BLOOMFIELD HILLS — A few months ago, artist Nick Cave caused a stir of excitement when he returned to his native Detroit to photograph a series of dramatic art installations.
Now, his fans will finally be able to see the results of that effort when his exhibition “Nick Cave: Here Hear” opens at Cranbrook Art Museum this weekend.
Cave, a noted sculptor and performance artist, graduated from Cranbrook Art Academy in 1989. In March, he returned to his alma mater to start his photo tour of metro Detroit, which included stops in the Brightmoor neighborhood, Mexicantown and Eastern Market, along with nine other places.
Beginning June 20, visitors can see the installations at the museum through the fall. The exhibit will include images from the pop-up photo shoots, about 30 sculptural Soundsuits used during the shoots, tapestries and other pieces.
“My goal is to work with those who live in and love the city, and to reimagine Detroit as an always surprising environment of creativity, excitement and engagement,” said Cave in a prepared statement. “My dreams for the city are big, because I believe it is important for Detroit to be dreaming ambitiously at this moment about its own future.”
As the museum prepared for the artist’s arrival earlier this spring, museum curator Laura Mott said Cranbrook was excited to be a part of Cave’s vision of renaissance for the city.
“He works on a very large scale, and he wants to reach thousands of people and help us move forward, to take in this kind of meaningful spectacle together and how that can be momentum for change and creativity,” said Mott back in March. “We talk about moving forward, and since I’ve been here, I’ve noticed that these conversations are being had everywhere, from board meetings to front porches. That was a project we were really interested in participating in.”
Members of the museum will get a sneak preview of the collection at a reception Friday evening. The exhibit will open to the public the next day, followed by a screening of Cave’s video work at the historic Redford Theatre and an after-party at The Artist Village Detroit on June 21.
More events are planned throughout the summer and fall to complement the exhibit, including educational opportunities for younger visitors, carefully planned by the museum’s education curator, Kelly Lyons.
“It’s going to be one of these incredible, awe-inspiring experiences,” said Mott. “To pair with that, which is also extremely important, we’re partnering with organizations around Detroit to show how art can really contribute to revitalization.”
She said that by the time the exhibit closes in October, more than 100 local dancers will have performed in Cave’s signature Soundsuits, hundreds of students will have participated in themed workshops at the museum, and thousands of community members will have witnessed the artist’s spectacle pop-up performances.
“It’s going to be one of these extremely important historic projects for Detroit that will continue on in our collective memory moving forward,” said Mott.
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