Smith was born in 1977 in Detroit and studied art at both the College for Creative Studies, Detroit and Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT. Smith currently lives in Ferndale, MI with his wife and son and teaches at the College for Creative Studies. Smith has been exhibiting his work locally and nationally since 2005, and his first major solo exhibition will be in March 2010 at Koch Oberhuber Wolff in Berlin, Germany.

Benjamin Teague
Benjamin Teague was born in Durham, NC. He is a graduate of The Corcoran College of Art + Design and Cranbrook Academy of Art. Benjamin has taught at The Corcoran College of Art + Design, Louisville Technical Institute, University of Louisville, and University of Michigan. He is a sculptor, painter, ceramist, musician and performance artist. Benjamin is currently the Associate Curator for The Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art.