Arts & Culture » Visual Art

Art is everywhere



Former Detroiter Greg Holm, a photographer based in New York City, snagged this shot of clouds rolling over our city and an ice cream truck rolling by the Roosevelt Hotel, near Michigan Central Station, on a recent afternoon visiting Detroit. Holm was inspired by the story of his friend, artist Pete Deevakul, who spent time in a truck before he was born:

Deevakul writes, "Maybe my dad was trying to find ways to spend time with my mom (they didn't get married till I was 3), or maybe my mom needed a more easygoing job while her stomach was large, or maybe my parents were trying to see what it was like constantly being around sugar-craving brats in preparation for my big debut. Whatever it was, I can't think of a much better way to spend nine unborn months than inside an ice cream truck."


After the debut of the arts section's new "Art is Everywhere" series a few weeks ago, artist and Detroit surveyor Scott Hocking sent over this e-mail:

Last week, a freind of mine pointed out that their stenciled graffiti was featured in a photo in MT. That's when I noticed the lil "delray crib in the hood" photo on the same page, and read your caption. Not only was the site familiar to me — as I have been documenting the Delray and Carbon Works sections of Detroit for awhile — but I'd been out there that same weekend, and ended up at the same 'one day only' yard sale on Fort Street That guy was a real interesting character, eh? Over a thousand banks??? And you bought a bunch of them? Did you buy the one shaped like a peanut? How funny! I got myself a fantastic framed golden shark sculpture — which you'll see featured in one of the attached photos. Cheers! —Scott


Southewest Detroit is home to many beautiful ofrendas, set up at homes or cemetaries to honor deceased relatives, as well as alters, honoring God and saints. One particularly embellished example of an alter sits on Toledo Street, near Vinewood, at the residence of Salcido and Vargas families, 15 relatives who live together in a well-tended two story.

Seven years ago, Antonio Vargas, grandfather of the household, began working on an alter honoring Mexico's Toribio Romo Gonzalez, who died in the Cristero War in 1928 suffering for the Catholic Church's cause, and has since become a saint of immigrants.

Mayra, 15, says her family has been continuing her grandfather's work since 2000. She translates politely for her grandmother, who offers a stamp of Santo Toribio Romo, in which a halo surrounds the martyr's young, handsome face. "We light candles and pray outside two times a week," Mayra explains. "If you pray to him, he watches over you."

Readers: Be on the lookout for glorious visual expressions in our singular region. If you happen upon something special, e-mail your photos or tips to

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