Blog: George N'Namdi

Metro Detroit is one of the largest contemporary art markets in the country, according to George N'Namdi, founder of the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, a visual and performing arts venue housing one of the world's finest collections of African American art. This week George writes about the guest curators and artists who are turning Detroit's Sugar Hill arts district into a showpiece of the modern art circuit.

Post 2: Guest Curators Provoke the Eye

Continuing with yesterday's thoughts on what brings great artists to an area and allows them to create the works we all want to see, I want to share a bit about our guest curator program.  At the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, we are continuously looking to identify up-and-coming, under-represented artists, along with bringing in well known and highly respected artists to exhibit. Locating that kind of talent and attracting them here takes a well networked creative group of people with a critical eye.

Our guest curators for the year are comprised of an eclectic group carrying stellar resumes and varying interests and artistic specialties. The type of exhibitions, juried shows, and artists they'll bring will offer visitors a unique experience with uncommon art.

Our first curator, Michael Stone-Richards, Ph.D. and associate professor at the College for Creative Studies, was selected because of the conceptual elements involving words and manipulation of space that is seen throughout his work. He intends to bring a group of artists to take the stunning space and vaulted roofing of the N'Namdi Center to project an embodied sense of new departures and transitions in the creation of a multi-visual and richly sensuous environment of sensations and thought. Artists in ceramics, video, photography, fabric, and painting will transform the space of the gallery into an environment of new trajectories, departures, and transitions.

Another of our guest curators is Dennis Alan Nawrocki, adjunct professor at the College for Creative Studies. This exhibition, scheduled for 2012, will feature local artists and local art and be both a blast from the past and a look into the future. Featuring classics of art from Cass Corridor, and a sampling of fresh offerings from a new generation of Detroit artists, works will include found objects, sculpture, heavily textured items, and thick clotted paint.

Rebecca Mazzei, assistant Dean of the College for Creative studies, will bring an exhibit concentrated on artists from Detroit and Chicago that are self taught. She has an eye for talented artists that lack formal training but offer engaging and provocative pieces.  

These shows are opportunities for artists to come to explore Detroit while exposing their work to spectators and collectors who've yet to experience what they have to offer. Another opportunity offered to artists is the upcoming "Language of Abstraction: Communicating with direct route to the intellect", which is a national juried exhibition curated by national artist/educator Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, professor of art at the University of Southern Illinois. Artists working in 2D and 3D form from around the United States are invited to make online submissions for the theme "Language of Abstraction: Communicating with direct route to the intellect."

The exhibition will be held in winter 2012.  Works will be juried on the use of abstraction as a visual language for formalism and narrative expression.  

Opportunities like those at our non-profit, The N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, give artists exposure and allow them to focus on creating art. The more we offer these types of opportunities, the more we expose the art collectors to the works available, the more we make Detroit a destination for both artists and art admirers.