Popps Packing's Pinewood Derby


One of the key problems with art events is that, well ... doesn't going to an art event just sound a little bit ... boring? Not that they are, but don't many people think of an intimidating room full of people chattering softly in a kind of tedious theoryspeak, a scene that leaves you quietly munching on stale crackers and drinking a bit too much boxed wine?

Typical art opening, with rapt spectators quoting Clement Greenberg to each other.

It doesn't have to be like that. This weekend, we had a wild, rip-roaring time at Popps Packing, and art and living space in Hamtramck co-owned by artists Graem Whyte and Faina Lerman. The conceit of it was a "pinewood derby," an event usually more associated with Cub Scouts than the Creative Class. It's a fundraiser for the Popps space for which more than 100 artists turned their hand to making some very impressive pinewood "cars," which were then auctioned off. In fact, these little creations have more in common with "art cars" than anything you'll likely see on the road. Get a bunch of Detroit-area artists fired up about making these things, then add a little booze, and that competitive streak really makes for an entertaining night.

Kick-ass art excitement at Popps Packing's Pinewood Derby.

The derby at Popps, sadly, happens only once every two years, but we hope this video will get everybody pumped for the next fundraiser in 2015, or perhaps even inspire somebody to take on a similar challenge.


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