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Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 9:31 am:   

Over the 27 years that Michigan Gallery existed,more than 300 Michigan artists curated shows. Every one of those shows was notable in some way:
(1.) They were personal: the shows expressed an individual aesthetic.....some of those aesthetics were refined and some were still developing. The result was some of the most outstanding shows ever developed and displayed in Detroit. Some were just plain good and some missed the mark. All of the exhibitions were; nonetheless, worth seeing!
(2.) Most of the curators were democratic in who they included in their shows: they not only showed established artists, but also gave opportunities to emerging artists. Many of those "emerging" artists became "established" artists and an important part of the vital Detroit art community that exists today.
(3.) The shows were not always confined to only the visual arts. Most of the openings included performances by area bands including: The Howling Diablos, (the group was actually formed for a performance at the gallery,) Francisco Mora, Juanita McCrea, Dorothy Fear and the Night Crawlers and many, many more.
(4.) Michigan Gallery became a venue for the unexpected: Maurice Greenia, Trio Doppler, Sunday Brunches, pool tournaments, Gary Grimshaw, impromtu performances and many other, (sometimes outrageous,) performances and events.

Michigan Gallery supported, (on average,) more than 300 members. Four weddings took place at the gallery, a dozen or more wedding receptions, many political and union meetings/receptions/fundraisers, bar rentals, models and artists brunches and a myraid of other events. Of course, we always had twice weekly 3 hour life drawing sessions.

In addition, we had our own softball team "The Michigan Gallery Grizzlies," did "Bowling for Art" and later, "Zen Bowling."

Perhaps, the most memorable part of gallery membership were our 27 Associate Membership Shows. Every one of our members were entitled to submit up to 5 original pieces of art work for our December shows. The shows were not juried! Everything submitted was displayed! Sometimes these shows included more than 700 pieces of work.

In all, Michigan Gallery was, as someone once said, ".....(was) not just a gallery, but rather, 'a way of life!'"

More later.....
John Nagridge
Posted on Friday, September 20, 2002 - 6:30 pm:   

I don't remember the team being called The Grizzlies, but I remember playing softball. I thought Coach Carl was nuts in petting me at third base. To my shock (but apparently not his), I did well, catch a line drive and helping with a dounle play soon after. I'm hardly an athlete, but Carl knew something about me I didn't.

I also remember a wedding I went to at the gallery between the scultor Robert Bielat and one of the women that modeled for figure drawing. Thanks to one of my firgure-drawing friends, I was introduced to very good scotch at the occasion. Mmmmm!

But I agree that one of the most memorable parts was the end-of-the-year show for Associate members. It was like a salon with every inch of the gallery taken up by art from floor to ceiling. Definitely the highlight of the Art Crawl.

But my favorite part was still the figure drawing sessions on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings. Only the Michgian Gallery could get me out of bed on a Saturday morning before 11 a.m. But I got some good drawings out of those sessions as well as good friends and memories.
Susan Musialowski
Posted on Tuesday, November 05, 2002 - 7:48 pm:   

So glad to have found this website....the Michigan Gallery was great....remember the life drawing sessions in the very beginning, buckets to catch the dripping rainwater, an old stove (was it woodburning?) where the model posed (to keep warm) and where we all huddled to draw. And, of course, the party in town...the opportunity to show work in the Associate Membership show...and I also participated in an invitational by John Egner. Knew Bradley Jones, Carl Kamulski...last time I was there was for a memorial after Bradley's death. Now living in the UP of Michigan...beautiful here, but not the grit and passion of Detroit and her artists. The Michigan Gallery was the heartbeat.

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