An exhibition featuring multimedia works, created by a multitude of Black Detroit-based artists, explores the idea that there is no singular Black experience or narrative. 

The exhibition “Multifaceted Narratives” is showing at the Detroit Artists Market from Aug. 12 to Sept. 14. 

The works presented will focus on conveying the complexities and differences associated with various Black narratives. 

The presented work connects cohesively throughout the exhibition, Detroit fiber artist April Anue said.

“I think it (the exhibition) is just a bunch of beautiful works coming together, mixing together and playing together,” Anue said.

Artist Taurus Burns said it’s rare for an exhibit like this to occur. 

“Normally, in exhibitions like this, you don’t have a show that’s focused exclusively on the Black artists and what Black artists are saying with their work,” Burns said. “You usually only see that in February for Black History Month which is annoying, but it’s more acceptable I guess.”

Burns’ painting “The Shooting of Philando Castile” is featured in the exhibit.

Several of Anue’s pieces will be shown in the exhibition, including “Work Day” which was made to explore the narrative of Black women and the necessity of self-care, she said.

“I wanted to start a conversation with Black women and self-love, self-care, self-nurturing. We oftentimes don’t do that enough for ourselves: we tend to work multiple jobs, and have children, and are always busy helping and serving someone else,” Anue said.

It means the world to Detroit artist Ijania Cortez to be included in the exhibition, she said. Her work focuses on portraiture and uses color to express specific ideas. 

“My art always has a certain level of interpretation that I am very open to. At the same time, I try to incite conversations about Black men’s existence and how it relates to their inner consciousness and the world around them,” Cortez said.  “I play a lot on surrealities and color to convey modernism and existence being affected by synthetic modern environments that Black people — specifically in the city — are a part of.”

Burns said having a show like this now is crucial, especially how it relates to important social issues.

“Now when the country is reeling from George Floyd’s murder and the protest, I think it is more important than ever that artists are looked at and paid attention to. So, it is very timely to have a show like this,” Burns said.

The opening reception of the exhibition on Aug. 14 will run in one-hour shifts from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

To maintain social distancing ordinances, attendance to the exhibition will be limited. Guests are required to register and must wear masks. 

Visit DAM’s website to register and for more information. 


Cameron Sanders is a contributing writer for The South End. He can be reached at cameron.sanders@wayne.edu.

Cover art by Bakpak Durden.