Crain's Detroit Business
July 13, 2007


Emerging and Established Detroit Artists to Watch

Crain’s has compiled a list of emerging and established Detroit artists to watch. The list was developed by talking to art insiders and aficionados and through Internet research.

One art insider said there’s a problem with trying to name very talented and successful Detroit artists, because very talented artists generally choose to leave Detroit to advance their careers. Still, quite a few of them still hang their hat here, at least part of the time.

Britton Tolliver: Born in Johnson City, Tenn., this painter is based in Pontiac and is a graduate of the Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work has exhibited throughout the country and Canada.

Lowell Boileau: Known worldwide for his “Fabulous Ruins of Detroit” Web site, now called, Boileau is a self-taught painter and Web artist.

Mary Kim: This Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate and instructor at the College for Creative Studies is known for her colorful sculptures and painted pieces.

Mike Richison: With a master of fine arts from Cranbrook, Richison is a printmaker, painter and sculptor. His work has been exhibited in Detroit and other parts of Michigan as well as Sioux City, Iowa, and Berlin.

Clint Snider: He paints primarily bleak Detroit scenes on large pieces of wood he has found in the city. He had an installation at the Detroit Institute of Arts with Scott Hocking for the city’s tricentennial.

Richard Lewis: Lewis was born in 1966 in Detroit. He is a graduate of Cass Technical High School and earned his bachelor of fine arts from the College of Creative Studies and a master of fine arts from the Yale School of Art. Lewis is a realist painter and has taught at Oakland University, CCS and the Yale School of Art.

Anita Bates: The Detroit artist and Wayne State University instructor has described her painting style as “abstraction steeped in spirituality.” Her work focuses on surface and texture in the context of decay and ruin. She has a master of fine arts degree from WSU and a bachelor of arts from CCS.

Gilda Snowden: The Detroit painter’s work has been greatly influenced by Detroit’s urban environment, where she is based, and her studies of American art history. Born in Detroit in 1954, she received bachelor of fine art, master of art and master of fine art degrees from WSU.

Kate Silvio: The contemporary sculptor is a Cranbrook graduate.

Dana Shutz is a painter from Detroit who commands six figures for her work in New York.

Senghor Reid: Born in Detroit in 1976, he attended the University of Michigan and studied at the New York School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. He began exhibiting his works in art galleries in 1999 and has been an art teacher at the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse andSoutheastern High School, both in Detroit.

Ellen Phelan: This painter with deep Detroit roots attended WSU and came out of the Cass Corridor in the 1960s. She skyrocketed to fame in the art world and now lives in New York. As she told a “Bomb” magazine writer, “I started working in the context of early post-Minimalism. At the time there was this scene in Detroit, a rough, gritty Motor City junk aesthetic. It was also quite macho, lots of guys.” As her art matured, she realized she was moving toward a feminine minimalism. Her blurred images that often stem from photographs hang in museums, galleries and homes around the world.

Sergio De Giusti: The Italian-born artist resides in the Detroit area where he has taught art history and studio classes at WSU and sculpture at CCS. His work has been exhibited both in the United States and Europe in such places such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Newark Museum, the Smithsonian Institute and London’s British Museum. He has had numerous public and private commissions, many of which were for major public building projects in Michigan and that took as their themes the history and landscape of Michigan.

Nancy Thayer: The Detroit-born painter is widely exhibited, collected, reviewed and published. A professor at UM, she has been proactive in influencing art policies and issues. Her life as an artist has taken her around the world. Her paintings reflect where she has lived and worked, including Mexico and the Detroit area.

Link to Crain's Article »