Launching 2014 Detroit100 Community Art Project

Detroit100_2014Flyer

The Detroit100 Art Community project has launched and is underway. I look forward to this year’s entries. This is the third year of Detroit100 but the second year of projects and it has been a wonderful experience so far.

There are a lot of projects and events happening in Detroit that are working toward making this great city fantastic. My goal with Detroit100 is to capture more of this spirit and the stories behind it by providing a platform for Detroit to tell their story in words, with drawings, with photos and more.

The stories and history of the world are told by the victors. Detroit’s stories have been molded by media and though some of what is said is true, it is a small portion of what is happening in this city and what is happening most importantly with its people. Art has always been the truth teller of society and in the spirit of true art, these projects will help tell the truth about Detroit, the people of Detroit and the Detroit experience.

This year I expanded the mini-projects from 3 – 7, giving more ways for people to participate and to give a little more variety to the story telling. I do hope you take part in one of them. Detroit, if we do not tell our story someone else will so, have fun and stand up and let your voice and your story be seen.

For more information, visit www.dmjstudio.com/detroit100 or email me, donna@dmjstudio.com.

Clean Up

Saturday was a day of mixed emotions when I grew up. It was the day you could get up a little later and watch cartoons, but it was also the day that you did most of your cleaning. It may be cleaning up the your room but in most cases it was things like washing the walls, straightening up the living room and dining room or mopping the kitchen floor. The big one that none of my siblings enjoyed was cleaning the yard.  It wasn’t the hard work but the fact that you were outside…working. The sacred playground desecrated by chores.

When I got older and chose places to live, I usually picked places that did not have yards or, if they did, someone else was responsible for it.  But not yesterday. Yesterday, I took part in a clean up and this clean up is close to the heart for me. Number one, the clean up occurred in the neighborhood I grew up in and my parents still live in. The second reason is that this once abandoned lot will become a space of artistic expression. I intend, to take this piece of land and share artwork from different Detroiters. I know the power of art. It gathers, it starts discussions, it beautifies spaces and it has the power to change how people think and what people do.

BUT – before I can create I need a CLEAN CANVAS.  This week, Detroit Synergy Group and the neighborhoods of Central Detroit did just that.  Here are a few photos from the clean up. Next week, I hope to share the art that will reside in this space.

 

970631_10151479184346707_538697045_n

20130727_113954

20130727_114018  20130727_11395820130727_114104

Focus

focus

This world seems to be filled with too much information and too many things to do. It has created a society of multi-tasking hardworking people that at times succeed at absolutely nothing. For the past three weeks, I have been one of those people.  I am doing a thousand things and none of them seem to be going anywhere.

It is a horrible feeling for someone who lives life creating. A hamster, TRAPPED on her little wheel. I need to FOCUS!  Forget all of the things that people tell me to do or things I tell myself to do and focus on the thing in front of me. The one thing that I can do well is the thing I am doing at the moment. This world has swept me up in its incessant moving, so I need to pull out my focusing tools. My first tool is meditation. It stops my mind cold and clears it for great ideas and productivity. The second tool I use is lists. Love them. If it doesn’t make it on the list, it doesn’t exist for me. The last tool for focusing is having fun everyday, whether it be by myself, with family or friends, Fun gets out of the seriousness of life. Having the less serious experiences make it easier to focus when need be.

So now that I remember my tools, let me put them back to work and get FOCUSED.

 

Letter to Detroit Post – Letter 2

Dear Detroit,

Home-of-brave

I want to thank you for showing me how to survive the struggles of everyday life. The way your winds move. The way that you survive the masses sharp tongue. Through controversy and determination your lights seem to glow from the sunlight to moonlight. The instant I touched your skin I knew you blessed me. The lessons learned in the arteries of your soul can never be replaced. Kind of makes your friends and associates unique from man to woman to child.  It’s a time when money matters the most, yet money doesn’t matter tonight.  You instill courage during the roughest of times. When I leave you I miss the security you bring during all the chaos other people obsess about.

You are the true home of the brave. When most people turn their backs on you I’m here for you. As only a true friend, peer and confidant can. The only person I can trust to hold me and house me. Feed me when I hunger for your certainty. Clothe me when I walk through cold winter and hot summers. Your soul runs through my veins. The reason the world moves how it moves. You turned trips to an adventure without even trying. Unless they know you how can they judge you?

You’re so contradictory. From the Renaissance to the graffiti throughout this magnificent piece of canvas you have provided us. From the smiles to cold empty stares that you inspire. I accept all your faults. Dreams fulfilled and nightmares turned reality.  We represent you to the fullest extent. No one can talk about you bad too us. We are the warriors that protect you from outsiders. The people who got your back no matter what. We love you.

Peace and love,

Your best friend,

 

(fill in the blank)

Letter to Detroit Post – Letter 1

 the_grass_is_greener_by_wendy_revised

Dear Detroit,

Why are your people struggling so? Where are the signs of life you usually have? I can’t believe the grass is literally greener on all other sides. I have to be honest with you.  I feel you gave power to some people that used you. Drained you, but yet you have a lot of strength left. I see those veins pumping through your inner soul.  Your heart is beating barely but you still give us hope. Through prayer I hope that I can provide you some type of hope. Hope that my kids can be as proud of you as I am.

You raised me and guided me through a lot of diversity. In the ghetto singing songs called survival. When it rains on you I see the rainbow amongst the clouds. I lay with you when it’s time to rest. Get up with you when you stretch in the morning. We are so congruent I breathe when you exhale. I hug you in crisis because I feel your pain. I take those shots for you all the time. The pain from words spoken from those who don't know you.  Judging you. Defending your honor like a warrior should. I fight for you.

On the frontline of this war for that glory I know you can protrude. You possess different asphalt than anyplace anywhere else. It’s very scary how someone so dangerous can be so intriguing and sensual. So disturbing that it angers me, but I always tell you it will be okay. I don’t need to tell you where you lie with me. You have been there for me when my life has been contaminated. Altered by choices reality brings. I can always count on you with open arms.

I love you and will always hold you in my heart. No matter where I go you will be there. You run in my veins and my heart pumps you.  Well, I just wanted to let you know that. I’ll keep in touch with you. Until next week.

 

 Love and peace,

(you fill in the blank)

Black and White Poster Work

Over the holiday, I had time to stop and design some posters. The concepts for this series of posters was simple, black and white posters using the word, DETROIT. These posters gave me a chance to play with type treatment and space and shapes. No meaning other than taking up the space from one edge of my computer screen to the other.











Two Sketchbooks Arrive – Starting the New Year With a Smile

Happy New Year everyone. I know that by this time we are Thirteen days into it, but this is my official first posting in the year. I had such a wonderful holiday with family and friends and that spirit was continued when I walked into my office today. I found two envelopes with two sketchbooks from two participants on the project, Nick Tobier and Gary Schwartz. I was ecstatic.  Even though there are so many people participating in this project, I was always concerned how many sketchbooks will be returned. Gary and Nick sparked a new hope for me.

Here are a few pages from each of their books:

 

GARY SCHWARTZ: Metamorphisis is the theme of Gary's sketchbook and seeing the Detroit English D morph into the two familiar images you see below and into even more things made this a simpy fun book to go through

 


NICK TOBIER: We all know that the signs in Detroit make for a wonderful part of its scenery. Nick explores this in his sketchbook.

 

At the end of the project, all sketchbooks will be scanned and shared for us to enjoy. If you have some pages that you are ready to share, please do. Email digitally scanned pages to: sketchbook@detroit100series.org. Not sure the best way to scan. Email me and I will give you some directions.

I cannot wait to see more of the work that is happening out there. Here's to 2013.

Starting My Sketchbook

Now that I have put to bed some projects, I am going to have a lot of fun starting my Detroit100 Sketchbook. The next few weeks, I will share some of my pages here. I hope that you all that are working on sketchboooks right now feel free to share your progress too!

Posters from Detroit100 Poster Workshop

It is amazing the quality of work that can come out of a few hours when people are passionate and talented. Here are four posters created during the Detroit100 Poster Workshop.

 

The next Detroit100 Poster Workshop will be next month (date to be determined) – I hope to see more faces and that more posters can will be created during the event.

Detroit100 Poster Workshop – A Success!

Well, It’s been a few days since the Detroit Design Festival ended. The festival was such an inspiration for me. I enjoyed several exhibits and events and met some fascinating people who were just as excited as I was to see designers doing there thing. I thought that the festival would be a great time to kick-off the Detroit100 Poster Series Contest by hosting a Poster Workshop.

The workshop was simple. Participants came and were given a theme to use to make a poster in 2 hours time. Before the design mêlée, a deep discussion about Detroit and what Detroit means to us as designers gave participants the creative juices to develop some wonderful art.

 

The workshop attracted twelve people and it was very moving and invigorating to all that came. It was more than a workshop. It was a get together. We laughed, we talked, ate and drank spirits and at the end of it all, we were inspired.

In a couple days, I will share some of the posters that were created from the workshop. I am more than sure that we will hold another workshop/get together soon.  Please stay tuned. In the mean time, please click here to participate in the 2011 Detroit100 Poster Series.

Photo credit: Photos taken by Tim Peoples