Kick out the jams at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom

And Let Me Be Who I Am by Derek Farr

And Let Me Be Who I Am by Derek Farr

“Let me be who I am, and let me kick out the jams”
-The MC5

The Detroit Metro Times recently shared that $5 million could net you Detroit’s historic Grande Ballroom:

The abandoned Grande Ballroom is up for sale for a hefty $5,000,000, according to a listing on Jim Shaffer and Associates Realtors that went online this week. The old-school music hall was a hub for classic and psychedelic rock bands in the 1960s until it closed in 1972. Since then, it has sat looming like a fading memory of a bygone era.

Back in the days of sex, drugs, and, rock ‘n’ roll, the ballroom hosted acts like Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, and even John Coltrane and Sun Ra. MC5 became regulars on the stage and recorded its 1969 debut album Kick Out the Jams there, and in recent years a mural of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-nominated band’s guitarist Wayne Kramer was painted on the side of the building.

You can read a lot more about the Grande Ballroom on this website & watch the awesome documentary Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom on the Detroit Public Television Facebook page!

Derek took this shot of the mural on the Grande a couple of years ago. See TONS more in his excellent Detroit gallery on Flickr.

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Studio for Sale: the Gwen Frostic Gallery

Gwen Frostic by Janet Pickel

Gwen Frostic by Janet Pickel

“Here lies one doubly blessed. She was happy and she knew it.”
-Gwen Frostic

Bridge Michigan shares that the riverside studio of legendary Michigan artist Gwen Frostic is for sale:

…that studio — a full, 21,000-square-foot production facility, retail center and warehouse for Presscraft Papers, as well as her former residence — is for sale.

But the listing is for more than the real estate on 12 acres: The $1.9 million price also includes the 2,200 linoleum blocks and 15 Heidelberg presses that turned Frostic’s designs of raccoons, fawns, cardinals and flowers into some of the most recognizable Michigan-based art.

The buyer will acquire an iconic piece of northern Michigan, said Michelle Barefoot, marketing director at the Benzie County Chamber of Commerce. The property was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2021. 

More in Bridge. Janet took this photo back in 2015 & had a great writeup:

Gwen Frostic was a Michigan artist based in Benzie county. This is her studio where she made and sold her art which was based on the flora and fauna found in this part of Michigan. Her studio made of wood and stone with grass on the roof is very naturalistic. This is the entrance.

Over the years Gwen had been awarded honorary degrees from many colleges and universities. In 1978 Michigan Governor William Milliken proclaimed May 23rd as Gwen Frostic Day in Michigan, and in 1986 she was inducted into the Michigan Woman’s Hall of Fame.

Long before her death she wrote her epitaph: “Here lies one doubly blessed. She was happy and she knew it.”

See Janet’s latest on her Flickr & learn more about Gwen Frostic and her studio on their website.

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The Night Before Christmas at the Ludington Light

Watch the Skies on Christmas Eve by Fire Fighter's Wife

Watch the Skies on Christmas Eve by Fire Fighter’s Wife

Beth shares a great sentiment for the holidays or any season: May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve.

About this photo (which I’m still pretty sure is totally authentic) she writes: I wanted to do something I’ve never done and I couldn’t help myself. This year I was so inspired and thought it’d be great to bring out my Christmas album with a bang! This lead me to thinking, with a suggestion from a friend, to add a flying Santa sleigh to the moon. I debated back and forth but decided, it’s Christmas. Step out of the box and do something magical!

Indeed!! See more in her 25 Days of Christmas Gallery on Flickr & never grow up!!

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Double Rainbow at Belle Isle’s Scott Fountain

Double Rainbow by Scott Laidlaw

Double Rainbow by Scott Laidlaw

The James Scott Memorial Fountain on Detroit’s Belle Isle is a  masterpiece in marble. It was completed in 1925 & designed by Cass Gilbert who also designed the US Supreme Court. I definitely encourage you to read the Michpics post on the construction & controversy surrounding the fountain & honoree about whom J.L. Hudson opined: “Mr. Scott never did anything for Detroit in his lifetime and he never had a thought that was good for the city.”  

Scott took this photo in October at a fortuitous moment. See more in his Belle Isle gallery on Flickr!

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Follow the Yellow Brick Road to ArtPrize

Art Prize - Tin Man by Daniel L

Art Prize – Tin Man by Daniel L

The annual Grand Rapids Art Prize is once again underway, running through this Sunday, October 3rd. The event was started back in 2009 & has become one of the nation’s leading public art competitions. This year nearly 900 entries are available to view & vote on. Here’s hoping you get a chance to visit!!

Daniel took this photo the other day – see more on his Flickr!

More ArtPrize on Michigan in Pictures.

PS: The Tin Man sculpture was created by Bill Secunda.

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Diego Rivera’s Industrial Symphony

Diego Riviera Mural by Ashleigh Mowers

Diego Rivera Mural by Ashleigh Mowers

“As I rode back to Detroit, a vision of Henry Ford’s industrial empire kept passing before my eyes. In my ears, I heard the wonderful symphony which came from his factories where metals were shaped into tools for men’s service. It was a new music, waiting for the composer with genius enough to give it communicable form.

I thought of the millions of different men by whose combined labor and thought automobiles were produced, from the miners who dug the iron ore out of the earth to the railroad men and teamsters who brought the finished machines to the consumer, so that man, space, and time might be conquered, and ever-expanding victories be won against death.”
― Diego Rivera, My Art, My Life

There’s probably not a better monument to the massive role of labor in building Michigan & the United States than the Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals. Commissioned for the Detroit Institute of Art, these 27 massive paintings that cover the four walls of the Rivera Court at the DIA:

In 1932, Mexican muralist Diego Rivera (1886-1957) began illustrating the walls of what was then the DIA’s Garden Court. Using the fresco technique common in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Americas, Rivera created a grand and complex cycle of murals that portray the geological, technological, and human history of Detroit. He also developed an ancient context for modern industry rooted in the belief system of the Aztec people of central Mexico.

Ashley took this photo back in January of 2017. You can see more in her Detroit gallery & on her website!

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Remembering MSU philanthropist Eli Broad

Another Night at the Museum by fotoman91

Another Night at the Museum by fotoman91

Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business dean Sanjay Gupta shares a tribute to billionaire alumnus Eli Broad who died last week at the age of 87, saying in part:

As a loyal Spartan, Mr. Broad has left an extraordinary and unparalleled legacy on the banks of the Red Cedar. In total, Eli and Edythe have given nearly $100 million to support MSU in a multitude of ways. From building the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum to supporting the College of Education, their impact has been significant across campus.

Nowhere has their giving been more evident than here in the Broad College of Business. Passionate about the MBA program, in 1991, Mr. Broad made what was at the time the largest gift ever made to a public business school. His $20 million commitment to the Eli Broad College of Business and the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management — both renamed in his honor — was designed to help the university’s new full-time MBA program emerge as one of the nation’s top graduate management programs. Today, that program is a top 25 U.S. public program that has launched the careers of countless Spartans.

The Broad Museum is a contemporary art museum and is open free of charge Friday – Sunday from noon to 6 PM.

fotoman91 took this pic last summer. See more in his awesome Night Time gallery on Flickr.

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Love gives back

Love by Ansonredford

Love by Ansonredford

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

Here’s an awesome piece of graffiti that Donald captured last summer in Detroit. Check out his Graffiti gallery on Flickr for more!

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Dancing in the Snow

Dancing in Snow by Bruce Bertz

Dancing in Snow by Bruce Bertz

Roadside America explains about the Gene Kelly Mural in Ann Arbor:

Artist David Zinn created a mural of the iconic scene in which Gene Kelly sings, dances, and swings from a lamppost in the rain. He created a fun illusion incorporating a real lamppost on the sidewalk. Gene Kelly’s daughter, Kerry Kelly Noviak, is a longtime residence of Ann Arbor.

Bruce caught a perfect shot of the legendary dancer engaging in a more Michigan appropriate dance yesterday. See more in his Ann Arbor 2020 album on Flickr.

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Detroit will never forget

Belle Isle Coronavirus Memorial by City of Detroit

Belle Isle Coronavirus Memorial by Eric Milliken

“I want everyone to look at this to understand what happened to the city of Detroit.”
~Eric Millikin

This image represents the 1,500 Detroiters lost to COVID-19. Families of 900 of the victims of Covid-19 provided the City of Detroit with the photos to create this powerful image. Residents can drive thru Belle Isle and pay their condolences and view all photos as well as the collage made by artist Eric Millikin on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 1st and 2nd.

The Detroit Free Press interviewed montage creator Eric Millikin:

For artist Eric Millikin, this is the ugly truth behind COVID-19 — a truth he sought to reveal in a powerful image commissioned by the city of Detroit, a mural featuring the faces of 900 Detroiters who lost their lives to the novel coronavirus.

Husbands. Wives. Children. Grandparents. More than 1,500 died between March and August, mostly from Detroit.

Millikin created a montage that forms the iconic “Spirit of Detroit,” using the faces of the people Detroiters long to remember.

…”I want people to see the enormity of that and understand it. It’s absolutely immeasurable. These people — they touched so many other people, and they will never get the chance to touch them again,” Millikin said, his voice trailing off as he choked up. “When they see the enormity of it, they can understand — it didn’t have to be this bad.”

You can click to view the photo bigger on the City of Detroit Facebook. Learn more about Eric on his website & @EricMillikin on Instagram.