Detroit Artists MarketAn exciting new show opened this weekend at the Detroit Artists' Market.  The show, which runs from Feb. 29, 2008 to April 5, 2008, showcases the talent of some of Detroit's hottest young artists studying at the Cranbrook Art School.  The show is for a good cause — to give these artists the exposure they need and scholarship money.  Check out these exclusive pictures of the show. Hopefully, you'll appreciate some of these local artist's talent and go see the show for yourself in person…

(All Photos by Jason Mick and Detroit Chic, courtesy of The DAM and respective artists)

(For more photos, check out Detroit Chic's Flickr account – just open a Flickr and search "Detroit Chic"!!)

Jason Thumbnail      The sight that greeted ones eyes when they entered the Detroit Artists' Market on Friday was a milling mass of art lovers.  The gallery, located on Woodward, just south of Warren Ave., was filled with a well-dressed crowd, which talked and mingled.  While social company was obviously in no short supply, everyone at the show was there to satisfy one chief desire – getting the chance to see hot new art.

      The show did not disappoint.  It featured exotic work in a variety of media from 12 graduate students at Cranbrook Art School.  These finalists were hand-picked out of many talented artists at the school to showcase the institution's talent.  Of these finalists, three were top-prize winners, which earned them scholarships and extra display space.  All the artists were well represented and interesting, though.

      The show was organized by Mr. John Korachis, who is by profession a real estate and business transaction attorney working in downtown Detroit.  Mr. Korachis was born in Greece and says that to him art has been an, "…obsession for as long as I can remember."  Mr. Korachis has been on the exhibition committee at the Detroit Artists' Market for 6 years, and for the past 3 years has focused his efforts on the annual Scholarship Showing.  Two years ago, the show featured art from CCS graduate students. Last year, Wayne State University Art School graduate students were featured, and finally, this year Cranbrook Art School graduate students had a chance to show off their stuff.

      Mr. Korachis also mentioned that the work of 10 alumni is also featured at the show, though the focus is on the graduate students' work.  Mr. Korachis says that of the three years that he's put on the show, he feels this year features the highest maturity level in terms of finished products.  He states, "The hard work and dedication [of these artists] is extraordinairy."

      After speaking briefly with Mr. Korachis, the first exhibit viewed was the work of Elizabeth Boyd Hartmann.  Elizabeth, a first year graduate student, holds degrees from Central St. Martin in London, England and the University of Michigan.  Her work features a number of different media.  Her focus, though, is to create sculptures based on human anatomy.  The show featured a number of cut acrylic, embryo-like designs.  The centerpiece of the exhibit was a resin molded piece, titled Spine Installation, which was made of rubber, with parts electrocoated with fine silver.  A number of photographs and technical drawings were also displayed.  Elizabeth spoke extensively with Detroit Chic (expect an article on her soon) and showed off her latest work – a wearable piece of art in the form of a ring, made of cut acrylic.

Elizabeth Hartman next to technical drawings

               Pictured: Elizabeth Boyd Hartmann, winner of the top prize, next to her technical drawings.

Primary Piece, Hartmann

              Pictured:  Hartmann's primary piece, Spine Installation, is an interesting take on anatomy.

      After checking out Elizabeth's work, another of the student exhibitors invited Detroit Chic to check out his work, which he literally was wearing.  Aaron Peterman, a second year grad student, was standing on a mirrored pedestal surrounded by small glowing stage bulbs.  He wore what at first looked like an innocous pattern.  When you got closer, it appeared that the pattern was composed of women in swirling patterns.  He explained that he focuses on using provocative pictures to form prints.  He then uses these prints in various pieces and installations.  He focuses his work on images from the gay community.  His hand-stitched suit featured patterns of men dressed in drag.  He will be displaying a senior thesis showing later this year.

                            Aaron Peterman       Aaron Peterman
            Pictured: Aaron Hartman wears his work — a hand stitched suit, which bears a pattern, which while from a distance seems mundane, contains very provocative subject matter, when viewed closely.

      After Hartmann and Peterman, the next piece up was Elizabeth Alexander's Untitled work, which might be fairly nicknamed "paper shred".  This piece featured a shaggy carpet of long fibrous papers.  Moving on, the work of Wei-Hui Hsu was viewed.  Among Hsu's work was a set of hands, titled Illusion Versus Reality, mounted on the walls and featuring various objects.  One set of hands held lace, while another held a dancing Disney princess figurine.  Hsu also displayed a large box wrapped in beautiful silk, with a number of multicolored twig-like extensions punctuating its surface.  This work, titled Far From Home- Culture Shock, was exceptional and had a real organic beauty to it.

Far From Home- Culture Shock

      Pictured: Wei-Hui Hsu's Far From Home- Culture Shock provides an interesting Oriental take on modern art.

      Next, a return to near the Woodward street entrance brought the journey to the work of Ji Eun Kim.  Kim's work was more traditional than some of the other artists' work.  It eschewed sculpture for painting and offered colorful images that felt strongly of late impressionism.  The images often had political and social subtexts and contrasted various images or ideas.  Next up was the work of Lucila Caro.  Caro's work was interesting and colorful, though it seemed slightly crude in composition.  Caro's drawing style was decidely childish and featured grinning monsters and beasts.  While interesting, it seemed less indicative of the artist's technical proficiency than other work.

      Moving on, in the middle of the gallery space on a pair of pedestals, were Eric Steinberg's two works.  His works were a real treat — colorful, unique and showcasing some technical talent.  The first, titled Barrels of Fun, was a rather humorous collection of small painted barrels, topped with long thin pieces of wood, about the size of toothpicks.  His other work was one of the most interesting pieces at the show.  The piece, titled All Hail The Sandlot King, was a macabre and almost grotesque visage of a face made out of baseball leather, string, wood and brass.  The design was both startling and fullfilling, in terms of technical skill and uniqueness.

                                          Eric Steinberg
     Pictured:  All Hail The King of The Sandlot is a gruesome but fascinating sculpture.

      Near Hartmann's work, a large hanging piece by Megan Heeres was on display.  This piece was largely transparent and seemed an interesting sculpture, which was more subtle and not as bright and eye-catching as some of the other works.  Along the same wall were works by Iris Seo.  Seo featured a painting cut into square puzzle pieces and shuffled.  She also displayed a series of prints, titled Women as a Sexy Symbol.  These prints seemed rather pop-art in style and will likely evoke much of the same mixed reactions as the pop art movement did.  They were simple and somewhat crude in design, and yet their color, shape and social commentary did provide an intriguing sight for the viewer.  Last up was the work of Mark Sengbusch, who had a set of geometric paintings that seemed decidely modern art.  His most interesting paintings were the ones closest to the wall with Hartmann.  This series featured bright colors and interesting contrasts of shape and figure.

               Iris Seo
    Pictured: Iris Seo's work series of prints are rather pop-art-esque.

      After viewing the students' work, one will likely be a bit overwhelmed.  The perfect place to unwind and finish the artistic journey is the back room of the gallery, which features the exhibition information desk, at which adult beverages are served.  The room also features work from several alumni that, while more sedate, provides a pleasant ending for the wild journey.

     Among these works was July Eliyes picture, Untitled, which was a stark black and white image of an interestingly dressed cleaning lady.  Another interesting work was Glen Michael's long, almost dripping metal wall hanging.  Also featured was Gerhardt Knodel's sculptutre, which featured a number of hanging short pencils.  Finally, arguably the most interesting piece in the alumni exhibit, was the metal work piece, "Lilly" Still Trying To Grow by James Vise.  This piece featured an organic wooden-looking design.  One creative observer, who had been enjoying the adult beverages, commented that he couldn't "decide whether it looked like a nuclear reactor or an alien."  You might not see this creative visualization, but the work certainly was unique.   

             James Viste
     Pictured: James Viste leads the alumni talent with his amazing work "Lilly" Still Trying To Grow.  He shows the younger artists how its done, possibly even stealing the show.

      The Detroit Artists' Market and Mr. John Korachis have outdone themselves this time, putting together a terrific gallery display.  It's great to see this kind of artistic wealth in the city of Detroit.  Be sure to check it out for yourself — you have two whole months, after all.  The gallery is open 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.  If you want a chance to meet and chat with the artists, come to the second special event on Saturday, March 15 at 2 p.m.  Consider the gallery for a destination on your next date —  you can look suave and cultured, while enjoying a free viewing of some wild and creative work.  Or, go solo and check it out some day at lunch.  Either way, you are sure to enjoy.  

      As a final note, all the pieces in the exhibit are for sale.  If you see something that really catches your eye, feel free to buy it — but act soon, many of the pieces were already bought as of last night.  If you're looking to decorate, this is a great way to find some exciting additions to your decor and support local artists!

(To view the rest of Detroit Chic's photos of the exhibit, check out Detroit Chic's Flickr account – just open a Flickr and search "Detroit Chic"!!)