Blog: Carl Goines

For Carl Goines its all about the arts. A native Metro Detroiter, he's a founder, Co-Director and board member of Detroit's 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios. He'll be writing about what it takes to keep a non-profit arts organization going in Michigan.

Post No 3: 555 Now

 It's raining, raining hard.  I'm home but I've been thinking all day about 555.  Wondering how much water has made it's way into the building, either through the roof or the old skylights. Also trying to figure out how to afford the drive downtown this week. 

Over the last few months I've been planning with my father to lighten the work load so that I could spend more time at 555, working on my own sculptures and moving things forward with the organization. Problem is, gas prices have gotten so crazy that working a little less makes it really difficult to get to 555.  Might need to keep working full time so that I can afford to be involved with 555 and everything that has been established. It will work out though, not sure exactly how, but it will.

I just need to look again at the list of folks who have space at 555 and I'm inspired to figure it out.

  • Scott "Hully" Hullinger- a Redford middle School art teacher working on his MFA,
  • Elizabeth Sutton-a photographer who works in the DIA's educational studios,
  • ILL Magazine- a collective that creates digital music magazine highlighting local musicians, performers, artists, and designers,
  • District 81- owner Ty Haygood designs men's fashion,
  • Detroit Summer- a nonprofit collective working to provide educational arts programs to Detroit youth
  • Allied Media- whose members are working to develop the annual Allied Media Conference held in Detroit,
  • Jason Matthews- founding member of ILL magazine and photographer
  • Diana Nucera- Allied Media Member and multi-media artist working to establish a media lab at 555
  • Jenni Greer Cure- Recent Cranbrook Graduate and Printmaker working to strengthen 555's Artist in Residency Program
  • Nicole Parker- 555 Co-Founder, Photographer, Mixed Media Artist, and Marygrove College Arts Instructor
  • Eric Froh- Recent Western Michigan University Graduate and sculptor working to develop 555's Metal and Wood shop studios
  • Sabrina Nelson- College for Creative Studies Associate Admissions Director, DIA arts instructor, print and mixed media artist
  • Mario Moore - CCS Student and son of Sabrina Nelson
  • Erin Moran- former grant writer of Red Ink Studios in Flint and print/mixed media artist
Unfortunately, we don't have the absolute cheapest space in town, Russell has the market, but we have always worked to create a space that was more than individual pods for rent. We don't want to be landlords, we want to run an art space and provide resources and opportunities to artists. The programs that we have managed to create include the studios, Artist in Residency, education, and exhibitions. We've set up 17 studio spaces, which have been reconfigured as needed, and integrated the gallery spaces so that the studio members all have immediate access. They can take a break from their own studio work and see what's new in the gallery spaces or if they need some extra flex room they can spill out into the galleries, sit in or participate in an event, discussion, or performance, or plan an exhibit or arts event of their own.

Even though we really can't afford to, we've established an artist in Residency Program, providing an artist or group of artists with space at no cost for a month or two. If we can, we find grant funding to help cover some of the expenses.  The Residency program has provided space to a Chilean painter, a New York playwright, Hamtramack artist
Carl Oxley III, Southwest Detroit's Mary Laredo Herbeck, and most recently Detroit Summer, whose members decided they wanted to set up for the long term at 555.

Our Exhibitions programs are up and down, as our volunteer staff waxes and wanes so to do the exhibits. Most recently we held the Ben Franklin Project.

Ben Franklin Video 1

Hully, one of our first studio members in Detroit started an exhibition series called Thursday's View, which has been handed over to another talented Detroit artist David Lingle.  Every week a new artist exhibits, no jury, no slides, no fees, first come. The idea is to give anyone hungry enough to exhibit an opportunity to do so. It took six years but we've returned to our initial exhibition program.

With the Mini-grants received from Detroit Parks and Recreation we have managed to pull together workshops with the students across the street from us at the George Crockett Academy. The kid's loved it, they made some great stuff and then had their first exhibit.

And then I find a video from our first year in Detroit: NOMO

It will work out.