Kickin' It Off
What better way to spend a Tuesday night than kicking off this year's Detroit Design Festival? On the 11th floor of the A. Alfred Taubman Center DDays sipped on complimentary SoCo cocktails and rubbed elbows with the likes of Ebony Rutherford of Trish's Garage, Gabriel Craig of Smith Shop, Jamin Ruarke of Mary Ann's Soda. While browsing exhibits from Detroit Wallpaper Company, Cyberoptix Tie Lab, and Carhartt we ran into some twerking construction workers holding signs that read "Get Down," "???" and "Slow Dancing Ahead."
Last Wednesday night was reminiscent of the throwback days of sloppy and intense garage rock at the Magic Stick, as the Black Lips came through with a blistering set of hits. Turning an otherwise mediocre hump day into a sweaty dance party, they slayed their way through a fantastic catalog of hits – from "Modern Art" to "O Katrina!" to "Bad Kids" and "Boys in the Wood." The packed crowd ate up every bit of it – a group that sang, stomped and clapped along to every note and howl. It was one for the ages indeed.
DDays hit up Dlectricity last Friday night, despite the cumbersome traffic down Woodward Avenue. We enjoyed some waffle fries from the Heroes & Villains food truck, along with a Ghettoblaster, but were sad that the Katoi food truck couldn't make it. We ran into the truck's proprietor, Amanda Itria inside the MOCAD where she informed us that the truck got a flat tire and couldn't travel from its spot at Two James Distillery all the way downtown. Sad as we were, the night continued and we enjoyed the glowing art installations that littered the area.
Art is a Dish Best Served with Sierra Mist
Sierra Mist recruited Detroit artists to collaborate on a painting about Sierra Mist that will be used on billboards to promote Sierra Mist. The painting was unveiled at a swanky, exclusive party sponsored by Sierra Mist, where Sierra Mist mixed drinks were served. We tease, but only because it's so easy to when the corporate branding is this on the nose. This is apparently how to reach that coveted millennial demographic — young artists, booze, DJs, and hashtag mania (#sierramistcollab). Where'd a huge beverage corporation get that idea? Well, the Red Bull House of Art is across the street. Red Bull is more subtle in their branding, though, and they certainly never ask its artists to make art about Red Bull. In all seriousness, congratulations to the artists — Michelle Tanguay, Brian Lacey, Rick Butynski, William Hanagan, and Kobie Solomon. (You guys blew Chicago's version of the billboard out of the water in DDays' opinion.)
Jerry Vile gets into Real Estate ... Kind Of
When we asked "Detroit's Best Painter" Jerry Vile to help us make sense of ArtPrize, he neatly summarized the show as typically exhibiting "so much talent, so much patience, and so little taste" — but that's why he says it's so great. "Art's about status," he told us. "And I think what I like about ArtPrize is it shakes up that status." He also teased his own ArtPrize entry: "Hopefully I won't be kicked out of ArtPrize after I set up. I don't have a chance in hell of winning the prizes, but I have a good chance of being kicked out. I don't think the people walking around are going to think what I've done is art." With ArtPrize in full swing, we can now reveal Vile's entry: a McMansion model home for a planned subdivision called "The Tarps," built out of cardboard boxes. The Tarps is located at the 6th Street Bridge Park, 647 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids. We like the couch made out of Franzia boxes. Nice touch! — mt