Outside In, a gallery exhibition of some of the most powerful artists in Detroit, known for their larger than life murals, sculptures and installations throughout the city, will open at the Janice Charach Gallery on Sunday, Oct. 28. The exhibition will run through December 6.
The curated collection of 12 artists, represent the diverse nature of the artistic movement in Detroit. Each artist creates work in their respective medium and style, using the ever-changing city as their canvas. Messages conveyed through public art often draw attention to something more beautiful than the empty spaces they cover. Outside In gives an intimate look into these ideas by displaying works by these imaginative artists.
The opening reception will take place on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Janice Charach Gallery. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and the artists will be in attendance. Located at 6600 W. Maple in West Bloomfield, inside the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, the 5,000 sq. foot, two floor Janice Charach Gallery is noted for its state of the art space.
The artists who will be featured at the expansive exhibit are DECO23, Fel3000ft, Freddy Diaz, Hygenic Dress League, Sydney James, Brian Lacey, Nicole Macdonald, Malt, Monster Steve, Ouizi, Tead and Vito Valdez
“The artists presented in the Outside In Exhibition are a cross section of the most celebrated and prolific street artists in Detroit. Their work has been in the forefront of the exciting and groundbreaking Detroit art movement, recognized internationally. It is a privilege to gather so many of these artists together in one place for an intimate look at their art and inspiration,” said Gallery Director, Kelly Kaatz.
DECO23 is actually Brian Melvin, 38 years old, from Wyandotte. A self-taught artist DEC023 has been practicing his art for about 28 years, and is now the father of two sons. (He is one of the few street artists who gives away his real name.) With many of his murals adorning Detroit, his medium for the gallery exhibit is spray paint and acrylic on canvas and wood. DEC023 is also happy to create art signs that he hangs throughout the city of Detroit for people to enjoy and take home as they wish. “I like to do that for people because not everyone can afford art but everyone should be able to have art, “he says.
FEL3000ft stated creating street murals in 1982. According to accounts, though he is a native Detroiter, FEL3000ft fell in with several taggers from New York City before entering his teens and establishing himself through trial and error in Detroit. He is among the early 1990s pioneers who decorated the unused Dequindre rail yard near downtown Detroit that is now the Dequindre Cut, and he is mentioned in the 2011 book The History of American Grafitti. Today he is commissioned by many major companies for his murals and also works in many mediums including canvas and sculpture.
Freddy Diaz, aka SWFreddy, is an internationally known artist recognized for his creative versatility in murals, canvas, painting, sculpture and clothing design. Freddy was born in Detroit, coming from a first generation family in the United States. Family hardships throughout childhood influenced Freddy to choose a career directly out of high school. When he began to do small projects for local business in Southwest Detroit, he realized his at work could bring him success. With the help of the community, Freddy has been able to branch out to work with companies such as General Motors, Ernst and Young, Lear Corp, Adidas as well as painting in countries such at Italy, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Cuba, Colombia and Mexico.
Hygienic Dress League is an American Corporation registered in 2007 by husband and wife visual artists Steve and Dorota Coy as a new and original form of art. The corporation serves as a platform for critiquing society, greed and wealth inequality, value over consumption, the art market and even the art world itself. HDL emphasizes unique public interventions ranging from fleeting projects, guerilla marketing, video holograms, augmented reality, television commercials, and installation art. Their public interventions have surfaced in over nineteen different cities in nine countries spanning across three continents.
Sydney G. James is a classically trained illustrator. James’ career began in 2001 after earning her BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and working as an Art Director for Global Hue Advertising Agency in Detroit. She then moved to Los Angeles in 2004 to expand her career working in network TV and film. She returned to her hometown Detroit in 2011 to join the vast creative movement occurring in hopes of revitalizing a great city. Since her return she has created and participated in various community arts projects such as the Grand River Creative Corridor. She has been awarded a residency with Red Bull’s House of Art and was selected as a muralist for the inaugural Murals in the Market project and is in the current Murals in the Market project. Her work has been exhibited throughout the country and in several private collections.
Brian Lacey began his foray into the art world at a young age and continued to grow throughout his youth. Born in Pontiac, Michigan, he advanced, earning his BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Lacey became a common name after his residencies at Red Bull House of Art and Fortress Studios. He has been featured in both digital and print publications such as Mass Appeal and Huffington Post. Time is very much a part of Lacey’s creative process, simulated though layers of paint, writing, print advertisement, decay and thus reconstruction. His artwork has been exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and abroad such as Inner State in Detroit #Hashtag in Toronto, and PACWOMb in Manhattan. He has painted large scale public works in Brooklyn, Chicago, Detroit and Miami and has exhibited in Venice, Italy.
Nicole Macdonald is an artist who paints and collages her Detroit environment in miniatures and maximus, portraits and landscapes with brush and camera. Her documentaries on the Detroit environment and city history have won numerous awards. Her paintings and collages have been exhibited in local and national shows including the Casco Gallery in Utrecht, The Netherlands and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Macdonald’s roughly ten foot portraits of historical Detroiters have been erected throughout the city staring in 2014. Last year she was awarded a Kresge Fellowship in visual arts. Her new Living Musical Legends portrait series, featuring ten music genres, will be installed in late 2018 on Woodward Ave., on the oldest Albert Kahn designed bank in the city of Detroit, near the Motown Museum.
Malt is a self-taught artist, working and living in Metro Detroit. Working in both aerosol and acrylic painting techniques, Malt explores themes of nature across a broad body of work. From large scale murals and installations to intimate studio work, Malt focuses on the juxtapositions posed by nature – life/death, growth/decay, strength/weakness. Growing up in metro Detroit, Malt’s career as an artist began with his passion for skateboarding, graffiti and music. Influenced by the bold lines of graffiti and skateboard graphics Malt reimagined natural landscapes and the characters that inhabit them, building from psychedelic backdrops to create other-worldly scenes. His engaging public murals are seen though out Detroit.
Self-taught painter Steve Ehret, aka Monster Steve, is inspired by the natural world, taking in his surroundings on year round trail runs. He makes careful observations of moss spreading over a fallen tree, or plants reaching towards the sun. The mental notes of these Darwinian scenes inspire the phantasmal setting of his painting. His goal is not realism but rather a sense of gravity, whether working in oils, with mixed media, or on a mural.
Ouizi’s botanical-themed murals start as a bold collection of blocks and colors, then she adds brush work – a signature that sets her work apart. The technique is inspired by her background as a Chinese-American artist, growing up surrounded by Chinese watercolors and calligraphy. Ouizi is the first in her family to make a living as an artist but creativity runs in her family. She cites her parents and grandfather as major influences. Ouizi’s artwork is scattered across Agnes Street in the heart of West Village in Detroit, from a massive outdoor wall mural to the interiors of restaurants and coffee shops like Craft Work and Red Hook. In Eastern Market, including this year’s Murals in the Market, two of her large murals are adjacent to each other. Ouizi’s murals have appeared elsewhere in the state including the Grand Rapids Ballet and her work can be spotted coast to coast and Hawaii as well as in Shanghai and Oaxaca, Mexico.
Jordan Vaughn, aka Tead, was long time veteran of the Detroit arts scene. From painting graffiti illegally in his youth on trains and walls to his group shows including the Start Gallery, Inner State Gallery in Eastern Market and the Janice Charach Gallery in West Bloomfield. Tead passed away on May 1, 2017. He was 34 years old. Tead had a multimedia career. His breakthrough gallery work included psychedelic landscapes from the back drop of his youth growing up Downriver. The roller coaster like ride inside of Teak’s mind is clear much like Tead himself, straight and to the point with no time for metaphors. They are well constructed multimedia paintings on wood, metal and other found objects from the Motor City.Vito Valdez
The Valdez family came from El Paso, Texas to Detroit, where Vito Valdez has lived and worked for most of his life. Believing in the importance of art in community, Vito’s street art can be seen on many walls and corners in the city. Vito’s paintings and sculpture is all around from the underground parking garage at Cobo Hall, Southwest Detroit, Midtown and often on exhibit in galleries. In addition to being a prolific creator, Vito is a former Detroit autoworker, the co-founder of a Southwest Detroit arts organization and an educator who works with the Detroit Institute of Arts to awaken the artist’s spirit of local youth and other members of the public.
For more information about the Outside In Exhibition and Janice Charach Gallery call 248-432-5579 or go to www.charachgallery.org.