Body-Based Womanist Artists and Activists Will Host Creative Event in Detroit Shoreway

click to enlarge Body-Based Womanist Artists and Activists Will Host Creative Event in Detroit Shoreway
Michael Courier
This weekend, various business and residents of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood are hosting a variety of socially conscious arts events and performances by Re|Marking, a body-based womanist community group of artists and activists. The event features live performances, site-specific installations, visual art and interactive activities throughout the area around and near Gordon Square. Re|Marking takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, throughout the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. All events are free, with a suggested donation of $5 at all locations.

“Re|Marking refers to the impact of our bodies on our environment, even while we know all too well the reverse paradigm,” explains co-curator Megan Young. “The title is a nod to the act of mark-making and the physicality inherent in studio practices. It affirms the drive to speak out on important issues, or to engage through the vehicle of one's body, as opposed to so called 'slacktivism' or less engaged methods.”

Re|Marking is a newly formed group of likeminded creatives determined to use their skills and talents to affect positive change in the community. This Saturday’s event is the group’s first. The various events take place at galleries at 78th Street Studios, Guide to Kulchur bookstore and Gypsy Beans & Baking Company coffee shop.

“This event is a collaborative effort of the recently formed (2015) Re|Marking group,” Young ellaborates. “We are a loose collective of artists and activists making space for womanist perspectives, projects, and action in our communities. The April 30 event will be our first of hopefully many artistic interventions. It is being organized by myself with Marcia Custer and Maria Miranda as curators, in addition to Annie Krol (volunteer coordinator), many site coordinators, and still more volunteers.”

There are a total of 15 projects taking place as part of the Re|Marking community event. Presenting artists include: Megan Cox, Cleo DeOrio, Kristen Ban Drake, Maggie Duff, Eve Hermann, Elaine Hullihen, Elena Juodisius, Annie Krol, Cheri Leetch, Jess Lee, Christine Lewis, Meg Matko, Maria Miranda, Morgan Mzik, Alexandra Tsubota, Megan Young and Sara Whale. Their works include new media/video, visual art, performance art, site responsive dance, sound art and social practice.

Zaina Gallery, E11even2 and Josephine Arts Gallery at 78th Street Studios are all participating in the Re|Marking event. Zaina Gallery hosts Chicago artist Victoria Bradford and her Neighborhood Dances project. In addition to offering a workshop for Neighborhood Dancers, Bradford will share memories and artifacts from her movement and media project. Bradford will give an artist talk/workshop at 2 p.m. in the gallery to kick off the afternoon.

E11even2’s Peek-A-Boo exhibition will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. This is your last chance to see this special, pin-up inspired group exhibition. This unique show features new and recent work by 16 local artists.

click to enlarge Body-Based Womanist Artists and Activists Will Host Creative Event in Detroit Shoreway
Michael Courier
Josephine Arts Gallery hosts Tits-n-Tea, a body-positive, family-style tea social, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. This event provides space for mothers to openly and comfortably breastfeed, baby-wear and socialize over a cup of tea in a relaxed atmosphere.

Also at 78th Street Studios, Christine Lewis will perform Snake in the Grass, a continuation of the feminist theme in her work. The performance features three performers exploring a narrative on patriarchy and those affected by it. Additional issues to be explored include body image and abuse/control. Elaine Hullihen’s Fluidity or Breath incorporates close-up, slow motion video of indistinguishable body parts responding to being flicked, slapped, wiggled and jostled. The imagery is combined with intermittent images of the rise and fall of breathing.

RA Washington’s Guide to Kulchur bookstore hosts a live, participatory “Edit-A-Thon,” where guests can articulate the achievements and significance of black and minority women into Wikipedia’s extensive (but incomplete) database. Bring your laptop and a hotspot if you have one. Throughout the event, Elena Joudisius and Annie Krol will direct the creation of an interactive visual of women’s contributions to our lives, explored through paper collage, wheat pasting and more.

Gypsy Beans & Baking Company hosts a live movement performance at 5 p.m. Before the performance, stop in for a delicious beverage, perform your own version of the Re Rosas project and view videos of past participants.

Additionally, several performances, installations and activities will take place on the front porches of select homes on W. 50th St., W. 52nd St. and Franklin St.

“Many diverse opportunities make the Re|Marking project especially exciting,” Young promises. “Community members have donated their private spaces for use and their time to collaboratively pull the event together. Participating artists have embraced the concept of Re|Marking and using these ideas to push their work. Viewers can engage in physical, digital, and conceptual ways. Even those who choose not to participate in those ways have already lent their physical capital via travel to the spaces and throughout the event footprint.”

Megan Young is a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellow. The Fellowships are a program of the Community Partnership for Arts & Culture, with funding by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

“For my part, this group and event further an interest in championing interdisciplinary approaches to body based practices. That is my goal in this fellowship year. My curatorial role has allowed me to make space for works that meet the viewer in their environment and comment directly on those spaces. My own practice centers on concepts of physical agency as presented through movement based new media works (installation, experimental video, online archives, ruptural public events).”

(78th Street Studios) 1300 W. 78th St., 330-819-7280,
(Zaina Gallery) 1300 W. 78th St., 216-952-7973,
(E11even 2) 1300 W. 78th St., 440-724-9261,
(Guide to Kulchur) 5900 Detroit Ave., 216-314-4644,
(Gypsy Beans & Baking Co.) 6425 Detroit Ave., 216-939-9009,

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