I know, I know, I have not posted in AGES! But it is summer vacation and soon I will have a “What I Did on My Summer vacation” post, but right now there is something a bit more important.
As everyone knows, Detroit is bankrupt. Financially is the proclamation for now, but bankruptcy of a different kind has taken place long before that. The people of Detroit have suffered from a decline in self-esteem, worth, value and significance brought on by corruption, racism, poverty and neglect. Now I am not here to step further on top of what many shout out as the hell hole of America. Quite the opposite. I will be the first to shout out about all the beautiful places in Detroit. The smaller, magical spots that people overlook and the grander more obvious places. One of those places is my favorite place in Detroit. A place I take others, or get lost in all by myself. A place that fills my eyes with delight and in a turn brings tears to my eyes. Good tears. The DIA. Never been there? My header is looking out onto Woodward from the front steps, just look around “Le Penseurs” buttocks.
You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate all the beauty and mastery dating from primitive times until now. There is something there for everyone, every age, every mood, every heart. because of that, it is in integral place in the heart of Detroit. Its architecture alone is a gem in a neglected mine that is being dusted off and re cultivated. A bright spot in the gray matter.
It hurts my heart in a way that no metaphor can mimic to think that any of these valuable pieces of history could be sold to pay for someone elses mismanagement. The DIA did not mismanage, the city did. I’d like to say that I get it, but I don’t. I get that if I was a retired or current city employee I would be pensive, to say the least. But I will never “get” that the idea of taking what is great, from a city that was once GREAT to raise it to mediocre is the only option.
I am hardly an eloquent speaker of what art means, but I can tell you it must mean something since the cavemen were creating it way before our more refined versions ever arrived. it was there before words and numbers. It was there to tell stories, to celebrate and to document history. The DIA is an enclave of history, stories and celebrations. it is one of the most important places to help this city to raise to GREAT again, and when things in this city are valued by the city, then people start to value the city and when that happens everyone starts valuing the city, and when I mean the city, I mean everyone in it.
Never been? Here is what you are missing….
Seriously, Calder, Kandinsky, Rivera, Rothko, Warhol, Van Gogh, Matisse and Detroit’s own Charles McGee…what are you waiting for? Go, give your heart a lift, give the city a lift and for goodness sake, if art is the greatest asset to the city, make it a great asset to you.