On Thursday, May 16 there will be a presentation by the Detroit Institute of Art entitled Behind the Seen: In Our Own Voice African American Art. The talk will provide an opportunity to examine the issues of race, gender, politics, and culture from the DIA collection. The talk is sponsored by GRDC, Pages Bookshop, and the Norwest Gallery of Art, and will run from 2 – 3 pm at the Gallery, 19556 Grand River. This event is also an opportunity to support Gallery curator Asia Hamilton and the Gallery. The Gallery was awarded a Knight Arts Challenge Grant in 2018, which is a great honor, but it comes with some stipulations, the largest being that the recipient must raise matching funds. According to the rules as explained in a Detroit Free Press article, “winners must follow guidelines that include focusing on the local arts community in addition to physically taking place in Detroit city limits or by directly benefiting its residents…the funding must be matched from another source within roughly a year of being awarded. The required cash match could come from a wide range of sources including ticket sales for an event, another grant or an online fund-raiser.” While attendance at the talk is free, donations to the Gallery are strongly encouraged.


This is the second time the DIA has come to Grandmont Rosedale for a Behind the Seen talk. The first, just last year was titled “In the Garden.” The Gallery hosted this well-attended talk and is happy to host another. In fact, Asia sees this talk as a continuation of the various programming that has already occurred and, with the help of donations, will continue to occur at the Gallery. The first Behind the Seen event was organized by Grandmont Rosedale residents Ruth Remus, who also is a member of the Rosedale Park Book Club. Ruth had heard about the Behind the Seen lecture series and learned that docents from the DIA come out to the neighborhoods to give talks. “Let’s host one!” she suggested to her fellow book club members, and so they did and about 30 people came out to hear a talk about gardens in art. The Garden Bug, 18901 Grand River, co-sponsored last year’s talk, offering seeds and gardening tips. This year, the Norwest Gallery is not just the perfect location for the talk, but also the perfect co-sponsor as the gallery’s focus is on African and African-American Art. It also just makes perfect sense that a talk about art happen in an art gallery. Last year, Pages Bookshop, 19560 Grand River, featured several books on gardening and this year will have books on the topic of African American art available. Pages is also generously lending some of their chairs to the Gallery.


This collaboration of residents, local business owners, and our wonderful DIA is all because someone in the community had a great idea and the support and determination to see it through. Come to the Behind the Seen talk on May 16 and show the Norwest Gallery your support. Asia has plans to include teen curatorial programs, improve poetry events, and workshops for seniors at the Norwest Gallery. Your support will help Asia make that happen. Your support will also show everyone that great things really do begin with one person with one idea – as long as there’s a supportive community willing to lend a hand.

Visit the Norwest Gallery of Art at norwestgallery.com.

Read about the 2018 Knight Arts Challenge Grant winners here: