“I wanted to create the group to represent and showcase marginalized artists in the Detroit area,”

Club Virago, a multidisciplinary art collective founded by a Wayne State student in March, will be hosting its first event, The Dog Bite, at the Korner Bar in Hamtramck on June 28.

“People can expect to hear good music and be surrounded by fun energy, and to just have a great time,” Halle Tilotti, a member of Club Virago, said.  

The group consists of artists and creatives who aim to bring awareness and promote the work of minorities in and around Detroit.

“I wanted to create the group to represent and showcase marginalized artists in the Detroit area,” said Club Virago founder and WSU sophomore Rori Mullen. “It was created out [of] me thinking how local shows and the art scene is male-dominated. I wanted to bring new artists and bring some diversity.”  

Mullen added that she found a lack of collectives showcasing women of color and LGBTQ women, which she believes is a pressing issue nationwide.

Artwork by women makes up three to five percent of major collections in museums and galleries in the U.S. and Europe. Moreover, only 27 percent of major exhibitions from 2007 to 2013 were devoted to women artists, according to the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

The barriers that hinder female artists from excelling in the industry propelled Mullen to create Club Virago with the goal to empower women through their work, she said. 

Club Virago hopes The Dog Bite will help its members make connections with other artists in Detroit, as well as the general public.

"This is a big deal because it attracts an audience and it's important that we also get the names of those performing out there as well," said Tilotti.

Musicians from across metro Detroit plan to perform at the event and help promote Club Virago's message.

"The people can expect a variety of music from all the acts," said Mark Whalen, a WSU student whose band is performing at the event. "There is going to be laid back music and different takes on rap from acts like Alt Nubian that are going to be great."

Mullen said Club Virago plans on hosting fundraising events, teaming up with galleries such as Playground Detroit and having a visual art magazine.

Mullen said that following their events, she doesn't want people to be surprised when a woman headlines a concert or gallery.

"It should be expected," Mullen said.

For more information on the event, visit Club Virago's Facebook page.


Susana Hernandez is a staff writer for The South End. She can be reached at susana.hernandez@wayne.edu

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