Since Detroit declared bankruptcy in 2013, the city has been figuring out how to rebuild. In the few years since the story grabbed national attention, the arts community has set to the task of repurposing its urban decay. Detroit’s Red Bull House of Art, in the Eastern Market district, is one of those venues for readaptation. In 2015, the space’s director/curator, Matt Eaton, contacted Katy Ann Gilmore, Carl Rauschenbach, and Scott Vincent Campbell, three out-of-state artists, to take part in a live-in artists residency. On April 29th, their work will finally make its debut.
“I get a sense that Red Bull has had a steady hand in building and supporting part of the art scene here in Detroit,” Rauschenbach tells The Creators Project. “There is a lot of focus put on simply giving artists the push they need to get going, whether it be studio space or participating in a show, these real world experiences are what I think are important, especially for up-and-coming artists.”
Rauschenbach is contributing several mixed-media works, including graphics on paper printed with letterpress and silk-screen, larger works on canvas, and a sculpture made from metal. The artist is based in Brooklyn, but expresses a unique admiration for what Detroit has to offer artists.
“There's definitely a huge interest from the people that live here and you can feel the support that residents have for artists trying to make their mark in Detroit. It seems that if you persevere to have a presence in this town you will have the support one needs to make good work in a positive, forward moving environment,” he continues, “...migrant artists bring with them their own stories which become engrained into a larger movement that breathes culture back into a city through the practice of making art.”
His fellow resident, Katy Ann Gilmore, feels a similar connection with the city since moving to Detroit from LA three months ago for the Red Bull program. Gilmore is best-known for her large-scale 2D-art installations, but has used bits and pieces of the city to turn two dimensions into three.
“It’s been exciting to think in 3D again as I’ve been pretty limited by space in the past year and a half,” says Gilmore. “Actually, one of the materials I’m using, bright blue construction mesh netting, I came across during one of my daily walks in downtown Detroit.”
Red Bull House of Art’s residency program also offers artists a luxury that is often too decadent to be found in other artistic hubs: space. “When you offer space and resources for artists to work, you’re going to make a big impact as well. It’s so encouraging to see these resources used wisely, and contributed back into the community,” Gilmore adds. “There’s a certain drive and energy in Detroit that’s pretty contagious. It’s very easy to tell from walking around the city that there’s formidable value placed on art.”
See the artists’ work for yourself at Red Bull House of Art on April 29th, and learn more about the incubator on their website here.