Pop Up Detroit is made up of local artists and students whose goal is to create multipurpose exhibition spaces to promote the fine arts and the repurposing of vacant buildings in Detroit.
They will put on their second art show on Dec. 4 at 5800 Cass Ave., a building which has never been used for anything publicly before.
Nina Marcus-Kurlonko, a co-coordinator for Pop Up Detroit, is excited about the space they are using for this show.
“The building was originally a Marmons Car Company service shop and dealership which closed during the Great Depression,” she said. “Afterwards, Cadillac bought the building and used it as a showroom and service center until the 60’s when it was closed down again.”
The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been vacant until now.
Pop-up art shows are designed to bring life in to new spaces that aren’t usually designated for art. Marcus-Kurlonko and her team members have spent a considerable amount of time getting the space ready for an art show.
There are many issues when dealing with old buildings, including hanging art on the plaster walls and heating and cleaning the space.
“It’s a lot of work,” Marcus-Kurlonko said, “but it’s a good learning experience and each time we are going to get a better idea of what to look for in the next space to make our lives easier.”
These art shows, which change locations each time, are a unique way for artists to show and sell their work. Chris Turner, a Detroit resident and artist, will show his art with Pop Up Detroit for the second time.
“The way you present your work is key. The kind of artwork I’m working on for this show is sculptural so it’s going to be standing,” Turner said. “The room is so big, it lends itself to something huge.”
Pop Up Detroit has given artists and students an opportunity to get hands-on experience with art shows and renovating spaces.
“The pop-up type show is just an example of how artists are gathering in all facets of fine-art,” Turner said. “Not only making the work, but gaining the experience of how to do the press releases for the show, how to design the shows, and how to play all the other roles.”
Besides putting the show together and bringing the concept to life, another important goal for an art show is to sell art. Turner has been working in Detroit for more than 16 years and he is the first to admit the importance of selling art.
“I was a part of the first show and what made me decide to show with them again is that they sold my work at the first show,” he said. “I have no problem saying that as a working artist, it’s the first step to gaining loyalty.”
Pop Up Detroit, most of all, wants to create a new and unique way for people to become exposed to art in the city and to bring together motivated and enthusiastic individuals to make it happen. Their efforts have been recognized by a few well-known local artists who plan on displaying work at the show, including Camilo Pardo and Ian Swanson.