The meaning of Art X Detroit

Image Credit: mocadetroit.org

As Art X Detroit winds down to its final weekend of events, I think it’s worth considering for a second what this can mean for the Motor City, because just putting the word ‘Art’ next to the word ‘Detroit’ signaling an event which people should attend is indicative of a local shift in perception, a sort of mini-earthquake disturbance in the fabric of an old and swiftly fading reality.

Because 10 years ago? C’mon, let’s be honest. There is no way there would have been an arts festival on the scale of Art X Detroit. It just…no. But now, all these years and slowly evolving media hypes later, new eyes are beginning to view the artistic potential of a city that, truth be told, has always been nine months pregnant with art of all sorts and types. Kicking and screaming into the world. From all forms of music (I still maintain that Detroit is the music capitol of the world), to the DIA to the local artist community to just keep on going, Detroit is no stranger to art. Because Detroit is the very core of artistic expression itself. Detroit has been putting its joys and pains to music and color at least since Diego Rivera’s ‘Detroit Industry’ murals, painted between 1932-33, which now grace Rivera Court in the Detroit Institute of Art.

Because Detroit is now becoming cool again, for better and/or for worse. Because now what we have been up to all these years in the wilderness of distress is beginning to attract a bit more widespread recognition, probably because there is still the persistent disbelief that so many beautiful colors can still be created from …well…you know…Detroit. And yet, anyone who came to Art X Detroit over the past three weekends could see (for free) the likes of Jeedo to Kisma Jordan to Gayelynn McKinney to adrienne maree brown to Dream Hampton to Ed Love. And those are just some of the folks making it pop, not the events.

Detroit is art is Detroit is art is Detroit is.

 

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kaoblues
Writer and musician.

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