Fall is traditionally a time for harvesting – and the Detroit art scene has come up with a bumper crop of delights for you to enjoy in the weeks ahead.
Bumper crop, we hasten to add, is not an exaggeration; notes and press releases on this desk became positively mountainous even before we said goodbye to the dog days of August. We streamlined this itinerary as best we could and the stuff we HAD to leave out is still making us weep. Be advised also that we may rewind calendar-wise here for events that nicely complement each other.
First off, let's repeat some good news that's probably old news by now. Zombo is back! Theatre Bizarre is setting up The Initiation for 10/22 and Detroit's wacky and wonderful walpurgisnacht is taking place within the dignified walls of the Masonic Temple this year. We spoke with our good friends John Dunivant to verify all the logistics. The entertainment roster will be a big one, naturally. We would like to single out two names – Satori Circus, the Motor City's favorite anti-mime, will be lurking about and Nine Pound Hammer will pummel the crowd with cowpunk ditties. 10/27 thru 29 will bless you with three consecutive nights of DAMNED IV, that provocative journey into enlightened darkness that now enjoys a considerable degree of international attention. Magnificent art and live performances from such luminous names as Detroit Fly House, Dixon's Violin, Chantal & Amber and The Devil Dolls. Bonus! Jane Fader assures us she'll be dressed to impress on the evening of the masquerade dinner. Bonus Redux! Adam Layne's table of goodies will include the 2012 Satori Circus calendar. Big Effing Bonus! Our favorite thespian Jimmy Doom apparently enjoys ... "clerical status" of some sort and he'll officiate at a mass renewal of nuptial vows on the 29th. Pray for absinthe.
Speaking of D-IV, let us now praise DVS. This Detroit photographer who has given so much time, energy and color to the city's creative soul is FINALLY getting the spotlight for a solo that's been in the darkroom for nearly half a decade. III – An Exhibition Trinity is an ambitious triptych to say the least. It'll consist of 11 large canvases in several rooms; each room devoted to a specifically themed subject. Visions of Vesuvius, a tribute to Pompeii and Herculaneum, will utilize imported mud from the Dead Sea and the ashes of discarded memories; Divina Soma will explore the connections between physical anatomy, spiritual awakening and the eternal wonders of the feminine form; the final movement to this visual symphony is called Galatea – a synthesis of stone, metal and fragile remnants that poignantly echo the past. Tangent Gallery/Hastings Street Ballroom on 11/11/11. Shame on you if you forget THAT date!
A sculptor we want you to keep in mind is Robert Landry. Classically trained and possessing an almost supernatural ability to make bronze bend to his will and inner visions, Landry's works have been appreciated here, in NY and at Art Prize. This Royal Oak native has impressive plans for the future and also has a website (rllandry.com) that should be bookmarked immediately. A painter who never ceases to amaze us is Angel Busque. From 10/7-10/9, she and a veritable army of equally talented souls will storm Art Effect Gallery and announce We Are Here. Forty original works in such mediums and styles as abstract expressionism, street graffiti, photography, video installation and original illustration – all of it focusing on "the spirit and shadows of our great city." Among the other soldiers: Matt Hessler, David Graw, Andrea Cardinal, Blair French and Ayaka Hibino.
The DIA is our favorite colossal trove of art and 323 East is no less beloved for being a wee bit smaller in size. On 10/16, the former will take the wrappings off Detroit Revealed: Photographs 2000-2010. A comprehensive and panoramic view of our city's buildings, streets, businesses and people, this exhibit will present images captured by Scott Hocking, Michelle Andonian, Corine Vermeulen and others. As for 323 ... well, the Royal Oak alcove must really be chugging the power drinks these days! It's Urban-Roots show is a fascinating assessment of city-farming efforts with eye-catching pieces from such agrarians as Sylvie Shain, Kill Taupe, Dennis Jacobs, Marianne Audrey Burrows, MALT and Heather Hansma. After these fruits are safely boxed up, the walls will be given over to DENIAL, that modern-day Voltaire whose acerbic take on our commercially-charged wonderland of illusions will make you laugh, shake your head, get angry and (maybe?) get involved. Oh, and please investigate The Woodward Windows, a venture on the avenue that the 323 folks are currently dressing, designing and detailing.
There are always flyers flying about. Get one for the Detroit Film Theatre and catch all the features listed for a series devoted to Mexican cinema. Now reach out and grab the one you'll be using when the Art Detroit Now Gallery Walk begins on 9/30.
Also, please remember that art is frequently something that's literally in motion. On 10/2, the Magic Bag in Ferndale will become a magic carpet ride courtesy of Club Bellydance and members of LA's sensational Bellydance Superstars. Familiar names from our own local contingent as well! Lana Mini, Kendra Ray, Nadira, Lalena Malloian, Nashita, Trisha Miah and others from this sensational sisterhood will sway and take your breath away. You are not worthy. Neither are we. Let's just deal with it, okay?
And if you prefer your theatrical experiences to be both bizarre AND traditional, rest assured that our thespian temples have been busy with new productions and forthcoming ones. Check out Daddy Long Legs at the Gem before it strolls away on 10/20. Come to think of it, start paying a lot more attention to this aptly named theatre and its sister stage, the Century. A remarkable lady named Kathleen Kennedy Ferris is set on bringing only the best shows to both of them in the future. Be certain to see how the Fox Theatre gets Spanish plains nice and wet when My Fair Lady steps out starting 10/22. Yes, it will be loverly! At present, the Fisher wants you to don wings (or at least take a seat) for Come Fly Away, a high-soaring tribute to Frank Sinatra kept aloft by the high-stepping vision of Twyla Tharp. Mind you it's only here till 9/25. After (or before) your safe landing, drive to Northville's Tipping Point for the surprise sleeper of the year. This frequently and criminally overlooked theatre (yes, we plead guilty) has brought to life The Mystery of Irma Vep, a glorious "penny dreadful" pastiche by Charles Ludlam that manages to bring werewolves, vampires, mummies and assorted other characters into perfect harmony on the stage. The stars of tomorrow are today's undergrads and the Jesuits really know how to put on a show. UDM Theatre Company is presently blessing us with Lee Blessing's Eleemosynary over at the Marygrove campus on Six Mile. Permit us also to remind you that (contrary to popular belief) films are still being made around here. The Mitten Movie Project unveils new and impressive works every month at the Main in Royal Oak. Check it out. | RDW