The current exhibition at Work • Detroit, ending on April 25th, will be the gallery’s final show. After seven successful years at the Detroit Center, U‑M Stamps School of Art & Design gallery in Detroit will be exiting the Center on July 1, 2014.
Gallery Director, Stephen Schudlich, explains “Our shows have been building in scale and quality over the years. And now we find that the size, character, and technology capabilities of the current Work•Detroit space are no longer adequate. In addition, entry to the Center is by key card, so public access is limited, which is not in keeping with our mission of community engagement.”
Stamps Dean Guna Nadarajan confirms. “While closing the gallery is a difficult step to take, we felt it was necessary in order to expand and build on the School’s many relationships and partnerships with artists/designers, neighborhoods, schools and local organizations in Detroit. I see this change as an opportunity to be more proactively involved in the city. We may be exiting the Detroit Center – but we are committed to finding innovative ways to engage the Detroit creative community.”
Over the past 10 years, the Stamps School of Art & Design has initiated a wide range of projects in Detroit. Detroit Connections, is an ongoing educational initiative linking Detroit Schools and teachers with Stamps students / faculty. The School has been part of design projects in neighborhoods and even small businesses; staged and participated in various design symposia around the city and participated in important research projects connecting emerging businesses with Detroit manufacturing. Increasingly, Stamps students are choosing to move to Detroit after graduation and contribute to the city.
“Our next steps,” Says Nadarajan, “will be to create stronger relationships with established exhibition venues, such as MOCAD and the Detroit Car Center; as well as generating our own pop up exhibition opportunities throughout the City. We will also be identifying new partners and participants for collaborative workshops, panels, symposia, and presentations to expand creative discussions with the Detroit community.”