Atomic Cafe gallery for outsider art to begin Phase 3 in Hamtramck

It started off as a conversation among artists. The members of the Hamtramck Contemporary Arts Alliance (HCAA) have shared a studio above a Joseph Campau Avenue storefront for a few years now. It was from there that the idea for a new Hamtramck art gallery emerged. Luke MacGilvray, a member of HCAA, pushed the idea through, opening the Atomic Cafe over the summer. What was supposed to be a one-off pop-up this July has blossomed into a permanent art gallery -- and a massive one at that. Atomic Cafe, located at 10326 Joseph Campau, offers 4,100 square feet of space to artists.

The Atomic Cafe is open every other month, or phase, as MacGilvray calls it. Phase 3 begins this November when the gallery will open with a new line-up of local artists. And the emphasis is definitely on the local. As curator, MacGilvray looks to find artists from the tri-county area and especially from Hamtramck. It comes, he says, from seeing other local galleries importing art from places like New York and Los Angeles.

"I want to give a shot to people who are outsiders, artists who are extremely talented but maybe their work isn't suited for a juried show," says MacGilvray. He's searching for eclectic art and, as he puts it, "Art that doesn't match your couch."

One of those local artists MacGilvray champions is Joseph Lapham. MacGilvray says that in a previous phase, Lapham sold all of his work on display and then some. To replace the ones that were sold, Lapham had to bring in new pieces, and those sold, too. That's the point for MacGilvray, to give artists he deems underrated the opportunity to share their work and maybe sell a few pieces -- and maybe a few more than that.

Beginning Nov. 7, Atomic Cafe will be open every weekend from 7 p.m. to midnight through the month of November.

Source: Luke MacGilvray, owner and curator of Atomic Cafe
Writer: MJ Galbraith

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.

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