Artist Judy Bowman explores 'Detroit Swag' with exhibit at Playground Detroit

Staff Pick


“Detroit Swag,” Mixed media collage on canvas, 48 x 48 inches. - COURTESY OF JUDY BOWMAN
  • Courtesy of Judy Bowman
  • “Detroit Swag,” Mixed media collage on canvas, 48 x 48 inches.

Raised in Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, artist Judy Bowman has left more than a mark with her art — she’s sparked a relatable cultural conversation about relationships, faith, and love.

Bowman, who is now 67 years old, majored in art, and as a student was commissioned by Martin Luther King Jr.’s family to provide art for Atlanta’s MLK Library within the Interdenominational Theological Center. Bowman took a 35-year hiatus from her art to raise 10 children and serve as a teacher and a high school principal, but in recent years, Bowman has returned to her craft. Bowman’s Detroit Swag collection, which consists of bold multimedia collaged portraits, will be on display as part of the Bombay Sapphire artisan series.

Opening begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9, at Playground Detroit; 2845 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-649-7741; Event is free with RSVP.

Get our top picks for the best events in Detroit every Thursday morning. Sign up for our events newsletter.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.