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.

Splash it up this Fourth of July!

Splash by Charles Bonham

Splash by Charles Bonham

The strangest (and hottest) Fourth of July weekend in recent memory is on tap with highs in the 90s forecast to blanket the state. Here’s hoping you can get into one of Michigan’s lovely lakes or rivers and stay cool (and safe) this weekend!

Charles took this on Tuesday at Higgins Lake. See much more on his Flickr!

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Socially Distanced Photography Bringing a Community Together

Exposures by Rah Social Distancing Porch-raits

Socially Distanced Superhero by Exposures by Rah / Sarah Armstrong

Like most people these days, professional photographers are struggling as their livelihood vanishes down a Covid-19 rabbithole. One of my photographer friends in Traverse City came up with a cool way to continue working responsibly AND add to the community. Northern Michigan Porch-raits is a social distancing photography project from the safety of your home. 100% of the proceeds from each session fee will be donated to the amazing hometown heroes working tirelessly for the community at Munson Medical Center. Sarah writes:

I want people to feel good about supporting this project, and I really want to do my part to safely join the fight. As an artist and small business owner, I’ve felt pretty helpless and limited in how I can make a difference. I’m not good at sewing like all the wonderful people who are making masks, so this is my socially distanced creative way of giving back to the fight while also bringing joy to my community. It’s such a scary and uncertain time for everyone. My friends and family members are healthcare workers and have weakened immune systems. This is my way of feeling like I can make a difference.

Session fees will be waived for healthcare workers!

There’s no better time than now to have some photos of you and your quarantine crew using a telephoto lens from my car (seriously! I never even get out of my vehicle). Since everyone is home, many with their families, why not use this time to support a local art, give back to Munson AND receive a beautiful portrait to commemorate this extremely weird time This is not just for families! Have you ever had a nice photo taken of you and your dog? This is your chance to do it for a fraction of the normal price! When you sign up for this service from Exposures by Rah, you’ll pay a $20 fee to reserve your date/time. I will arrive with my telephoto lens to snap a handful of photos at a safe distance from my car.

You can check out the photos in her editorial gallery called Northern Michigan Porch-raits: The COVID-19 Sessions.

Happy Birthday, Dianna Ross!

Diana Ross, 1976 by Motown Records

Diana Ross, 1976 by Motown Records/Wikimedia Commons

Today is the birthday of Detroit-born Motown singer, actress, record producer, and all around legend Diana Ross. The Black PR Wire Power news release in honor of her birthday says:

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group, The Supremes, who during the 1960s became Motown’s most successful act, and are the best-charting female group in US history, as well as one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. The group released a record-setting twelve number one hit singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, including “Where Did Our Love Go”, “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, “You Can’t Hurry Love”, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”, “Love Child”, and “Someday We’ll Be Together”.

Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her eponymous debut solo album that same year, featuring the No. 1 Pop hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” She later released the album “Touch Me in the Morning” in 1973; its title track was her second solo No. 1 hit. She continued a successful solo career through the 1970s, which included hit albums like Mahogany and Diana Ross and their No. 1 hit singles, “Theme from Mahogany” and “Love Hangover”, respectively. Her 1980 album “Diana” produced another No. 1 single, “Upside Down”, as well as the international hit “I’m Coming Out.” Her final single with Motown during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final U.S. number one Pop hit, the duet “Endless Love” featuring Lionel Richie, whose solo career was launched with its success.

Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award-winning and Academy Award–nominated performance in the film “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972); she recorded its soundtrack, which became a number one hit. She also starred in two other feature films, “Mahogany” (1975) and “The Wiz” (1978), later acting in the television films “Out of Darkness” (1994), for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and Double Platinum (1999).

She is the only female artist to have number one singles as a solo artist; as the other half of a duet (Lionel Richie); as a member of a trio; and as an ensemble member (We are the World-USA for Africa). In 1976, Ross was named the “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared her the most successful female music artist in history, due to her success in the United States and United Kingdom for having more hits than any female artist in the charts, with a career total of 70 hit singles with her work with the Supremes and as a solo artist. She had a top 10 UK hit in every one of the last five decades, and sang lead on a top 75 hit single at least once every year from 1964 to 1996 in the UK, a period of 33 consecutive years and a record for any performer.

In 1988, Ross was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Supremes, alongside Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. She was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2007, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

Dig into the Supremes at Motown Museum!

Window Cake

Window Cake by Peter Kelly

Window Cake by Peter Kelly

For some of us, social distancing has been a thing for weeks, but with Governor Whitmer’s executive order yesterday restricting non-essential travel, a lot more of us will be making window cake for the next three weeks. Stay safe everyone!

You can see more in Peter’s The Henry Ford set on Flickr & see lots more portraits on Michigan in Pictures.

Looking back … and forward to the Detroit movie

Sonya Reese, photo by Noah Stephens

“We lost a lot of businesses and homes. [The riots] had a negative impact on the black race.”
– Fiat Chrysler Automobiles employee Sonya Reese

I just finished an incredibly rewarding week volunteering for the Traverse City Film Festival. One of the many films that I did not see is Detroit by Mark Boal & Katherine Bigelow that opens tomorrow (Aug 4). The trailer (below) looks amazing, and Bigelow is still the only woman to win an Oscar for Best Director.

Photographer Noah Stephens has been featured before for his work in the People of Detroit series. He was hired by the film to document the people and landscape as they are 50 years after the Detroit riots of 1967.

The photo shows Fiat Chrysler Automobiles employee Sonya Reese. Sonya and her daughter Ivy were interviewed and photographed in Gordon Playground. The playground was built on the site of the blind pig where the 1967 riot began. The park was remodeled in June 2017. The park is located on the precipice of prosperity. To the east are the mansions of the beautiful Boston-Edison historic district. To the west is the Dexter Bar.

More photos at The People of Detroit: 50 Years Later and see more of Noah’s work (and hire him)at noahstephens.com.

Congratulations, 2017 Michigan Graduates!

Amelia’s Graduation, photo by Dan Bruell

 

Congratulations to Amelia, a 2017 graduate of Baker College, and congratulations to all of the many dedicated students of all ages in Michigan who are graduating or moving up and along!

View the photo on Flickr and see more in Dan’s Spring/Summer 2017 slideshow.

Treat your momma right!

Happy Mother’s Day, photo by Jim Sisko

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Michigan moms! I appreciate how hard you work every day doing the toughest job that I know of. Here’s hoping that everyone takes some time this weekend for the mothers in their lives.

Jim shared this several years ago and wrote:

This is my wife Margie (AKA Mom to our daughter and Grandma to our two granddaughters) looking out at Lake Superior from the beach of her favorite place in the world, Little Girl’s Point. Margie is the best person I have ever known, and i’m eternally grateful that she chose me to spend her life with. My Mother has been gone almost 25 years now and I still think about her every day, but especially on this day.

View the photo bigger and see more in Jim’s Random 19 slideshow.

(ice) Phish

phish

Phish, photo by Noah Sorenson

View Noah’s photo bigger on his Facebook and follow him at nsorensenphoto on Instagram for more!

More portraits on Michigan in Pictures.

Walloon & Water

walloon-lake

walloon, photo by Abigail Rose King

WARNING: Do not try this today – just 15 degrees right now and not expected to break 20.

View Abigail’s photo bigger and see more in her slideshow.