• Jessie Lynn Photo

Non-traditional Gallery Spaces

In the Air: Voices From Detroit and Beyond Billboard on S. Woodward and E. Canfield. Photo Credit: Jessie Glander

In the midst of a global pandemic America faced a rise in racial injustice and began its fight for equality. The James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History at Wayne State University began a unique and non-traditional Covid-19 safe gallery exhibition for local and national artists in response to current events. IN THE AIR: VOICES FROM DETROIT AND BEYOND, is a showcase featuring eight solo-presentations in one-month durations on a billboard on the corner of S. Woodward and E. Canfield in Detroit.

The showcase began in September of 2020 and will run through April 2021. The billboard has featured works from jessica Care moore, Jina Valentine, Rashaun Rucker, Peter Williams, and Jefferson Pinder. The current work on display is by Darryl DeAngelo Terrell, Kresge Artist Fellow and Wayne State Alum, with his work entitled “Dion”.

Terrell described the work as an exploration of what it means to be desired. The photographs are feminine self-portraits of Terrell with minimalistic backgrounds to keep the focus on the character he portrays.

“To exist in a place where my body in all of its blackness, queerness, fatness and femme-ness is the norm,” Terrell’s artist statement reads.

Terrell’s images appeared on the exhibition billboard on January 26 and will stay until February 20. He will be hosting a virtual artist talk via Zoom on February 11 from noon to 1:00 p.m. to discuss his work as a Kresge Artist Fellow.

Brandon Wright, visual arts student at Oakland Community College, said he found the billboard empowering. Wright visited the billboard location with friends during a trip to Detroit.

“Like the person wanted to have a certain amount of respect that a person should be given,” Wright said.

Wright said he looked up the photographer on his phone to know more about what he saw on the billboard. He explained that it caught his eyes and felt there was more of a story behind it.

The billboard above the Detroit Hopcat will host one final artist, after Terrell, until its completion in April. Chloë Bass, Kresge Artist Fellow, is the last artist to appear on the billboard for the showcase. Bass will be hosting a virtual artist talk via Zoom on April 8 from noon to 1 p.m. similar to Terrell to discuss her work as a Kresge Artist Fellow.

For more information on the IN THE AIR: VOICES FROM DETROIT AND BEYOND billboard visit the Wayne State University Gallery page.

https://www.waynestategalleries.org/in-the-air-voices-from-detroit-and-beyond To view Terrell’s full ‘Dion’ series visit his website below.


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