“In Your Neighborhood” review by Marianne Burrows
I’ve always believed Hamtramck to be a completely unique city as it is surrounded entirely by the city of Detroit. Right now at Public Pool there is an fantastic art installation done by Hamtramck artist Jessica Frelinghuysen called “In Your Neighborhood”. It is a collection of intimate sketches, large as life monochromatic paintings of streetscapes, a group of sounds and interviews, and a couple of other light hearted details involving a loud jump suit with an insulated pierogie pocket and recording back pack as well as a telephone pole tree with cans hanging from it to listen to some of the captured sounds.
When I was looking at all of this on opening night, the fine lined sketches of children, old women feeding pigeons, women in burkas, a mouth stretched slightly to show the golden tooth inside, I was reminded how many places in the world can sometimes be expressed as the melting pot of humanity. One might even feel as if they are listening to the call to prayer on the loud speakers as walking through the alley or the sound of St. Florian’s majestic bells as walking down anyone of the streets named from an eastern European decent. She has truly paid attention and given a simple and positive representation of what it’s like to live here.
When I asked Jessica what was one of her most humorous experiences when she was gathering material for this exhibit she told me about an encounter with a rather colorful character outside of Burk’s Igloo. One of the drawings is simply of an ice cream cone with the quote, “Small cone with sprinkles, looks kinda weird to me.” In the press release or artist statement from the show she also states, “In Your Neighborhood is an attempt to create a visual and audio representation of my experience here.” Congratulations Ms. Frelinghuysen, you have conveyed your experiences quite well.
Jessica Frehlinghuysen holds a BFA in Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Architecture Degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She grew up in New Jersey and Tennessee and has lived in New York City and Minneapolis. She also studied a year abroad in Rome, Italy. She is a current Hamtramck resident.
This installation has a bright urban energy. The kind which propels a city forward by captivating an audience with providing insights into a neighborhood untainted by a suburban culture. Many people have yet to realize or remember what it’s like to live in an urban environment that is multi-cultural and symbiotic, walkable and safe. In Your Neighborhood will be available for viewing Saturdays from 1-6pm until December 18th at Public Pool 3309 Caniff, Hamtramck MI 48212.
- Marianne Burrows
*more information at:http://apublicpool.com/