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Detroit Institute of Arts

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit artist Charles McGee has died at the age of 96. His art spans a period of more than 75 years. 

McGee’s artwork is scattered across Detroit. His work includes huge murals, sculptures, paintings, and mixed-media.

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

As the nation grapples with how its institutions treat people of color, the surge in conversations about how systemic racism exists in our social structures isn’t confined to the criminal justice or health systems. It’s also affecting the arts community, including in Detroit, where current and former staff and volunteers at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) have formed public campaigns asking for change at these institutions.

Michigan football stadium
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been vocal about her decision to only reopen schools if public health officials agree it is safe.

What are the discussions happening between the Governor and the Republican led legislature regarding schools and education funding? Plus a conversation with former Detroit Institute of Arts and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit employees about systemic racism in art institutions. Also, we spoke with the reporter who wrote about University of Michigan football star Jon Vaughn’s story of survival in “an ecosystem of abuse.”

The Detroit Institute of Arts
flickr user Quick fix / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Board of the Detroit Institute of Arts has issued a statement of support for its beleaguered director, Salvador Salort-Pons.

Salort-Pons has come under harsh criticism by a group of former and current employees at the DIA, who say he has fostered a racially insensitive culture that pays lip service to the need for diversity and inclusion, without taking meaningful action.

Salort-Pons is also accused of sidelining the involvement of senior staff with decades of experience, many of whom are women. 

DIA

A group of former and current staff at the Detroit Institute of Arts say Director Salvador Salort-Pons should be removed from his post. 

a barn sits behind a row of crops
Bob Jagendorf / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Today on Stateside, as the remaining presidential contenders make for Michigan, can Bernie Sanders repeat his success of 2016 in Tuesday’s primary? Or will Joe Biden close the sale with voters he's connected with in the past? Plus, a renewal millage to fund the Detroit Institute of Arts is on the ballot in three counties. Some Detroit residents think the museum has taken attention away from more pressing challenges in the city.

outside of the Detroit Institute of Art
Author Sailko / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

On today's Stateside, lawmakers in Lansing may be ready to throw clerks a lifeline as they prepare to count an onslaught of absentee ballots this primary season. Plus, we'll talk to the state’s top health official about how Michigan is preparing for a potential outbreak of the coronavirus.

a group of children in front of a large portrait of a black woman lounging on a couch
Courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts

When you walk into the African American art wing of the Detroit Institute of Arts, you see a large portrait of a woman on a couch. The portrait is covered in rhinestones, and the glittering woman has a regal air.

The painting, titled "Something You Can Feel," is by artist Mickalene Thomas. The woman is her mother, who was a runway model in the 1970’s. The portrait is filled with color and joy. Its celebration of black womanhood is an example of how African-American artists have reshaped the portrayal of black bodies in fine art. 

guns in holsters on two people
Lucio Eastman - Free State Project - PorcFest 2009 / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, the trial of Kathie Klages has begun. The longtime coach for the Michigan State University women’s gymnastics team is accused of lying to police during an investigation into Larry Nassar. Plus, the national debate over new gun control measures has led to some Michigan municipalities to adopt “sanctuary county” resolutions for gun rights.

For the first time in 15 years, the Detroit Institute of Arts has a staff of three in its contemporary art department.
Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts millage renewal is slated to appear on the March 10, 2020 ballot in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.

Voters in each county will decide whether to renew the 0.2 millage that helps fund the DIA. That's 20 cents per $1,000 of taxable value.

The ten-year millage was first passed in 2012. If voters approve the millage renewal in March, it will continue through 2031.

Veterans Day in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a veteran advocate says that Michigan veterans are not getting connected to the benefits they’ve earned. Plus, we talk to one of the last living members of the Tuskegee Airmen, a legendary all-black military unit that flew combat missions during World War II.

Detroit Institute of Arts
Maia C/Flickr

The Detroit Institute of Arts is asking officials in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County to put a renewal of the museum’s millage on the March 2020 ballot. This request comes earlier than expected: the millage was first passed in 2012, and it was not set to lapse until 2022.


 

 

Credit: Detroit Institute of Arts

An exhibition of "accidental" art will open at the Detroit Institute of Arts on August 26th.

"Lost & Found: Photographs from the DIA's Collection" will be a collection of photographs from around the U.S. and Detroit, taken by unknown and often untrained photographers.

Some of the work will feature James Pearson Duffy, an amateur photographer and collector, who made over 500 photographs of Detroit in the early 1970's, and Peter Cohen, an acclaimed vernacular photography collector.

darth vader sketch and darth vader costume
2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.


When audiences first heard the trumpet fanfare of John Williams's theme for Star Wars, it was a jolt of pure movie magic.

Forty-one years later, the magic is still there, and Star Wars continues to hold a Darth Vader-like grip on our imagination.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is tapping into that magic with its newest exhibit, Star Wars and the Power of Costume

Courtesy of Natasha T. Miller

 


 

Tomorrow, March 27, beginning at 7 p.m., the Detroit Institute of Arts will host a 14-hour, overnight event called "The Science of Grief.

Photo courtesy of the DIA

The Detroit Institute of Arts is expanding its popular program that places reproductions of artwork outdoors to areas of Michigan that are deemed culturally underserved.

"Inside/Out" installations as part of that effort start in the coming week and will remain on view until October.

The Detroit Institute of Arts.
Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts is ready to take advantage of the warm spring weather.

The museum is planning the eighth annual "Inside/Out" exhibition, which brings reproductions of famous artworks outdoors in southeast Michigan.

For this year's program, the DIA is teaming up with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Reproductions from both museums will be in 11 communities from April to July and in 10 other venues from August to October. Each community will have up to twelve reproductions clustered within walking or biking distance.

For the first time in 15 years, the Detroit Institute of Arts has a staff of three in its contemporary art department.
Detroit Institute of Arts

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There are some new faces in the management of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) contemporary collection. According to BLAC Detroit Magazine, for the first time in 15 years, there is a staff of three in the contemporary department.

Laurie Ann Farrell, the new curator, is now joined by two assistant curators, Taylor Renee Aldridge and Lucy Mensah, who joined Stateside to talk about the museum and their roles.

MSU's Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum viewed from Grand River Ave
Wikimedia user Dj1997 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan State University’s Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum is hard to miss.

The steel structure looks like some kind of strange spaceship among the traditional ivory-covered brick buildings around it.

November 10 marks the museum’s third birthday.

In his story for Lansing City Pulse, Larry Cosentino spells out the reasons the Broad is at a crucial time in its young history.

Meet the new director of the DIA

Sep 16, 2015
Salvador Salort-Pons
Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts has named insider Salvador Salort-Pons as its new director.

Salort-Pons has headed up the museum's European Art Department since 2011 and has served as director of collection strategies and information since 2013. 

In his new role as DIA director, Salort-Pons said he wants to get out into Detroit and its surrounding communities as much as possible.

The Detroit Institute of Arts
flickr user Quick fix / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Detroit Institute of Arts made fresh headlines late last month with the announcement that its three top executives, including newly retired director Graham Beal, are in line for bonuses and pay hikes topping $600,000.

DIA

The Detroit Institute of Arts’ chairman says top museum officials — including the museum’s recently-departed director — deserve bonuses and other perks.

DIA director retiring after 16-year tenure

Jun 29, 2015
DIA

The director of the Detroit Institute of Arts is retiring after leading the museum for 16 years.

Graham Beal first announced plans to step down from the position back in January. Tuesday will be his last day.

Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Institute of Arts is debuting a new exhibition about the year Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent in Detroit in 1932. It opens Sunday, March 15, but Michigan Radio got a sneak peek at a media preview.

The exhibition is the brainchild of DIA director Graham Beal and curator Mark Rosenthal. This will be the last major exhibition for Beal before he retires this summer. 

Flickr user ashleystreet / Flickr

This month, the Detroit Institute of Arts will unveil a major exhibition focusing on two of the most fascinating and influential artists of the 20th century.

Michigan Opera Theatre reaches out to Latinos

Mar 6, 2015
Michigan Opera Theatre

The Michigan Opera Theatre is performing the opera “Frida” by American composer Robert Xavier Rodriguez. It's about the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Here’s why that’s a smart idea for an arts organization:

1. Tapping into Frida Kahlo’s broad appeal

Lots of people love Frida Kahlo. Latinos love her. Women love her.  Artists love her. Gay people love her.

Part of the Diego Rivera mural in the DIA. Foundations pulled together to help save the art in the museum.
Joseph Gallegos / Flickr

  

Graham Beal will retire from his position as the director of the Detroit Institute of Arts at the end of July. 

His 16-year tenure saw the museum through the financial crash in 2008 and the city's bankruptcy. 

"We did indeed get tremendous support," Beal said, "but none of that would have happened had we not been a thriving institution that had positioned itself as being for the people."

Ron, East Side Riders
Corine Vermeulen / Courtesy of Detroit Institute of Arts

A new Detroit Institute of Arts exhibit features stories of Detroit residents through portraits taken around the city.

The DIA commissioned Dutch-born Corine Vermeulen to photograph people in diverse communities for the exhibit that opens today and runs through May 17, 2015.

Vermeulen took photos of hundreds of Detroit residents in temporary portrait studios and asked them questions about their current and future vision of Detroit. 

The DIA says the exhibit includes more than 80 photographs from the sessions, including portraits of students, protesters and even custom-bike enthusiasts.

One such custom-bike enthusiast is "Ron," a member of the East Side Riders. Along with having his portrait taken (pictured above), Ron shed some light in an interview with Vermeulen on the reactions he and his fellow East Side Riders have received:

“I mean it was different reactions, some people laughed. A lot of people laugh when they hear the radios on the bike. They go, ‘I can’t believe that’s no radio on there.’ When they get up close, they be like, ‘that’s real nice. That’s real nice.’ But they were just laughing at us. But we still have fun. We just keep it moving. East Side. Keep moving.”

For more portraits and interviews, check out the Detroit Institute of Arts website.

- Ari Sandberg, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Part of the Diego Rivera mural in the DIA. Foundations pulled together to help save the art in the museum.
Joseph Gallegos / Flickr

It’s hard not be awed by the scale and detail in Diego Rivera’s Depression-era “Detroit industry” murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts, but these scenes depicting both the splendor and hardship of an industrial powerhouse were potentially at risk in the city’s bankruptcy.

That’s because right now, Detroit owns the museum and its world-class collection.

And that made Detroit’s creditors—collectively owed billions of dollars—ask: Why shouldn’t the city have to sell at least some of it to pay them?

Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, says the idea was offensive.

“The idea that the art could actually be auctioned off was so … antithetical to our idea of democracy and the role of cultural organizations.”

But that fear actually turned out to be an important lever in the bankruptcy case.

The DIA was left with egg on its face when news broke of double digit pay increases and $50,000 bonuses doled out to each of its top two executives in 2012, just as the DIA got voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties to say "yes" to a special millage to keep its doors open.

Two years ago, Graham Beal, whose compensation is over half a million dollars a year, got a 13% raise. Annmarie Erickson, the DIA's Chief Operating Officer, got a 36% raise.

Now it seems the firestorm of protest has pushed the DIA to re-think this whole "raise and bonus thing."

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