Welcome to A Day for Detroit. All day long, Art F City and 21 other art blogs will be posting images from the Detroit Institute of Arts’ invaluable art collection. There are fantastic works to be found in their holdings, which, unfortunately, face the threat of being sold off to cover the city of Detroit’s debts. This would be an irreparable loss for those who’ve lived and worked in close proximity to DIA—so we thought we’d focus on them, too.
For Art F City’s contribution to A Day for Detroit, we asked a robust swath of art worlders who have lived or are currently living in Detroit about their favorite works in the DIA’s collection. Their images and commentary will appear on the blog throughout the day.
If you like these images and want to support DIA, share them with your friends. If you live in Michigan, make sure your elected officials know that, in the words of Tyler Green, “you don’t support a fire sale of the city’s future.” You can also become a member of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Alivia Zivich, Detroit gallery owner, What Pipeline
While the DIA’s room-encompassing Diego Rivera murals would not necessarily get sold off in a bankruptcy sale, they are definitely a reason to keep the museum open and thriving. Rivera’s murals at the DIA are unlike anything else in the US and makes Detroit a must-visit place for anyone interested in art.
Carrie Moyer, artist
My parents often took me to the Detroit Institute of Art as a child. Diego Rivera’s fresco cycle, “Detroit Industry,” in particular, had an enormous impact on me. The urgent, graphic way he depicted the struggle for justice set the standard for what art is capable of. The hours I spent at the DIA were instrumental in me to becoming an artist.
Jennifer Catron, artist
Moving to Detroit can be a confusing event. The city is contradictory; huge mansions have turned to crack-houses, artists turn crack-houses into art galleries. Extreme riches battles extreme poverty. The city became more in focus for me when encountering the Diego Rivera murals, the splendor of the working man frescoed onto the temple-like walls of the DIA. Diego Rivera’s grand ideas of the purpose of art, beautifully highlight Detroit, and are a fitting and impressive testament in the modern ruin that is the car industry. I have never been to contemporary museum that highlighted a city’s complex character more so than the DIA.