Sculptor and 555 Arts Creative Director Carl Goines is working hard on renovating 555 Arts’ new space. Detroit Performs dug a little deeper on what’s going on at 2941 East Warren Avenue in Detroit.
Detroit Performs: How is construction coming along on 555 Arts?
Carl Goines: It’s coming along one board at a time. 555 Arts’ spaces includes a 30,000 square foot, four-story 1913 warehouse and the 555 Banner Tobacco Building. We are cleaning up and making minor repairs while we raise the funds for a larger scale renovation. We’re setting up some workshop space and hope to start with the first floor and basement levels as our first step in activating the building. Adjacent is our Residency House for artists, where I will live with my kids along with an artist residency unit for four artists. We purchased the house from the Detroit Land Bank Authority and have been slowly renovating from top to bottom.
DP: Why did you choose the Poletown area for the new home of 555 Arts?
CG: Initially we came to the neighborhood by way of a nearby community in Poletown known as Farnsworth Farms where teachers, artists, musicians, and urban farmers are living and creating a beautiful space in the city. Soon after, I was introduced to Carlos Nielbock, a German master blacksmith and owner of CAN Art Handworks near Eastern Market and Tyree Guyton of the Heidelberg Project. The opportunity to build something with inspiring neighbors and to transform abandoned spaces into community space for the arts seemed like a dream come true after years of renting to create art and arts space.
DP: When do you see 555 Arts becoming operational with artist residents?
CG: Our goal is to have space for residents operational in early 2019. We’ll take steps forward, make progress, work on the next phase of renovation, and make art while we grow our team.
DP: What do you hope 555 Arts’ new location will bring to the Detroit area?
CG: We plan to continue to provide an arts experience and a place for community to connect with the arts. Art is transformational. We’ll be planting sculptures as we renovate. We’ll be teaching workshops on casting iron, bronze, and aluminum, making sculptures, giving tours and hopefully inspiring support for our vision of a permanent home for artists and creatives.
DP: How can artists inquire to become artist residents at 555 Arts?
DP: How can people get involved with 555 Arts if they aren’t necessarily artists?
CG: We have opportunities to volunteer with our Art Park, renovation and construction, participating in our arts workshops, volunteering talents and skill in the world of grant writing and fundraising, website development, all sorts of fun things that need to be done. We’re also looking for support on our projects such as developing our outdoor foundry and wood shop space and establishing regular workshops.
DP: Anything else our viewers should know about 555 Arts?
CG: 555 Arts is essentially an artist run, out of pocket organization with a big vision for an amazing space in the community where the arts are accessible to everyone. We’d love more support and hope to have the community join us in making the vision a reality.