Tuesday, May 1, 2012

555 Gallery Open-house Event

On Friday, April 27th, 2012 my wife, mother, and I attended the 555 Gallery and Studios Open-house. It was a great, laid back, get-to-know-you type of event with food and drinks and some fantastic artwork on display. Among the artwork shown was a prize piece: a beautiful piece of graffiti extracted from inside the decaying infamous Detroit Packard Plant. They cut the piece of the wall out of the building, covered it with plexi-glass and gave it a new home at 555 where people can see it and appreciate it. Later in the evening the Detroit Circus Troupe performed an incredible show right there inside 555, it was some fantastic entertainment and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. 

The new 555 Gallery and Studios is located in the former 3rd Police Precinct and jail in Southwest Detroit. This non-profit art organization is currently in the process of taking a previously abandoned Detroit building and transforming it into beautiful art studio space, art storage space, classroom space, and gallery space. As you can imagine, this is an expensive task (multi-million $). But they know the task ahead of them and through generous donors are able to begin the necessary work involved.

It was quite an amazing sight, walking through old Detroit interrogation rooms and jail cells and using a bit of imagination and foresight to picture the rich potential of the space. It wasn't hard to make the jump and see what 555 sees in this building. It made you want to grab one of the calm, smiling organizers by the shirt and yell in their face "what comes next and what can I do to help??!!" 


I discussed the possibility of me teaching an art class or two at 555 with a bright, friendly organizer and found they were very open to not only the possibility of me teaching some art classes, but also to my ideas for the curriculum. Another wonderful AFL and and art studio collaboration in my future?  Possibly :)


At this point 555 is in full-on working mode, with quite a bit ahead of them. They have a lot of work to do yet with the building, and there's lots of planning to do for future events. They're currently doing children's art classes already in the old Police station, and are already plotting out plans for more, including adult classes. They're looking for artists who are interested in renting studio and storage space, and they majorly need two things: donations and volunteers. If you want become part of something great, and something still in the beginning stages but also moving with incredible momentum, please visit their website: http://www.555arts.org/.  And if you want to go take a look at it, their address is 2801 West Vernor Highway, Detroit, 48216.


As for the Detroit Circus troupe that performed the entertainment for the night, I highly recommend seeing one of their performances, and even hiring them for an event! Below are some videos I took with my cell phone of them at 555. Watch them and enjoy!
You can find out more about Detroit Circus at their website: http://detroitcircus.info/

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