The only museum devoted exclusively to multimedia and light art exhibits
in America opened its doors June 10 in the historic former Comerica
Headquarters building on Grand River at Warren on the western edge of the Woodbridge neighborhood.
In Germany, where the term originates, a kunsthalle
is more than just a gallery. Around the world, kunsthalles operate as
exhibition halls and community centers for temporary art exhibits,
unlike museums, which host permanent collections. And Kunsthalle Detroit
director Tate Osten says the organization hopes to be more than just art space to the city.
Detroit? Everything is ready to go here," Osten says, comparing
Detroit's potential to that of New York City's Chelsea meatpacking
district in the late 1990's. "These ideas, of Detroit becoming an
international center for the arts, this is not my idea. It's been
brewing. It's been up in the air. A lot of people have been talking,
thinking and writing about it," she says. "And I thought, it's just time
to act. Somebody has to take the first step. And the first step is to
add something that's missing from Detroit's art scene."
rotating gallery of multimedia projects, film and light installations is
certainly something new to the area. It's also an opportunity to see a
dozen of the nation's preeminent multimedia artists, most of them more
accustomed to solo exhibitions at museums around the world, sharing
4,000 sq. ft. of space and a collective theme. With the museum's first
exhibition, Time & Place
, Osten says, "We're trying to connect video and light-based arts to visual arts in general."
Osten says the Kunsthalle has received enthusiastic welcome from both art insiders and neighborhood residents.
"Everyone understands film," she says. "It's the most understood and accepted medium for the widest audiences."
found the building, which is around 100 years old, driving around
Detroit. "We don't want to be where things are already done," she says.
"We want to bring art education to where they are most needed. And
people have never seen anything like this. That's the idea."
is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Source: Tate Osten, Director, Kunsthalle Detroit
Writer: Ashley C. Woods