The Art + Culture magazine JUXTAPOZ sent in a handful of artists moths ago– Swoon, Richard Colman, RETNA, Monica Canilao, Ben Wolf and Saelee Oh– for a collaborative art installment with the folks at Powerhouse Project (read a past post about Swoon when she was here for the project). Juxtapoz came up with some funds through their 15th anniversary benefit and auction where well-known artists generously donated their work to be sold. That money was then used to acquire houses in the neighborhood by the Powerhouse People, then the artists came through to do their thing. It’s all really quite incredible to be honest. Four down and out houses have been transformed in to astonishing works of art.
The February 11th issue of Juxtapoz does a beautiful job presenting imagery of the houses and for the printed pictures alone, it’s worth it. Then they casually throw in little jewels like this that totally seal the deal:
“The wide open freedom within the spaces of a city like Detroit is immeasurable, from carving quadrants through an abandoned space, walking the streets, or criss-crossing the city via van. There is a never-ending sense of autonomy and a blank state to the surface of things here, to be formed through whatever art or ideas you have to work with. There is no hidden song or cypher that lingers. Around here things are accepted much as they’re presented: completely whole, from and of the surface.”
If buying the magazine is out of reach, check out some other photos of the houses here. Otherwise, here’s some other stuff from the Juxtapoz site:
Dormer House by Ben Wolf from Sucka Pants on Vimeo.
Removing a dormer in Detroit from Sucka Pants on Vimeo.
Unloading a dormer in Detroit from Sucka Pants on Vimeo.
United Airlinesâ€™ in-flight publication â€œHemispheresâ€ has included an article on the funky creative vibe that Detroit has these days. The author takes a stroll around town talking with Tyree Guyton and his Heidelberg Project, the anonymous brigade that is Object Orange (these guys paint old abandoned houses bright orange in hopes to draw awareness about them; the mayor, however, is not in love with their work so they remain an anonymous group of activists) and Mitch Cope and Gina Reichertâ€™s Powerhouse Project in Hamtramck. So on that next United flight to Bangalore, kick back, turn to page 70 of the July issue and get to reading. Happy trails.
So, more on Mitch and Gina. The couple featured in Toby Barlowâ€™s NYTimes Op-ED bought a house and are converting it in to run off of solar panels and high efficiency appliances. When they purchased the house it had been gutted by scrappers, so they sort of had their work cut out for them. Now they are facing decisions like 12V versus 24V power, but the project moves on! Pretty cool stuff. It is certainly generating a lot of chatter around town. Go out and see the house, if anything for the multi-colored siding and then check out Mitch and Ginaâ€™s studio store space on Caniff in Hamtramck– Design 99.
Toby Barlow recently moved to Detroit from Brooklyn and happens to quite like it. In this article Barlow proclaims that â€œa strange, new American dream can be found hereâ€ in Detroit. He discusses the real estate market primarily and the people that are taking advantage of it to create positive change in communities. Of particular focus is Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert who are heading up the The Powerhouse Project — a house at Conant and Lawley just on the border with Hamtramck and Detroit. â€œDetroit right now is just this vast, enormous canvas where anything imaginable can be accomplished.â€ Yep!