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Open house at 71 Garfield previews new classes

Sugar Hill Clay first opened in 2011. Located in the lower level of the renovated 71 Garfield building in Midtown Detroit, the studio is about as "green" as a ceramic studio can get. The work tables, shelving, cabinetry and countertops were all constructed from reclaimed wood and operate on a combination of geo-thermal energy that is generated in our building and a 20-kilowatt solar array.  
 
Sugar Hill Clay is currently undergoing a lot of changes in operations.
 
New classes begin in August. Including: Intro to wheel throwing, which is covers the fundamentals of wheel thrown pottery; a handbuilding class focused on tableware; an Altered Pots class that combines wheel throwing and handbuilding techniques to create new and more complex forms; and "Playing with fire: Raku" which will cover a range of clay projects with a special focus on Raku firing. All adult classes include open studio hours so students may come in at their leisure to work on their projects outside of class. 
 
There is also "Adventures in Clay" for the kids. This class is for children ages 6-12, and will explore many techniques from handbuilding to surface decoration, and the chance to play on the potter's wheel for those interested. The kids will have the opportunity to make functional pots, as well as sculptural pieces. 
 
In addition to the classes, Sugar Hill Clay can be booked for private parties and events.
 
Things are kicking off with an open house this Friday, July 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Tour the studio, meet the instructors, learn about new classes, and have the opportunity to play with some clay. Light refreshments will be served and a free class will be given away to one lucky attendee.
 
For more information, go here.


Shinola opens flagship store in Midtown this weekend

Well, that didn't take long. The Shinola Store and Bicycle Assembly Headquarters officially opens to the public this Friday, June 28 during normal business hours, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. 
 
A public Grand Opening Celebration will be held the next day, Saturday, June 29, 1-4 p.m. Shoppers will be treated to music from DJ Amy Dreamcatcher, MotorCity Brewery beer, samples of DROUGHT juice and limited edition letter press posters (while supplies last).

Head to where the action is, 441 W. Canfield, Detroit, MI 48201 (between 2nd Ave. and Cass Ave.), this weekend.
 

SEMCOG meeting on freeway widening recapped

This wrap up of last week's SEMCOG meeting appeared in HuffPost Detroit and Mode Shift Move Together, two of our media partners.

An excerpt: 

Citizens also turned out in force to speak out at a lengthy public comment period during the meeting. Dozens voiced their opinions, including members of the Sierra Club, the Michigan Suburbs Alliance and Transportation Riders United; none favored the highway expansions. Many, like Nowak-Boyd, objected to the toll they could take on local communities.

Members of the Detroit Sound Conservancy expressed concerns that a building that once housed United Sound Systems, a studio that recorded tracks by musical legends like John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin, Funkadelic and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, would be destroyed by the I-94 renovation.

Read on here.

Sound Conservancy fundraiser tonight at Magic Stick

It's called "Two Worlds, One Sound," a followup of sorts to last year's benefit at Model D that also honored our building's rich history as Zoot's, a hotspot for local music in the mid-1990s. 

Here's the lowdown from Detroit Sound Conservancy founder Carleton S. Gholz:

LipCity and BMG never met until the DSC brought them together to organize around Detroit’s rich musical legacy in front of the Blue Bird Inn on Tireman. Both archivists, historians, writers, and sound-organizers, LipCity and BMG were raised in Detroit’s imaginative soundscape, schooled by DJs like Ken Collier and the Electrifying Mojo, and activated to embrace their communities. They will bring their two worlds together under one sound to raise funds for the Detroit Sound Conservancy who are working with the Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation to enhance the stewardship surrounding Detroit’s musical heritage.

Nicely said, but just who are LipCity and BMG? Regular peeps know them by their real names Curtis Lipscomb (yes, executive director of KICK) and Brendan M. Gillan of electro-space disco innovators Ectomorph.

This is quality talent performing for a quality organization. $10 (or more) donation suggested. Magic Stick is at 4140 Woodward Ave. in Midtown. Starts at 9 p.m. tonight, Tuesday June 18, goes til 2 a.m. (editor's note: and the after-party?)

Atlantic Cities: Detroit, new American design capital?

This is rather flattering. Steven Heller, co-chair of the MFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts and co-founder of the MFA Design Criticism program at the NYC school, recently visited Detroit.

Here's what he had to say in Atlantic Cities: 

I was blown away by this surprisingly little known but inspiring incubator of art and design - the rare collegiate creative enclave that engages with, reflects, and embodies the city it's in.

That city is, of course, a poster child for urban blight and urban flight. But it's also the storied home of American manufacturing and industrial innovation, and with the help of College for Creative Studies, it could well become the design capital of the United States again.

Awfully nice of you, Steven. Read on here.

Detroit 2020: Midtown rolling with momentum

It was nice to see Channel 7's Detroit 2020 focus on the recent successes of Midtown and, in particular, the dedicated vision and leadership of Midtown Inc. president Sue Mosey.

An excerpt: It takes a quick pace to keep up with Sue Mosey.

She’s the dynamo leading the redevelopment of Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood. "It’s taken a very long time to get to the point where acceleration is moving very quickly, but I think we’ve reached that point now," Mosey says.

Read on and watch the segment here.

NYT: Late artist Mike Kelley's mobile homestead coming to MOCAD

We were saddened to hear of the death of Los Angeles-based Mike Kelley, an artist with Detroit roots. Kelley had been working with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit on his mobile homestead project for several years prior to his passing.

We've been following the project, still in the works with a launch planned this spring, as has the New York Times.

An excerpt:

The New York The house is a faithful replica of the suburban Detroit childhood home of the artist Mike Kelley, who shepherded the details of its creation up to the final days of his life in January 2012, when he committed suicide at his home in South Pasadena, Calif. Kelley was one of the most influential artists of the last several decades. And though he made his name in the Los Angeles art world, much of the look and feel of his art came from his working-class, Irish Catholic upbringing here, in a city whose affliction he seemed to embody.

Read on here.

Feds give final approval to 3.3-mile M-1 rail

On Monday, the 3.3-mile circulating streetcar along Woodward Avenue received clearance to proceed from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Also, M-1 Rail President and CEO Matthew P. Cullen welcomed eight new members to the nonprofit’s board of directors and introduced Jeni Norman as Chief Financial Officer.
 
The FTA has completed the environmental clearance for the Woodward Avenue Streetcar Project. With the issuance of the Amended Record of Decision (ROD), the project is allowed to move forward to the next phases of design, right of way acquisition and construction. This is the last approval step under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. 

Now that the process for approval of the Amended ROD has been completed, the M-1 Rail organization continues to strengthen its team with the hiring of a chief financial officer and by electing eight new members to its board of directors. These announcements come about two weeks after hiring a chief administrative officer and director of governmental & community affairs.

HuffPost Detroit: WSU looking for Midtown mixed use proposals

Huffington Post editor Ashley Woods reports in a recent edition of the online mag that Wayne State University has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for new mixed-use residential and retail apartment buildings in Midtown, as part of its second phase of the South University Village District. 

An excerpt:

Much like the Auburn, Wayne State is calling for a development that boasts energy-efficient features, bike storage and common spaces for resident in a pedestrian-friendly setting. It must also provide some parking for residents, with additional spaces made available by a WSU parking facility on Forest Avenue.

Much more here.

MOCAD hires new director with local roots

Elysia Borowy-Reeder, 39, is the new executive director of Detroit’s Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, better known as MOCAD. She’ll take over the job, vacant since November 2011 when former director Luis Croquer left to take a job in Seattle, next week.

An excerpt:

Borowy-Reeder, who grew up in metro Detroit and East Lansing, has a bachelor’s degree in visual arts from Antioch College and master’s degrees in art education and art history from Michigan State University.

She recalls how childhood visits to the Detroit Institute of Arts helped inspire her love for her chosen field. “You’d be on the floor of the Diego Rivera mural room drawing. ... That’s what got me hooked on museums,” she says.

Read more here.

Toledo Blade: Entrepreneurship key to Detroit recovery

It's nice to see our Ohio friends to the immediate south in Toledo taking a deep dive into contemporary Detroit, interviewing enterprising people like Torya Blanchard, Josh Linkner, Shawn Geller (of Quikly), Kurt Metzger and others. Solid reporting, without pulling punches.

Check it out here.

NYT weighs in on public-private Detroit divide

A bit of a reality check from the latest report on Detroit by the New York Times, this piece examines the differences between what's happening in the private vs. public sectors.  

An exerpt:

For all the talk of a private sector renaissance, demographers say that much of the economic growth remains mostly around the downtown and Midtown sections, a small fraction of a vast 139-square-mile city that is otherwise wrestling with vacant homes, empty blocks, darkened streetlights, crime fears and overburdened police officers. While businesses have returned to Detroit, some others have left, and this city’s most essential problem, its swiftly dipping population, demographers say, has yet to reverse itself.

More here

Whole Foods opening Midtown store in June

Yes, we knew it was coming. It is still impressive to note that Whole Food Market is opening its first Detroit store, at Mack Avenue and John R, on time.

An excerpt:

(WFM), the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket, will open a 21,650-square-foot store in Detroit, on Wednesday, June 5 at 9 a.m. The much-anticipated store will add to the vibrant, growing food scene in Detroit. The store joins more than 345 other Whole Foods Market stores in North America and the United Kingdom.

More here.

Richard Florida reacts to 7.2 greater downtown study

In a piece last week in Atlantic Cities, Richard Florida tackles the recently released 7.2 study that shows greater downtown to be better educated and more diverse than the city at large. There is much complexity to this finding, such that we plan on following what it all means in a variety of ways in the near future.

Here's an excerpt from Florida's story:

The Greater Downtown corridor has a population of 36,550 people or 5,076 people per square mile. It might not be not downtown Manhattan, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, or Philadelphia, but it compares favorably to other Midwest city-centers, like downtown Minneapolis, with 3.4 square miles and 28,811 people; downtown Pittsburgh at 1.3 square miles and 4,064 people; and downtown Cleveland at 3.2 square miles and 9,523 people. Of these downtowns, only Minneapolis has greater density than Greater Downtown Detroit.

Read more here.

MOCAD renovation winning awards even before construction begins

Great news from the Museum of Contempory Art Detroit last week about MOCAD's upcoming redesign by Rice+Lipka Architects and urban design/landscape architects James Corner Field Operations.

This excerpt from HuffPost Detroit:

The design won the Architectural Review's 2013 Future Project award in the "Old and New" category.

The judges hailed the MOCAD design as "an inspirational project that combines past and present in a well resolved and convincing manner. It creates new space for new creativity in a post-industrial city."

The two firms will work to make the interior more energy-efficient. They'll also reconfigure exhibit, event and storage area. Exterior changes will also create a brand-new outdoor event space.

Read more here.
544 Midtown Articles | Page: | Show All
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