Half-a-Century and a Year Later
The Wyandotte Street Art Fair is still a great reason for you and others to trek downriver and take a serious gamble with heat stroke. Plus, the "Bazaar on Biddle" (as we fondly call it) is ... well, a trifle more friendly and a little less pretentious than certain other pavement rambles we're obliged to report on every summer. The 51st WSAF will have nearly 300 artists and performing musicians this time around, and the roster also includes an enticing array of food from local eateries. We'll leave culinary praise to the Hungry Dudes; but as the art lineup goes, may we single out for mention: Ron Jacek, Gina Byrd, Kristen Olivares, John Galbo, Brian McKelvey, Rich Backer and Raymond Small. Permit us also to draw your attention to Retro Row, an avenue of vintage color and imagery organized by Carl, Michele and Cara Lundgren. It's all yours to enjoy 7/11 thru 7/14. More: wyandottestreetartfair.org
Two Decades Later
The Concert of Colors in Detroit is celebrating the one thing that makes our city, our state, our country and our frequently messed up planet a worthwhile and even hopeful work in progress – diversity. That beautiful and (these days) frequently misappropriated term simply notes that human society is not just one song, but a multitude of hymns. The COC itself has gone from being a 1993 one-day event at Chene Park to an eagerly anticipated community festival with acts drawn from our own neighborhoods and from cities that span the globe. A marvelous and eclectic cast will be seen this year – a large cast too, needless to say, so we hope we'll be forgiven for not mentioning everyone. Permit us, however, to give you a nudge or two in the direction of stages that will feature: the celestial strings of the beautiful Wu Man; The Detroit Jazz All-Stars under the dedicated direction of Don Was; the Caribbean charm of Universal Xpression; pulsating Punjabi-punk sounds courtesy of BlackMahal; electronic dance brought to a more daring level of energy by DJCaptn20; The Kreellers with their Celtic sensibilities; mesmerizing motions from the Detroit Fire Guild Belly Dancers; and (most especially) George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. No monster truck rallies planned, but there will be a Food Truck Meet-Up on Saturday and Sunday. Free admission for the 7/12-7/15 event and an equally free (and indispensable) schedule with map may be found by going to concertofcolors.com
365 Days Later
Mike Kelly has promised (or threatened) to make an especially hot batch of salsa for The Funhouse Gallery's First Anniversary Party scheduled for 7/14, so prepare your taste buds accordingly. Prepare your eyes as well, because this gathering of fans and friends will also have an array of canvases fashioned by many of the talented people who have exhibited inside Kelly's expansive sideshow within the Russell Industrial Center. Early (and welcome) news, by the way, if you're one of those fans: Mark Maness is slated for a long-overdue show come this September. 1600 Clay Avenue in Detroit.
We Recognize This Land All Too Well
If you missed the 7/7 reception for Map of Forgotten Places, please note that The Start Gallery will have several viewing events between now and 7/21. We sincerely hope that you'll make one or all of them, because this extraordinary odyssey created by photographer Kyle Kramer and the Giant Eel Group is a multi-faceted examination of both economic decline and the political short-sightedness that presumably hastened it. The American midwest, once a byword for manufacturing and industrial might, is today an anemic shadow of its former self, with idle and rusting factories dotting the horizon – unless they were literally shipped and outsourced to foreign lands. These remnants are the subject of the exhibit – and you will be forgiven if the pictures occasionally give you the impression that you're viewing the ruins of a dead civilization. A sobering excursion into recent history, this Map also incorporates visual and auditory elements that enhance the overall experience to a remarkable degree. 206 Grand River. 313.909.2845.
There Was This Game We Played In High School ...
We'll save that interesting item for the future. For now, let's rejoice that the Woods Gallery will be serving up Mystery Meat starting 7/13. This entree comes to us courtesy of a creative collective named 2435 Tribe. Collectivism is all very well, but we believe the greater good will be neither sullied nor jeopardized if we formally salute GAGNON, O2B, SAB, SEYMOR, and KWITTY for an extraordinary menu of imaginative dishes. 26415 Scotia in Huntington Woods.
We Did Not Phone This In
Oh, let's just admit it, shall we? When he's not turning crimson over 50 Shades of Grey or chastising service economy proles for their lassitude, Mitch Albom is rather adept at writing a good play. We're happy to report then that his marvelous tribute to Ernie Harwell, Detroit's eternal "voice of summer", is now enjoying an extended run at the City Theatre. It's nostalgia, local history and a reminder that baseball once had individuals like Ernie to give the game a joyful sense of honor. Extra innings and ticket info: olympiaentertainment.com. | RDW